Coolant Flush Importance

Most people know that they need to get their car serviced regularly in order to keep it running smoothly. However, many people don’t realize that the same is true of their cooling system. or aren’t concerned about their cars’ heating system until the cold winter months arrive. Your car’s cooling system is what keeps your engine from freezing during the winter and keeps it from overheating when it’s warm outside. Regulating the engine’s temperature is important in preventing engine damage Just like any other vehicle component, your cooling system needs to be serviced on a regular basis to ensure optimal performance and here at Express Auto Repair, we are here to help.

How Does the Cooling System Work?

Your car’s cooling system is composed of several components, including the radiator, radiator hoses, coolant, water pump, fan, and thermostat. Any issues with these components can cause problems with the whole system. The thermostat’s role is to ensure that the temperature of the coolant maintains a safe range so that the engine is kept within a safe temperature range. When temperatures are freezing outside, the coolant temperature is low, so the engine heats it up enough to trigger the thermostat to open.

Most often a coolant mixture is composed of ethylene glycol and water. This mixture has a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than water alone.

What Things Can Go Wrong?

There are several different things that can go wrong with your vehicle’s cooling system. Here are several things to look out for:

  1. Fluid leaks. When there are small holes in hoses this allows the coolant to leak out. If there are leaks it causes the system to be unable to maintain the engine at a stable temperature due to a low fluid level.
  2. The thermostat is malfunctioning. Issues with the thermostat, like sticking, obviously cause the system to reach incorrect temperatures, whether it’s too hot or too cold.
  3. A buildup of rust and corrosion. If there is too much water in the coolant mixture, this can cause rust or corrosion to build up on the iron engine components, which can then break off. Especially if hard water is used in the coolant mixture it can cause major issues with sediment buildup from corrosion of mineral deposits.
  4. Old or bad coolant mixture. Over time coolant starts to break down and lose its protective properties so, it isn’t as effective at cooling the engine components. In addition, any buildup of sludge or sediment can cause blockages in the cooling system.

How Often Is a Coolant Flush Needed?

To prevent or lessen any damage that can be caused by these issues, most vehicle manufacturers recommend a coolant flush about every 1 to 2 years, or more often with frequent driving. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out the maintenance recommendations for your vehicle. There are also several factors that should be taken into consideration, such as engine size, climate, mileage, age, and current coolant type.

Typically, you can tell whether the coolant needs to be changed by checking its color. A change in color will indicate that it’s time for a replacement. It’s also extremely important to check the level and keep the appropriate ratio of coolant to water.  A hydrometer can be used to check whether it’s time for a flush. If you are unsure whether your cooling system needs attention, a professional can perform an inspection.

If your vehicle needs a cooling system inspection or it’s time for a coolant flush, contact our Colorado Springs auto mechanics at Express Auto Repair today. Our experts will keep your engine running smoothly through the winter and summer.