Of course we know the cooling system is important. Coolant/antifreeze spreads throughout the engine, absorbs heat and then disperses it into the radiator. Cooling system failure can cause serious engine damage. Here are some useful tips to avoid engine damage.
One is about minor coolant leaks. It’s tempting to postpone fixing small cooling system leaks; typically we would just keep topping off the coolant. There are several problems with this. First, coolant is messy and it doesn’t just evaporate away. In fact, the puddle that forms is harmful to the environment and toxic to pets. Second, the cooling system needs to maintain a certain pressure to do its job. A leak compromises the pressure. Third, small leaks can unexpectedly become big leaks that will leave you stranded. Fourth, you must keep the correct proportions of coolant/antifreeze and distilled water to maintain proper boil and freeze properties.
Another point is corrosion protection. Antifreeze/coolant contains a package of anti-corrosion additives. These additives coat internal surfaces throughout the entire cooling system. They protect against oxidation which can lead to leaks as well as scale that clogs cooling system components. The protective coating is constantly reacting to chemical compounds created by the extreme heating and cooling cycle the coolant goes through. Over time, the coating is depleted, and there is nothing left to protect the exposed metal in the engine and other system parts.
Your vehicle manufacturer recommends your coolant/antifreeze be changed regularly. Even though your old coolant may be cooling your engine as it should, it leaves it open for corrosive elements that will damage the system. A good practice is to also have your coolant changed when replacing a cooling system component. For example, when you install a new water pump, it is not coated with anti-corrosion additives. If your anti-corrosion package is already worn out, the new water pump will immediately be subject to corrosive elements that will easily start to shorten its life cycle. But if you do have the coolant changed when the new water pump is installed, it is automatically protected the first time you start the engine.
When we do a coolant exchange at AutoPro Import Repair, we do our best to remove as much of the old coolant and accumulated sediment from the system as possible. The cooling system is also thoroughly inspected. Ask us if it’s time for a cooling system service. And if you believe there is a leak, let’s get that repaired right away.