Author Archive for Auto Shop in Alamogordo

Overcoming COVID-19 Challenges

In light of the recent developments and with COVID-19 now effecting our entire county, Tierra del Sol Automotive has enacted some new policies to ensure your safety, as well as ours, and ask for your patience during this stressful season.

Our customers’ safety has always been our priority, we want nothing more than for you to stay safe and healthy!

Now, more than ever you can rely on Tierra del Sol to take care of your automotive needs. We are continuing essential auto repair operations. We are open and operating during our regular business hours.

In compliance with the most recent health and well-being recommendations from our Governor, we are implementing a few new procedures regarding drop-off and pick-up of your vehicles at Tierra Del Sol Automotive. 

FREE VEHICLE PICK-UP AND DELIVERY
575-443-1880

Automotive Tools

Vehicles and keys will continue to be disinfected to protect both you, our valued customer, and also our employees.  

Tierra del Sol Automotive offers free* vehicle pick-up and delivery. Free pick-up service excludes towing, however towing arrangements can be made for you as needed for an additional charge. Please call us for details and to make pick-up arrangements at 575-443-1880.

We highly encourage no contact vehicle drop-off, available 24 hours by utilizing the key drop by the front door. 

We will continue to accept payment by telephone. 

We currently coordinate service repairs by telephone, text & email also. 

Due to the mandated maximum gathering of 5 or fewer individuals, we have enacted a “no-waiting in the front office” policy. Seating outside is available. We will gladly drive you home and pick you up. We request that any pick-up be pre-coordinated prior to your appointment. 

When you enter the office please take notice of the specifically designated standing areas (marked on the floor). This protects you, other clients and our employees. We ask that you please be considerate of others and we will gladly assist you in a safe and orderly fashion. 

Please keep your conversations business related. Personal conversation increases potential exposure time to you and our employees. Please help us in our prevention efforts so we may continue to provide you a safe environment while we address your vehicle needs. 

We understand this may be inconvenient or different from business practices in the past but ask for your assistance and understanding during this pandemic.

Thank you again for your continued business and support and please, if there is anything we may do for you, feel free to ask. 

Be safe and stay healthy!


*Free pick-up service excludes towing.

There’s No Heat in My Car!

We’re sure you’ve all experienced a moment when you climbed into your car on a cold morning, turned on the heat, and found you’re greeted with cold blowing air that never warms. Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all had a similar experience. We thought this might be a good time to educate you about where your automobile gets that warming heat from and what may be the problem. 

You might not believe it, but the warmth you feel on a cold winter’s morning comes from your automobiles cooling system. While this may sound like an oxymoron, it is actually the heat produced by your running engine. That heat is transferred into the engine coolant and then released via a “heater core” in the cabin of your car or truck. 

So what exactly is a heater core?

So what exactly is a heater core? The simple answer is “a mini radiator”. Just like the radiator in your engine compartment, you have a smaller radiator called a “heater core” that resides inside your instrument panel inside your car. Amongst all of the hoses that are under your hood, two of them are specifically dedicated to providing you heat, via the heater core, located inside your vehicle. Look closely under your hood and you will see two hoses, one into, and one out of your heater core. Now you cannot see the heater core as it is well hidden behind the instrument panel, but you can see the two hoses that connect to the firewall of the car. A firewall is the metal partition that separates the engine from the inside of your car. 

So what’s really happening with all this fancy equipment that causes me to have no heat? The answer is very simple. Hot water is created by your running engine and the automobiles water pump pushes water through all the hoses, including the heater core. The heater core warms up from the coolant. Then as you select “HEAT” on your dash, a door in the heater box is opened that encases the heater core. As you turn up your blower fan, air is drawn into the now open heater box, passes across the fan which forces air through the heater core. As the air exits the heater core, it has changed from cool to warm to hot air which is then forced out the vents thereby heating the interior of your vehicle. 

