Winterizing Your Car

Winterizing Your Car

Winterizing your car should be something every car owner needs to consider. It has to be said it is not as intense as it was with cars made in the 1960’s and 1970’s but there are still things you can do to make sure your car is fully prepared for the winter months. Read on to learn more.

  • Make sure the hoses and belts that keep your enging running are in good condition. Look for wear and tear and if they need replaced, replace them without delay.
  • Change your oil and use an oil that is less thick than you use in the summer months as the thicker oil in cold conditions will not get through your engine as well. Check out your car handbook for further advice.
  • Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle.
  • Look at the anti-freeze mixture. Usually it should be a 50: 50 mix to make sure the coolant in the radiator will not freeze. you can find an antifreeze a tester at almost any auto parts store.
  • If your vehicle has four-wheel drive, have it checked before the bead weather sets in. This will make sure the transmission runs smoothly.
  • Check out your tire pressure. Remember your tire pressure will drop around 1 psi for every ten degrees the temperature drops.
  • Snow tires may be a good idea. Made from softer rubber allowing greater flexibility even in the worst cold weather of winter as well as adding traction to your vehicle.
  • Ensure your wiper fluid is full and change out your wiper blades. Some blades are especially designed for the winter weather and may be a very worthwhile investment. Make sure as well your wiper fluid resevoir with a brand of wiper fluid that possesses a lower freeze point.

Schedule Battery Replacement In Scottsdale

Call or Stop by Our Shop In Scottsdale, Arizona.  In addition to being a full-service gas station, we employee ASE Certified mechanics that work on imports and domestic vehicles alike.  When you need new brake pads, brake rotors, or other brake services such as a brake fluid system flush our team is here to help!  Conveniently located in Scottsdale we can tend to nearly any vehicle repair or maintenance need.  Stop by our Shop In Scottsdale located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

Best Cold Weather Car Batteries

Best Cold Weather Car Batteries

Cold weather puts your car under more stress than is normal and starting your vehcile in cold conditions can be a challenge. However, a suitable battery is always important and never more so than on those chilly winter mornings. Read on to learn what car batteries are best in cold weather and look out for the information abut cold cranking amps (CCA), the warranty on the battery and the reserve capacity (RC) – the higher the number – the better it should perform when the mercury is not rising very high!

Optima Batteries YellowTop

  • Suitable for high load vehicles.
  • Durable.
  • Great for cold weather.
  • Long-lasting reserve.
  • Increased efficency with coil design.
  • CCA 650.
  • Reserve capacity 98 minutes.

ACDelco Professional AGM

  • Hi-tech design for maximum performance.
  • Battery is maintenance free.
  • Warranty is long lasting.
  • Additional reserve power.
  • Absorbed glass mat technology features.
  • CCA 800.
  • Reserve Capacity 140 minutes.

Optima Batteries RedTop

  • Strong start power.
  • Design is spill proof.
  • Six coils.
  • Increased resistance to vibration.
  • Made for high-performance vehicles.
  • CCA 800 minutes.
  • Reserve Capacity 100 minutes.

Exide Edge FP-AGM

  • Durable construction.
  • High-performance design characteristics.
  • Corrosion and leak resistant.
  • Easy carry handle.
  • CCA 710.
  • Reserve Capacity: 120 minutes at 25 amps.

NorthStar Ultra High-Performance AGM

  • High-performance design characteristics.
  • Construction is durable
  • Battery is marine grade.
  • Absorbed glass mat technology features.
  • CCA 900.
  • Reserve Capacity 220.

Schedule Battery Replacement In Scottsdale

Call or Stop by Our Shop In Scottsdale, Arizona.  In addition to being a full-service gas station, we employee ASE Certified mechanics that work on imports and domestic vehicles alike.  When you need new brake pads, brake rotors, or other brake services such as a brake fluid system flush our team is here to help!  Conveniently located in Scottsdale we can tend to nearly any vehicle repair or maintenance need.  Stop by our Shop In Scottsdale located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

Car Diagnostic Cost 2019

Car Diagnostic Cost

The average price for a car diagnostic test is $82.50 with average prices raning from $65 to $100 for the US in 2019 according to SuperMoney. Repairpal states it should cost between $88 and $111, but Popular mechanic states it should cost between $20 and $400.

What’s A Car Diagnostic Test?

Most modern vehicles are controlled by on-voard computers. Often these computers control the fuel injection systems, the automatic transmissions and the ignition systems. As part of their job, the computers continually accumulate data from sensors in your vehicle and calibrate the info to provide optimization to the performance of your vehicle. When a sensor in your vehicle reports an issue, it triggers the check engine light and it will be time to get a diagnostic test.

This is more than simply reading the codes. A comprehensive diagnostic test will let you know how long the issue or issues have been ongoing, the drive cycles, the key/start cycles as well as the amount of times that particular error or errors have cropped up during that duration of time. In other words you can tell from this data whether the problem is an ongoing concern that reduces or endangers the performance of your vehicle or whether it was a fluky coincidence. There are also errors which can occur that may not cause your check engine light to come on it is still a good idea to get a periodical diagnostic checkup.

