Coolant change refers to the process of changing or renewing the coolant in a car's cooling system. Coolant, we can also call antifreeze. It is a liquid substance that first absorbs heat and dissipates it through the radiator to help regulate the temperature of the engine.
But over time, the coolant can degrade, become contaminated, or lose its potency, which can affect the engine's cooling efficiency and lead to overheating. So, how often do we need to change the coolant?
First, we need to know that there are multiple factors that affect the life of your coolant, including the make and model of your vehicle, the type of coolant used, driving conditions, climate, and overall vehicle maintenance, among others.
Generally speaking, the coolant should be changed every two years or every 38,000 to 48,000 kilometers. Longer-lasting coolants and longer service intervals due to advances in cooling technology. Many vehicles now have coolant that lasts five to ten years or 160,000 to 240,000 km.
In some cases, severe driving conditions or specific vehicle requirements may require more frequent coolant changes. To determine recommendations for how often to change coolant for your specific vehicle, consult your vehicle's owner's manual or contact the manufacturer for the most accurate information specific to your vehicle.
If the coolant is not changed regularly, there are some potential problems that can arise, including:
1. Reduced cooling efficiency: As the coolant may become contaminated over time, the coolant's ability to effectively absorb and dissipate heat decreases. The engine may therefore run hotter than intended, increasing the risk of overheating.
2. Corrosion and damage to parts of the cooling system: The coolant contains additives that help prevent corrosion within the cooling system. These can break down over time, especially if the coolant isn't changed regularly as required. Without proper corrosion protection, cooling system components such as radiators, heater cores, water pumps and engine blocks can be susceptible to corrosion and damage. Corrosion can lead to leaks, loss of coolant and potential engine damage.
3. Coolant failure: Coolant contains additives that help maintain its characteristics, such as PH balance and antifreeze protection. It is also easily degraded over time, resulting in a decrease in coolant performance. This result can cause coolant to freeze or boil at inappropriate temperatures. Decomposition of the coolant can also lead to the formation of sludge and deposits within the cooling system, further compromising its efficiency.
Regular coolant changes help maintain the efficiency of the cooling system, prevent corrosion and ensure proper engine cooling. This is essential for maintenance and to help extend the life of your car's cooling system.
The exact procedure for changing the coolant varies by the make and model of the vehicle. Here, we give the general steps:
1. Gather the necessary materials: new coolant suitable for the vehicle, distilled water, coolant collection pan, gloves, goggles and funnel.
2. Make sure the engine is cool: Before starting the coolant change, make sure the engine has had enough time to cool down. It is very important to avoid working on a hot engine to prevent burns.
3. Locate the radiator drain plug: The drain plug is usually located on the bottom of the radiator.
4. Place the coolant collection pan: Place the collection pan under the radiator drain plug to collect old coolant.
5. Open the radiator drain plug: Use a wrench or pliers to loosen and remove the radiator drain plug to allow the old coolant to drain into the drain pan.
6. Drain the coolant completely: Allow the coolant to drain completely from the radiator. You may need to remove the radiator cap or open the coolant reservoir cap to allow drainage.
7. Flush the cooling system (optional): If you want to flush the cooling system thoroughly, you can use a flushing agent specially designed for cooling system flushing. Follow the directions on the flushing agent to effectively clean any debris or contamination from the system. Flushing the system is an optional step, but may help if the coolant is heavily contaminated.
8. Close the drain plug: Once the old coolant is completely drained, close the radiator drain plug firmly.
9. Fill with fresh coolant: Depending on the design of your vehicle, locate the radiator cap or coolant reservoir cap. Remove the cap and use the funnel to pour fresh coolant into the system. If necessary, mix the coolant with distilled water according to the manufacturer's instructions.
10. Vent the system (if required): Some vehicles require venting to remove air bubbles from the cooling system. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual to determine if this step is required and how to properly vent the system.
11. Reinstall the radiator cap: Replace the radiator cap or coolant reservoir cap tightly.
12. Proper disposal of used coolant: Coolant is toxic and should be handled and disposed of according to local regulations. Take used coolant to a recycling center or authorized waste disposal facility.
In the process of replacing the coolant, we need tools to guide and explain the coolant replacement process, which will help technicians better analyze the problems encountered during the coolant replacement process.
Recommend two car diagnostic tools with coolant replacement functions for you.
P01: is a powerful multifunctional electric vehicle diagnostic tool, that provides a comprehensive solution for electric vehicle maintenance and diagnosis. The coolant change function is one of its functions, enabling users to easily and efficiently perform coolant change and maintenance.
P03: integrated smart tester for electric vehicles. The device integrates electric vehicle battery pack detection and vehicle system detection functions, integrates oscilloscope, multimeter, insulation test, current clamp, and has a coolant change function.