Every 30,000 Miles - Depending On Coolant
How do I know if my cooling system antifreeze is working correctly?
One of the best and most vital jobs to prepare your auto for winter driving is to inspect the level and freshness of your auto's antifreeze.
The Car Care Council recommends that motorists check their antifreeze each twelve months or 12,000 miles to help protect the engine from freezing and overheating as well as from rust and corrosion damage.
The most typical formulation of antifreeze is green in color and uses ethylene glycol as a base with anti-corrosion additions mixed in. Ethylene glycol lowers the freezing point and raises the boiling point of the radiator fluid to keep the water from freezing on cold days and from bubbling over on hot days.
Over time, these additions wear out, lessening their ability to protect urgent engine and cooling system metals against rust and corrosion. Your car owner's manual will provide antifreeze usage specifications.
|"Inspecting and maintaining your vehicle's cooling system takes just some min's of your time, but it is well worth it when you think about what could happen," asserted Rich White, executive director of the Vehicle Care Council. "Cooling system failure is the premiere reason for engine related breakdowns, which can cost thousands of dollars and leave you and your family stuck at the worst possible time."
To check the level of antifreeze, you'll need some basic service tools and an antifreeze ball tester, which is available at vehicle parts stores.
Always ensure the engine and coolant system are cool before you start. Opening a hot radiator or coolant reservoir may cause dreadful burns. If the antifreeze is low, add a 50/50 mix of authorized antifreeze and distilled water. If you changed your antifreeze lately, but your level is low, use the antifreeze ball tester to make sure the antifreeze-to-water ratio is right.
This is also a fun time to inspect and replace any bad cooling system hoses. Check for leaking, fragile, squishy, cracked or rotted hoses and ensure that the radiator hose clamps are tight to stop leaks at the connections.
If you're unsure about any aspect of cooling system service, have your auto checked by a professional service technician. Checking your vehicle's cooling system today will make sure that it's prepared for the long winter ahead.