Maintaining your automobile is much more complicated today than it was in the past. Pop open your hood and you’ll see a complex piece of machinery packed in a small space. You may even be wondering where does antifreeze go?
Antifreeze And Coolant Are Not The Same
Generally, car engines run at very high temperatures. To avoid damage to components, your engine contains coolant to keep temperatures within an optimal operating range. Engine coolant is a mix of water and antifreeze.
Typically, manufacturers blend ethylene glycol or propylene glycol with anti-corrosive additives to make antifreeze. When you buy antifreeze, you must create a 50/50 mix of antifreeze with water to create coolant. You can also purchase a pre-mixed coolant solution, so check your labels.
Additionally, years ago manufacturers all created antifreeze in the color green. However, today, you’ll also find antifreeze in blue, pink, red, orange, or yellow. Each color represents a different chemical composition. It’s critical you use the perfect formulation required by your automaker. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specifics on which antifreeze your car needs.
Replacing Your Engine Coolant
Similar to most other fluids in your car, you should replace your antifreeze periodically. How often usually depends on the type of coolant your car requires. Some automobiles require you to change the antifreeze every 30,000 miles. Other automakers tell you to change it every 60,000 and others 120,000 miles. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have specifics for your car.
One sign you should replace your coolant is if your car runs hot. If you frequently find your temperature gauge in the high range, your coolant isn’t doing its job. Over time, antifreeze can deteriorate affecting its ability to cool the engine.
Of course, you should periodically check your antifreeze. If it’s brown or has particles floating in it, you should change it. Dirty antifreeze can cause a leak in your cooling system. Old coolant becomes acidic as it breaks down and can begin to cause corrosion in your radiator. Unfortunately, corrosion is the main cause of radiator leaks.
Typically, driving a car with low coolant often results in the engine overheating. In modern cars, you’ll have a dashboard warning light indicating a problem. Moreover, some cars have an automatic engine cut-off feature. Generally, when the sensors detect a hot engine, the computer will turn the engine off. You won’t be able to restart the car until it cools down.
A Few Other Important Routine Car Maintenance Tasks
Certainly, routinely checking and changing your engine coolant is an important vehicle maintenance task. However, your vehicle has several components that require routine car maintenance:
Your car’s engine oil also helps keep the engine cool as well as provide lubrication. Low oil or dirty oil can also cause your engine to overheat.
2. Air Filter
Your car’s air filter removes dirt from the air before it passes into the engine. Over time, the filter can become clogged, slowing the flow of air and stifling the combustion process.
Maintaining your tires is important for fuel efficiency and safety. Improperly inflated tires or tires with low tread depth can affect maneuverability or suffer a blowout.
4. Windshield Wipers
Typically, you should replace your wiper blades every 6 -12 months. Worn windshield wipers can smear or streak, reducing your visibility.
Nothing is more inconvenient than getting stranded with a dead battery. While many batteries last 3-4 years, some driving habits and extreme temperatures can shorten your battery life.
Avoiding brake maintenance is another safety issue that can lead to accidents and injury. You should inspect brake pads every 12,000 miles and brake fluid every 25,000 miles.
Where Does Antifreeze Go And Other FAQs
Years ago, it wasn’t unusual for many people to service their cars. Engines and routine vehicle maintenance were much simpler. Today, complex engine design and computer components may have you scratching your head wondering where does antifreeze go?
Below, we answer a few frequently asked questions about your cooling system and antifreeze. If you have any others, feel free to call Havoline® Xpress Lube of Kernersville at 336-993-7697.
How Do I Know If I Need To Add Coolant?
After opening the hood, locate the coolant overflow tank. Usually, you’ll find it near the top of the radiator, connected by a hose. On the side of the tank, you’ll see a minimum and a maximum line. If the fluid inside the tank is below the minimum line, you need to add coolant.
Is Radiator Fluid The Same As Coolant?
Occasionally, you may hear the term radiator fluid. This phrase is the same as coolant, the blend of water and antifreeze.
Where Does Antifreeze Go?
Sometimes, you may check your coolant levels and find fluid below the minimum level. To prevent your car from overheating, you’ll need to add the proper mixture to your overflow tank. However, this is a temporary fix and you need to bring your car in for servicing as soon as possible. Very likely, you have a leak somewhere in your system.
For complete servicing, bring your vehicle down to the experts at Havoline® Xpress Lube of Kernersville. For over 25 years, we’ve been servicing and maintaining domestic and foreign automobiles. Our ASE-certified mechanics perform high-quality, guaranteed service at a competitive price.
Plus, it’s super easy to make an appointment! You can call us at 336-993-7697 or use our online form.