Of the top 10 repair or maintenance issues related to the automobile, in a mild climate such as Virginia Beach, antifreeze and coolant maintenance ranks about 18th. But even though 40 degree winter and 80 degree summer averages won’t leave your car stranded, proper cooling system flushing and filling is still important.
Why is it there?
Engine coolant/antifreeze is a usually-glycol mix with water that circulates through the engine. In hot conditions the liquid pulls heat away from the engine and keeps the operating temperature manageable. In cold climates, the mixture transfers heat throughout the engine keeping systems functioning and free from freezing up due to extreme cold. Because glycol has a much lower freezing point than straight water, the mix can sit in cold weather and still start flowing when the car is started.
In a relatively mild climate like Virginia Beach, proper coolant servicing still has benefits.
• Corrosion protection: Deposits in water can leave a corrosive layer on metal. An antifreeze mix keeps metal parts from corroding due to high heat transfer.
• Leak detector: The unique smell of antifreeze gives an early indication if a part in the cooling system is leaking or failing.
• No deposits: Antifreeze/coolant prevents deposits from staying in the system, which also aids in corrosion prevention.
Too much of a good thing
A yearly flush and fill servicing is recommended to keep a proper glycol mixture. Having more than 70% antifreeze can create a coating which leaves a residue on chamber walls and reduces heat transfer abilities.