In freezing temperatures, cars come under assault from a variety of problems. Dead batteries have led to many a storm of cuss words, fluctuating tire pressure has surprised drivers with blowouts on the road and salt from maintenance can cause unsightly corrosion.
Frozen engines are just the tip of the freezing cold iceberg of winter car problems, but they’re a great place to start for students. A frozen engine is one of the biggest downers for drivers trying to get on the road in the winter. It can delay visits or getting into work, and will leave the driver out in the cold to freeze themselves. Read on to learn a bit more about this issue.
1. Antifreeze is Vital to Auto Repair Careers
The glycol in antifreeze is very important for avoiding frozen engines, as it lowers the freezing point, making it harder for the water in the cooling system to turn into ice and stop working. Interestingly, antifreeze doesn’t just lower the freezing point of the liquid, it also raises the boiling point and prevents overheating of the engine as well.
When coolant freezes, it expands, which causes pressure inside the system and can even lead to cracks or other damage. Making sure antifreeze is changed regularly can keep this from happening unexpectedly. If you’re looking to pursue studying in auto repair programs, you’ll want to learn about coolants and how to choose the best one.
2. Partial Freezing Can Also Occur
Sometimes, temperatures will get so low that even the presence of glycol isn’t enough to prevent freezing. Another issue that can occur with coolant is that it evaporates gradually over time, and ratios are off. A 1:1 ratio of coolant to water is ideal for optimal protection.
Sometimes, coolant doesn’t freeze into actual ice or cause a situation where there will be cracking. Often coolant will only freeze into a slushy substance, impeding flow. This means that the radiator can be frozen and while the car will run, the engine will eventually seize. Rather than the classic steam coming out of the radiator from an overheating engine, this problem will show through the temperature gauge, which will rise fast and not remain at the stable operating temperature.
3. Thinking ahead is the best way to Prevent Freezing in Auto Mechanic Careers
In your auto repair career, you can help customers by advising them to think ahead in terms of auto services. When drivers are on top of maintenance, they are less likely to have surprises and emergencies down the road. While a 1:1 ratio is usually correct for coolant to water, an owner’s manual will give an accurate ratio for each individual car. Being prepared by ensuring antifreeze is checked twice a year can prevent cars from encountering trouble in the winter or summer.
Coolant needs to be drained out and replaced as well, usually every 1 or 2 years, depending on the car. Most antifreeze doesn’t last longer than this, but some types are good for up to 5 years. Antifreeze testers are useful for making sure that there is enough protection. Most of the time, a small amount of liquid is drawn into the tester, which will then indicate whether maintenance is required.
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