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Coolant Care

Quality coolant is as important as the oil in your engine ( VW Beetles and other aircooled engines excluded)

Old coolant can kill your engine, once it's additives have been consumed it can no longer protect your engine, just because it is green does not mean it is still doing it's job.

When you begin washing dishes the water is clean with  lots of bubbles, glasses become sparkling clean but when you have washed the last greasy pot the bubbles have gone, a glass washed in this water will not look clean. Simply the detergent is depleted. The same applies to engine oil and coolant, the additives become depleted..

Your engine produces a lot of waste heat ( petrol engines are approx 25% fuel efficient, diesels about 30%), this means 25% of the heat energy in the fuel goes out the exhaust, 25% to the cooling system and the remainder is lost from the surface of the engine. So if you have a 100KW engine the cooling system must be able to remove and disipitate the equivalent heat output of 40 x 2.5KW fan heaters, thats a lot - the radiator is only about 40cm x 50cm in a car with this size engine

Modern high power output engines have smaller capacity cooling systems for faster warm up to get your heater working faster and to reduce pollution, as a result the cooling system much work at peak efficiency if engine failure is to be avoided.

Tap water will no longer do, old engines with thicker iron castings took longer to fail, perhaps 50-60 years before they would rust thru, modern engines with hi-tech alloys can fail in 10,000km. Also radiators are now made from thin aluminium and plastic, a thin layer of aluminium oxide on the inside of the radiator will drastically reduce it's cooling efficiency.

To avoid costly and inconvenient engine failure it is most important that your engines coolant condition is checked at every lube service, and should be flushed and refilled with a mixture of clean water (preferably distilled) and a quality coolant as specified by the engine manufacturer every 1-2 years.

It is wise to have the service technician check the coolant hoses for cracks, leaks and hardening or softening as these are a frequent source of problems.

Careful regular maintenance will see your engine give you a long trouble free life. Most modern car engines should do 500,000km without major work!



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