We all know how cold it gets in Alaska throughout the fall, winter and spring months. It’s a harsh environment and it can be tough to keep your vehicle maintained. One system that definitely needs a lot of attention when it’s freezing outside is the cooling system. You want to keep it working as well as possible this time of year.
Sometimes, the term “cooling system” can be a little misleading. It is mainly there to keep your car from overheating. However, it will also keep your engine from seizing up. Essentially, the cooling system regulates the temperature of the engine, and that’s every important during every season.
Simard Automotive in Fairbanks, AK has put together this list of winter cooling system maintenance tips:
1. Keep the Radiator Filled at the Desired Fluid Level
All of your vehicle’s different fluids should be maintained at proper levels, especially the radiator coolant. It is also commonly known as “antifreeze,” and that pretty much tells you right there how important it is during winter. Only remove the radiator cap when the engine is completely cooled down, otherwise it’s dangerous.
2. Look for Coolant Leaks
Metal expands when it’s hot and contracts when cold. This can put strain on different seals and lead to coolant leaks. At the first sign of a leak, you will want to get your cooling system inspected by a professional mechanic.
3. Look at the Quality of the Fluid
Radiator coolant should be bright yellow/green in color and have a clear/translucent appearance. If it is dirty or burnt looking, that’s the sign of a cooling system problem. You may just need to replace the fluid. If you notice any metal shavings or rust particles in the fluid, then that could be the sign of a bigger issue.
4. Use the Proper Water-to-Coolant Mixture
Most antifreezes come pre-mixed with water. However, different ratios of water-to-coolant are often recommended during the colder winter season. Consult your owner’s manual or a local mechanic for advice on this subject because every vehicle will be a little different.
5. Make Sure the Belts, Hoses and Seals Are Good
Freezing weather can really weaken various belts, seals and hoses throughout the cooling system (and the entire engine compartment). These plastic and rubber components are easy to replace, so you want to fix them at the first sign of a problem. The longer you wait, the more major damage you risk. In fact, a failing head gasket is often the most common cooling system problem.
6. Get Your Cooling System Inspected and Winterized
Now is a good time to get your cooling system thoroughly inspected by an automotive expert. If you live in the Fairbanks area, Simard Automotive can get your cooling system properly “winterized” for optimal performance.
Simard Automotive is here to help with all your winter cooling system repair and maintenance needs. Call today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Avenue) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Road). Or you can schedule your next service appointment online.