Coolant and Its Importance in Vehicles

By | September 12, 2014

The coolant plays an important role to protect the engine of your automobile. Without the radiator coolant, your vehicle/car would overheat quickly leading to breakdown and even engine failure. The coolant and water get mixed up in the radiator. This prevents freezing and boiling of the water. In this article, we’ll discuss the coolant and its importance in vehicles.

What does the coolant do?
The coolant is a fluid. It absorbs heat from the engine and then blows it through the radiator. The coolant is also called antifreeze, and is a mixture of ethylene (or propylene glycol) and water, in a 50/50 ratio.

The coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. It gets stored in the radiator. Generally, more amount of antifreeze is mixed with water to increase the boiling point and decrease the freezing point. During combustion of fuel, close to 33% of the energy produced will be wasted in the form of surplus heat or exhaust. The excess heat that remains in the engine overheats the engine components which results in its breakdown.

When the coolant mixture moves through the engine by means of a water pump, it circulates through the engine and absorbs the excess heat and takes it to the radiator. Due to the heat exchange process in the radiator, the heat in the coolant is dispelled through the cooling fins, and the coolant is cooled and circulated through the system again. The radiator is placed such that it receives an adequate amount of inflow of outside air consistently to cool the coolant.

Importance of coolant in vehicles
In the absence of the coolant, the heat produced during the internal combustion remains in the engine. Due to the high temperature inside, the motor boils it and destroys the engine very quickly. Due to continuous absorbing heat by the coolant, the water present in the system is likely to evaporate entirely. The water may freeze in cold weather, if the engine is idle. Because of this, the cooling system doesn’t work effectively. Therefore, use of antifreeze is useful to ensure better functionality of the coolant.

You should get the coolant inspected when needed to protect the system’s components against corrosion and overheating.

It is recommended that the coolant should be changed for every 30,000 miles. Even the radiator, should be working well. If rust builds up in the radiator, the heat exchanger may fail leading to problems while you’re driving.

Many mechanical failures are because of overheating of the engine. Ensure that all the cooling system components – the radiator, the water pump, the thermostat and the heater core are in good condition and by keeping the coolant in the system at correct level, you can avoid break down of vehicle.

Making sure to check regularly the coolant in your car reduces the maintenance cost of your car and increases the life of the your engine components.