Things You Should Know About Coolant in Cars

18 Feb 2017
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Car engine isn’t completely efficient and a large amount of energy burnt inside the cylinder will become excess heat that accummulates in different areas of the car. Coolant is among the most important fluids found in cars and we should know more about them to make sure that our car will run well. Coolant doesn’t work well indefinitely, It needs to be changed regularly and depending on the brand and model, there’s a defined lifespan. How often we change the coolant fluid depends on the owner’s manual. Some cars have coolant fluid that last for a long time, such as for 100,000 miles. However, some cheaper model could last for a much shorter period of time. Eventually coolant will break down and we need to change it regularly. Just like engine oil, coolant fluid also contains some amount of additives, such as inhibitors for rust or corrosion. Due to constant exposure to heat and contaminant, the coolant will need to be changed. As an example, the engine block could contribute to higher degree of contaminant found in coolant.

Due to repeated exposure, chemical reaction may also happen and it means that coolant may turn acidic. This could happen when coolant constantly touches metal surface, such as in radiator and engine blocks. Unfortunately, the higher pH could also result in accelerated corrosion. We should avoid it from happening for too long. Clogged radiator can be caused by acidic coolant that has caused metal surface inside radiator and engine block to degrade. Eventually, the cooling system will fail and the engine will overheat more easily. If it happens, then it may mean that we need to spend a lot of money for repair tasks. In many areas, car owners tend to ignore their cooling system. This could happen in colder areas and many people think that it’s less likely for their cars to overheat when it is snowy and very cold. However, fuel is burnt in rapid pace and without proper cooling system, excess heat will accummulate too quickly, before normal heat conduction process could cool our car down.

When the cooling system doesn’t work, it is still possible for cars to overheat even in a very cold situation. Excessive heat accumulation could cause permanent damages. Engine components, such as rings and head gaskets can warp when exposed to significant heat. Aluminum components are more vulnerable to high heat fluctuations. It means that older engine models made from cast iron are more durable and can resist significant heat exposure. Newer cars tend to have more aluminum parts inside the engine. So, it is better to make sure that the coolant is always in good condition. The level of the coolant should be topped up and based on recommended level. Other than topping up the radiator, it is also important to flush the radiator. Deposits inside radiator passage should also be removed to make sure that the cooling system works properly and at optimum level.

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