How Much Should A Car Diagnostic Cost?

We have already discussed above the costs of the diagnostic tests but depending on your area of the United States upu will be looking at an hours worth of labor costs, usally between $65 to $100. Of course it is wise to shop around before making a commitment.

Can You Get A Free Diagnostic Test?

There are less than scrupulous car shop owners who will use this is a tool to make you think more catastrophic damage has been caused to your vehicle. So it is best to work only with places with established good reputations.if you are ever unsure regarding what have you been told, always get a secondary diagnosis for your vehicle. Sometimes though the best diagnostic services are the more expensive ones but it’s better to use them and pay for a part you may need than go without and risk further damaging your vehicle in the future.

Bridwell Automotive Car Diagnostic Tests In Scottsdale, Arizona 

Our dedicated team of ASE Master Technicians will tune-up your vehicle quickly and within your budget.  You can schedule your tune-up with Bridwell Automotive Center by using our contact form. Stop by our Automotive Repair Shop in Scottsdale located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

How Much Does a Tune-up Cost?

How Much Does a Tune-up Cost?

On average, a tune-up cost about $500 for the US in 2019, tune-up costs may range from $200 to $800 according to

  • Minimal Tune-up: $40-$150+
  • Standard Tune-up: $200-$800+
  • Major Servicing and Tune-up: $500-$1,200+

Usually done about once a year, a tune-up is a routinely scheduled preventative maintenance on a vehicle. The process differs by the vehicle’s age, make, model, and mileage, but a tune-up normally involves air filter replacement; a computer diagnostics check; and checking the condition of (and potentially replacing) the fuel filter, the spark plugs and wires, and other basic engine components.

Typical Tune-up Costs

  • Prices may start at $40-$150 or more for a minimal tune-up that will include replacing the spark plugs and inspecting their wires, but it typically costs $200-$800 or more for a standard tune-up that includes replacing the distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs and wires, the fuel filter, PVC valve and air filter, in addition to changing the oil, an computer diagnosis of the ignition, fuel, and emission systems, and adjustment of the dwell, timing and fuel mixture to factory specifications. Total costs commonly depend on the parts needed along with the hourly labor rate (usually $40-$90 in traditional repair shops or $80-$150 at the dealership). From 2010 to 2012, CostHelper readers stated paying $138-$685 for a standard tune-up, with an average cost of $340.
  • For vehicles that are older, a 90,000-, 100,000- or 120,000-mile tune-up may cost $500-$1,200 or more, depending on the adjustment and repairs required.

What Should be Included in the Tune-up?

  • Look into the owner’s manual for the year, make and model of vehicle, or the mechanic will, for a list of precisely what maintenance is required, and when it needs to be carried out. Every vehicle has a schedule of suggested and required maintenance, based on the mileage and the vehicle’s age.
  • A tune-up typically takes about 2 to 4 hours of labor, depending on what is needed.
  • A lot of today’s vehicles use platinum spark plugs, that typically last 30,000 to 100,000 miles, so they don’t need to be replaced with each tune-up. A handful of newer vehicles have an electronic ignition system rather than a distributor, so a tune-up won’t involve a new distributor cap and rotor.
  • Signs that a vehicle may need a tune-up include a decrease in gas mileage, an apparent loss of power, a “rough” engine or one that stalls when they stop, engine “knocking” or keeps running after the ignition is off, or a “check engine” light staying on after its first started. On the other hand, these symptoms could be caused by other issues within the vehicles computerized systems. A lot of repair shops will start by performing a diagnostics test, to find out if a tune-up is the right solution to the problem.

Shopping for a Tune-up

• When comparing prices, be sure to ask for detailed explanations of what is included in the tune-up, because it could vary considerably.
• The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization for technicians and other automotive service professionals, has a searchable directory of certified repair shops.


How Much Does a Tune-up Cost? –” CostHelper,

Bridwell Automotive Offers Tune-ups In Scottsdale, Arizona 

Our dedicated team of ASE Master Technicians will tune-up your vehicle quickly and within your budget.  You can schedule your tune-up with Bridwell Automotive Center by using our contact form. Stop by our Automotive Repair Shop in Scottsdale located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

How Much Does Auto Radiator Replacement Cost?

How Much Does Auto Radiator Replacement Cost?

The average auto radiator replacement cost is $813.90, with prices ranging from $256.55 to $1,371.25. But usually depends on the make and model of the vehicle you drive and the auto repair shop you take it to.

What is a Radiator?

The radiator keeps the engine from overheating. When it is running, the engine generates heat. Coolant that flows through the system absorbs and eliminates extra heat produced by the engine. The coolant then moves throughout the radiator where it cools off and is then distributed back into the engine and start the process over.

A radiator is comprised of two tanks linked through brass or aluminum tubing. When coolant goes through tubes, the radiator cooling fan pushes air across the radiator to decrease the coolants temperature. Tanks are made of plastic and is not uncommon for them to crack and start leaking coolant. If the tubes crack tank or the tank cracks, coolant will leak, and can cause severe engine damage from overheating. Radiators sometimes tend to clog over time. When this happens, not enough coolant is flowing through the radiator leading to the build-up of heat, making the engine overheat.

