The answer to this question is simple: twice a year. There are circumstances that warrant an antifreeze check aside from bi-annually, but as long as you maintain your vehicle per the manufacturer’s recommendation and you weren’t sold a lemon, you shouldn’t have an antifreeze problem. If you don’t want to get your elbows dirty, we here at Kirk’s Auto Care are happy to give the coolant a once-over for you. In the meantime…
Why Should I Check My Antifreeze?
Clean antifreeze is vital to the health of your vehicle’s radiator system. The antifreeze prevents engine water from freezing in the winter and the engine from overheating in the summer. If your engine water does freeze, you won’t be able to start your car or truck. An overheated engine can leave you stranded on the road with a boiling over radiator. Your antifreeze should be flushed at regular intervals, so check your owner’s manual to determine the mileage milestones.
When Is the Best Time to Check It?
Aside from the mileage milestones, we recommend checking your antifreeze in the spring and fall, just like you maintain your home’s HVAC system. Checking the coolant (as it’s also called) prior to the hot summer months ensures it’s ready for its summer job. When you check it in the fall, you prevent a road-side strand during the blistering Michigan winters. Think like you do with your HVAC system and have your antifreeze checked in the spring and fall.
Average Coolant Lifespan
Don’t be fooled by the claims that antifreeze will last a lifetime in your vehicle. It won’t. Generally, it’s wise to have the antifreeze flushed every 30,000 miles, but as mentioned above, your owner’s manual will give the manufacturer’s recommended duration. It really depends on your vehicle make, model, and engine size. If you drive a compact, your manual will probably recommend every 30,000 miles whereas some luxury car manufacturers say you can wait until the car has been driven 120,000 miles. No matter what, don’t put off the flush.
Signs a Check Is in Order
If you notice your car or truck’s temperature gauge is running hotter than normal, it’s time to have your antifreeze checked. If your check engine or coolant level light comes on while you’re driving, that’s also a clear cut sign you have a problem. The hotter your engine runs the more damage you will cause, so don’t ignore these warnings. You know how hot your engine gets while you’re driving and any increase in that temperature is a sign of trouble.
Stop by Kirk’s Auto Care so we can determine why your engine is overheating. We are a certified auto repair facility in Livonia, MI, and we can be reached at 734-402-8722.