Cooling system in good working condition is help to protect your car’s engine from overheating or other radiator related problems. In winter, Cooling system actually helps to avoid damage to your car’s engine block during extremely cold weather.

In order to keep your vehicle’s cooling system running at peak efficiency, you should consider the following tips for cooling system maintenance.

Always Check coolant levels and performance

Make it a habit to check the coolant level in your car’s radiator on regular basis. Also, make sure that the reserve tank or overflow tank fluid levels are where they should be as well. If you need to add fluid, make sure to mix antifreeze coolant with a 50/50 mix of water in warmer areas and a 70% coolant and 30% water mixture in extremely cold areas.

So what kind and color of coolant should you use?

It used to be the only color of radiator fluid was green. Now antifreeze comes in red, orange, blue as well . If you have an older vehicle with a copper radiator it is best to stick with the traditional green color fluid. It gives the best corrosion protection for copper core radiators.

Aluminum core radiators use the other color stuff which also has longer life of 100,000 miles or five years compared to 30,000 miles or two to three years for the green. It is important not to mix the long life coolant with the traditional 2-3 year coolant. The reason is, it will destroy the long-life anti-corrosion properties making it last only as long as the shorter life coolant. There have also been reports of radiators being destroyed by mixing two different types of antifreeze. In spite of this, some antifreeze makers have products they say can be used with any other type of radiator fluid.

It is best to read your owners manual and ask your dealer what the best recommendation is for your vehicle.

Regularly Drain and Flush Your Radiator

Make sure do a coolant performance test once a year(suggest: annually before winter). You can buy test strips that will tell you if your coolant is still effective in it’s cooling and anti-freezing ability.

Antifreeze coolant can become acidic and lose its effectiveness in a period. So, you should drain your car radiator and refill it with new coolant and water at least once a year in areas that are very cold during the winter and at least every 18 months to two years in warmer climates.It is also a very good idea to have your radiator system flushed before changing the coolant.

Check Radiator Caps and Hoses

Always check your radiator caps and look for cracks or other damage on the bottom of the cap. You should replace damaged caps immediately and make it a habit to replace the radiator caps on your reserve or overflow tank whenever you drain or flush your radiator system.DO NOT remove the radiator cap while the engine is hot. The contents are under pressure and many people have gotten severe burns by removing the radiator cap when it is too hot.

Also, you should frequently inspect all of the hoses and tubes that lead from your radiator to the water pump, thermostat and radiator overflow or reserve tank. Check the hoses for cracks or cuts that may result in antifreeze leaks. Even if you don’t observe any cracks or leaks, you should change out the radiator hoses every three or four years. After a few years, radiator hoses become dry and brittle and are subject to bursting or becoming damaged very easily.

Periodically Check the Radiator Tank

You should also visually inspect your car’s radiator tank and radiator overflow or reserve tank every few months or so. Most of the time cracks in the radiator or overflow tank began as very small pinholes or punctures that can be easily repaired. However, if left unattended, you may have to replace a radiator or overflow tank due to a large hole that is difficult to repair.