Bear in mind:

  • When replacing the radiator, the whole cooling system needs to be inspected, specifically the radiator hoses.
  • When you get your radiator replaced, it is also a great idea replace the radiator cap and the thermostat.
  • After you get your radiator replaced, you should also have it inspected for leaks.

How it’s done:

  • Radiator for leak inspection.
  • Pressure test the system.
  • Replace the radiator.
  • Fill the radiator with the correct mixture of 50/50 coolant.

Our recommendation:

Be sure to follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer to get the coolant replaced on a regular basis. It is a good idea to have the coolant changes every 25,000-40,000 miles. higher engine temperatures, it is unavoidable that the tanks in the radiator will typically crack. Replacing the coolant will guarantee it is free of contaminants like rust or scale that can stop it from flowing through out the radiator and engine. The thermostat needs to also be replaced when replacing the radiator in addition to any necessary radiator hoses. The cooling system needs to also be flushed out to remove any contaminates.

Can I drive with radiator issues?

An under-performing radiator has far reaching effects. A failed heater, coolant loss, or engine damage from an overheating radiator can occur. Overheating causes damage to an engine. Continuing to drive an overheating vehicle can disable the motor.

What are some common symptoms indicating you may need to replace your radiator?

  • Overheating Vehicle.
  • Coolant is leaking.

How crucial is the radiator service?

If a failing radiator is not replaced, the overheating of the engine can possibly lead to serious internal engine damage.

Schedule Radiator Replacement In Scottsdale

In addition to being a full-service gas station, we employee ASE Certified mechanics that work on imports and domestic vehicles alike.  When you need a radiator replaced our team is here to help! Stop by Bridwell Auto Center located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

How Much Does Shock & Strut Replacement Cost?

hock Absorber or Strut Assembly Replacement Cost

The average cost for a shock absorber or strut assembly replacement is $366. Prices range from $316 to $416 for a shock absorber or strut assembly replacement for the US in 2019.

Additionally, labor costs average $128 with price ranging from $113 to $143 while the average price of replacement parts $238 with costs ranging from $203 to $273 according to Repairpal

This repair is often done as part of a larger repair and that may or may not be reflected in the total price you have to pay.

What Is A Strut Or Shock Absorber?

  • Struts are part of the overall suspension system and they support the weight of the vehicle. often the yare also part of the steering system pivoting when you turn the steering wheel.
  • Shocks provide dampening properties by controlling suspension and spring movement. They do not support the weight of the vehicle nor do they form a component of the steering system.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Shock Absorber Or Strut?

Broken or failing struts and shocks causing a number of symptoms making for a less than totally comfortable ride. The symptoms include the following:

  • Hydraulic fluid link.
  • Body roll when turning.
  • Cupped and other abnormal tire wear.
  • While driving we may hear thumping, knocking or rattling noise when driving.
  • Tail or nose end dipping down during hard acceleration and braking.
  • A bumpy ride.

How Are Strut Or Shock Absorber Issues Diagnosed?

The struts are likely worn if you push on the vehicle and it bounces up and down. The yare also diagnoses when a technician is in the midst of replacing other components and can also be discovered during routine services like wheel alignment.

Can I Drive With A Strut Or Shock Absorber Problem?

You can drive a car with worn front struts but performance will be compromised as the handling will not be up to the normal standard because when you turn the car is dependent on its struts.

When the condition worsens, the loss of control can lead to a rollover crash. Is the front strut is broken, you should replace it before driving the vehicle.

How Is A Strut Or Shock Absorber Replaced?

A technician has to remove the wheels to replace a front strut, The brake rotor and caliper are removed then the sway bar is disconnected, The strut is then further disconnected from the strut tower and steering knuckle, thus removing it from the vehicle.

it is common to reuse the coil spring from the old assembly when the entire strut assembly is being replaced. In this case, the worn strut will have to be compressed and then disassembled. The new strut will then need to be assembled together before installation.

What To Look Out For With Strut And Shock Absorber Issues

When replacing a strut, the old strut may have to be compressed during the repair. To do this the coil spring has to be compressed, so the assembly of the strut can be dismantled. When this takes place the compressed coil spring can be extremely dangerous especially if the spring slips from the compressor supplying the tension.

Can I Replace The Strut Or Shock Absorber Myself?

Because of the extreme danger from serious injury should the spring slip from the compressor when assembling the strut combined with the fact that once assembled the full inspection of the suspension and steering as well as a professional standard wheel alignment should be performed, we strongly recommend you leave this to the professionals. Thankfully, the fully qualified and experienced mechanics and technicians at Bridwell Automotive have you covered with their great service, to get you back on the road again!

Bridwell Automotive Offers Strut and Shock Absorber Replacement In Scottsdale, Arizona 

Our dedicated team of ASE Master Technicians will help you by replacing your strut and shock absorber quickly and within your budget.  You can schedule your strut and shock absorber repair with Bridwell Automotive Center in Scottsdale by using our contact form. Stop by our Strut and Shock Replacement Shop In Scottsdale located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

Bridwell Auto Center Spring Disneyland Ticket Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered their tickets for the Disneyland Give Away. The winner will be announced on this page by 12 pm June 3rd. Winner will be notified by phone and email.

