Under the Hood

Everything You Need to Know About Coolant

January 4, 2014
Sometimes the only way to understand and take care of your car is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Thankfully, this time we’re only going to get our hands dirty figuratively: we’re going to learn about car parts! Woo hoo! 🙂 Though it’s not the most glamorous topic, car parts are the nuts and bolts that keep your car getting you from Point A to Point B. They do a lot for us on a day-to-day basis, and learning a little more about them can help extend the life of your car. And who doesn’t want that? First, let’s talk about coolant (also known as anti-freeze). Simple property, important job I picked this term because it’s a common word that gets thrown around when your car has problems. It’s an essential part of a happy, healthy running car. Usually a mix of water and ethylene glycol (a syrupy liquid), coolant is a simple property with an important job. Coolant helps to: -Prevent your engine from freezing -Keep the water pump running smoothly -Keeps rust from forming on your car It’s all about team work With the help of the radiator, water pump, hoses and thermostat, the coolant allows the engine to function properly by preventing overheating. Because the engine produces high temperatures but needs to stay cooler to run, having your coolant at the optimal PH level and freeze point will keep your engine running and your car in motion. (Coolant can turn acidic and start eating away at the metal of the engine if you don’t maintain it!) Here’s how to make sure everything is A-OK under the hood: -Change your coolant every 2 – 3 years depending on the manufacturers recommendations -Check the freeze point of your coolant with an anti-freeze tester available at any auto parts store -Have your coolant system flushed every 5 years to remove corrosion that builds

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