OK, great! But why no heat you ask? The most likely cause for no heat is a plugged heater core. A heater core gets plugged when contaminants in the coolant build up such that they block the tiny openings in the heater core and no longer allow coolant to pass through the core. Many of today’s vehicles are equipped with heat control valves which mechanically open and close to allow heated coolant to enter the heater core. During summer months or warm periods when we do not use the cars heat, in some cases for several months, the coolant sits stagnant in these closed off hoses and that’s a great place for rust, dirt and sediment to rest and build. The first cold day of the year when you command the heat “on”, all those contaminants rush toward the heater core and immediately block the inlet side of the heater core and “voila”, no heat. Of course, to limit this contamination buildup, it is recommended that you routinely have your cooling system flushed. 

Many of our customers have us “back-flush” their heater cores as colder weather sets in to avoid this very scenario. Back-flushing a heater core is quite simple and can be easily performed in 45 minutes or less, in most cases. Just beware that a coolant flush is very different from a back-flush. A coolant flush means to exchange out all the old coolant with new coolant. A back-flush means to disconnect the heater core hoses and force clean water backward against the normal flow of coolant to force and contaminants back out they same way they entered the heater core. Then the hoses are reconnected and the coolant system brought to operating temperature to verify the system is now producing heat and finally topping off the coolant system after riding of any air. In a back-flush, not all of the coolant is replaced. 

Back-flushing is always the preferred method for heater core related issues. In rare cases however, a back-flush simply cannot fix the problem, especially in those cases when corrosion has begun in the cooling system, due to lack of maintenance. In those cases, the only solution is to replace the heater core itself. This can be very expensive as, in most cases, the instrument panel must be removed and the heater box dis-assembled to replace the heater core. While the heater core is a relatively inexpensive item, the 7-10 hours labor to replace it is where your expense lies. Simple maintenance can prolong and possibly prevent this from occurring. 

Please stop by and allow us at Tierra Del Sol Automotive to evaluate your cooling system and advise you of any maintenance needed to keep your vehicle in tip-top operating condition. Scheduled maintenance is always cheaper than parts replacement and we want to help you keep your vehicle healthy and warm during cold spells. 

Is Your Vehicle Suspension and Steering Safety At Risk?

When was the last time you had the suspension and steering components inspected on your vehicle?

Suspension and steering components are vital vehicle components that should be inspected routinely to ensure that your vehicle remains in a safe operating condition. 

How many times have we seen a vehicle off the side of the road with a wheel that is all cock-eyed or appears out of alignment? This is usually caused by a failed ball joint or a separated steering tie-rod end. 

This can become a very dangerous situation while driving. A failed ball joint or a separated steering tie-rod end will most likely cause a loss of control of steering and could result in a far worse outcome. 

Tierra Del Sol Automotive can perform a free inspection of your steering components. We perform a multi-point inspection of all your steering and suspension components and advise you of any immediate concerns of safety. 

Let’s discuss suspension and steering components a bit more in-depth to increase your understanding of how it works.

30 Second Ball Joints Tutorial

Ball joints are exactly that, a ball that sits in a cup and allows the steering arms to move left and right. These components require grease to function properly. In most cases, ball joints are lubed at each oil change service or as requested by the customer. 

Over time, grease degrades. If the ball joints are not well maintained and inspected regularly, metal-to-metal wear will eventually result in excessive movement of the joint. When these joints become too loose, the ball can be jostled out of the cup by simply driving and the vehicle reacting to bumps in the road. This results in an immediate loss of control and as you imagine, can be quite deadly. 

A simple inspection can identify any problems your vehicle may have with suspension and steering components. Component replacement, in most cases, can occur during the same visit. 

Other Fast and Easy Suspension and Steering Inspections

In addition to the ball joints, suspension and steering inspections performed at Tierra Del Sol Auto, we also include inspection of control arm bushings, inner and outer tie-rod ends, shock absorbers, struts, shock absorbers and all steering linkages. Repairing or replacing all these components, returns your steering geometry to the original factory settings. A steering alignment is conducted to verify no other problems exist in these and other components.  

