Even though our days are still in the 70’s and 80’s our nights are dipping into the low 50’s we might stop thinking about our engine’s cooling system. It only needs to be in tip top shape during the summer months right? It’s true that it’s important for your cooling system to function at its best during the summer, but it’s equally important to have it functioning properly during the cooler months as well.
Why have a properly maintained cooling system in the winter:
- Freeze protection
- Continued protection against over heating
- Reduced thermal stresses by having uniform temperatures around your engine and radiator
- Improved cabin heater efficiency
Depending on the age of your coolant and how it was added to your cooling system, it’s possible that there is not a high enough concentration of antifreeze. Without the proper ratios of antifreeze and water, it is possible that your cooling system may freeze during the winter months on cold nights. Since water expands as it turns into ice it can have catastrophic effects on your cooling system, causing damage and even cracks in your engine. Also, your vehicle uses hot engine coolant to warm the passenger cabin by running the coolant through the heater core and blowing cabin air over it. It is possible that over the summer while not using the heater it may have become blocked, leaving you with only cold air.
Regularly changing your coolant can help avoid many of these problems. Performing a flush of your coolant system each time you change your coolant can maximize the efficiency of your cooling system. Also, it can ensure it stays clean and that all the components are functioning at their intended capacity. Most mechanics recommend a routine flush every 40,000 miles, or you can check your vehicle owner’s manual for recommended coolant change intervals.