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Jun 6, 2016

Why Does My Car Need A Coolant Flush?

Posted By in Car Tips | No Comments »

Every driver knows the importance of regular maintenance to keep the vehicle running safely, reliably, and cost effectively for a long time. When it comes to changing fluids at a certain interval, engine oil and transmission fluid are high on that list. But many people don’t think about replacing the coolant, except for when it is leaking or overheating and they may add some water.

Why Does My Car Need A Coolant Flush?

Is it necessary to change a vehicle’s coolant?

Vehicle manufacturers recommend that you replace the coolant periodically, and you know how important it is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

So, why is a coolant flush necessary?

Coolant is contained in the radiator, which is a vital component of the internal combustion cooling system in your vehicle. The radiator is a kind of heat exchanger that extracts heat from the coolant mixture after it has circulated the engine. Radiators work by pushing hot water/coolant mixture from the engine block through tubes (that are air-cooled) so heat from the mixture can be dispelled. When the liquid has cooled down, it flows back to the engine block to absorb more heat, and the cycle repeats itself.

When circulating through the engine block, the coolant performs three functions:

  • Heat transfer: The main function of coolant is to remove excess heat from the engine via the radiator as mentioned above.
  • Lubrication: Engine coolant, also referred to as antifreeze due to chemicals that help to maintain its liquid state in extreme weather, is circulated through the engine block and radiator by the water pump. This water pump spins at the same RPM as the engine on bearings that need to be lubricated and cooled. This is accomplished by the coolant.
  • Corrosion inhibition: The cooling system through which the coolant/water mixture circulates should remain clean to ensure efficient heat transfer. As such, the coolant also serves as a corrosion inhibitor for the different substances it comes into contact with.

The primary reason why manufacturers recommend a coolant flush approximately every 64,000 to 96,500 kilometers is to protect the engine from internal corrosion. Coolant contains many chemicals that help to maintain its pH levels, prevent freezing during extremely cold temperatures, and keep the cooling system from corroding.

Over time, these constituent chemicals precipitate or become depleted, which means that the coolant is no longer able to perform its primary duties – cool the engine and prevent corrosion. If ignored, it can lead to expensive leaks and component failures.

To prevent cooling system problems and possible engine failure due to overheating, it is important to replace the coolant as recommended by the manufacturer. When replacing coolant, performing a system flush ensures that any precipitants, corrosion products, and depleted antifreeze are completely removed from the cooling system.


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