Congratulations to Cindy W: Ticket number # 615966

Engine Replacement Costs | Labor Costs – Bridwell

Engine Replacement Cost

If you are searching for “Engine Replacement Cost”, “Engine Replacement Labor Cost”, “Engine Rebuild Cost”, “Average Cost Of Engine Swap” or “How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Car Engine”, this post should help! If your vehicle is showing blown engine signs you know a repair bill is coming. Learn about how much engine replacement or rebuild costs.

More than other failures on a car, there is nothing that is like a blown engine. You can smash the front end, set it on fire, blow a gasket, but it is still a broken car. Once the engine is gone, then it will stop being a car and it becomes more like an abandoned and echoing home.

However, better times are on their way because there is very little around that is as joyful as the moment when the empty shell becomes whole again and better than it was before through quality engine replacement. How much engine replacement will cost depends on the type of vehicle, brand, and other factors that will be discussed below.

Only Serving The Phoenix Metro Valley

Engine Replacement Cost 2019

  • Short Block Engine Replacement: $1550 to $2500
  • Long Block Engine Replacement: $600 to $1000

Complete engines will often include everything that it needs to run and sometimes include every sensor, electronic part and accessory. It is these types of replacements that are rare unless it is under warranty. Long block engines are the whole engine without the electrical equipment, manifolds, and accessories. Normally, engine replacements will include just the long block. A short block is just the long block without the heads or cylinder head. Then after 2014, an average American or Japanese V-6 or 4-cylinder long block will cost about $1550 to $2500 from a quality manufacturer. A short block will normally go for $600 to $1000 and the complete bolt in style engines will be double the price for a long block. You should expect to double everything for a European engine, especially if they are performance oriented or rare. You can cut the costs often by over half just by purchasing a junkyard engine, but then there isn’t a guarantee that it will be in better shape then the one that you removed.

Engine Replacement Cost Factors

There are many factors that need to be considered when you are deciding engine replacement, one of which is how you define an engine. First you have to decide if you need a new long or short block or a whole engine. Next you have to find what type of make and type of engine that you are dealing with and where you will get the new one. A brand-new engine that comes from a warehouse is going to cost much more than one that you get in a junkyard or a re-manufactured four-cylinder engine. Next, you have to think about age. Normally, engine replacements for Japanese and domestic cars will become more expensive as automobiles become newer simply because a newer engine will be much more expensive to start with and they can be harder to get if it is used. Lastly, you have to think about where you will have it replaced at and just how quickly that it needs to be done.

Luxury, Performance and Diesel Engine Replacement Cost

  • Diesel engine replacement: $5500 to $11000

Just to give you some perspective: Replacing a 16.4-liter long block for a Bugatti Veyron will be around $360,000 and a Ferrari Enzo long block is about the same. That does not even include shipping, but it does have a 30-day guarantee. Then for a complete LS7 crate Engine for a Corvette Z06 from GM is a bit of a bargain at $15,000. Then for a 6.3-liter LS3 crate engine for the newer Chevrolet Camaro SS is about $6500. This is going to be around the cost for many domestic V-8 cars. For between $5500 to $11000, you can purchase rebuilt Diesel engines and for between $3000 to $4500 you can get a Ford long block. Around $8500 will get you V-8 long block for an old Rolls Royce while the more current and updated engines that come from Rolls Royce will cost over $45,000.

Engine Replacement Labor Costs

  • Engine Replacement Labor Cost: $60 to $80 an hour

Labor may easily cost you just as much as purchasing an engine especially if you go to a specialist or dealer. A basic garage may cost you between $60 to $80 per hour, while a specialist or dealer can cost you between $200 or more. A normal engine replacement for an older car such as one from the 1980s could be about 10 hours of work, although it may be more like 15. You should expect between 15 to 25 hours of labor for an average engine replacement on a new vehicle.

A big part of that will come down to just how much work that the shop will have to do to put old engine parts on the new block, which is where you could end up losing money by purchasing a long block or short block. It actually pays to spend some money upfront, especially if the time of the mechanic is going to cost you. These are the factors that you will have to think about. You may end up spending around a minimum of $1500 for labor for the replacement of a complete engine by a local garage to more than $5000 if you pay a specialist to take apart your old engine and assemble the new engine from a short block and then install it in your car.

Total Engine Replacement Cost

  • Used Engine Replacement: $950
  • New Engine Replacement (Dealership): $7500
  • New Engine Replacement (Auto Repair Shop): $3000 to $4000

After everything above, it is clear just how huge of a gap in price that the replacement can be, even on the same car. Doing a DIY replacement of a 1998 Camaro Engine may cost you less than $950, if you purchased a remanufactured short block and do all the work on your own. Or it could cost around $7500 if you purchase a complete crate engine and pay a dealer to install it. That is a big gap in price just with one car with a common engine.

