Has my anti-freeze/coolant been compromised? - Think back to last winter and if you had to add water to the cooling system since then, for instance in an emergency, if so, you need to recharge your cooling system and have the strength checked. If you had a hose, water pump or any other cooling system component replaced it is probably a good idea to confirm that your anti-freeze is ok.
Does my cooling system leak? - Because coolant is well over $10.00 a gallon, it is not unusual for car owners to add water to the coolant reservoir, this dilutes the concentration of the anti-freeze and raises its freeze point. Fix all coolant leaks prior to winter, not only will you stabilize your coolant but you will also save money.
Is my temperature gauge acting funny? - An erratic temperature gauge can mean a lot of things- from a failed thermostat to a low level of anti-freeze. Remember if your anti-freeze is too weak to protect your engine, the result will be overheating as ice builds up the cooling system causing a blockage that will result in the temperature gauge to rise to "H".
How old is my coolant? - At one time the standard was to change the coolant/anti-freeze every other year. This has changed since some new models allow that the fluid not be changed until 100,000 miles,. be sure to check your owner's manual for your vehicle's anti-freeze change interval.
What kind of anti-freeze should I use? - Mixing coolant types is a "No, No". The color of the fluid is crucial and differs by car make, so be sure to check the owner's manual and match any coolant you add to the recommendation. There are universal types of coolant which are compatible with every type and color. Also be aware of the concentration of the coolant you are adding since there are both full strength and 50/50 formulas available.
Winter can be hard on a vehicle, don't let a cooling system failure deprive you of the the cold weather enjoyment that you have been anticipating since August.
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