Neglected Engine Anti-freeze/Coolant can cause serious and expensive damage to your vehicle. As a Automotive Repair and Maintenance Shop we would much rather do relatively in-expense maintenance then costly repairs. You would not believe the damage I have seen over the years.
The antifreeze in the coolant perform three very important jobs: it prevents the coolant from freezing during cold weather, it raises the boiling temperature of the coolant to prevent overheating during hot weather, and it fights corrosion.
Besides checking the level of the coolant periodically to make sure it isn't low (which usually indicates a leak), the strength and condition of the antifreeze should also be checked. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze for normal freezing and boil over protection. Up to a 70/30 mixture of antifreeze and water can be used to maximize freezing protection, but higher concentrations should not be used. Straight water or straight antifreeze should never be used in a vehicle's cooling system.
Determining the condition of the coolant is a little more difficult because appearances alone can be deceiving. If the coolant is brown and discolored, it's obviously long overdue for a change. But even if it's still green, there's no way to tell how much corrosion protection is still in the coolant without measuring its "reserve alkalinity." At Haney Automotive we use a chemically-treated test strips that give a good-bad indication by color changes.
Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the coolant every two to three years or 50,000 kilometers to replenish the corrosion inhibitors in the antifreeze. If the cooling system is dirty, use a flush to remove rust and scale. In extreme dirty conditions sometimes a second or third flush spread over 2-4 months is required to catch up with the corrosion build up.
For the environmentally conscious coolant, there is also a propylene glycol based antifreeze that is less toxic than ordinary ethylene glycol antifreeze.
At Haney Automotive located in Maple Ridge our auto mechanics are experts in this field. You are invited to contact our Automotive Shop to discuss your requirements and we will provide you with a maintenance program tailored to your specific needs. Rest assured this service will be performed by fully licensed automotive mechanics.