The Hard Work of Coolant and Antifreeze
Posted February 22, 2016
Coolant and Antifreeze are two names for the same fluid. The two names hint at the two functions this fluid performs.
First, antifreeze is added to the water in the radiator to make sure it doesn’t freeze in cold temperatures, like the single digit and lower degree weather we see in the winters in Michigan!
Second, coolant raises the boiling point of the radiator fluid so it doesn’t overheat. Your vehicle’s engine runs at incredibly hot temperatures. Pure water would boil quickly in that environment, then cannot perform its job!
Radiator fluid – the combination of water and coolant/antifreeze in the engine – serves the primary function of keeping your vehicle running at the right temperature. The coolant ensures that your vehicle will start, even in the cold, and continue to run without overheating.
Radiator fluid flows through the engine to move heat out effectively. As your vehicle runs, the coolant and radiator fluid is critical to prevent overheating and extensive engine damage.
But because the environment is so challenging and the coolant is working so hard, the coolant or antifreeze can be affected by a number of problems.
First, rust. Over time rust will accumulate and grow in the cooling system. By having your coolant periodically flushed and replaced, you can prevent rust from growing and spreading.
Second, pH. Coolant must keep a precise pH balance to be most effective. But the fluid can become too acidic or too alkaline with time.
If it is too acidic, the fluid will eat away at sensitive components in the cooling system. Hoses, gaskets, heater cores, and even the radiator itself can become damaged.
If it is too alkaline, the fluid can leave mineral deposits behind that clog the system. Radiator fluid must flow within the cooling system to operate properly.
To prevent these issues, your vehicle’s cooling system must be flushed regularly. Have your antifreeze/coolant changed every other year to avoid damage and ensure that your vehicle is running at its optimum level!
If you’re not sure when your coolant was last changed, call us at 616.796.9929. Our technicians will inspect your cooling system and fluid to determine if it needs to be replaced. We’ll also help you keep track of your maintenance schedule so you never miss a critical service.
Request your next appointment online or stop by our shop at 11269 East Lakewood Blvd in Holland.
Categories: Car Repair
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