Why You Need to Check Your Coolant

In California, the summer temperatures can range from the comfortable low-60's to the unbearable 110's, depending on where you live and what time of day it is. Your car's engine must regulate its internal temp no matter how hot it is. This is what the engine cooling system is for. The biggest part of the cooling system is, you guessed it, coolant, also known as antifreeze.

Coolant is made of ethylene glycol which raises the boiling point of the water in your engine's systems. This prevents over heating year-round, but especially during the higher temperature months when water in the radiator is more prone to boiling over. It also provides much needed lubrication between the various engine parts, as well as preventing rust and corrosion.

The key to keeping your car from overheating during the summer months is prevention. Always make sure there is enough coolant in the reservoir before going on a longer drive. When the vehicle is fully cooled, check your tank under the hood and top up as necessary. If the liquid in your tank is colorless (it should be green or red), rusty or has floating debris, it's time for a full fluid flush. Simply emptying out the old liquid and filling it up with fresh coolant doesn't refresh the fluid throughout other parts of the engine, like the engine block and hoses. This is where a professional coolant (or radiator) flush will be necessary to ensure your vehicle is protected for the long term. Be sure to follow your specific vehicles maintenance schedule for a coolant flush, as even if the liquid looks ok, it may have gone past it's shelf life and should be changed.

Do not add water to your coolant reservoir, unless in an absolute emergency, and even then only until you can replace it with coolant. Water boils and evaporates at a lower temperature and does not aid with lubrication or rust prevention.

Be sure to include 'maintaining your cooling system' as part of your Summer Road Trip check list so that you can spend your time cruising down the highway and not sitting on the side of it.

Visit Walnut Creek Ford Service Center for expert advice and top-notch service to ensure your vehicle is ready for the road.

Categories: Service