Although most of us know we have antifreeze in our car, we don’t always understand exactly what it does. If we were to tell you that you need an engine coolant flush, you may not question that but if we instead said antifreeze, you may. We’ve come to realize that many consumers don’t realize that the terms antifreeze and engine coolant are interchangeable. So why do our cars need it and when should it be replaced?
What it Does
Since we’re in Florida, we’re going to use the term engine coolant since our antifreeze does a lot more cooling than freeze prevention. The longer your car runs, the hotter the engine gets. Your engine coolant prevents your engine from overheating. There was a time when water was the coolant but now it’s not recommended because water can rust parts of your engine where engine coolant doesn’t.
How Often Should You Have a Coolant Flush?
Just like the other fluids in your car, it needs to be replaced from time to time. The exact schedule can be found in your owner’s manual, but generally it’s recommended that you replace it about 100,000 miles. In between that milestone, make sure to check the level. You can easily see the fill line on the coolant compartment and know if you need to add some. Often a coolant level check is part of an oil change or multi-point maintenance check at your service center.
Can’t I Just Do it?
We don’t discourage people from taking care of regular maintenance on their car when it’s realistic. However, a coolant flush isn’t something that you likely have the right tools to handle. Plus, engine coolant is toxic to animals, including pets. It has a sweet taste so they’re likely to lick it up if you drop some on your driveway. Just a few drops can kill at cat and a few ounces can kill a dog. You don’t want to make any mistakes in draining or refilling your coolant.
If you think it’s time for a coolant flush or know it’s time for your 100,000-mile service, call Oldsmar Automotive for an appointment at (727) 784-3501 or come by 3166 Tampa Road in Oldsmar and we’ll work to fit you in.