Coolant, or antifreeze, are terms that are, for the most part, interchangeable. In Florida, the primary purpose of coolant is to keep your car from overheating. In other parts of the country with regular and prolonged below freezing temperatures, it also keeps the liquid in your radiator from freezing which can crack or otherwise damage your radiator.
Check Your Coolant Regularly
Checking your car’s coolant levels is one step that can prevent your car from overheating. It’s fairly simple to check – there is a reservoir in your engine that has the coolant in it. You’ll see a minimum and a maximum fill level. Make sure yours is between those two lines. If not, you’ll need to top it off. How often you do this depends on how much you drive. Once a month is usually sufficient for most drivers.
Signs of an Issue
If you check your coolant and notice it’s a little low and top it off, be sure to check again in about a week. Be sure to only use the same type of coolant or antifreeze in your vehicle and note whether what you’re adding needs to be diluted with water or is ready-mixed.
If the level drops again, you likely have an issue somewhere in the system. Dark colored coolant is another sign of an issue. Most coolant in cars today that is in good condition is neon green. We say most because there was a product called Dexcool which is orange and used primarily in GM cars during the 90’s. Few cars today still use Dexcool.
Most care manuals recommend about every 2 years or 20,000 miles, however, depending on the car, the driving conditions and the type of coolant in the system, your car may say 5 years or 50,000 miles. This is not something we recommend doing yourself. Few DIYers have the high pressure tools to remove any sludge type build up in the radiator. It is also poisonous to pets, people and wildlife, and because it has a sweet taste, they like to lick it. Spilling it during a flush or having a leak can have deadly consequences. So, protect your family and bring your car to Oldsmar Automotive for a coolant flush or radiator repair. You can call (727) 784-3501 for an appointment for your no obligation estimate or just stop by 3166 Tampa Road in Oldsmar.