Category Archives: Fluids

Cool it!

Did you know? Your vehicle’s cooling system system is equally important in hot and cool weather.

Providing protection for your engine on both ends of the thermometer is a job for both science and physics. A close relationship between the coolant´s physical make up and pressure on the system are the keys to successfully meeting the needs of your engine.

Without pressure coolant cannot adequately control engine temperatures. Most cooling systems operate with 13 – 16 pounds of pressure on the system. Each pound of pressure applied to the cooling system drops the coolant´s boiling point approximately three degrees. For example: A cooling system with a fifteen-pound radiator cap will have a reduced boiling point of about 45 degrees. This is why we closely monitor radiator caps, hoses, hose clamps, radiator condition and any coolant leakage from gaskets. Any loss of pressure or coolant can be devastating to the cooling system. There are currently four types of coolant available: ethylene glycol(standard coolant), propylene glycol(Sierra coolant – less toxic), 100,000 mile formulas (new technology formulation), and recycled coolant.

If your coolant system has standard or Sierra coolant the recommended coolant system intervals are once every two years or 30,000 miles. If your system has 100,000 mile coolant then the intervals may be extended to once every five years or 100,000 miles. Recycled antifreeze may need servicing on a yearly basis depending on the recycling process. Most vehicle manufacturers do not endorse the use of recycled coolant.

If you desire to switch your older vehicle over to one of the 100,000 mile coolants you need to read the manufacturer´s recommendations. Mixing coolant types can cause problems with some brands. Using 100,000 mile coolants with any system that does not have an aluminum radiator can also cause problems with some brands.

Whether your vehicle is new or older, its cooling system is a high technology blend of science and physics. Regular inspections and servicing are important for vehicle reliability.

Fluid Flushing

Fluid flushing is an important part of preventative maintenance.

Impurities and moisture buildup in any fluid will cause corrosion and component damage in any system on your vehicle. In Oregon moisture buildup in fluids occurs at a much more rapid rate than most other regions. This is why flushing more frequently is important.

Late model vehicles with antilock brake systems and computer aided power steering use close tolerance valves and sensors. This makes them more vulnerable than ever to corrosion damage and contamination. If you can’t remember when your power steering or brake fluid was flushed last it’s probably overdue and should be serviced.

Fluids loose their ability to lubricate properly as they are subjected to the heat created through normal driving wear cycles.

Fluids also pick up moisture through condensation of normal operation. Brake systems, automatic transmission, power steering, cooling system and driving axles all have critical fluids of very different make up. The one thing that they all have in common is that they all perform duties that are critical to your vehicle´s mechanical reliability.

Due to the addition of fine electronic sensors and precision valves it is much more critical to keep your vehicle´s fluids in good condition. Deteriorated fluid can cause fine particles to lodge in tiny electronic sensors and scuff precise valves and components. This will surely lead to a big repair bill in any of the systems. We have equipped our shop with the latest in professional flushing and fluid exchange equipment for all automotive fluid systems.

We would much rather see you flush your vehicle´s systems than deal with a costly repair that could have been avoided. As professionals we are on your side and it is our job to make sure that you are aware of all preventative maintenance services. Ask about our free literature.