Hi there, it’s Pete here from Northside Automotive with some handy tips about car coolant.
Coolant is an alcohol-based fluid that controls the temperatures of the fluids and engine parts of your car. Coolant is usually a green substance (though it can come in orange, red, or blue) and is made up of Ethylene Glycol or Propylene Glycol.
Read onto find out why you need coolant, and what type will best suit your car.
Coolant’s job is to raise the boiling point and lower the freezing point of your car’s engine system. By adding coolant to your car’s cooling system, you’re able to increase the temperature that your car can run at before the cooling system boils. If you only had water in your car’s cooling system, then the system would boil at 100 degrees. By adding coolant to the system, you raise the boiling point, increasing your car’s safety and ability to perform.
The recommended ratio of coolant to water is 50:50.
If you live in a cold climate, where the temperature regularly drops below 0 degrees, the ratio should be 60:40 (coolant: water). Adding coolant to your car’s system will lower the freezing point of the engine system from 0 (if you’re only using water) to around -55 degrees!
Having the right ratio of coolant to water will mean that your cooling system doesn’t freeze. If the cooling system were to freeze, the fluid would expand and could crack the engine blocks and blow the radiator apart. Be aware that using just water in your car’s cooling system could be potentially dangerous and cause lasting damage to your car.
Even if you live in a warmer climate, where temperatures don’t usually drop below 0, it’s still vital to use coolant during the winter months. The effect of wind chill while the car is in motion can accelerate heat loss from the engine system.
These days there are many different types of coolant available to you, and it’s important that you choose the right one for your car. The best way to find out what kind of coolant your car needs is to look in your owner’s manual. In here you’ll also be able to find out the recommended ratio of coolant to water for your car. Coolant mixes have changed a lot over the years, and it’s important to remember not to use newer mixes in older cars, and vice versa.
If you’ve consulted your owner’s manual but you’re still in doubt about what type of coolant to use or the correct ratio, come on down to Northside Automotive and we’d be happy to give you some advice.
Also remember – the car coolant in your system will need to be replaced altogether every now and then. If you check the coolant and it smells burnt, the system needs to be flushed. If this happens you will also need to bring your car in for a service, as there will be an underlying reason why the system has overheated.
Till next time.