Do I Need to Flush My Coolant?
A car is a significant investment. It is one of the largest consumer loans that a person would have to pay, and it is important to get as much return on investment as possible. This means finding ways to lengthen the life of the car and its parts. Some basic maintenance chores can extend the usable life of the car for years. One of these is to have the coolant flushed.
Coolant Offers Protection
It might seem a little bit curious to worry about the coolant, but a car owner has to keep in mind the importance of this fluid in the automobile. There has to be a sufficient concentration of antifreeze or else the cooling system could freeze during the winter. Because frozen water expands the ice can damage the system and cause cracks in the engine. The coolant also helps stop overheating from happening. In some of the high-performance cars that use turbochargers the heat underneath the hood is a crucial concern. It should be obvious to anyone that regardless of whether or not it is summer, the coolant is a major means of keeping the engine from having serious problems. Flushing out the coolant and changing it will prevent an awful lot of potential problems in the engine from ever happening.
Schedule a Flush
A car owner should consult the owner’s manual to determine how often the coolant should be flushed and changed. A rule of thumb is to consider doing a standard flush every 40,000 miles. This can be part of a regular oil change or tune up. Anyone who enjoys do-it-yourself projects will be happy to know that a coolant flush is something that an individual can do without the help of an auto mechanic.
Be Mindful Of Safety
The engine has to be cold with the parking brake engaged and the ignition off. A bucket should be placed under the drain valve at the radiator bottom and the drain valve open to allow liquid to drain. Once the radiator has been depleted of any fluid, the drain valve should be closed. The used liquid should not be poured into the ground at all because of its toxic properties. Instead, fluid should be poured into a container to be disposed of safely later on.
Water should be placed in the radiator and then the engine run for approximately 10 minutes. Be certain that the engine is not overheating as this is done. The engine is then turned off, permitted to cool down, and then this water has to be drained and poured into another container for disposal later on. (N.B. even though this is water, it is toxic because of any chemical residue). Once the engine is cooled down again, a mixture of water and coolant should be poured into the radiator. A 50/50 mix of water to coolant will do. The engine is run one more time in order to allow the mixture to go through the entire system. Cleanup takes place after that, and any rags are to be put in sealable plastic bags. It is always important for the sake of safety that everything involved with the radiator including the radiator cap has to be cold.
This is the basic procedure to be used for coolant. It is a maintenance job that will add years onto the life of the car and the engine. An immediate benefit especially for a high performance car such as a European model is that new coolant allows better control of the heat under the hood. The flushing also has a cleansing quality to it. Any engine can have rust or contaminant buildup which can get into the cooling system. The flushing cleanses the system, assuring that rust particles will not add problems. The chemicals in the coolant also serve to lubricate the water pump of the automobile. This also adds to the longevity of the use of the car.
A good automobile will cost tens of thousands of dollars. Stretching out the life of the vehicle is a prudent way of maintaining a sizable investment. Flushing the coolant helps keep the engine running efficiently and prevents some of the damages that either overheating or freezing temperature may cause. The price of any flushing is minor and the owner can do it on the weekend.