The days are growing shorter and autumn is in full-swing. This means that snow will probably start falling in many places, bodies of water will soon start to freeze and if you're not careful, your car's engine could freeze up as well.
One of the most important things to think about when it comes to getting your vehicle ready for winter is the antifreeze. This fluid is responsible for keeping the engine's temperature stable.
Antifreeze needs to be mixed with an equal amount of water when it is added to a vehicle, and it can now be purchased pre-mixed so drivers don't have to worry if their ratios were just so. An improper ratio of anti-freeze to water can cause the coolant to freeze, which can overheat the engine and lead to a blown gasket, among other problems.
You should check the coolant level regularly to make sure there is enough to do the job properly. Low levels could also indicate a leak, which if unaddressed, will eventually destroy the engine. After you add antifreeze to the radiator, you should check back in a day or two to see if the level has dropped a noticeable amount. A slight variation in the height of the liquid in the reservoir tank is to be expected, as the fluid expands and contracts depending on its temperature.
If you suspect that the coolant may be leaking, there are a few areas you can easily inspect for damages to determine the root of the problem. Before you don your Sherlock costume and pop the hood, make sure that the vehicle has been off long enough that the engine and coolant will not be hot.
The first thing you will want to inspect is the radiator and its associated components. Inspect the radiator cap, hoses, reservoir and the radiator itself for any signs of damage - broken seals, cracks or holes. If you spot any evidence of wear, you should replace the faulty parts as soon as possible.
Even though you may not spot any sign of damages to the radiator, there still may be a leak in another part of the coolant system, such as the intake manifold gasket or the water pump.