Industry experts estimate that about 40 percent of engine downtime is caused by cooling system problems, so it's critically important for both your schedule and your wallet that the cooling system be maintained. Coolant, like all other fluids used by your vehicle, has a tendency to break down over time. When the coolant breaks down, more stress is placed on your radiator and your engine begins to run hotter than normal. Gunk and mineral deposits also build up under your vehicle's hood, effectively reducing your vehicle's overall performance. Prolonged use of degraded coolant can also result in radiator damage, requiring you to replace your radiator sooner than you would normally have to.
Experts recommend that you have your cooling system flushed out at least once every two years, although, variables such as the type of vehicle you own and weather conditions may require you to have this service done more or less often.
Experts recommend that drivers ask their service writer to check the color, clarity, freeze point and chemical protection of their coolant at every maintenance interval. These few simple tests can indicate whether the coolant is providing adequate levels of protection. If it is not, your technician can correct the problem.
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The above article was written by Kara Bishop and was published in the Summer 2012 edition of Vehicle MD.