We’ve all seen it. Someone stuck on the side of the road with their engine smoking. That’s what happens when your engine overheats. Chances are this was the result of a problem with the cooling system. In this article, we’ll talk about an essential part of auto maintenance: a coolant flush. We’ll also discuss why it’s so important and how often it needs to get done.
How does the cooling system work?
Your vehicle’s engine produces a lot of heat. The spark plugs light the fuel, propelling your vehicle forward. Without proper control of this heat, it has the power to destroy the entire engine. Since the cooling system keeps this heat under control, it’s one of the most important systems in your vehicle.
The cooling system spreads liquid coolant throughout your engine’s parts. This liquid coolant usually contains antifreeze and water. The cooling system also includes the following parts:
- Bypass system
- Freeze plugs
- Head gaskets
- Heater core
- Intake manifold gasket
- Pressure cap and reserve tank
- Radiator cooling fans
- Temperature sensor
- Water Pump
These components work together to manage the massive amount of heat your engine produces.
What is a coolant flush?
A coolant flush is a routine maintenance task that involves draining and replacing your engine’s liquid coolant. Before it’s flushed, a cleaner is poured in to help remove debris or rust stuck in the system. This old coolant gets flushed out and replaced.
Routine maintenance, like coolant flushes, extends the lifespan of your engine. It’s important to understand the difference between a topping off the coolant and a coolant flush. Topping off your fluids guarantees there’s enough for the system to operate. It can also dilute contaminated coolant. A coolant flush is much more effective because it completely removes coolant impurities.
Why is it important to get a coolant flush?
Your engine’s efficiency and performance depend on how well you take care of your vehicle. If your engine overheats, it could damage any part of the engine system, which could lead to a complete breakdown.
Scheduling a routine coolant flush is one of the biggest things you can do to prevent this from happening. Although antifreeze contains chemicals that prevent corrosion, it’s not effective forever. Over time, the thin tubes in your heater core and radiator could get clogged by debris in your coolant. A coolant flush removes these contaminants, keeping your system running at its best.
How often does it need to be done?
Some types of antifreeze will last for 5 years, or 150,000 miles. Other types need to be replaced every 30,000 miles, or every 2 years. In any case, it’s a good idea to look at your manual, which will give guidelines from the manufacturer. Our certified technicians can help you figure out a maintenance plan that’s best for your vehicle.
We suggest a complete cooling system check at least every other year. This inspection could involve the following:
- Engine fan test
- Internal leak test
- Pressure test to identify external leaks
- System power flush and coolant refill
- System pressure level check
- Thermostat check
- Visual inspection of all cooling system parts
Take good care of your engine’s cooling system with regularly scheduled maintenance. Doing so will help ensure the overall health of your engine and vehicle. Do you need to schedule a coolant flush? Give Service Garage of Blaine a call today at (763) 792-4949.
Remember the Brake Fluid and How Often to Replace It
One of the most important fluids in your car is the brake fluid. However, it often gets
overlooked in automotive maintenance. Today, we’ll talk all about brake fluid and how it keeps
your engine in top condition. We’ll also discuss proper care and replacement for your vehicle’s
What is Brake Fluid, and why is it Important?
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that circulates throughout your braking system and engine. Since
it’s non-compressible, it transmits power from your foot on the brake pedal to all four brakes.
This force is what causes your vehicle to stop. Without brake fluid, your brakes wouldn’t
function because there wouldn’t be any pressure in the braking system. This pressure is what’s
needed to stop your car.
Brake fluid is made to withstand the extreme heat that’s produced by the engine. It has to have a
high boiling point so it doesn’t vaporize. If this happens, your brakes will malfunction. Brake
fluid is also made to keep a constant viscosity, regardless of extreme heat and cold. This helps
guarantee that it properly travels throughout the braking system.
Supplemental chemicals are added to brake fluid to help prevent corrosion in the engine. Lots of
engine components contain metal, which eventually rusts. The anti-corrosive properties of brake
fluid help prevent this from happening.
Most brake fluids today are glycol-ether-based. This formula is hygroscopic, which means it can
absorb moisture from the atmosphere. This helps keep excess moisture out of your engine, but it
affects the makeup of the brake fluid. Too much water will decrease the brake fluid’s boiling
point. This can result in decreased stopping ability when the engine gets hot. Additionally,
moisture in the brake fluid will eventually lead to internal corrosion. To avoid these issues, it’s
necessary to get your brake fluid replaced periodically.
