Coolant and Car Overheating – Preparing your car for summer!06-May-2020
Importance of Coolant to prevent your car engine from overheating
2020 is really raising the bar for the good, the bad and the ugly huh? What with CoVID–19 and the stock market meltdown, we are back to the original meltdown creator – The Indian Summers!
Summers in Mumbai tend to have one of the most difficult conditions for your overheated car. Wait, you didn’t think we were going to discuss your hardships did you? Mechanics don’t really beat around the bush and so let’s come straight to the point: Your car is at risk. In Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, humidity and extreme heat are the red warning signs flashing loud and clear.
In order for your vehicle to keep you cool and comfortable inside with the AC on you need to teach your car yoga to keep its anger and heat levels down. Well, tough luck as cars don’t work that way. Cars get overheated and here comes the time-tested solution i.e. the equivalent of Aam Panna of cool Lassi for your car.
Presenting the humble coolant for your car in summer which is also called an antifreeze. So, the definition is - Coolant is a mixture of distilled water and ethylene glycol. What it basically does is absorb the extreme heat generated by a running engine. The coolant continuously circulates through the engine and returns back through the radiator completing the flow cycle. By design, the radiator is always placed in the front of the vehicle, just behind the car grill, to maximize air inflow. As air passes through the fins on the radiator, it cools the circulating coolant which in turn cools the engine. Cool, right?
Fun Fact: Basically, just like when people get angry, they are advised to take deep breaths. Similarly, the radiator performs the same function and the coolant acts like Mentos or sprite to be honest on a very hot summer’s day.
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To prevent your vehicle from overheating, you need coolant at all times in your cooling system. As the coolant level dips and tends to get empty, your vehicle becomes more vulnerable to overheating and could either break down or damage the internal functioning and components. The best way to prevent this from happening is by habitually checking your coolant levels and topping it up as and when required. The best way to prevent engine overheating is to service your radiator, perform leak checks and add new coolant at least every two years. Just in case if you are wondering where to do it, swing by for a free car check up at any of our 30+ car mechanics in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai by clicking here.
Coolant is like M.S. Dhoni, always calm under pressure and fights effectively against rust and corrosion giving good resale value for your car in future. Not only does the coolant help avoid overheating it also prevents the water in your radiator from boiling over and provides lubrication for the moving parts it comes in contact with inside your vehicle. This effectively translates to extending the life of rubber and plastic components of the system and lesser costs for car repair in Mumbai (very expensive) in future.
To summarize, we have explained that the cooling system is your engine’s only means of releasing the heat that builds up incredible temperatures inside the engine block. However, there’s a flip side to it. When the cooling system becomes dirty which it does eventually by absorbing a mixture of rust, scale and other by-products from the engine in the fluid, it can cause a great deal of damage to the engine by corroding and clogging the passageways, choking off the water flow through the radiator and causes the engine to overheat. The biggest mistake is adding the coolant to a dirty cooling system. Clean it before you spin the car, people! Be very careful and keep a habit of checking your dash lights. If you see a blinking light or notice the gauge displaying engine overheating, do not continue driving and pull over immediately.
Damage from an overheated engine often is expensive and, in some instances, cannot be repaired. In fact, we mechanics resort to the word heart attack as well in some circles for engine damage due to overheating. Imagine, stranded on the hottest of days due to an overheated/ damaged radiator leaking coolant, resulting in complete engine failure. Nothing short of murder, we say!
So here the question arises, when do I top up and when do I entirely change the coolant in my car?
Let us experts answer this:
If it’s clean, feed it more!
If the coolant level is teensy bit lower than the full capacity indicator line, it most probably just needs a top up.
If it’s dirty, change the nappies (coolant)
If the existing fluid looks colourless or rust like and has dust/ debris particles floating in it, it is time to change the nappies - flush the old coolant out and add a new pack.
While an inexperienced mechanic may tell you that it is possible to simply drain the old coolant and replace it with a new one, all this does is refresh the existing fluid in the radiator. It will not make much difference to the other parts of the vehicle that the coolant comes into contact with. In contrast, a complete coolant flush will clean the entire coolant system and help protect the system for the long haul. For summer driving, coolant should be added as a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water.
You can know more about the difference between antifreeze and coolant by clicking here.
Let us keep the coolant level or the colour of the fluid mixture at the side for a moment. Even then there is a point in time when the protective characteristics of the coolant will break down making it harmful rather than fighting the harm. After all, it isn’t the elixir that outlives life is it? In due time, rust and corrosion fighting properties become less effective, giving your car breakdowns and leading to costly repairs. Sad right?
The recommended point is different for different make and model of the car. A coolant flush is an important part of car maintenance from time to time so that your engine continues to be protected properly.
External parts of your car such as you’re the paint coat and those cushy seats can be damaged by direct sunlight, while internal parts such as your radiator get damaged as well due to lack of attention to the indicators and not bringing it to us! Just schedule a routine radiator and coolant check-up just by visiting car mechanic online anywhere in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.