Summertime means a switch to summer-mix gas for your car— and a switch to iced coffee for me. It also is an important time to check that your coolant/antifreeze is up to the task of protecting your vehicle’s system from heat.
It's important for several reasons. Your coolant removes excess heat from your internal combustion engine. It's often called antifreeze because it needs to resist freezing in northern climates. Coolant needs to have a higher boiling point as well as a lower freezing point. Essentially, we’re asking a lot of this liquid.
Drivers used to just grab a gallon of antifreeze at the corner gas station and add some to the reservoir if it was low. With recent changes, there are more coolants to choose from. If you add coolant and let your technician know, they'll probably ask you what color it was. Why? Different manufacturers are recommending different coolants. It's important to use the correct one. In an emergency, you can add water to the system. You don't want to mix different types of coolant if you can avoid it. If you do mix coolants, you should flush the system and replace it with the correct coolant.
Have your coolant level and condition checked at each oil change. Ask if it's been checked and what the technician saw. Michigan has heat and cold extremes and it's important to make sure your car’s fluids can handle each extreme.
Now that you know your car is ready for summer, get yourself some sunscreen and some flip flops and enjoy everything Michigan summer has to offer!