Your radiator is a small part of your car’s coolant system, but it holds the key to keeping your car running right throughout the year. The radiator is filled with a mixture of water and antifreeze, which help keep your engine cool as it’s running.
Over time, this mixture of water and coolant picks up dirt and debris, and breaks down until it is no longer effectively protecting your engine. Then it is time for a radiator flush.
What is Antifreeze?
Antifreeze is a coolant that is mixed with water. The mix changes the way the water reacts to different temperatures. First of all, it has an extremely low freezing temperature, which allows water to remain in a liquid state even when the outside temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is extremely important if you are trying to start your car during the winter. Imagine if the coolant in your system was frozen into a solid block and you started your engine. The coolant would not melt or run through your system. Instead your engine would overheat as it ran dry waiting on the coolant to trickle down.
On the other hand, antifreeze also helps keep water in your engine from evaporating at very high temperatures, ensuring that it continues to flow through the system and carry away heat to be dissipated in the radiator. If all the water in your system were to turn to steam, there would be a large increase in the pressure in the system, and this how cars end up on the side of the interstate mid-summer, pouring steam out of a burst hose.
In addition to both of these properties, antifreeze offers lubricating properties that help protect the components of your cooling system such as the water pump. It also keeps the water from causing corrosion on the inside of the engine, keeping you safe from rust.
Why You Need a Radiator Flush
Just like the oil in your car breaks down over time and picks up debris from the engine, the coolant in your car does the same thing. Fortunately, coolant only needs to be changed every 25-30,000 miles rather than every 3,000, so you can relax. Nevertheless, coolant that has begun to break down often changes color from green to orange. It often carries flakes of dirt or small bits of copper from inside the radiator as well. Failure to perform a radiator flush will eventually lead to major failures in your cooling system, and can cause irreparable damage to your engine.
A radiator flush can be completed quickly with the use of the right equipment. Two hoses are connected to your system to cycle all of the coolant out of the radiator as well as the hoses and the engine block. Then it is replaced with fresh coolant and water to keep your car running cool for another 30,000 miles.
Check out i25 Kia’s November maintenance specials to get your radiator flush done this fall before the temperatures really drop!
- Posted by agency-it
- On November 23, 2016