If you’re new to cars, you may have come across the terms “coolant” and “coolant flushing”.
But what do these terms mean? Why do you have to flush and change the vehicle’s coolant?
And why is the coolant change interval less often than an oil change interval?
Let’s begin with an explanation of what coolant does!
The fluids inside your cooling system consist of a water and coolant mix, which raises the water’s boiling point.
Engines heat up because of the combustion process.
The cooling system keeps things at an optimum temperature and stops the engine from burning out.
Helping cool the cooling system in turn, are the radiator and its cooling fan.
Water circulates through the radiator (that thing behind your grille), which is blasted by air when we drive.
Is there a need to top up coolant?
Under normal circumstances, no.
You only have to if there is a leak in the cooling system.
The tell-tale sign is an engine that’s running hotter than usual, or overheating (very very bad).
It is better to have the cooling system repaired than to have to keep topping up.
Continually topping up also mixes new and old coolant, which is not ideal.
If my cooling system works fine, why do I have to change coolant?
Well, despite coolant being synthetic, it is subject to a lot of heat.
This stress eventually breaks down its ingredients and makes it less efficient.
Most cars will need this replaced every two years, or before the vehicle has clocked a certain number of kilometres.
Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended intervals.
Why is the change interval longer than an oil change interval?
Well, engine oil has a far more stressful job that involves moving metal parts, heat and dirt.
Your vehicle’s cooling system, on the other hand, is a closed one.
However, we promise to ask our resident mechanical engineer for the exact reason/s. Stay tuned!
Lastly, what is a coolant flush?
It means flushing the cooling system and replacing the fluids.
You don’t have to worry too much if you’re still going back to the authorised dealer.
They will know when to do this to your car.
If you’re going to an outside workshop, you may have to remember to get this done.