The average engine replacement – corner garage, average, long block, 10-year-old car should cost between $3000 to $4000. You should expect to spend extra 50% to almost double for a luxury or European car. You should keep in mind that the rarer that the engine and car are, the more expensive a replacement will cost. A fully loaded Porsche Cayenne and Cadillac Escalade are not that far apart when it comes to price when it is new, but the LS engine for the Escalade is very common in the U.S. The engine for the Porsche is not that common, but you have to remember a bolt is a bolt and an engine is just an engine.

At your local garage it may be around $80 per hour and they should not have a hard time replacing the engine for the Porsche as they would with a Cadillac. Be sure to shop around for labor rates and the guarantees before you decide to pay a specialist.

Engine Rebuild Cost

Rebuilt engines costs between $2,500 to $4,000 dollars in labor and the cost of parts. In addition to removing and reinstalling your engine common repairs will include replacing seals and bearings. More involved engine rebuilds cost more when cylinder heads cannot be be saved or if the crankshaft has been damaged. The pistons can also be damaged if your car gets too hot or a part of your engine fails.

The more involved and time consuming the rebuild the higher the cost will be. If your engine block is cracked or badly damaged rebuild isn’t really an option and you’ll need engine replacement instead. In the case your engine has seized replacement is the only option for repairing your vehicle. When an engine seizes it means that the metal pistons and cylinder walls got far too hot and have melted together.

Engine Replacement Warning Signs

There is a fine line when it comes to cost when an engine rebuild isn’t the best repair plan for your vehicle. Engine replacement is many times a less costly option than completely rebuilding a heavily damaged engine. Here are 3 blow engine signs to help you make a decision or trust the advice of your repair mechanic.

1. Catastrophic Engine Failure

Clearly this is one of the easiest signs that your engine is blown. If there’s a massive puddle of your engine’s oil with chunks of your engine in it, you’ve got a problem. If your vehicle stopped suddenly and there’s pieces of your engine in a pool of oil on the road, you’re going to need to replace your engine.

2. Engine Stops Suddenly & Loudly

If you hear a loud noise and your engine suddenly stops you have likely seized it. This happens if the oil has ran out or you have likely overheated. Excessive heat can melt your cylinder walls and pistons which can fuse them together. Once the engine fuses together replacement is the only option.

3. Neglecting Engine Maintenance & Repairs

Some engine problems are ones that drivers choose to ignore. If you’re check engine light has been on for months or even years or you’ve been ignoring a rough running engine damage has probably progressed. If the damage is severe enough an engine rebuild may be more costly than simply replacing the engine.

Professional Engine Replacement Services in Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona

If you need engine replacement in Scottsdale/Phoenix, Bridwell Automotive Center can help! Bridwell can help with engine repair, engine replacement, rebuilt engines and more. Our ASE Certified Technicians are trained, qualified, and well equipped to perform engine replacements on virtually any type of vehicle. Bring it to Bridwell to get affordable, reliable, and timely engine replacement in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Leaking Antifreeze But Not Overheating

Leaking AntiFreeze But Not Overheating

If you’re leaking antifreeze but not overheating or you have a car leaking antifreeze when parked, you still have a chance to repair your vehicle for a lower cost. If you continue to drive your car with low antifreeze your vehicle will eventually overheat.

An overheating engine can cause more problems especially if you let it go too long and end end up cracking your block. Chances are you have either a radiator cap leak, internal coolant leak or an external coolant leak.   The longer you wait the higher the coolant leak repair cost will be.  Learn how to diagnose your antifreeze leak and learn what to do next.

Contents On This Page

Coolant Leak Inspection & Diagnostic Services

If you are experiencing coolant leaks in Scottsdale, Arizona, Bridwell Auto Repair can help. Our ASE certified mechanics have experience in repairing all types of coolant leaks.  It’s quick and easy to schedule an appointment with Bridwell Automotive Center.  Simply call and let us know what’s been going on with your vehicle, or if you need a tow to our shop for repairs.  Remember driving while your engine is overheating or your coolant system is malfunctioning can lead to expensive repairs like engine replacement.

Coolant Leak Diagnosis

Identify The Reason For Your Coolant To Be Leaking

It can be narrowed down to three common core reasons as to why the coolants leaks, with each of those reasons varying in other possibilities and also in the extent of the damage. If you have recently noticed an accumulation of coolant under your vehicle or that the reservoir tank is not as high up as it usually is, these could be signs that your system has a slow leak. Another sign of a leak would be if your vehicles engine suddenly overheats, sometimes there can even be a coolant smell if it is leaking. Finding out the type of leak your coolant system has is not that difficult, however, locating it can be more of a challenge. It would be wise for a person to take a look at the coolant reservoir tank every other time they put gasoline in their gas tank.

Antifreeze Leak Causes

Listed here are common causes for your coolant to be leaking:

1. Radiator cap leaks

If the radiator cap doesn’t no longer fits as it initially did or if it is weak and wore out it can cause loss of your systems coolant by way of the overflow tube, and it will happen every time you run the engine very long. The radiator was designed to be pressurized, so should the radiator cap fit incorrectly, improperly fitting, or maybe it is not the correct cap for your radiator, either way pressure will end up being lost and this let go very long could also create damage to a hose, causing even more repairs to be done. Having a pressure test performed on the radiator cap will help in diagnosing the problem.

