Dave Sander [ February 2012 ]
In prior columns I've discussed various automotive fluids, which types to use and why to change them.
Brake fluid needs to be changed every two to three years, or replaced with DOT 5 (Silicone) fluid. Failure to do so will result in low boiling temperatures and seizing pistons in calipers and wheel cylinders, resulting in brake failure.
Transmission and differential oil needs to be checked to ensure proper lubrication. Engine oil needs to be changed regularly to prevent sludge, varnish and corrosion inside the engine. Soft metals like bearing shells can be damaged if the engine oil can be damaged by neglected engine oil which can become acidic. I have recently seen several photos that very graphically show the importance of regular coolant flushes and refills. The anti-corrosive properties of automotive coolant slowly fade away until the coolant can no longer protect against corrosion.
Notice this head gasket failure from a 2L Saab engine. The gasket literally corroded away. A very expensive repair that could have been avoided with some simple and inexpensive preventative maintenance.
So if it has been three, five, or even ten or more years since you have changed your coolant, you may want to put this chore on your to do list before your pride and joy looked like these pictures. Certain Porsche, Volkswagen and Franklin owners need not worry..
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Richmond VT 05477