In addition to the front end steering alignment, Tierra Del Sol Auto technicians can perform an all-wheel alignment. Wheel alignments are conducted at your request or if we see a problem in the rear wheel alignment (while performing a front end alignment). Any concerns that require attention in the rear of your vehicle are promptly brought to your attention. 

That being said, did you know every time you replace your tires, an all-wheel alignment should be performed to ensure proper wear of your new tires? 

Have you ever accidentally bumped a curb when turning onto another street or hit a random pothole in the road? Believe it or not, those bumps can affect the geometry of your alignment. Some people choose to write those “little” bumps and scuffs off believing there is no damage or need for concern with the alignment only to find out miles later their expensive new tires wore incorrectly and need replaced again! Or worse yet, your car is now pulling in one direction or another. 

Call or stop by Tierra Del Sol Automotive and ask us to inspect your vehicle for any concerns. We will gladly inspect your vehicle for problems and advise of any repairs. 

We believe in keeping your car in top operating condition to last you years of driving enjoyment. 

Identifying and Inspecting Suspension and Steering Components

There are a lot of different elements of a suspension and steering system that must be monitored routinely for wear and degradation. Many of the suspension and steering components can be visually inspected from underneath your vehicle once raised on a service lift.

We inspect the tie rod ends, inner and outer, to make sure that the boots are in good condition and zero movement exists within the joint. A lot of the components on modern vehicles now come without grease fittings and rely on the grease charge that they had when they were new to keep them healthy for a long time. If the boots deteriorate or tear, that grease charge will be lost. When a grease charge is lost, water can penetrate, corrosion can set in, and the part will very quickly wear out, or worse fail. If the tie rod ends have grease fittings, we ensure that we service them each time you have your vehicle in for an oil change, or as requested by the customer – it’s just part of our service.

Tie Rod End

Next, we look at the upper and lower ball joints. Again, we check to ensure the boots and fittings are in good condition, and in most cases, zero lateral movement.

Ball Joint

We inspect the stabilizer links to make sure their bushings are in good condition. We’re looking to see that they’re not broken or missing.

We check the sway bar itself and visually inspect the bushings and mounts. We also visually inspect for fluid leaks as we move from component to component underneath.

Sway Bar and Bushings

More and more cars and light trucks use an electronic steering system. While we don’t typically find fluid leaks here we still consider wear and tear of the linkage.

Next are the Struts and Shock Absorbers. We inspect the lower mounts for bushing wear and tear.

Shock and Lower Bushing

We inspect the springs, seats and upper strut bearings if equipped. We are checking to see if the springs are broken, sagging or the seats have worn. We also inspect the bushings for no lateral or vertical movement within the mount.

Spring

We search for signs of any problem with the boots on the steering rack assembly. If they’re torn that means road debris, water, and dirt can infiltrate the inner tie rods or degrade the rack seals thereby developing wear within the system.

Steering Rack Assembly Boot

Suspension system inspections are not limited to the front of the vehicle only. There are struts or shocks on the rear of the vehicle that also need to be inspected.

We look for signs of leaks around the shock body and at the piston seals and packing. A very light stain or appearance of moisture can be normal. If we find fluid running out though, that is a problem. We consider the age of the shocks and perform a Jounce Test to detect potential issues. Those little steel wafers inside the shocks provide dampening of the thousands and thousands of very small irregularities your suspension absorbs on any given road. Struts and Shocks wear out, sag or break and no longer provide the quality ride they did when they were new. We check service information and any recommendations it provides. It’s not uncommon to recommend Struts or Shocks be replaced based on age.

Shock Body

Next is the track bar, trailing or leading arms. We make sure those bushings are in good shape because this component aids in steering stability. We thrive on safety so any concerns found here, or elsewhere will be relayed to you, our valued customer.

We also check the condition of the bump stops in both the front and the rear of the vehicle.

