Happy Fall! Time to think about your coolant

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It’s fall, and time to thing about getting your vehicle ready for adverse weather.

This is a good time to think about your engine cooling system. Regular inspections and pressure tests of your cooling system are very important, as is good maintenance by following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended coolant change intervals. Over time, the protective anti-corrosive additives in antifreeze break down and lose effectiveness.

Antifreeze has two very important jobs:

• It lowers the temperature at which the coolant freezes.

• It raises the temperature at which the coolant will begin to boil.

It is also very important that the proper ratio of water to antifreeze is always maintained. Unless specified otherwise by the vehicle manufacturer, the coolant in most vehicles should consist of a mixture of 50/50 water and antifreeze.

Adding more antifreeze to the mix is not a good idea (unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer). Once antifreeze exceeds  65 percent antifreeze, not only does it reduce freeze protection, heat dissipation can radically decrease as water is the primary component for this purpose. Antifreeze itself actually has fairly poor heat transfer characteristics. Having too much antifreeze in the mixture can actually cause engine overheating.

When having your vehicle’s air conditioning system serviced, insist on quality replacement parts as well as recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

Courtesy of CarCare News Service

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