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Summer is almost here and last month we talked about needing to keep us cool. Now, I want talk to you about what it takes to keep your vehicle cool. Antifreeze and your cooling system is what keeps your engine cool and happy during the heat of the summer. And with the A/C blowing full speed, it also puts a heavy strain on the cooling system.
Anti-freeze is important to keep the cooling system from freezing into a block of ice, but it is also raises the boiling point of water. It acts as a lubricant for internal components like the water pump. Furthermore, it also protects the engine from rusting. Without anti-freeze, you can cause catastrophic failure of all components in the cooling system, including the engine.
People ask all the time if they can just add water if it’s low. The answer is yes, but with caution. If you add water on a regular basis, then you have a leak. Modern cars have sealed systems and rarely need coolant added to them. Not only that, but if you add water only, you will end up with no Anti-freeze. With these sealed systems, if the coolant gets low, an air pocket will form and that can cause a car to overheat.
With the government setting regulations on gas mileage, a lot of car parts are now made of plastic instead of metal. This is good for weight reduction, but not good for coolant and oil leaks. The problem with plastic parts is that they will dry out and deteriorate and break without warning. You go from a no leak or slow leak to cracked wide open. At this point, you lose all coolant within a minute or less.
So, if you just add water and don’t repair it, you take a simple $200.00 to $500.00 repair to catastrophic engine failure within minutes. In other words, keep antifreeze in the cooling system whether it’s winter or summer. It’s ok to add water in an emergency. If you add water, make sure you have the cooling system checked and repaired properly. If you do these things, you can keep your vehicle from ending up in a junkyard too early.