Bump Stops

As you can see, there’s a lot to suspension and steering systems. A complete inspection checks all of these components on the front and the rear of the vehicle, on both the left and right sides.

Let Tierra Del Sol Automotive inspect your vehicle today – to ensure your safety. Stop by the shop or give us a call today. (575) 443-1880

Have Your Brake Fluid Flush Done Right!

Brakes are a vital function of every vehicle, and caring for them takes more than just listening for the squeal of worn-out brake pads.

In just 30,000 miles, brakes can lose responsiveness and feel spongy. That’s why most vehicle manufacturers recommend that brake fluid be exchanged every two years. Without proper care, corrosion of internal brake parts can lead to brake failure.

Tierra Del Sol Automotive offers the “BG Brake Service”. The BG Brake Service removes contaminants from the brake system and replaces old brake fluid with fresh fluid.

The result is an immediate restoration of brake responsiveness and corrosion protection, which means safer driving for you… and it’s backed by the Lifetime BG Protection Plan® at no extra charge. Call and ask us about our Brake Service today (575) 443 – 1880.

What is a Power Steering Service?

I’ve heard others talk about and even gotten a Power Steering Service recommendation for my car or truck from my service writer, but, what is that all about?

A power steering service is a fluid exchange service for your hydraulic power steering system. If your vehicle is equipped with electric power steering, then read no further. This service does not apply to vehicles equipped with electric power steering.

The Things You Need to Know About Power Steering Service

Many people, when presented with this maintenance service being due, throw this message to the wind and deny this vital fluid change. Why is it that customers are not interested in a power steering service?

History would indicate that most vehicle owners overlook the importance of this periodic maintenance item until something catastrophic happens to the steering system such as loss of power steering assist or some other mechanical failure.

Customers seem to decline most of the repairs that have no immediate effect, or better-stated decline repairs they can’t “feel” once the service is completed. A common concern is that they “spent money on this service with no immediate reward”. But interestingly, a power steering rack & pinion is one of the most changed components in an automobile today. That expense can run a customer, on average, between $300-$900 depending on the vehicle manufacturer. That number can double for import automobiles.

A regularly scheduled power steering fluid exchange can save a customer hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over time.

Fluid in your steering system gets pressurized by the pump and hydraulically moves the steering gear side to side. This fluid breaks down over time and loses many of its lubricating properties. Over time and as conditioners in the fluid degrade, the seals that are built into the steering gear tend to harden and then create leaks. The leaks cause a loss of high pressure. Problems always begin to occur once the fluid degrades. 

This Is What Tierra Del Sol Automotive Does to Perform a Power Steering Service

At Tierra Del Sol Automotive, we use BG Products and their specially formulated power steering system flush and fluid.

Suspend and remove accumulated residue and particles with a Tierra Del Sol Automotive Power Steering Service.

The cleaner is added to the system prior to servicing the fluid. This cleaner cleans by holding gunk and deposits in suspension. Next, the fluid is exchanged evacuating out the old fluid with suspended dirt and grime and replacing it with BG Power Clean.

BG Power Clean is a high-quality synthetic blend power steering fluid. It is a professional-use product that features ingredients not found in ordinary power steering fluids.

BG Power Clean is a specially formulated blend of anti-wear ingredients with seal conditioners to prevent damage to the spool valve housing and other components. It also contains antioxidants to prevent fluid breakdown.

BG Power Clean protects the power steering system from the effects of heat and wear, and extends fluid life.

Get Your Professional Power Steering Service Soon

Fluid contamination is the leading cause of premature wear in power steering systems.

Oxidation byproducts, hose material, and metallic debris all accumulate in power steering fluid. As this contaminated fluid is pumped through the power steering system under very high pressure, it causes abrasive wear in the pump and rack assembly. Pump noise, erratic steering, and eventual mechanical failure are typically the result of contaminated fluids and a worn pump and rack assembly – mostly preventable with regularly scheduled Steering Fluid Service.

