How Often Should I Change My Engine Coolant?
Coolant plays an important role in the function of your vehicle. Its primary purpose is to transfer heat to prevent damage to your engine, whether through freezing or overheating. Most owners manuals will tell you to change your engine coolant around 150,000 miles. If you look further into your service manual to 180,000 miles, it will tell you you’ll need to service your coolant again, even though you just did it 30,000 miles ago. Why, according to your owner’s manual, should you wait to change your coolant for the first 150,000 miles, but then have to change it every 30,000 miles thereafter?
Most mechanics will recommend you actually check your coolant before the manual recommends. Vehicle manufacturers often compete in the market of “lowest cost of maintenance” in the first 100,000-150,000 miles of their products. It seems every year, a manufacturer finds a way to stretch that out a little further. Changing your coolant sooner means more cost of maintenance.
Over time, rust, corrosion, and scale will build up in your cooling system. When these deposits form, it significantly impacts the coolant’s ability to transfer heat–which is what it is designed to do. The goal is to keep the buildup of rust, corrosion, & deposits to a minimum. Otherwise, the buildup will eventually grow to a point of no return, and the only way to keep your system working is to replace the components with excessive buildup, like your radiators, heater cores, etcetera. This is just another reason why it's so important to keep up with your fluid services beginning at an early age of your vehicle.
Although vehicle fluids have significantly improved over the years, the additive packages in the cooling system will still break down over time. The best way to protect your vehicle’s cooling system is to service it every 2 years or 30,000 miles. If you maintain this habit from the beginning, you can significantly extend the life of the components in the cooling system, as well as provide effective cooling for your vehicle’s engine.
To find out how that service works, check back with us on Friday!