Engine Coolant - The Basics
We've all seen a car pulled off to the side of the road, engine steaming. While it's normal for the heat to rise while a vehicle is running, without a properly functioning coolant system, high temperatures can cause major damage. Likewise, extreme cold can cause problems if the wrong fluids, like plain water, are used.
What is a coolant flush?
When a technician performs a coolant flush, he or she cleans all of the existing coolant, also known as antifreeze, from the engine. These vital fluids protect your vehicle from both freezing and overheating, but over time they can become contaminated, or there could be a leak that's causing the levels to become too low too quickly. The technician performing your flush will check for problems and replace your coolant once the integrity of your system has been confirmed.
When will I need one?
Drivers should check their fluid levels regulalry throughout the year to prevent corrosion and ensure they have enough coolant to protect their vehicles throughout the summer and winter seasons. Often your fluids can simply be "topped off" but a full flush should be conducted every few years or every 40,000 miles to protect and extend the life of your engine significantly. However, if you notice fluid gathering beneath your vehicle while it's parked, or if the temperature seems unusually high while driving, you should have your systems checked immediately.
How bad will it be if I forget?
Overheating can cause blown gaskets and warp vital engine parts. These are costly repairs that are easily preventable with proper maintenance. If you opt to use water instead of the right coolant for your engine, it will freeze in cold weather, and your vehicle won't start.
At J. Bertolet, we offer a variety of fast, friendly services to meet your auto care needs.