If you’ve lived in Arizona long, you likely understand the importance of getting your car’s A/C checked before and during the summer, but did you know you should check your coolant, too? While your vehicle’s air conditioner keeps you and your passengers cool and comfortable, your car’s cooling system is vital for engine temperature regulation and performance.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at what coolant does for your vehicle’s engine. We’ll also look at how and when you should check coolant levels, and why preventative maintenance is so important.
What Is Coolant and What Does It Do?
The primary purpose of coolant lies right in its name. As this liquid circulates through a vehicle’s engine, it draws off heat. This effectively cools the engine to prevent it from overheating. Made from a combination of distilled water and antifreeze, coolant can also protect against corrosion that could cause engine damage.
Why is cooling the engine so important? Well, to put it simply, a vehicle’s engine puts off a LOT of heat. To get an idea of how much, consider this … the cooling system of ONE vehicle traveling on the highway can draw off enough heat to warm TWO houses of average size! You can imagine, then, how quickly a vehicle could overheat if it didn’t have the right type or quantity of coolant. In fact, the American Automobile Association (AAA) states that one of the leading causes of vehicle breakdowns is cooling system failure.
How and When to Check Your Coolant
Given the information above, you should now be aware of the importance of coolant and keeping a healthy cooling system. But how often should you check your coolant and what is the procedure to do so?
Most vehicle experts agree that it’s wise to check your coolant at least twice a year, typically before summer and again before winter. Since we get such hot temperatures during the summer here in Arizona, checking coolant levels is just as important as scheduling an A/C check at your local auto repair shop.
To check your coolant level at home, follow these simple steps:
- Make sure your vehicle is cooled off. If you attempt to check your coolant while the engine is hot, you could get burned by hot, pressurized liquid coming out of the reservoir.
- Locate the coolant reservoir. It is under the hood, typically transparent, and has markings on it to indicate the minimum and maximum coolant levels.
- Remove the cap and check your coolant level. If the coolant is below the minimum line, the level is too low and more coolant should be added.
NOTE: Low coolant levels could indicate that there is a leak or some other reason why your vehicle is using coolant. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your local mechanic as soon as possible to prevent engine damage and keep things running smoothly.
Cooling System Service and Preventative Maintenance
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, we promote following a regular preventative maintenance schedule that is recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. No, we don’t do this to add more to your to-do list! Rather, we understand that routine maintenance is the perfect way to keep your vehicle running efficiently. It can even prevent some major repairs or vehicle breakdowns, saving you money and hassle down the road.
When you schedule cooling system service at our auto repair shop, our expert technicians will check your coolant level as well as the condition of the coolant itself. In addition, we inspect for leaks, drain the cooling system and refill with fresh coolant as required. We also add conditioners to prevent rust and corrosion, and check belts, hoses, and electrical fans within the system.
Are you ready to do your part to keep your engine cool? Schedule an appointment with us today!