Your car’s cooling system helps keep your engine, sometimes transmission and other components, cool and operating efficiently. When a major part of your car such as the engine overheats, it can freeze up. A damaged engine is usually the most costly repair on a vehicle. A new or rebuilt engine can cost, $5,000-$7,000 and sometimes more! Preserving your engine with preventative measures is a tiny sliver of that price.
Your car’s cooling system consists of coolant (anti-freeze) that flows through many parts of your vehicle. It flows from your car’s radiator through your car’s engine and back again through the radiator. During its travel, it goes through hoses and past the thermostat.
The coolant has properties that aid in the cooling and lubricating functions. As coolant gets older it loses those useful properties. Your car’s coolant changes in its pH and viscosity. Those changes then stops to protect the vehicle’s parts AND begins to damage the very parts they sought to protect.
Important: The coolant in your car that starts out fresh and useful eventually becomes stale and destructive to your car. Your coolant’s pH levels can begin to erode metal parts. Your car’s coolant can allow rust to grow. In the end, very important and expensive parts of your vehicle are at risk of failing because of the breakdown of your coolant.
What you can do to avoid VERY costly repairs
To protect your car from its coolant’s deterioration, it is important to flush it out periodically. This replaces the stale and destructive coolant with fresh and effective coolant. HOWEVER, there are certainly differences in how a flush is conducted.
Some companies simply drain and fill your cooling system. All that is done here is the cooling system fluid is drained out of the car and when it stops draining, it is filled with fresh fluids. Although, this is better than leaving all old fluid in your cooling system, it is not the best for your vehicle. This is because some of the old fluid remains and can quickly contaminate the good fluids. Additionally, the bad fluids are still coating many of the components that need protection. This is sort of like just draining and filling a dirty bathtub. The ring is still there and the fresh water cannot get to the tub and the water becomes dirty.
The best way is to perform a power flush using equipment and chemicals specifically designed for this purposes. This method forces ALL the old fluid out, cleans the insides of the cooling system, and a conditioner is added to the new coolant that strengthens the coolants ability to protect.
This process is an extremely important service that can costs a tiny fraction of the cost of the repair bills that come from its neglect. All cars must have their cooling systems serviced to protect from the most costly repairs — namely your engine.
Cooling system service intervals
Now that you see clearly why and how a cooling system must be serviced, you are probably asking how often it should be done. Well, it depends on many criteria. First we look at the manufacturer’s recommendations. We also go further and look up history on your type of vehicle to see what other professionals have found. We then ask about your driving habits. Once we have all of that information we can tell you how frequently you should have a cooling system service.
Generally, though, for most cars, it is important to have a power flush performed about every 2 years. We can perform a quick test of your cars cooling fluid to see its current condition and that can tell us quite a bit.
If you haven’t had your car’s cooling system flushed in a while, don’t delay. It could be destroying components inside your engine that you can’t even see.