Vehicles are powerful machines with a lot of moving components. And as with all types of machinery, vehicles need regular maintenance to lengthen their life and to ensure that they run smoothly for years to come.
While all the steps taken during a car maintenance routine are equally important, this blog will be focusing on just one: coolant flushing. As we all know, car engines are extremely hot when they’re running, and the coolant keeps the engine from overheating. Coolant flushing involves draining and flushing out of the coolant from the cooling system and replacing it with a new one. Regular coolant flushes are a vital preventive measure, ensuring the reliable and smooth operation of the vehicle.
Coolant Flushing Defined
This refers to the process of replacing old coolant with a new one in order to maintain the optimal performance of a car engine. Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is a mixture of water and various chemicals that serves as a protective shield for the engine, preventing overheating and safeguarding against rust and corrosion.
When performing a coolant flush, it is important that you consider the type of coolant suitable for your vehicle. There are three primary classifications of coolants commonly used in vehicles, including:
1. Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) Coolant
This type of coolant utilizes inorganic compounds, such as silicates, to provide engine protection against corrosion. IAT has been used for many years and is generally more affordable. It is often preferred for older vehicles due to its compatibility with outdated materials and cooling systems. However, IAT coolant has a relatively shorter lifespan compared to other types and requires more frequent replacement.
2. Organic Acid Technology (OAT) Coolant
This employs specific organic acids as inhibitors to safeguard the engine against corrosion. Unlike IAT, this type of coolant is engineered to have a lengthier lifespan, typically requiring replacement after around five years.
OAT coolant is particularly suitable for modern cars equipped with advanced cooling systems and demand enhanced corrosion protection. Its compatibility with a variety of engine materials makes it a versatile option for coolant flushing requirements.
Additionally, OAT exhibits low toxicity levels and is biodegradable, offering an environmentally-friendly alternative for many car owners.
3. Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT)
As its name implies, this coolant type combines the features of IAT and OAT coolants. It utilizes a blend of inorganic and organic inhibitors to deliver adequate engine protection.
HOAT coolant is designed to provide car owners with the best of both worlds. Although it necessitates more frequent replacement compared to OAT coolant, HOAT shares the latter’s non-toxic and biodegradable characteristics. Additionally, it has similar performance levels as the OAT coolant, making HOAT a preferred choice among those aiming to balance costs and efficiency.
Why is coolant flushing important?
According to an expert that offers auto repair in Centennial, CO, regularly changing the coolant is vital to ensure that your engine stays at its optimal temperature and that the cooling system remains protected. Whether you find yourself navigating treacherous hailstorms in Colorado’s mountains or enduring the scorching heat of Death Valley, scheduling a coolant flush is an absolute necessity to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
By undergoing a coolant flush, you safeguard your engine’s well-being, especially during extreme weather. Don’t underestimate the importance of this routine maintenance procedure—it plays a vital role in preserving your car’s longevity and preventing costly engine damage.
Signs That You Need a Coolant Flush
Neglecting regular coolant flushes for your vehicle can cause severe damage to its engine. If you’re unsure if you need a coolant flush, you can consider the following indicators:
1. Engine Overheating
If this regularly happens, your car definitely needs a coolant flush. This will help ensure proper temperature control in your vehicle and protect it from extreme heat or cold.
2. Coolant Leaks
It is essential that you promptly address any coolant leaks to prevent wastage. A leakage can also disrupt your car’s ability to regulate engine temperatures. If left untreated, extensive repair can become a distinct possibility.
3. Candy-Like Smell
An early indication of a deteriorated coolant is an unusual, sweet fragrance emanating from beneath your car’s hood. This scent arises from overheated ethylene glycol, a component found in coolant. Its redolence often evokes thoughts of syrup, candy, or waffles and serves as a definite indicator that your car coolant needs a thorough flush or, at the very least, a coolant refill.
4. Check Engine Light On
If there are problems with your vehicle’s coolant system, the check engine light will automatically turn on. Flushing the coolant can help resolve this issue, apart from ensuring the optimal performance and health of your engine.
A coolant flush is a crucial maintenance task for your car, and neglecting to do it can lead to costly consequences, and may even result in engine replacement. It is among the essential auto service processes, so coolant flushing should never be taken for granted.
Thus, when you notice the signs indicating the need for a coolant flush, it is vital that you promptly have your vehicle serviced in a professional auto shop for possible replacement of the engine coolant. By doing so, you help ensure that your engine remains powerful and capable of withstanding even the harshest environments.