Whenever a fluid is in contact with metal, electrochemical degradation takes place which results in a higher than normal level of acid in any given liquid. This higher acid level, if left unchanged, can result in very costly repairs. As a result, it is recommended to flush your cooling system once every 2 years or 30,000 miles. This will help reduce the acid level and extend the life of your radiator, heater core, water pump, head gaskets, freeze-out plugs and hoses.
Your car’s cooling system should be filled with a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent anti-freeze. The reason is this; water is the best conductor of heat because the molecules are spaced far apart and heat can move into the water very easily. The problem with water, is that it’s corrosive when in contact with metal and can freeze. Ethylene glycol silicone based anti-freeze is added to the water to protect the metal, keep the water from freezing, and lubricate the only moving parts in the cooling system, the water pump and thermostat.
If you use 100 percent antifreeze, the engine might overheat in hot weather, with or without the air conditioning on. That is because antifreeze molecules are packed tightly together and are unable to remove heat from the engine as efficiently as water. The condenser for your car’s air conditioning operates much hotter that the radiator; that’s why it’s placed in front of the radiator. The radiator dissipates the heat from your air conditioning condenser and makes the coolant even hotter!
With today’s new computer controlled engines, the coolant temperature is very important. The temperature sensor tells the computer, along with other sensors, how to adjust the fuel mixture and ignition timing. This may affect engine performance and efficiency. For the best heat removal and metal protection, 50 percent water and 50 percent antifreeze is desired. The proper mix is determined by checking the coolant protection level; -35 degrees equals 50/50. Your cooling system should be flushed under pressure through the engine, radiator, and heater core to remove coolant contaminates. The system should also be pressure tested for leaks, and the radiator cap tested to see if it holds the proper pressure.