Solution: Simply replace your radiator cap with one the fits correctly. You can find out in the vehicles manual what the proper cap is and what your pressure should be.

2. An internal leak

For starters, if it is an internal leak there will not be a pool of coolant under the vehicle, but rather, you will find yourself constantly having to put more water in the radiator as it quickly overheats and it either leaks out or evaporates. For internal coolant leaks you will need to look at the head (cylinder block), it could also be that you have a leaky head gasket, as this will let the coolant seep out.

Solution: Bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop for diagnosis unless you know how to disassemble your engine.

3. An external leak

The easiest to pin point what the problem is would be if it is an external leak. Usually, if you have a leak that is external, the vehicles coolant is going to escape rapidly allowing the vehicle to overheat quickly. You should be able to determine where the leak is just by observing. It may be a broken hose and/or a hole in the radiator.

Solution: Check your hoses to see if any coolant is coming out. Replace the hose(s) if you notice coolant coming out of them. If you notice coolant leaking out of your thermostat that can be an easy fix. It only costs about $10-$15 to replace a vehicles thermostat and is one of the easiest repairs you can do yourself. However, if the coolant is leaking from your water pump, that can get a little more expensive. Depending on your vehicle, you or an auto mechanic might need to buy a water pump replacement tool from the dealership to replace your water pump.

4. Blown Head Gasket

If you’re struggling to find the source of your coolant leak there’s a chance it is caused by a blown head gasket.  The head gasket seals the engine block and cylinder heads.  If a head gasket fails it may cause a serious coolant leak and overheating or may be a small leak that is hard to detect. Worse yet the coolant may try to mix with your engine oil.  If this happens you’ll likely lose all compression and make it so you cannot drive your car.

Solution:  The solution for a blown head gasket is to replace it immediately.  It will require some disassembly of your engine so the cost for labor will typically exceed the cost of the part.

Other Coolant Leak Causes

Other things that can also let the coolant escape are the:

  • Heater core
  • Leaks in water pump
  • Engine freeze plugs
  • Bad thermostat
  • Crack in coolant reservoir
  • Hole in your radiator
  • Bad coolant hoses

However, these can also be easily diagnosed with a visual inspection. It could also turn out to be that the coolant reservoir has a crack. The coolant is part of the vehicles main system, it is what helps in keeping the vehicles engine cooled down and will more than likely not be what makes the vehicle overheat, this may however be the reason that after the vehicle has sit a very long time you see a pool of coolant under the vehicle.

The Purpose Of Your Vehicle’s Cooling System

A vehicle cooling system is crucial to your vehicle functioning properly, and when there is a leak in the coolant of your car it is going to affect its efficiency, and in general, the way that it performs, and it will gradually begin overheating. The purpose of the vehicles coolant system is to keep the engine from overheating, and this is done by the cooling system circulating through the engine through pipes and a radiator. When the vehicle is running the coolant, temperatures will rise gradually letting the coolant expand and moving the excess into the reservoir through rubber hoses. Moreover, if the system begins working improperly it is important to have it fixed as soon as you, but if keep letting it go you could be facing some expensive repairs. Don’t worry too much though, coolant leaks are one of the most common engine problems and can be fixed.

5 Symptoms Of Coolant Leaks

There are some clear signs you can watch for to be ready to catch coolant leaks early and prevent damage to your vehicle.  These include when your heater won’t work, the temperature gauge is high or low, the coolant light is on, you smell something sweet, or you’ve lost some fuel economy.

1. The Heater Won’t Work

The heater in your car or truck is powered by the coolant that keeps your engine cool.  When your heater will not work it’s a sign that there either isn’t enough coolant in your car or there’s a blockage of some kind.  If you think the heater just isn’t putting out the heat like it should you should have your vehicle’s coolant and heating system inspected.

2. Temperature Gauge High or Low

When you’re vehicle’s temperature goes up or down from the normal level as you’re driving it can be a sign of coolant system problems. Problems can be something simple like low coolant level or something more serious such as a blocked radiator or a broken cooling fan.  It’s important to get this type of problem checked out promptly to avoid damage to you  vehicle.  As strong as metal is the components in your motor can easily get too hot and melt, crack, seize, or completely fail causing you costly repairs.

3. Your Coolant Light Is On

Most modern vehicles are equipped with warning lights for engine temperature.  They usually look like a temperature gauge with wavy lines.  It’s purpose is to let you know you should stop and check out why your engine is overheating.  You may have a cracked or broken hose that’s allowed large amounts of coolant to spill out.  Read about what to do if you’re car has overheated.

4. You Can Smell Something Sweet

Antifreeze smells sweet, so if you’re smelling something unusually sweet after you’ve had a temperature warning or you’ve got steam billowing out of your hood, it’s probably your coolant.  This is a good time to start checking for obvious leaks under your vehicle.  Avoid trying to remove the radiator cap until your vehicle is completely cooled down, this may take up to 45 min.

5. Diminished Fuel Economy

Engines are designed to work under very specific operating conditions.  They get their best performance and fuel mileage at specific temperatures.  If it’s too cold it won’t use the fuel correctly and will not get the fuel economy you’re supposed to get.  If you’ve noticed a deterioration in your fuel mileage bring your vehicle in to get checked out.

