In the world of routine vehicle maintenance, motor oil is considered the most popular fluid while your coolant fluid rarely gets a second thought. It dates back years to when a man named Jed was out hunting trying to keep his family fed and by accident he found some bubblin crude.
Ever since that day with Jed, oil has embraced the spotlight. In the modern era, oil has its own routine maintenance schedule, an entire retail operation dedicated to servicing it like a spa treatment and great nicknames like black gold and Texas tea.
Although we acknowledge the importance of oil, you also need to know that your coolant fluid is just as important. What is this green, pink or yellow color fluid called coolant or antifreeze?
It is a combination of water and a sweet, syrupy fluid called ethylene glycol. This mixture may look harmless but you must use extreme caution. As little as one tablespoon ingested can kill a human or pet.
Why are coolant fluid checks important?
The purpose of your coolant fluid is that it performs two critical functions in the operation of your vehicle.
First, it prevents your vehicle from overheating. No matter what the season, your engine generates heat, and excessive heat can cause your system to breakdown. Keep in mind the most common cause of breakdowns is overheating. Deposit buildup can block the flow of antifreeze to your engine, leading to overheating and an inconvenient breakdown.
Your coolant fluid provides a method to expel extreme heat from the engine and keep it running smoothly. Antifreeze acts as an agent to raise the boiling point and lower the freezing point of the water used to cool the engine. Without antifreeze, the heat created through constant internal combustion would destroy the engine very quickly.
The second function is to provide your vehicle protection against freezing. That’s where the antifreeze label enters the picture. During the winter season, your vehicle is at the mercy to a wide variety of temperature swings. For those situations when your vehicle is subject to temperatures below freezing, it helps protect your system from freezing.
It is important to check your coolant levels twice a year. As the names coolant and antifreeze suggest, checking your coolant levels before the heat of summer and before the cold of winter can ensure your vehicle is prepared.
While checking your coolant fluid seems to be an easy enough task, there is a risk of serious injury if not performed properly. Let the experts make sure your coolant fluid is in good condition by stopping by a local Tire Discounters for a Free Fluid Conditional Analysis using professional chemical test strips to ensure accuracy and safety.