All About Coolant and Antifreeze
The coolant running from your radiator through the engine and back again is important to the overall health of your vehicle whether you live in Florida or Alaska. The principle job of your cooling system is to cool down the engine block and keep it from overheating due to the high temperatures needed to power your automobile. Our team of expert mechanics can help you maintain your cooling system.
Are Coolant and Antifreeze Different?
The words coolant and antifreeze are interchangeable. It is a fluid that is mixed with water and is not capable of freezing, hence the name antifreeze. It is a mixture of water and glycol and can be red, orange or green depending upon the manufacturer and its use. Orange is designed to last longer than the other two colors, but it is less beneficial in a vehicle that is older because you still need to drain the fluid and flush the system every two years.
Why it’s important to your vehicle
The makeup of your engine is primarily aluminum, which means that it needs to have some type of protection against corrosion in order for it to last. Additionally, your radiator and your heater are also aluminum. Antifreeze helps protect cylinder heads, water pumps, engine blocks and manifolds from corrosion. You should never run just water or just glycol in your system, or you run the risk of permanently ruining your engine. The most common combination is a 50-50 mix of water and coolant. However, you should never just put coolant in the radiator and leave it there. It needs proper maintenance to be effective.
Your cooling system needs to be flushed out in order to get rid of old fluids that are no longer keeping your engine clean. The fluids in your system continue to circulate throughout the engine and back again while your car is running. It is a continuous loop of coolant going through the engine and back to the radiator. Along the way, the coolant starts to age and break down until it is no longer effective in keeping the engine clean. At this point, you run the risk of getting dirt and rust settling within the cooling system, and that can result in blocked hoses or a clogged radiator. Antifreeze is also used as a lubricant, so when it breaks down, there can be friction between parts that can cause corrosion and wear. The recommended time between flushing and cooling system maintenance is around two years, but you should always check your fluid levels to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of protection.
Just because it does not snow often in Florida does not mean that you can neglect your antifreeze. The summer heat drives up the temperature of your engine, and antifreeze keeps it from overheating. Besides, there are still plenty of hard frosts in Florida, particularly in the central portion of the state, which can make for a cold engine in the morning. By flushing your cooling system with the trained technicians at Oldsmar Automotive, you can add longer life to your engine. Schedule your cooling system maintenance today by using our contact form or give us a call at (727)784-3501.