Engine coolant is one of the most important fluids in your car, it keeps your engine cool. It can be tricky to find out when you need a coolant change. It’s important therefore to check the level regularly and top it up if needed. Usually your car’s manufacturer will say when a change is due. For most modern cars the replacement interval will be around 100,000 miles.
What Does Coolant Do?
Coolant makes sure that the heat generated inside the engine is lead away from the engine. It prevents the engine from overheating, making sure that the engine doesn’t get damaged. The radiator helps in this process to convert the heat generated into hot air.
Over time the coolant can evaporate out of the system, sometimes the level can drop so much that new coolant will need to be added to the system. Often only a top up is required, to substitute any fluid that has evaporated out of the system. Sometimes though, a full coolant change is needed if it is no longer in a good shape.
How Do I Know That My Car Needs a Coolant Change?
Under normal circumstances you only need a coolant replacement at regular intervals. An early early change, though, may be needed if it’s required for another repair, like a head gasket replacement.
In virtually all other cases a full replacement is normally only required if the coolant has gone bad. It may be that debris have build up and have affected the cooling system. It’s often rust or acid buildup that is the problem. These kind of issues are usually paired with an engine that runs at a higher temperature than it should.
A mechanic would normally suggest a coolant change if the cooling issues are caused by a bad mixture. Sometimes a mechanic may even suggest to flush the cooling system at the same time to clean it of any debris. It’s important to realise that some manufacturers advise not to carry out a flush. The chemicals used may be bad for the cooling system.
Which Coolant Should I Use?
For most cars a regular coolant and antifreeze mixture will normally be good enough. Different mixtures are available and can be identified by their colour. There are, for example, blue, red and green versions which all have different freezing and boiling points. Make sure to check the advice by your car’s manufacturer, though, to determine which mixture is needed. It may be that special coolant is needed.
If you’re not sure whether your coolant needs replacing then make sure to check with a professional. A mechanic will be able to tell you what the condition of the coolant is and when a replacement is needed. If you’re not quite sure how to carry out the replacement, then it may be worth getting a mechanic to do it for you to avoid any damage. ClickMechanic, for example, offers a mobile coolant change service.