How often does brake fluid need to be changed?
How often your brake fluid needs to be changed depends on a few different factors. One of these
is the type of brake fluid your vehicle needs. Manufacturers will offer different guidelines on
this, and our licensed technicians can help you figure out what’s best for you. Most
professionals suggest getting your brake fluid flushed or replaced at least every one to two years.
It’s also smart to get the moisture content checked, especially if you live in a high-humidity area.
As brake fluid ages, its appearance changes. This can also indicate that it’s time for a fluid
change. New brake fluid is clear or light brown, but it gets dark and cloudy as it ages. This is
because it gradually gets polluted in the engine. Most shops can perform a brake fluid test when
you get your oil changed. This will give you a definite answer about the condition of your brake
Take a look at your brake fluid whenever you’re looking at your engine. Top it off if you see a
small decrease, as this is normal. However, if you’re regularly having issues with low fluid
levels, it could point to a more serious issue that needs repair.
Replacing your brake fluid helps maintain your engine and braking system, and it keeps you
safe. Do you need your brake fluid replaced or inspected? Our licensed technicians are happy to
help. Give Service Garage of Blaine a call today at (763) 792-4949. We look forward to hearing
The Importance of Transmission Fluid and How to Take Care of It
You probably already know how important it is to get your oil changed. But, what about the other fluids running through your vehicle? In this article, we’ll examine the importance of transmission fluid. We’ll also talk about some easy maintenance to keep your transmission fluid in top condition. Taking good care of your vehicle’s fluids can help increase its longevity.
What is transmission fluid, and why is it important?
The transmission has an important job. It shifts the vehicle into different gears, enabling you to reverse, park, or drive. This process involves a lot of hard work for the engine. Transmission fluid helps get this job done smoothly. Transmission fluid lubricates the metal parts inside a vehicle’s manual gearbox, preventing wear and damage. The transmission fluid also cools down transmission parts, making sure they don’t overheat.
Types of transmission fluid
There are different types of transmission fluids. Most of them fall into two categories: automatic transmission fluid and manual transmission fluid. Additionally, there are synthetic formulas and other specialty fluids.
Automatic transmission fluid is made for vehicles with automatic transmissions. Nowadays, lots of manual transmission vehicles also require automatic transmission fluid. Automatic transmission fluid helps with many engine functions, such as: Gear lubrication, Transmission cooling, Clutch operation, Valve body operation, Friction for the brake band, and Torque converter operation.
Manual transmission fluid is heavier than automatic transmission fluid. It’s typically only used in older, manual transmission vehicles. Modern vehicles typically require automatic transmission fluid. As a result, manual transmission fluid is much less common.
Synthetic transmission fluid is developed through a series of chemical reactions. Its formula makes it better at standing up to the high engine temperatures and less likely to break down. Traditional transmission fluid is made from crude oil so it can oxidize at high temperatures.
Different makes and models require different transmission fluids. To select the right transmission fluid for your vehicle, it’s best to consult your manufacturer, owner’s manual or a transmission expert.
How to check your transmission fluid
Examining the condition and level of your transmission fluid can provide a lot of information. First, look for the transmission dipstick, which is usually located underneath the hood in the engine compartment. It’s important to note that not all vehicles will have a dipstick. Lots of newer models have sealed transmissions that never need fluid replacement. If that’s the case, consult your owner’s manual for more information on maintenance for your vehicle.
If you have a dipstick, then you can check the fluid level. Take the dipstick out and wipe it clean. Then, slowly replace it and pull it back out. Doing so will show you the current fluid level against the marks on the dipstick. Low fluid could point to a leak somewhere in your engine. If you’re having this problem it’s a good idea to consult a licensed technician as soon as you can.
Once you’ve checked the fluid level, take a look at its coloring. Place the dipstick on a white paper towel and examine it. Healthy transmission fluid will be pinkish-red. If it has a brownish-red color, it should be replaced sometime soon. If the transmission fluid is dark brown or black, then you probably have a more serious problem on your hands. This usually points to an issue with the transmission’s internal parts that should be addressed immediately.
Checking on your transmission fluid and keeping it in good condition can help you save money down the road. Do you have questions about your transmission or transmission fluid? We have the answers. Give Service Garage of Blaine a call today at (763) 792-4949.