Littleton motorists’ cars have to operate in a wide range of Colorado temperatures. Meaning that our engine coolant level is more of a concern than in other more blandly weathered locales. Think for a moment about the environment where coolant level is affecting strictly by having to keep the engine “cool”. Very hot. High pressure. Not to mention corrosive. All the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why car makers recommend different types of anti-freeze for Colorado vehicles.
There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in Littleton. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at EAS Tire & Auto will know the right kind for your car.
It’s important to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Littleton, Colorado. Regular service at EAS Tire & Auto needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place. While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your honest EAS Tire & Auto service professional will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals. Some car makers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your Littleton service professional recommends. Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone. Now, overheating can be very pricey. Littleton motorists can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.
First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine.
Pull over as soon as you can safely do so, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again. If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.
After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage. Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. EAS Tire & Auto can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home. Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around Littleton, Colorado, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently. At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have EAS Tire & Autoinspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in Littleton, Colorado.