Engine repair can cost you a whole lot of money. One way people unwittingly set themselves up for engine issues is by failing to keep their vehicle topped off with antifreeze.
While antifreeze might sound like a substance you only need in the winter, it plays a critical role in your vehicle’s operation all year long. This colored liquid prevents water in your engine’s cooling system from freezing during cold weather, but it also helps prevent overheating of the engine during hot weather and prevents rust and scale from building up inside the system.
Antifreeze raises the boiling point of water in your cooling system, helps transfer heat away from the engine and, in general, keeps the engine in good condition. In other words, even when you live in a place like California and don’t have to deal with extreme winter weather, it’s a key component of caring for your vehicle that should not go ignored.
Checking your antifreeze
Vehicle manufacturers all have their own guidelines for how frequently you should check your antifreeze. In general, though, you should do it at least twice a year: once right before summer and once right before winter.
If the level of antifreeze in your system drops below the guide marks or if you get a warning light on your dashboard, you should make it a priority to add more antifreeze as soon as possible. You should also check your antifreeze during any other times of service and add more as necessary.
To top off your antifreeze, search for the colored lid under your hood with the warning symbol on the cap that tells you not to unscrew it while the engine is hot or running. Check to make sure any type of antifreeze you will use is compatible with your vehicle, and only add more antifreeze when the engine is cool.
When removing the reservoir cap, wear gloves or use a rag so you don’t directly touch the cap, which could be hot. Fill up to the line recommended in your handbook when adding more antifreeze, and avoid overfilling, as this could result in damage to your engine.
If you need to completely drain and replace the antifreeze, be sure to follow the instructions provided in your owner’s manual from the manufacturer. It’s typically advised to completely change antifreeze every 30,000 miles or so, but you may have specific instructions for your vehicle that you should follow.
Also, a note: Antifreeze and coolant may do similar jobs, but they are not the same thing, and the terms should not be used interchangeably. This may cause some confusion while you’re shopping for additional antifreeze. Antifreeze comes in a more concentrated form and must be diluted with water in a 50:50 mixture before being used. Coolant is already mixed and thus can be used without having to manually dilute the solution.
For more information about antifreeze and how you can use it to avoid engine repair, contact us at Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing today.
Categorised in: Auto Repair
This post was written by Writer