Keeping Cool All Winter
by Jonathan Clensy |
posted 19 October 2017
With wind and rain battering the country last week, more storms forecast over the next few days and the nights drawing in at a rapid rate, it is clear that winter is almost upon us. Winter weather can take its toll on your vehicle and so you want to ensure that your car is winter ready. One of the most important things to check before any sub-zero temperatures arrive is your vehicle's coolant.
It's easy to think of engine coolant as a summer thing. In the heat, you don't want your engine boiling over. But with today's technology and engine development, keeping it running at the right temperature is far more complex than topping the radiator up with some water from the tap.
Engine coolant does more than just keep the engine cool. The liquid used also protects against corrosion and engine component failure, and keeps costly repairs and a possible invalidation of the vehicle's warranty at bay. So, with winter coming, now is a good time to have it checked out.
Coolant is required in liquid cooled engines and contains a mix of chemicals including antifreeze, anti-oxidising agent, anticoagulant and chemicals that raise the liquid's boiling point. Coolant is often sold as 'Antifreeze', even though Antifreeze is just one component of it.
Coolant does come in in a variety of colours, each representing a different specification. But the car manufacturers aren't particularly helpful to the every-day motorist in this regard, as they are not consistent with their colouring choices. Taking time to read through the label instructions is important.
In recent times, coolant products have had to become more sophisticated with car manufacturers developing increasingly custom-made fluids for specific, individual engine needs. In some cases, the coolant is even model-specific. But the one wintertime aspect of keeping your engine from freezing still holds true.
The increasing demands of modern engines have made their operating conditions more uncompromising, meaning more is demanded from the cooling system. So, we as drivers need to make sure we're doing all we can to protect them.