Whenever a fluid is in contact with metal electrochemical degradation takes place which results in a higher than normal level of acid present in any given fluid. This higher acid level, if left unchanged, can result in very costly repairs. As a result, it is recommended to flush your cooling system, and most importantly PH balance your antifreeze at least 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 plugs, and hoses.
Why is it important to have your cooling system flushed by a knowledgeable repair Shop with all the right equipment? Why can’t you do it yourself? You have probably heard many times that your cooling system should – 35 degrees, and you wonder why, when it never gets that cold. The reason is: 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, it’s corrosive when in contact with metal and can freeze. Ethylene glycol silicone based antifreeze is added to the water; to protect the metal, keep the water from freezing, and lubricate the only moving parts in the cooling system such as the water pump and the thermostat if you use 100% antifreeze, the engine may overheat in hot weather with or without your air conditioning on. The reason is antifreeze molecules are packed tightly together and are unable to remove the heat from the engine as efficiently as water. The condenser for your cars air conditioning operates much hotter then the radiator; that’s why it is placed in front of the radiator. The radiator dissipates the heat from your air conditioning condenser and this makes the coolant even hotter! With today’s computer controlled engines the coolant temperature, is most important. The temperature sensor tells the computer, along with other sensors, how to adjust the fuel mixture and ignition timing. This may effect engine performance and efficiency. For the best heat removal and metal protection 50% water and 50% antifreeze is desired. The proper mix is determined by checking the coolant level; -35 degrees equals 50/50. The problem comes when the PH of water is 7.0 to 7.2 and antifreeze PH is 10.5 right out of the gallon. A 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze would have a PH of 8.75. This level is too acidic for today’s cooling systems. The recommend PH level should be between 9.8 and 10.5; this level greatly reduces the acid content, that together with electrochemical reaction of dissimilar materials causes electrochemical degradation.
To correct the above condition, you need to power flush your cooling system by continuously forcing the coolant under pressure through the engine, radiator, and heater core. Why the coolant is being forced through the system a chemical flush is added into the system and the vehicle is run to operating temperature to remove deposits and clean the cooling system. The old coolant is then cleaned and filtered through the machine to remove all contaminates. Once this is done antifreeze and water are then added to the system while circulating to bring it to the desired – 35 degrees throughout the system evenly with no air pocket. We then add another additive to lubricate the water pump and provide a sealant protection as well as prevent corrosion. We also correct the PH to the proper level, pressure test the system for leaks and test the radiator cap to see if it holds the proper pressure.
NOTE: SOME VANS AND HIGH CAPACITY COOLING SYSTEMS ARE HIGHER.