If your smooth power steering is giving way to a ‘choppy’ feeling or is making grinding noises, it detracts from the ease of driving and can even impact driving safety. It’s likely the result of degraded fluid, accumulated residue, and particles from wear circulating within the power steering system.

The expense of a well-maintained vehicle always outweighs the expense of replacing parts, or worse yet, the need to replace your vehicle!

Our BG Power Steering Service replaces the old contaminated fluid with fresh fluid containing special conditioners designed to renew the entire power steering system with smooth and quiet operation. …and it’s backed by the Lifetime BG Protection Plan®, at no extra charge. Ask about a Power Steering Service (or any of our other services) at Tierra Del Sol Automotive without delay!

BG On The Road® Roadside Assistance Available at Tierra Del Sol Automotive

Did you know that Tierra Del Sol Automotive offers BG On The Road® roadside assistance that is complimentary with the purchase of BG Automotive Maintenance Services that we perform? If you did, what you may not know is you may also purchase BG On The Road® roadside assistance service separately.

Tierra Del Sol offers the BG On The Road® roadside assistance separately for $22.26 – even if we do not service your vehicle – plus you get a free BG MOA oil treatment at the same time.

BG BG On The Road® logo 2015 | BG On The Road® roadside assistance

Call us at 575-443-1880 or drop in and ask one of our Service Specialists to provide you with the details for the BG On the Road roadside assistance!

The following services (and any limitations) are included when you purchase the BG On The Road® roadside assistance from Tierra Del Sol Automotive.

  • Towing – In an accident or vehicle disablements, your vehicle will be towed to the nearest qualified service center.
  • Jump Start
  • Tire Change
  • Lock-Out Service – The cost of key replacement is not included.
  • Trip Routing Service
  • Repair or Replacement of a Damaged Tire
  • Emergency Travel Expense
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Travel Discount Service
  • Theft/Hit and Run Protection – $500 USD reward for anyone responsible for hit and run damages or stealing your vehicle.
  • Fuel and Fluid Delivery – The cost of gas or other fluids are not included.

What’s the Catch?

There are none! However, there are a few additional details you should know about the BG On The Road® roadside assistance offered by Tierra Del Sol Automotive.

  1. BG On The Road® roadside assistance is available in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada and offers up to $100 USD in roadside assistance per event. The only exceptions are when it pays out more! Emergency Travel Expense offers $300 USD and the Theft/Hit and Run Protection is $500 USD!
  2. BG On The Road® roadside assistance is limited to two events for six months.
  3. Be sure you are given a complimentary BG on the Road® card by our Service Specialists and activate the card to enable your coverage.

Schedule a quality BG Automotive Maintenance Service and score complimentary roadside assistance today with Tierra Del Automotive in Alamogordo.

Finally, Diesel Vehicles Problem Solved

Tierra Del Sol offers many types of auto repair services. This post is for those of us who own diesel vehicles, in particular pickups, and the problems most associated with ownership of one of these vehicles.

It is important to note that diesel engine powered trucks and cars are generally much more expensive to repair than their respective gasoline-powered brethren. The trade-off being that much more torque is usually produced in a diesel engine and at a much lower RPM than the gasoline version, generally speaking of course.

While both gasoline and diesel engines apply similar principles of combustion, there are some pretty exclusive differences in how they achieve that result. For example, gasoline engines use spark plugs to ignite fuel-air mixtures where their diesel counterpart only uses a highly compressed air-fuel mixture – the air-fuel mixture ignites without spark plugs or any external source of ignition because of the heat generated by the compression. 

Both require cooling of the exhaust stream to reduce pollutants into the atmosphere. With today’s strict EPA emission requirements, manufacturers are using EGR to reduce these temperatures in the combustion chamber to reduce out flowing excessive emissions. 

What is EGR and how does it work? 

