The engine coolant acts as a transport medium for the heat from the engine body to the cooling tank. Maintaining a sufficient level of cooling water and replacing it as necessary will ensure that your car engine is durable and always in good working condition.
The role of car engine cooling water
During the operation of the vehicle, the fuel burned in the engine cylinder generates a large amount of heat. Only a part of this heat is successfully transformed into energy, while the rest is emitted into the surroundings and come into contact with the machine parts. Heat is also generated from the surface friction between the other parts of the engine. Excessive heat and high temperatures will adversely affect the car’s performance, reduce engine life and in extreme cases, even cause fire hazards.
Therefore, engine coolant water plays a very important role in helping the engine to operate most efficiently by removing excess heat and reducing the chances of engine overheat or sudden shutdown. The quality of the coolant water will directly affect the efficiency of the cooling system. In practice, however, many drivers do not really pay proper attention to the engine coolant.
Check the engine coolant regularly to ensure that your car is operating well and minimize the potential risks
When to replace the engine coolant water?
The coolant needs to be inspected regularly to ensure that it remains between the “Full” and “Low” points when the engine has cooled down. Many people only check if the coolant water level has dropped in order to pour in some more without any regard to the quality of the coolant solution. Besides, even when the water level is still optimal, if the coolant hasn’t been replaced for too long, the concentration of ethylene glycol will decrease and the coolant solution will become acidic, which will corrode the engine components. The accumulation of acid, rust and other contaminants will reduce freezing and thawing resistance of the solution.
Therefore, unless in abnormal situations, manufacturers recommend that car users replace the engine coolant after the first 160,000 km. The subsequent changes should be made after every 50,000 km. Older and other special-purpose vehicles that carry heavy loads need to have their coolants replaced more often to ensure good engine performance, minimizing potential risks. If you notice that your engine suddenly heats up more than usual, you should think of possible reasons such as inadequate or poor quality coolant water.
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How to select the right coolant for your engine
Coolant water for automobile engines comes in many different types. These differences are due to the chemical composition of the base liquid as well as the corrosion inhibitor additives. The green colour is characteristic of older generation coolant water. Newer generations can be blue, red, orange or yellow, and are now more commonly used due to their environmental friendliness.
You need to be able to choose the best-suited engine coolant for your beloved car. For example, Toyota engines often use red coolant solutions. For diesel engines with silicon-based nodes, yellow water should not be used because organic acids will erode these nodes after approximately 130,000 - 160,000 km. Coolant water seeping through gaps in the lubrication system will then damage the engine. Another note of caution is that you should absolutely never mix the different types of solutions together.
Newer coolant generations are now more commonly used due to their environmental friendliness
The engine coolant should be mixed with distilled water in the ratio of 6:4. The solution being either too thick or too thin can both reduce the quality of the coolant and affect the cooling system. In cases of emergency, regular clean water may be used to replace distilled water but the standard solution should be replaced afterward as soon as possible.
Ethylene glycol based coolants are toxic. The coolant circulating in the engine is exposed to a range of metals, so the coolant water is considered hazardous waste and should not come into contact with human or animals. The treatment of this waste must comply with standard environmental regulations.