Do I Really Need to Change My Coolant?

The short answer to this question – absolutely.

But why exactly?

Let’s break down what coolant (antifreeze) actually does for your vehicle.

The main roll of your cooling system is exactly what it sounds like; cooling. It keeps your engine running at the optimal temperature by transferring heat to the radiator. As coolant runs through the engine, it absorbs heat. Once it makes its way to the radiator, it is quickly cooled by airflow from driving and/or radiator fans. Once cooled, it flows back to the engine to start the process over again.

Now that’s all fine and dandy, but what about winter months? Being in Lititz, PA, you know our seasons range from sweltering hot to freezing cold. Well, coolant also plays a vital role during those bitter cold months. Because of the ethylene glycol found in coolant, it lowers the freezing point of the engine. This ensures the engine won’t freeze up while sitting out in the freezing cold. Your cooling system is able to effectively do its job no matter what Mother Nature has in mind.

So now that you have a basic understanding of what coolant does for your vehicle, let’s get back to the main question – Why do I need to change my coolant?

Unfortunately, coolant will degrade and become more acidic over time. As the acid levels rise, the coolant begins to lose its temperature-regulating abilities, as well as the ability to prevent rust and corrosion. From the paragraphs above, it’s easy to see why ensuring your coolant has the proper temperature-regulating abilities is important. But what about rust and corrosion? As rust and corrosion begin to form in the cooling system, it puts every part of the system at risk. The coolant will actually become thick and gunky, and once enough of it builds up, it can cause serious system damage and even failure. (Below you can see pictures of gunky coolant which has clogged cooling system components)

Luckily for you, this can all be avoided by regularly changing your coolant. Here at Good’s Auto Service, we recommend a coolant exchange every 4 years. Before the coolant is exchanged, we run a cleaner through the cooling system to aid in the removal of corrosion and particles. Once the system is full of new coolant, a conditioner is added which helps prevent corrosion in the future. I don’t know about you, but performing this service once every 4 years sounds a whole let better to me than ignoring it, leading to costly repairs later on down the road.

Coolant plays a huge role in the performance of your vehicle. Make sure it’s performing the best it possibly can. Give Good’s Auto Service a call or visit our website to schedule an appointment to get your coolant exchanged!