Many people assume a car's cooling system is only there to help keep the car from overheating. That is true, but it also helps regulate the running temperature throughout the year. Your vehicle's cooling system still plays a large part in engine health and performance during the colder winter months.
You'll want to take care of your car's cooling system all year round. Now may be a good time for maintenance and a system tune-up. You will also want to look out for warning signs of cooling system problems during the winter season. Here are 5 cooling system maintenance tips you can follow this winter:
1. Take Care of Plastic and Rubber Components
Your cooling system features a network of belts, hoses and seals made up of rubber and plastic materials that can easily freeze or degrade when the weather is really cold. Ice, salt and moisture from the roads can also kick up into the engine compartment and cause trouble for these components. Make sure all your connections are tight and watch out for excess wear and tear on these parts that help keep your cooling system doing its job.
2. Check the Coolant Level
When your engine is completely cooled down, you can easily check the radiator coolant in your radiator. Make sure the level is where it should be and that the fluid itself is clean. If it's a little low, you can probably top off the coolant yourself. If it is really low or the fluid is old/burnt, you may want to have your cooling system serviced soon to avoid problems.
3. Use the Right Coolant-to-Water Ratio
Radiator coolant is also known as "antifreeze" for a reason. It helps keep your engine from freezing up when the weather is extremely cold. Most antifreeze comes pre-mixed with water and most modern fluids are designed for all-weather use. Still, you may want to consult with an expert and see if a different coolant-to-water ratio will be beneficial for your particular car based on age, mileage, make/model and your driving usage.
4. Check for Coolant Leaks
You will also want to be paying attention and notice if there are any fluid leaks underneath your car or coming from your radiator. Radiator coolant is easy to identify as it is typically bright yellow/green in color and will be leaking from the very front of the vehicle. Any fluid leaks should be cause for concern, especially antifreeze, engine oil and transmission fluid.
5. Get a Professional Vehicle Inspection
Winter is a good time to get a general automotive inspection and take care of important maintenance services. Make sure your mechanic looks over your cooling system and that everything is healthy and safe for winter driving.
For all your cooling system maintenance and repair needs this winter in Northern Delaware—and all automotive care services—call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online.