Winter might seem like a strange time to have a coolant flush, but coolant is one of the most vital fluids in your vehicle, and without the proper ratio of water to coolant, winter temperatures could cause it to freeze, damaging your engine. Keeping your engine coolant clean and fresh can prolong the life of your engine for years to come.
What is Coolant?
Coolant is a mixture of ethylene or propylene glycol and water. It flows through your engine’s water jacket, collecting heat as it moves through the engine. It exits the engine and enters the radiator where it is cooled before returning to the engine. While you could use just regular water to effectively reduce engine temperatures, this mixture does more than manage engine cooling. It also cleans your engine and prevents the water from freezing. Frozen water inside of your engine could lead to cracks or other issues.
Why Replace it?
Coolant collects debris, rust, and particles as it flows through your engine and radiator. It can become dirty, so replacing it will allow you to clean your engine and keep it healthy. As the coolant goes through heat cycles, it becomes less effective at reducing heat and preventing rust. If your engine block is made from a metal like iron, it could cause rust damage which will weaken the engine over time. That rust can also clog passages and reduce your coolant’s effectiveness.
It’s also important to remember that if you have topped off your coolant with water, you’ve affected the ratio of the mixture. Too much water in your coolant system can lead to freezing, so it’s important to replace your coolant before the weather gets too cold. If your engine coolant freezes overnight, you’ll wake up to an avoidable, and possibly expensive problem. If your engine coolant is low, you may have a leak. It’s best to take it to a technician for advice.
Bonus: Windshield Wiper Fluid
Windshield wiper fluid is often replaced with water, but true windshield wiper fluid also contains additives that prevent it from freezing. The worst time to realize you forgot to change it is when you need it most. Have both of these systems serviced at the same time to keep your vehicle operating smoothly all winter long.
Does your vehicle need coolant or windshield wiper fluid? Contact Stateline Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat to schedule an appointment online or come see us at 800 Gold Hill Rd, Fort Mill, SC 29708 for help getting your car winter-ready.