Posted on February 21, 2015
If you have been following along with us here on the Everblades blog, you probably already know what a difference winter wiper blades can make for you. Winter goes by much more pleasantly when you are not parked on the side of the road, trying to clear ice and snow from your wipers in below zero temperatures and near white out conditions (if you live somewhere that this is not an issue, we are jealous!).
Winter wiper blades are a valuable tool for maintaining the best possible visibility on the road, but they won’t do you any good if your vehicle isn’t actually on the road. And this time of year, keeping your vehicle running well depends a lot on your radiator fluid, or antifreeze. Just like winter wiper blades need to be able to withstand the temperatures, so do the fluids that keep your engine running.
Every engine needs liquids to run properly, and one of the most important ones that your vehicle depends on is
the antifreeze. Because water begins to freeze at 32 degrees, the radiator can’t run properly on straight water. Instead, it needs a mixture of water and ethylene glycol (or propylene glycol, which is slightly less toxic) to bring the freezing point down and the boiling point up.
By maintaining the temperature of the water, antifreeze keeps your vehicle from overheating. It prevents severe problems that could be caused if the water in the radiator were allowed to freeze, leading to a cracked radiator or engine. The coolant also helps prevent rust from building up on the engine, heater components, and engine.
When your wiper blades aren’t working properly, you can usually tell right away because the problem is literally right in front of your face. If your antifreeze isn’t doing its job, you may not even know it right away. The best bet is to stay on top of it and be pro-active. When you stop to gas up and clean your windshield, take a moment to check all of your fluid levels, especially if you have noticed low levels in the past.
If you notice that your antifreeze is below the recommended levels, be sure to top it off right away. If it runs dry, your vehicle can overheat and you risk blown head gaskets, warped heads, and a cracked engine. And if the fluid appears discolored or you notice flecks of rust or dirt, it may be time for a coolant system flush.
You should be changing your coolant every year, and if you use an antifreeze with a higher freezing point during the summer months, you should drain that and refill with one that can withstand the colder temperatures of winter. You can drain it yourself by removing the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator, and let it run out into a pan, but it may be just easier to take it to your favorite auto care shop.
Beyond replacing the antifreeze, the whole system needs to be cleaned out, generally every two years. Flushing the coolant system makes sure that all of the old, failing fluid is gone and gets rid of any rust and debris that may have collected. As that debris collects, it lowers the performance of the antifreeze and simply draining won’t get rid of it all. You can expect to pay around $100, depending on your location and the vehicle, to have the coolant system flushed out.
When you choose quality fluids and parts for your vehicle, you save yourself hassle and help to protect your vehicle. When you stop to check your antifreeze and other fluid levels, don’t forget to inspect your wiper blades to see if they need to be replaced. Our winter wiper blades are built strong to last and can handle winter weather much better than standard wipers, a great solution for any season!