EGR is short for “Exhaust Gas Recirculation”. Here’s a general description of what happens. Some exhaust gases are routed through a designated pipe and injected into the pre-combustion air-fuel mixture. The already burnt exhaust gases no longer contain oxygen molecules and this inert gas, once introduced into the pre-combustion air-fuel mixture, deprives the combustion process of some of the needed oxygen to burn hot. 

Most EGR Coolers are also cooled by coolant flowing around the coolers exterior passages to cool the already hot exhaust gases passing through the center of the cooler which then gets injected into the pre-combustion air-fuel mixture. The end result is cooler combustion temperatures that emit fewer emissions. 

Diesel pickups that operate on our roads daily come into our auto repair shop frequently with engine OIL & EGR Cooler problems. The rest of this article specifically addresses the OIL & EGR Cooler problems and ultimately what causes those problems.

Diagnosing the OIL & EGR Cooler Problems

Let’s say you have a check engine light on and ask Tierra Del Sol Automotive to diagnose what caused the light to come on for you. And further, let’s assume the code is a “Cylinder Contribution” code indicating one or more cylinders on your engine are contributing less to the overall workload of the engine as compared to others. 

One of our first checks is to inspect inside the intake manifold. In most cases, we see it loaded with wet black carbon buildup. This is a sign that the EGR cooler might be leaking coolant. On many of these engines, the EGR Cooler is a radiator style cooler that uses engine coolant flowing through passages around the cooler to cool the exhaust gases as they enter into the combustion chamber.

The reason for this buildup is due to coolant leaking out of the cracked EGR Cooler and mixing with the exhaust gases that are being used to dilute the pre-combustion air-fuel mixture. This creates a sludge-like coating that attaches to the intake and runners that feed the cylinders the mixture. This sludge can build so thick, it can slowly choke, or deprive the cylinders of the correct air-fuel mixture. This results in lower cylinder contribution and the other cylinders need to carry the demanded load of the engine. 

What causes the EGR Cooler to crack? 

The Engine Oil Cooler comes into play as a contributing cause to EGR Cooler cracks. The Engine Oil Cooler is similar in design and uses engine coolant to cool the engine oil as well. Generally – and typically due to lack of routine oil changes – the dirty oil passing through the engine Oil Cooler leaves deposits (caused by the excessive heat buildup in the oil) that formulate and eventually choke off the oil flowing through the cooler. This results in higher engine temperatures and a heavily taxed cooling system that is continually trying to reduce the engine oil temperature but simply cannot keep up and overheats as well. This excessive coolant temperature causes the EGR Cooler to crack thereby introducing coolant into the intake mixture and creating the sludge. 

It is important that we understand that this is only one of the causes for this scenario to play out. There are other issues that can contribute to EGR failure as well. One being electrolysis. 

What is Electrolysis?

Electrolysis occurs in the cooling system coolant whereby small amounts of electrical current builds up in the coolant and causes it to act acidic in nature. Acidity degrades the coolant and causes corrosion buildup in the cooling system. This can cause blocked passages in the EGR Cooler and cause cracks as well. 

Without going further in-depth, the main problem is normally due to a lack of required maintenance.

The Importance of Proper Maintenance

Lack of proper maintenance often leads to a very expensive repair. In the case of our scenario, this usually means the Oil Cooler, EGR Cooler, and EGR Valve requires replacement. On top of those costs, the intake manifold is usually sent out to be “Hot-Tanked” which removes all the internal buildup inside the manifold restoring it to near new condition. 

In rare cases, the removal of the cylinder heads may also be required. This is required when the cylinder head intake runners also fill with this buildup. When this happens, we must send out the cylinder heads for “Hot-Tanking” along with the manifold. 

Keep Your Diesel Vehicle on the Road and Out of the Repair Shop

We can guarantee you that our Tierra Del Sol Automotive technicians prefer that you stay on top of our recommended maintenance schedules to help prevent these problems from occurring in the first place. You can avoid many time-consuming, difficult, and expensive repairs to your diesel vehicle with proper maintenance.

