The coolant can become more acidic over time and lose its rust-inhibiting properties, causing corrosion. Corrosion can damage the radiator, water pump, thermostat, radiator cap, hoses and other parts of the cooling system, as well as to the vehicle heater system.
How to add engine coolant | Vehicle Features | Official Ford Owner Site
And that can cause a car engine to overheat. Thus, the coolant in any vehicle with more than about 50, miles should be tested periodically.
- Part 1 of 3: How your coolant system works.
- Routine car maintenance;
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The cooling system can be checked with test strips that measure acidity, and with a hydrometer that measures freezing and boiling protection. If the corrosion inhibitors have deteriorated, the antifreeze coolant should be changed.
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The cooling system might also need flushing to remove contaminants no matter what the maintenance schedule calls for or how many miles are on the odometer. On the other hand, if testing shows the coolant is still doing its job protecting from overheating and not allowing corrosion, changing it more often than what the manufacturer recommends could be a waste of money.
How to check your car's coolant levels
In line with Cars. If you need to add more liquid, wait until the engine has cooled down to avoid the possibility of being burned or cracking your engine block. Coolant is usually red, green, blue, or yellow.
If it looks colorless, looks rusty, or has things floating around in it, flush your cooling system and add new coolant. If the coolant has a sludgy, oily surface, immediately take the vehicle to your mechanic to check for internal head gasket leakage.
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The service facility has special equipment for performing this check. Check out the brand new podcast series that makes learning easy with host Eric Martsolf.
How to Check & Change Engine Coolant
Check the coolant stored in the plastic bottle connected to the radiator. Learn More. Listen Now.