How often should I change my engine coolant?

  • By Lea Naiz
  • 28 Jun, 2017

You’re going to hear and read a wide array of conflicting information about how often engine coolant needs to be changed. Based on our daily experiences we recommend changing engine coolant every 3 years to best protect the internal components of your cooling system. This is because, over a relatively short time, even “lifetime” coolant is prone to becoming more acidic and losing its rust-inhibiting properties. This can allow corrosion to develop. Corrosion can wreak havoc throughout the cooling system, leading to very expensive repairs.

Real-world Challenges of Extended Life Coolant

Automotive antifreeze behaves pretty well when tested in a controlled environment such as a lab. However the real world presents conditions and contaminants we cannot control. Take a look at the following list of uncontrollable events that occur with alarming frequency.

  • Small amounts of combustion gases entering cooling systems.
  • Engine block and cylinder head castings that release metals and oxides into the antifreeze.
  • Air entering the cooling system when the cap is removed or through other cooling system compromises.
  • Water-borne contaminants entering when engine coolant is diluted with tap water.
  • Mixing of Propylene Glycol and Ethylene Glycol engine coolants
  • Service personnel not paying attention or making improper recommendations
  • He said / She said / Consumer Reports said / My owners manual said…now we’re really confused!

Work with your auto service professional to put your vehicle on a well-thought out service schedule that includes slight modifications to the factory schedule to service certain systems such as engine coolant, more often. You are likely to reap the rewards later on down the road in the form of greater reliability from your vehicle.

If you are tired of getting the runaround and being treated like you haven’t got a clue, we invite you to try   Colchin Automotive  instead. Give us a call at 303-431-5421 for all of your automotive needs!

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