Even if it doesn’t look like the winter is going to be very cold, you should fill the radiator with antifreeze anyway. Because the effects of this colored liquid is extremely versatile.
Whether Jack Frost will freeze us this year or not, only God knows. The last extremely cold winter has shown, however, that without the proper antifreeze the car is practically unprotected, because the antifreeze is not just a regular colored liquid with alcohol, but a lot more than that. It protects the radiator, the water pump and the cooling ducts from rusting. The refrigerant stabilizes the electrical conductivity of the fluid and prevents its early boiling. Another advantage: It prevents mineral deposits. What still remains unknown for most of the drivers is the fact that old antifreeze often forms bubbles (cavitations). When these bubbles burst, the explosions can damage the metal walls of the cooler and destroy the plastic wings of water pumps. Therefore the car mechanics recommend changing the coolant every three years. Even if some operating instructions give other recommendations.
There are different types of antifreeze: a driver should always pay attention to the frost protecting liquid to have the right color and the correct number.
There is only one point all mechanics agree at – the coolant should be checked regularly: level – once a month, antifreeze – twice a year. The testing should be carried out by turned off, cold engine, the level is to be read on the expansion tank in the engine compartment. It should always be between the minimum and maximum marks. If the level is below Min, you should refill it. Important memo: Never open the cooling system when the engine is warm. The pressurized, hot water may shoot out and burn face and hands!
Not just any coolant can be filled into the system, only the one specified by the manufacturer (see instructions). Using the wrong antifreeze or a mix of different frost protecting liquids can clog the tiny cooling channels. If the required coolant is not available, better fill-in with plain water. Don’t be confused if the manual recommends de-mineralized water. Tap water will do too. In case you want to be 100% sure, take distilled water from the gas station. Now test the anti-freeze concentration using a hydrometer. The device should show results between minus 20 and minus 30 degrees.
How to dispose old coolant environmentally safe?
Coolants are highly toxic liquids. They are considered hazardous waste and must not be released into the groundwater or simply poured down the sink. When changing the coolant, always dispose it in a re-sealable container, which should then be taken to an automobile repair shop or a local recycling station.