With temperatures set to reach record levels in certain parts of Australia, it is more important than ever to ensure that your car is properly cooled. You need to make sure that the coolant levels are always up to the recommended mark, but you also want to ensure that the liquid itself is still in good condition. What are the implications if this is not the case, and how do you find out if you have a problem?
Keeping Things Cool
As you undoubtedly know, you should only put the approved coolant into your car's radiator or expansion tank. Water by itself is not sufficient as it will not be able to deal with the excessive temperatures, and may also contain many impurities. Typically, this coolant will last for several years in average conditions, although much will depend on the age and condition of the vehicle's engine.
Manufacturers recommend that you flush out the old coolant and replace it with a modern product at certain intervals. You should look at the owner's manual for guidance, or refer to the manufacturer of the coolant product instead. In addition, you should be on the lookout for some tell-tale signs that may indicate a problem, as they could prompt you to take more immediate action.
Have a look at the outside of the radiator, situated in front of the engine and behind the grill. If there are any foreign objects, you should remove them, but if you notice a fair amount of corrosion on the surface of the rad itself, this is a problem. Tiny flecks of rust may enter through the narrow fins and tubes and could corrupt the cooling fluid. This sediment could be carried to other areas of the radiator and would eventually build up to such an extent that it could cause a blockage.
If you've noticed these signs, you should book the vehicle in for a radiator service as soon as possible. The technician will remove all the old coolant and will then add a product that is specially designed to clean the interior of the system. They will allow the engine to run with this product in place for several minutes before they drain everything out and refill with some brand-new coolant.
Remember, your engine will rely on its cooling system during those excessively hot days ahead. You can prepare by scheduling your car service as soon as possible.