Engine Coolant - All You Need To Know
Posted on June 22, 2021
What happens when the engine coolant is not working and your engine gets too hot to handle? Here at CarHub, we love an engine that can bring some heat but when your engine is working hard and not getting the chill out time that it needs to do its job well, we get into diminishing returns from your engine's performance or worse. There’s no need to risk an unnecessary breakdown by allowing your engine to overheat, especially when keeping your engine running at an optimal temperature is easily accomplishable.
It may not be rocket science but it is car science and we know that not everyone is as well-versed in car science as we are. We love offering car maintenance tips though so we’re going to run you through the basics of car coolant systems.
What is Engine Coolant?
The stuff that keeps your engine from overheating is, not surprisingly, engine coolant, which is also known as antifreeze. The coolant is a heat transfer fluid that is comprised of a combination of ethylene or propylene glycol and water. There is usually an even split between the liquids in the final mixture. It’s important to use the correct engine coolant so make sure that you consult your owner’s manual for recommendations before you add a new coolant to your engine.
How Does Your Engine Coolant Work?
When you’re out on the road, your engine is working hard for you. It’s creating a lot of heat and energy that needs to be expelled and managed. It's important to keep your engine cool and that’s where your exhaust and cooling systems come into the mix. The engine coolant takes on some of the engine’s resonant heat and keeps the engine water from hitting a boiling level in high heat. As a bonus, it works to ensure that metal parts keep from rusting out and lengthens the life of rubber and plastic parts that may have otherwise corroded.
What Does Engine Coolant Do?
Your engine transfers a lot of energy when it’s working. The heat that is produced while constant internal combustion occurs would ruin an engine quickly if there wasn’t coolant added to the engine to moderate the heat. Water alone can not do the job because it would reach a boiling point and evaporate, especially in the heat of summer. When this happens, the engine will overheat and break down.
What is a Coolant Flush?
Like every part of your vehicle, CarHub recommends regular service and maintenance. Your engine cooling system is no different! We recommend a coolant flush once a year to ensure that your cooling system is in tip-top order. A coolant flush is just what it sounds like. The coolant that is in your engine will be evacuated from the lines and fresh, clean coolant will be added in its place.
What are the Benefits of Replacing Your Coolant?
1. Rust Removal
Rust and scale can build up over time in your engine and cause damage to the inner workings of your cooling system. A coolant flush will help to eliminate rust build-up.
2. Water Pump Health
Anti-freeze contains additives that provide lubrication for your engine's water pump. Without this, wear and tear can cause your water pump to break down. Lubrication will extend your water pump’s lifespan and eliminate headaches and cost down the road.
3. Anti-Corrosive Breakdown
Your anti-freeze eventually loses its anti-corrosive elements with prolonged use. As anti-corrosive elements break down, contaminants can build up in your car’s cooling system but a coolant flush will help to eliminate contaminants from your engine.
4. A General Check
An engine coolant flush is generally included with a full diagnostic of your engine’s coolant system. This means that when you get a coolant flush, you’ll also be treated to a full search of other problems within your coolant system, such as issues with your thermostat, radiator, and hoses, and belts. This will eliminate any potential leaks or other issues that may be occurring within your engine without your knowledge.
5. Eliminate Acidity
Old anti-freeze tends to become acidic over time, which can become corrosive to components within the engine. Once the anti-freeze becomes acidic it can damage rubber hoses and aluminum components that can damage components such as the water pump, which is of the utmost importance in keeping your engine cool.
Your engine works hard for you and it deserves to be treated right. We recommend regular service visits to ensure that your engine is getting the protection that it needs to do its job well for you. Every aspect of your engine is important but to keep it running at its full potential, regular service on its coolant system is extremely necessary.
Want to book an appointment to service your car’s coolant system? You can contact us today to speak with one of CarHub’s service professionals about a full coolant system servicing.