Surprising Insights to Your Engine Thermostat

Several recent repairs at Tierra Del Sol Automotive have been related to thermostat operations and most have ended with service to replace it. 

So, what is an engine thermostat and what does it do, you ask? It’s quite a simple answer and may surprise you as to how it operates. Simply stated, the thermostat is a mechanical blockage in the cooling system designed to keep engine coolant within the passages located in the engine block and cylinder heads and not allowing that coolant to escape and be cooled by the engine radiator. 

That seems silly you say? Why would we want to block the coolant from performing its job of cooling the engine? This answer is not quite as simple as the first, so bear with us here.

All cars manufactured today have to adhere to strict government regulations regarding tail-pipe emissions. So when your car engine is operating it has to produce acceptable levels of exhaust gases as outlined in the emission regulations set for USA operating vehicles. 

Great! But what does that have to do with my thermostat?

A little understanding of your cars engine operation is needed to answer that very question. When a car engine is cold – say after sitting in your garage all night – and you want to start it first thing the next morning, the amount of fuel needed to get and keep a cold engine running is much higher than a warm engine. More fuel being introduced into the engine results in higher fuel emissions coming out of the tailpipe. Higher emissions into the atmosphere is a bad thing because it deteriorates the ozone layer that protects the earth. So, if we block off coolant and keep it in the engine without moving, it heats up quicker – due to lack of movement into the radiator – and reaches engine operating temperature much faster than an engine without a thermostat. 

Once the engine reaches a predetermined coolant temperature (that the engine reads from a sensor in the coolant), fuel control is adopted by the engine computer to burn at a precise mixture to eliminate excessive pollutants entering the atmosphere. 

Automotive engineers have extensive research identifying a maximum time allowed to reach the operating temperature for your particular engine. At first startup, the computer begins counting, in seconds, how long it takes for your automobile to reach that pre-set temperature. If it fails to reach the operating temperature within the allotted timeline (two or more times in a row), the Malfunction Indicator Light (aka, Check Engine or Service Engine Soon Lights) is/are illuminated. 

How exactly does this thermostat operate? You said it is mechanical right? 

That is correct, a thermostat is mechanical Most engines, generally speaking, have a thermostat rated between 180-195 degrees Fahrenheit which is specific to your engine size.

The thermostat is normally located in the “thermostat housing”, normally near the engine block at the upper radiator hose, but not always.

Each vehicle manufacturer will have their own designs and locations. This thermostat operates using spring pressure and wax pellets. Mechanical spring pressure holds the thermostat closed when the engine coolant is below the specified temperature. As the wax pellets, which are designed to melt into a liquid, the wax expands and pushes on a rod that allows the thermostat to open thereby allowing hot coolant to flow out the engine through the hoses and into the radiator to be cooled. 

But we don’t want the cold coolant to cool the engine off again, do we? 

No, we don’t want the engine cooled. Let’s clarify what temperatures we are talking about once the coolant is cooled. Engine coolant that is cooled remains above thermostat opening temperatures and range anywhere from 190-210 degrees or more on a normally operating system. 

That doesn’t seem very cool! 

We want the engine to perform optimally and to be producing as little emissions as allowable. And that seems to be the most desirable engine operating temperature of most automobile engines, thereby producing minimal exhaust emissions. 

Temperatures too low end up producing high emissions and costly fuel consumption while engines running too hot cause excessive emissions and potential damage to your engine. 

Come into Tierra Del Sol Automotive and ask us to inspect or replace your thermostat if you encounter poor fuel mileage, engine overheating, a check engine light on or an engine that doesn’t seem to warm up quickly. (An engine that doesn’t seem to warm up quickly is typically an example of a stuck open thermostat.)

Our ASE Certified Technicians can perform a thermostat health check for you and provide you with graphed images and temperature ranges showing you EXACTLY when and at what temperature your thermostat opens after engine startup. 

Drop by, or give Tierra Del Sol Automotive a call 575-443-1880. Your automobile will thank you!