The Right Coolant Change Interval for Your Car
The engine of your car is kept cool with the aid of a coolant liquid. This liquid is part water and part antifreeze. The type of chemicals that are included in the coolant vary from one type of car to another, but one thing remains constant; the coolant needs to be replace once in a while. The coolant takes away the heat of the engine and maintains it at a proper temperature. Over time, or when weather conditions change dramatically, the coolant you already have becomes ineffective.
Why do You Need to Replace Engine Coolant?
Engine coolant is usually an equal mix of water and antifreeze liquid. In the beginning coolants have a perfect basic-acidic balance to protect the parts of the engine that could get corroded. In time this balance breaks down. Another reason why you need to replace the coolant is that it can become thinner, or lower in concentration and become less effective in cooling the engine and will cause the car to overheat frequently which can lead to the deterioration of several car parts. Moreover, the coolant might get contaminated with other agents that can diminish its performance.
What is the Optimum Coolant Change Interval?
Car manufacturers recommend flushing the engine every year or when you reach thirty thousand miles. However, this is a generalization, and you should try to determine when the coolant in your car needs to be changed based on the type of the coolant, the size of the engine, the climate in your area, the age of your current coolant, and the total miles that have been driven. The manual that came with your car will have further information about when you should replace the coolant.
How do You Determine if the Radiator Needs Flushing?
One way to determine if the coolant needs flushing is to check its color. If it seems to have rust in it or it looks very diluted it might need flushing. One other way to make this determination is to check its concentration with an inexpensive antifreeze tester to determine if the mixture between water and antifreeze is indeed 50/50. You can also monitor the level of coolant and if it changes frequently it can mean that it is no longer efficient and should be replaced. The best way to determine if your coolant needs to be changed is to go to a professional service and ask for the opinion of a mechanic.
How Does Flushing Work?
In order to flush the coolant a mechanic will need to drain the radiator and the pipelines. Once this is done you need to determine what coolant you need. You cannot go by color as it is not a real indication of the level of chemicals remaining in the coolant. Depending on the car model you might need a coolant with silicates. Once the new coolant is inserted the engine will need to run at full power for a short while to see if more coolant needs to be added. The whole procedure can be dangerous as you deal with hot liquid and toxic chemicals, and the aid of a professional mechanic is recommended.
The coolant is a very important and often overlooked part of the car. While it is true that the car can function even if you do not change it for years, doing so is not recommended because the deterioration of the coolant will lead to the deterioration of many car parts. A regular check of the coolant and a few simple tests will tell you if you need to replace it or not and protect your car from the summer heat or the freezing cold of the winter. If you are not savvy about mechanics do not flush the engine yourself, but instead ask for the help of a mechanic.