Can You Drive A Car With A Broken Radiator?

No, you should never drive a vehicle that’s leaking a significant amount of coolant or has a broken radiator.  If your vehicle’s cooling system is faulty it will overheat and cause serious damage to your engine.  Overheating engines can lead to cylinder heads to warp, your engine to seize, cylinder head gasket failure, or your engine block to crack.  These are all extremely expensive repairs and you should avoid driving your vehicle at all costs.  Get it towed into a trusted automotive repair shop and have it repaired.

How Much Does Coolant Leak Repair Cost?

The cost of getting a coolant leak repaired varies by the type of vehicle and what’s causing it to leak.  According to an antifreeze leak repair cost should be between $90 and $115 dollars.  Depending on what’s wrong with your antifreeze coolant system the costs may be less or higher.  High performance or exotic vehicles will have higher coolant leak repair costs as replacement parts for these vehicles typically cost more.  For more information about how much your coolant leak inspection will cost along with a quote for repair please give Bridwell Automotive Center a call to schedule an appointment at (480) 948-4781.

Overheating Car Symptoms

Overheating Car Symptoms

If you’re searching for overheating car symptoms or what causes a car to overheat, this post will help you understand the signs of an overheating car and what to do.  Overheating engines are not something that people want to happen. If you can catch the problem quick enough, then you can save the headache from major engine repairs, and possibly needing to purchase a new car. Knowing the following information from this guide will help you to make the right choice when any of the symptoms happen.

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Contents In This Post:

Overheating Car Symptoms

Car Overheating What To Do?

Why Do Cars Overheat?

Schedule Overheating Car Repair

Overheating Car Symptoms

If you believe that your engine is overheating, don’t try to check the coolant level or open the cooling system because it will be under pressure and you can get burned with coolant. Let your engine cool down before you check for an issue.

1. The Temperature Light or Gauge

Each car will have a warning light or temperature gauge that will come on to tell you the temperature engine. If the warning light comes on, it’s saying that the engine is beyond the operating temperature. If the temperature gauge is over the red or near the top, then that is a sign that there is excessive heat on the engine. The only issue with these devices, is that they sometimes they don’t work right because of a coolant leak which causes the sensor to have nothing to read.

2. The Car Smells Hot

Because the engine is a giant piece of metal with small pieces of plastic, rubber gaskets and seals, and residual motor oil, whenever it is running hot these oils and materials will give off an odor that most people describe as smelling hot. This may happen even if your gauge is stating that is in the normal level and your warning light isn’t on. The odor can come through the AC vents because the engine is near the fresh air intake of your HVAC system.

3. Thumping Sounds

Whenever an engine is cold it won’t run efficiently. This is why engines are designed to have a thermostat that stays closed blocking the flow of coolant to the radiator until the engine is able to reach the operating temperature. The issue with this device is whenever it doesn’t open it can cause the coolant to get super-heated inside of the engine. This can cause a thumping noise from your engine whenever you have cold coolant trying to mix with the boiling coolant within your engine. This particular sound is pointing out that your thermostat should be replaced because of a failed sensor within the thermostat.

4. Your Engine has a ticking sound

Engine oil is used to lubricate and provide thin layers of protection between the moving parts. Whenever this oil gets super-heated, it will lose the ability to provide this layer as the oil weight is so thin that it is similar to water. Once this happens, the clearances in the engine will start to tick which indicates that the lubrication process has failed.

5. Coolant is on the ground

If there is coolant on the ground under your vehicle after you parked it, then it may be an indication of engine overheating. This could be because either the cooling system has a leak which causes the engine to run hot and overheat or the coolant has boiled inside of the cooling system and has been relieved by the coolant overflow tank.

6. Steam is coming from the hood

Whenever there is boiling coolant, in the coolant reservoir or being sent out of the radiator cap because of extreme temperatures it will cause steam to be produced from the sides, rear or front of the hood. This is because the coolant is way past the boiling point and is now becoming steam much like water. This is a big sign that the engine is overheating, and it needs to be shut off immediately before any damage happens.

7. Reduced Engine Power

Whenever an engine is overheating it may cause reduced power because of the pistons expanding within the cylinder bore which will slow down the crankshaft rotation. This will slow down, and it is because of the amount of power that the engine can produce. If you happen to notice that the vehicle is having a hard time keeping up with traffic, look at your temperature gauge or light and then notice if there are any weird smells which can be trying to tell you that there is a temperature problem in the engine.

8. Hot Hood

While the hood of your car is going to hotter than everything else, it shouldn’t be extremely hot to the touch. You should be able to place your hand on the hood for around 10 seconds in a worst-case scenario. If you aren’t able to touch the hood, then your engine is causing excessive heat and it will need to be checked out.

Car Overheating What To Do?

If your vehicle is overheating and smoke or steam is coming out of the hood the first thing you need to do is pull over.  Then you can start trying to address what’s causing it, if you can fix it, or if you’re going to need to get it towed to be repaired.  Serious damage can occur if your engine is overheating.  Follow these steps to handle and overheating engine if you car, truck, van or suv.

