Volkswagen Servicing In Manchester – Avoiding Coolant Problems

Shortcuts with car maintenance can be expensive, especially with premium cars like the Volkswagen. Sometimes, what may seem like an insignificant issue can snowball into big and expensive problems. The engine cooling system is one such area where neglect can be costly. Its lifeblood is the coolant, which prevents the engine from overheating. It must be periodically checked and topped up or replaced. Neglecting the coolant can result in expensive repairs.

Coolant Basics

The job of the coolant is to keep the engine cool. It is stored in its own reservoir. From there, the water pump circulates it around the engine. It dissipates engine heat and keeps its temperature in the normal range. The coolant gets hot in the process. Hot coolant flows through the radiator where air gushing in through the grills cools it down.

Some people think that the coolant is just water. Water alone cannot work as a coolant because it will freeze in winters and engine temperatures will make it boil and evaporate. The coolant is a mixture of water and an alcohol-based substance called the antifreeze. The usual ratio is 1:1, which means the coolant contains an equal amount of water and antifreeze.

When mixed in the right proportions, the antifreeze lowers the freezing point and elevates the boiling point of the mixture. This allows the coolant to remain liquid during the entire range of operation and in all weather conditions. Antifreeze has one other function. It contains additives that prevent corrosion. These compounds protect the cooling system and engine from rust.

With time, the antifreeze starts to deteriorate and its properties change. This degrades its ability to stop corrosion. Beyond a point, the coolant must be replaced.

Why You Must Get The Coolant Changed At A Good Garage

It’s best to get the coolant changed or topped up at a good garage like Volksmaster. Although it may seem like a trivial job, it’s better not to attempt it yourself. Here’s why.

  1. There are many types of antifreeze available. Some cars are compatible with only one type of antifreeze. If you use the wrong type, it will damage the cooling system.
  1. Different types of antifreeze come in different colours. Some of them are not compatible with each other. Mix the wrong types and they may react. This will change their properties and cause problems.
  1. It’s important to use distilled water for topping up the coolant. Tap or bottled water will cause corrosion in the long run.
  1. Coolant is a toxic substance that must be handled and disposed correctly. It can cause harm to humans and pets even in small quantities. It should never be poured down the drain.
  1. Spilling coolant on painted surfaces can ruin the finish.
  1. There is a risk of burns. Never open the coolant filler cap when the engine is hot. Hot coolant can gush out and cause injury.

How Long Does Lifetime Antifreeze Last

Some Volkswagen owners add lifetime antifreeze to the coolant in the expectation that they don’t have to change it again. In reality, lifetime antifreeze is a misnomer. It must be replaced every three or four years or every 65,000 km or so.

The problem is that the chemicals in the antifreeze, which prevent corrosion, break down with age. As a result, internal parts of the cooling system, including the heater core and the radiator, start rusting. Besides damaging components, rust forms a brown liquid and accumulates in the channels obstructing coolant flow. This creates new problems like heater issues and overheating.

Don’t assume anything about the life of your coolant. It’s meant to be checked during periodic service and that’s the best way to take care of it. The mechanic will check the coolant and top it up or replace it as needed. Regular service also includes many other checks, which will keep your car in peak condition for years.

If you need a Volkswagen service in the Manchester area, contact our garage in Oldham or Bury. Or complete our simple form below. We are Volkswagen specialists and you can rest assured that your car will receive a dealer quality service at a much lower price. You will also get your service book and digital service records updated.

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