Coolant is arguably one of the most important fluids in your vehicle! It is responsible for keeping the engine running at normal operating temperature and also keeps your cabin warm during these cold winter months! Coolant is vital to keep your engine’s cooling system properly maintained.
Coolant is typically a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and ethylene glycol. The ethylene glycol is the “antifreeze” part of the coolant and does a few interesting things. It prevents the coolant from freezing during harsh temperature seasons, raises the boiling point of the coolant, and lowers the freeze point of the coolant. Keeping the boiling point high is important because combustion temperatures range from 2000 degrees F to 4500 degrees F depending on the engine. Keeping the freeze point of the coolant low is also incredibly important because of the harsh temperatures we experience in Wisconsin.
Coolant can be tested in a number of ways. At Silver Lake Auto, we use coolant hydrometers, which quickly and accurately measure the coolant’s freeze point. We consider a safe freeze point anywhere below -35 degrees F. We also use coolant test paper, which will measure the coolant’s pH level. pH is a measure of acidity or basicity. We consider a pH of 7-8 safe. Having coolant that is too acidic or basic can cause major damage to vital engine components.
Having clean, good-quality coolant in your vehicle at all times is very important! We test the coolant on every vehicle that gets inspected at Silver Lake Auto. If the freeze point or pH level of the coolant in your vehicle is not considered safe, we highly recommend performing a cooling system flush! Coolant flushes are generally recommended every 50,000 miles, however, it depends on manufacturer-recommended service intervals. Stop in at one of our four locations to have your cooling system inspected today!
Robert Foley, Technician