Proper Radiator Maintenance and Care
Many people take a vehicle's cooling system for granted. We generally don't even think about radiator maintenance or the cooling system until the car overheats when we're already late for work, or when we smell antifreeze and notice a bright green puddle on the driveway. But just like any other system in your car, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping the radiator properly filled, flushed and serviced by a trusted auto repair center will ensure your cooling system runs its best, prolonging the life of your engine.
Keep the radiator filled
Under optimal conditions, your cooling system should be sealed and self-contained, meaning that once the radiator is filled, it should stay full. In many cases, however, small leaks can emerge (even if you aren't dripping antifreeze), causing a slow drainage, and eventually affecting your car's ability to keep the engine cool. Check the radiator every so often when the car is cool, and add antifreeze/coolant mixture if you notice it is low. If you notice this happening regularly, you should take the car in to an auto repair expert to check for leaks.
Use the right mixture of antifreeze/coolant
Do not use straight water in your radiator, except in emergencies. Water is not an effective coolant, and it will not keep your engine from freezing in winter temperatures. Likewise, undiluted antifreeze/coolant is expensive and won't be more effective in protecting your radiator or engine. For most climates (including Everett and northwest Washington), a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant and water offers the best protection against both overheating and freezing.
How often to do a radiator flush?
Flushing the radiator periodically (i.e., draining and refilling the coolant) should be a regular part of your radiator maintenance. This can be done by any qualified independent auto shop, not necessarily by the dealership. There is no set schedule for radiator flushes—it depends on the type of vehicle and the type of coolant you use. That said, it's a good idea to consider a radiator flush at the following times:
- For older vehicles—every 2 years or 40,000 miles, whichever comes first
- If you're using “long life” antifreeze—every 4 years or 50,000 miles
- If the antifreeze looks cloudy
- If your cooling system seems to be running inefficiently, or if you see leaks
Don't ignore warning signs
If you notice abnormal activity with the cooling system, the sooner you have it checked out, the better. If you start seeing leaks, smelling antifreeze, or experience overheating, these are obvious signs of trouble—but even if your vehicle starts running hotter than “normal” without overheating, it could be a sign that the cooling system is running inefficiently. When in doubt, take the car to the mechanic and have it looked at.
For trustworthy and affordable radiator maintenance and other auto repair services in Everett, O.N.B. Automotive has been providing outstanding service to the community for nearly 15 years with their honest, no-nonsense approach; they can be reached for more information at (425) 317-9618.
O.N.B. Automotive Blog
Written and Published By MORBiZ
9 Issues to Check When Buying a Used Car
Top Signs of an Exhaust Leak
Does My Car Need Transmission Service?
Most Common Auto Electric Problems
Customer Reviews of ONB Automotive Repair in Everett, WA
No Gas: Common Fuel System Failures
4 Symptoms of Suspension Failure
General Signs of it is Time for Auto Repair
The Importance of the Oil Change
5 Symptoms of a Failed Cooling System
Top Signs it is Time for an Engine Rebuild
Does this Mean I Need Brake Repair? Yes!
Tips for PNW Winter Driving: We're Not Out of the Weather Yet!
Do I Need to Replace the Alternator?
Understanding Commercial Fleet Vehicle Maintenance
What does that Light Mean? Common Dashboard Warning Lights
Simple Auto Maintenance to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
Is it Time for Engine Repair? 4 Signs that Say Yes
How do I know if My Car has an Exhaust Leak?
Get the Most out of Your Gas Tank this Summer
Common Signs your Vehicle Needs Transmission Repair
Time for new shocks or struts? Here is how to tell!
What is a Tune Up and When Do I Need One?
How to use your senses to detect car trouble
What's Leaking From My Car?
If this Happens it is Time for Clutch Repair
3 Signs Your Vehicle Needs Exhaust Repair
What is Preventative Auto Maintenance & Why is it Important?
Is it time to set up a fleet vehicle maintenance plan?
Does my Car Need Cooling System Repair?
5 Common Signs You Need Ignition Repair
Help! I Need AC Repair to Beat the Heat
5 Major Signs Your Car Needs an Alignment
5 Must Know Symptoms of Brake Trouble
Hard Starts: 4 Signs of Starter Failure
5 Smells that Mean Trouble for Your Car
Is it Time for Timing Belt Replacement?
3 Common Signs of Major Engine Trouble
Squealing Brakes and 4 Other Signs of Trouble
5 Tips to Improve Fuel Efficiency this Winter
Why are Oil Changes so Important?
4 Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Comes On
Common Auto Electric Problems
4 Reasons for Transmission Failure
Top 4 Basic Home Auto Maintenance Tips
When is it Time for Suspension Repair?
Brake Service, Care and Maintenance
Proper Radiator Maintenance and Care
5 Signs that Your Car Needs a Tune-Up
The Importance of 30/60/90K Factory Maintenance