Toyowest Automotive


Engine cooling system service

What's the big deal anyway? It’s just a routine radiator flush and fills right? Well not exactly, most vehicle manufactures have specific coolant requirements and they must be followed to avoid cooling system failures. As vehicles continue to improve cooling system technology continues to evolve to provide maximum engine life and cooling system protection mostly due in part to the different metals and plastics that coolant comes in contact with. ?

Coolant can look good and have a bad pH balance

Most coolants today are free from phosphates and silicates where phosphates tend to form scale and silicates destroy water pump seals both leading to premature failure of cooling system components. Today long life coolants have been specially formulated to protect against corrosion, however even long life coolants degrade over time, the difference between the standard coolants of yesterday was it was very obvious when these standard coolants were in need of replacement. They showed signs of rust, calcium corrosion and scale build up all of these caused poor cooling system performance to running warm overheating to major internal problems like head gasket failure.

Coolant exchange machine

Allot of coolants today are classified as Organic Acid Technology type or (OAT) these types of coolants don't contain silicates phosphates, nitrates or borates. The additives in the OAT coolants react with different metals in the engine cooling system the reaction creates a thin strong layer of protection that depletes slower over time thus extending coolant service life.

Things you should know: These special formulated coolants do not work well with other coolants, which means topping off with just any coolant is a no no. Having the correct mixture with the right type of water is critical tap water contains chlorine and chloride both are corrosive to aluminum.        
Refracto-meters are very accurate when testing anti-freeze
Long-life coolants should only be mixed with distilled or even better de-ionized water @ a 50/50 mix. These coolants over time will degrade and unlike the coolants of the past doing a visual check of the coolant typically revealed its condition. This does not tell the whole story with today’s long life coolants, in fact these coolants may look perfectly fine even with as many miles 60,000 miles! Today's long life coolants must be tested by a competent technician to ensure it has the correct corrosion inhibitors, corrosion can develop as air enters the system due in part to a weak radiator cap, leaking hose etc... Testing ph. balance for acidity is one way; this is done with test strips

The old way of testing with a hydrometer only tests for freeze protection. Proper ph. balance must be maintained to prevent corrosion from developing testing with test strips is one way but the ultimate way to test these systems is with a refracto- meter they are the most accurate of all other means of testing. Today's cooling systems are becoming over looked more and more because of long life coolant requirements. Today's cooling systems must be checked and maintained periodically to ensure proper cooling system operation and to ensure the life of the long life coolant capabilities.

A good rule of thumb is to have a competent experienced person inspect and check all cooling system components and operation every 3-4 years. At that time they will inspect radiator and heater hoses, water pump and cooling fans, radiator cooling fins and core as well as thermostat and heater core for proper operation. Our goal is save you money time and stress by using better methods by being pro-active when it comes to your vehicles maintenance.