Toyowest Automotive


Radiator Service & Repair

What's the big deal anyway? It’s just a routine radiator flush and fill 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 the coolant comes in contact with. ? Some examples are smaller more compact radiators with aluminum cores and plastic tank design. 

 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 symptoms like running warmer than normal to overheating which lead to  major internal problems like head gasket failure.

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 definate 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.         
pH balance test strips

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.

The radiator s life is a direct reflection on how well the cooling system has been maintained. Chances are if the radiator ever needs to be replaced because of leakage corrosion etc… The rest of the cooling system isn’t far behind. Our goal is to save you time money and stress by using better methods by being proactive when it comes to your vehicles maintenance.