Often times we are asked, "why do I have to flush my cooling system? How often should I flush my cooling system? Is it best to flush before winter or summer?, How do I figure out which antifreeze my vehicle takes?" Here are a couple of simple thoughts about vehicle cooling systems:
- Coolant, also referred to as antifreeze, is the fluid that absorbs the heat from your engine and disperses it out through the radiator.
- When mixed properly is has a higher boiling point and lower freezing point than water allowing the engine to run at higher and lower temperatures.
- The Coolant, should be replaced (or flushed) per manufacturers recommendation or we recommend at least every 30,000 miles or 5 years which ever comes first.
- Always check the antifreeze level when the engine is cold. If you suspect a leak, check the level on the reservoir jug first thing in the morning when the engine is cold.
- Flushing the cooling system helps remove dirt and rust particles that build up in the engine block that flow throughout the cooling system.
- Over time the cooling system becomes acidic causing water pump, radiator and/or heater core failure. When we perform a coolant service we always add an aluminum conditioner to aid in longevity of these components.
- Some estimates project up to 40% of engine repair costs are related to problems associated with the cooling system. If you are really bored you can read more from Prestone's research here.
- There's every color in the rainbow! Some coolants are red, orange, blue, pink, yellow, purple and green. Critical point here: Just because the color is the same does not mean it is the correct antifreeze for your vehicle. It is very important to read the fine print on the back of the jug and not mix different types of coolants otherwise your radiator could end up looking like this picture.
It does not matter if you flush before winter or before summer. I think it is important to test the PH and freeze level of the cooling system at least twice per year. Both tests are easily performed and should beperformed for free at most auto repair shops like ours.
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