The Overheated Car

As I recall, the worse case of the overheated car of any vehicle I’ve owned was my 1980 Triumph Spitfire. The only saving grace was that it was small enough and light enough that I could push it to a safe place when it would overheat and stall out. In hindsight, I should have pushed it all the way back to the dealership and left it there. That car was just predisposed to overheating.

Here’s how the cooling system works. The cooling system sends the liquid engine coolant through the engine block and heads which can reach up to 250 degrees without boiling with the correct ratio of coolant to water (50/50). It will also keep your engine block and heads from freezing at temperatures below zero. The engine coolant picks up the heat from the engine as it flows through to the radiator. The hot liquid is then cooled through an air stream as it exits through the grill of the car. Then it re-circulates back through the engine again and again. The job of the water pump is to keep the fluid moving through the system. And the thermostat keeps it all flowing like clockwork. If there is too much pressure, the radiator cap will release pressure if it reaches its limit. Yay for engine coolant! It’s a beautiful thing.

A beautiful thing unless your pets happen to be attracted to the smell and taste of the antifreeze. Of course, dogs won’t be attracted to the translucent greenish-yellow color of the antifreeze if they are truly color blind. Antifreeze is poisonous to people and animals. Ethylene Glycol (also known as the devil’s margarita), if ingested, will form calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys which cause renal failure and death. Unfortunately, my dog Pedi suffered and eventually succumbed to this horrible tragedy. I wish I would have known the signs. Always keep your pets on a leash and give them plenty of water before leaving the house so they are not thirsty. And keep all antifreeze contained and clean up any spillage. As of December, 2012, it is illegal to sell non-bittered antifreeze in the USA. But this only makes the product taste bad. So please still be cautious when your pets or children are in possible contact with antifreeze.

Keep your engine cooled in the next few summer months. And make sure it’s ready for those cold months that are not too far away. It’s working hard for you.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Comedienne / Writer / Artist

The Overheated Car – Engine Coolant – Comedy Defensive Driving