Fall Tune-Up/Winterizing Pt. II

16 10 2012

This is a continuation in our Fall Tune Up/Winterizing series! Pt. I can be found here.

Pt. II – Coolant Check/Flushing

So now that you understand a bit more about the radiator system in your vehicle, what about the fluid contained within?

Coolants are designed to work in most weather conditions; warm and cold, dry and humid.

Its basic function is to significantly lower the temperature required to freeze your engine – so instead of freezing at 32 degrees Fahrenheit like water, your engine is protected to a much colder temperature.

“But it’s too warm here to worry about freezing weather – I’ll just fill with water instead!”

Unlike water, they do not expose internal components to corrosion. Because of this, there’s a much lower possibility of your radiator disintegrating from the inside out, leaving you with the bill to replace it.

Coolant will eventually break down after exposed to engine heat over long periods of time – this can cause coolant sludge to build up, possibly clogging the coolant lines and leading to an overheated engine.

Most manufacturers recommend that individuals open their system and let it fully drain out, before closing it and replenishing the coolant. However, this will only drain roughly 90% of the fluids in your system.

And if you drained it yourself, you might not have a way to properly dispose of the spent coolant. This is where flushing comes in.

Performed by a trained technician, your vehicle is connected to a specialized piece of machinery that will remove 100% of fluids from your system, and fully replenish them with new coolant.

It should be noted, however, that it is not recommended by most manufacturers to mechanically flush any other fluid in your vehicle, as it’s possible to damage those systems.

But what about the hoses carrying the fluid, and other systems? (to be continued)