Most vehicle manufacturers recommend flushing the cooling system about every two years. However, this depends on how many miles you drive each year. If you drive above the normal 12,000 miles a year, you may need annual cooling system service.
One of the best times to have your car's radiator inspected is when the cooling system is serviced. This is very important for older vehicles as they are prone to develop rust or corrosion. When rust or corrosion gets into a cooling system, all kinds of problems can develop. You can see rust in the radiator as it will appear as a brown color.
Corrosion can form tiny particles of rust and they can accumulate over time. You radiator is made of a series of cores and it vital for coolant to flow freely through the all of the cores. When the cooling system is properly flushed, it will remove corrosion and rust.
Another reason to have your car's radiator inspected during service is to change antifreeze. Today's antifreeze products are supposed to last much longer than in the past. However, they can still break down over time. It is far better to change antifreeze before the recommended interval, than to wait too long and suffer cooling system problems.
When you have your car's radiator inspected, the technician will also inspect the hoses that connect to it. Hoses can become brittle in time and this can form tiny cracks. In fact, many hoses may develop a series of small cracks or weak spots. You may not notice any leaks when they are weak spots in the radiator hoses. However, you may suddenly develop a major leak while driving down the road. When this happens, you will need to pull over to avoid damage to the vehicle.
Many people are stranded along side of the road because the fail to properly maintain their vehicles. In the summer, you may need to run the vehicle AC a great deal of the time. This places more stress on the cooling components. It is important not to let a vehicle sit and idle with the air conditioning on for prolonged periods of time. Many vehicles will overheat under these conditions.
Sometime older cars develop leaks in their radiators. When you have your car's cooling system inspected on a routine basis, these problems can be detected before they get worse. Many people resort to adding leak stopping products to their vehicle. This may work well on a temporary basis, but many of these products may add to the problem in the future. In some cases, it can contribute to clogs or blockages. When this happens, you may need some major repairs.
If you fail to have your car's engine inspected regularly, you may have to deal with overheating problems. It can cause all kinds of trouble when a vehicle overheats. In some cases, it can severely damage the engine or the gaskets. If a car overheats and blows a head gasket, you could be looking at some very expensive repairs. This is why it is important to take good care of the cooling system.
When the cooling system is serviced, it is a good idea to replace the thermostat. Thermostats use a spring mechanism in them that can become weak with wear. When this occurs they may sometimes stick in one position.
If a thermostat sticks in the "open" position, the heater may not function. However, if it sticks in the "closed" position, the vehicle will overheat. This is due to the fact that the thermostat opens and closes off the flow of water to the radiator.
When you have your car's radiator inspected, a qualified garage will also inspect the heater hoses. These should be replaced when they become hard or brittle. They are not too expensive and can save you from breakdowns due to coolant loss.
When you bring a car in for service, ask to have your car's radiator inspected. A qualified garage will take a look at the entire engine. They can spot problems with hoses and check for any kind of coolant leaks. They will drain the system and replace it with fresh coolant. This will help to eliminate many of the common problems that occur with overheating. It can save some major headaches and some major repair bills.