When one drives a vehicle, they should know that its engine generates a lot of heat, which should then have a system in place to manage it, in order to keep the engine running.
The lack of effective cooling of the engine would lead to its failure, or an engine ‘knock.’ If we used humans as an analogy, when one runs or walks long distances under the sun, they would become very hot and thirsty. And the best solution to this would be to drink cold water to quench their thirst and cool down.
But if this was ignored, it could even lead to a blackout. The same principle applies to vehicles, such that in the event the vehicle gets heated up, it will need to be cooled for its effective running.
The cooling system of a vehicle involves many components such as the cooling fan which is designed to blow cold air to cool the water, or coolant, in the vehicle’s radiator. The radiator also stores the water and from here it runs through channels that help to cool the engine. One shouldn’t forget the fact that vehicles withstand very high temperatures and are able to control it, and that is why they will run for great distances without any hassle.
Now, apart from water that is poured into the radiator tank, the other cooling agent used in a vehicle’s cooling system is the engine coolant. This is a liquid composed of many reagents that work in so many ways. Coolants are also introduced through the radiator system and some of their roles are:
To cool the engine. Coolants contain cooling reagents that act to reduce temperatures of objects they comes in contact with.
Fighting rust. Coolants also have a component that removes traces of rust in the vehicle’s engine. Since a vehicle’s engine is largely made up of metals, it is highly prone to rusting, mostly brought about by the changes in temperature.
Softening of hard water. Coolants also posses the properties of softening any hard water that may be used in the vehicle’s cooling system, thereby easing its movement. It is evident that most of the water available is hard water and this means that for it to work effectively, a reagent with the coolant has to work on it to soften it.
Withstanding temperature extremes. The coolant is designed to be used both in very cold conditions and also very high temperatures. By this I mean that it is able to withstand both extreme conditions without it changing in its state or affecting it function.
Therefore, instead of looking out for the colour of the engine coolant, it is more important to scrutinise its functionality, because the colour doesn’t really matter. However, not every coolant you come across on the market is safe to be used, just because it has a particular colour. It could end up damaging your vehicle’s engine.
I would recommend the coolant sold by Shell at their petrol stations. These are quite genuine and offered in the green colour. To use, first drain all the water from the radiator, so that much of the dirty water leaves the system before adding your new coolant. You can then add fresh water to top up the radiator. Robert Kato is a mechanic who can be reached on:
Source : The Observer