1. Stay Calm & Pull Over Safely

Whether you’re on the freeway, highway, or busy street stay calm and pull over if you’re overheating.  Pulling over quickly and shutting off the engine will allow it to start cooling.  Do this quickly to avoid serious damage to the engine or it’s components.   In the event you’re unable to pull over make sure you shut off the AC and cool by lowering your windows.  Turn the heater all the way up to full, doing this will help cool the engine.  Flip on your hazard lights and drive slowly and avoid stop and go traffic.

2. Check Under The Hood

If you’ve got clouds of steam or smoke billowing out of your hood, wait until it’s stopped.  If you feel the the hood is still very hot wait for it to cool down before opening it up.  You can shut the car off but leave the key in the on position.  This will allow the fans to continue to cool the engine.  While it will take some time you should wait the approximately 30 min before trying to touch the radiator cap or engine.  Avoid serious burns by being patient and running the fans with the engine off but keys in the on position.

3. Check If The System Is Pressurized

Check the radiator hose located in the upper side of your engine.  Use a rag, towel, or cloth to squeeze the radiator hose as it’s likely still very hot.  If it is stiff there’s likely still pressure in the system.  Do not remove the radiator cap until this pressure has subsided.  Where the radiator hose is located depends on the make and model of vehicle, but they are usually on the top side and called the upper radiator hose.

4. Wait To Remove The Radiator Cap

Safety can’t be overstressed and removing the radiator cap too early can cause serious burns.  Pressurized coolant can spray out and cause painful burns. The coolant of an overheated engine can easily exceed 250°F.  As long as it is inside the compressed coolant system it doesn’t boil.  As soon as the pressure is released and it’s exposed to air it can boil in a flash.

5. Remove The Radiator Cap

Once the engine has cooled and you’ve tested the radiator hose, use a rag to remove the radiator cap.  Some caps you need to push down after you’ve loosened it while others have threads and scew off counter clockwise. Doing this will expose your coolant to regular air pressure and if you’ve done it too soon it can flash boil and burn you.

6. Check Coolant Level

The radiator cap is attached to a white tank that holds your coolant.  Once the vehicle has had about 40 min to cool you can check the coolant level with the cap off.  There’s usually a level to show if you’ve got enough, too much, or not enough coolant.  This will be a good guide to knowing if it was a isolated event or if you’re low on coolant.

7. Look For Coolant Leaks

If you found that you are low on coolant the most common problem is leaking coolant.  You’ll have to look under the vehicle for puddles or drips of coolant.  Generally older vehicle always have green coolant.  Newer vehicles have been equipped with various colors of engine coolant, so check yours to see what color of coolant you should be looking for.  Engine coolant usually smells sweet and typically ends up under the car and on hoses.  It’s easy to tell the difference between condensation (doesn’t smell), engine coolant (smells sweet) and engine oil (is much thicker).

8. Refill Engine Coolant As Necessary

You’ve likely had a coolant leak and you’ll have to refill it before you can get back underway.  Wait for the vehicle to cool completely and then pour it in slowly into the radiator.   If you’ve got some water with you most vehicle are designed to run on diluted coolant.  You can dilute the engine coolant and have a 50% water and 50% coolant mixture.  Do it a little at a time to help the system accept it slowly. If you simply don’t have any coolant with you it’s possible to use straight water.  It’s not a permanent solution, but it does work.

9. Check Engine Condition

With new coolant in the engine you can test the engine.  Turn the it on and watch your temperature gauge carefully.  If it races back onto the hot side you’ll need to shut the car off again.  Wait another 20 min and give it another try.  If it continues to have problems or you’ve noticed a significant leak under the vehicle you’ll likely need a tow to a mechanic.  Otherwise you can schedule engine repair with your local repair shop.

10. Call For A Tow To A Repair Shop

If you just can’t seem to get the engine to cool call for a tow truck.  Don’t risk serious damage or further damage to your vehicle by driving while you’re overheating.  The cost to replace an engine is usually about 15% of the vehicles value.  So take care of your vehicle early, often, and considering preventative maintenance.

Why Do Cars Overheat?

There are a lot of factors that can cause your engine to overheat. One of the most common causes is that the coolant level is low. If this is low, then it will cause the heat that is inside of the engine to stay in while making steam as the temperature rises. The common cause for low coolant is that there is a leak in the engine or in the system. Mechanical failures like a thermostat sticking closed can block the flow of coolant in the radiator which causes the car to overheat. Additional failures could be a blown head gasket or  a cooling fan not coming on. If the engine is running while it is overheating it will cause the pistons to begin expanding and then seize inside of the cylinder bore while busting the cylinder heads and cracking the engine block.

Overheating Auto Repair Service

Overheating Auto Repair Service
If your car, truck, or suv has been showing any of these signs or has overheated Bridwell Automotive Center can help!  Our master ASE repair technicians work on all makes, models, and can repair your overheating car quickly and affordably.  Our radiator repair service and automotive repair shop is located in Scottsdale where we proudly care for any vehicle maintenance or repair need.

For help with overheating automotive problems call (480) 948-4781