Before and during the winter, coolant and transmission exchanges are two important vehicle maintenance services to have performed to prevent unplanned, and expensive, service work during the cold months.
So far this winter we have had several vehicles come needing major repairs that could have been avoided. Two problems seem to be the most common—internal engine damage due to antifreeze freezing and transmission failure.
Preventing Engine Damage from Coolant Issues
Once the coolant (antifreeze) starts to freeze it expands. Since it is inside the engine, it has nowhere to expand to, so it breaks whatever is in the way. The repair could vary from a hose to a engine. The repairs bills are often in the thousands and it could have been avoided with a simple maintenance check and service. Overtime the freezing point of antifreeze rises for several different reasons. We like to see a freezing point of at least -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Checking the freezing point of your antifreeze during routine visits to C&A helps to prevent unnecessary breakdowns. We perform these types of checks every time we pull a car in at no charge. A simple antifreeze exchange is an easy way to make sure your vehicle is prepared for the winter.
Preventing Transmission Damage
The other common failure during the winter is your transmission. As your transmission fluid gets older it loses its ability to transfer heat. Heat related damage is the number one cause of transmission failure. The most common way to get unstuck from the snow is to rock the vehicle back and forth, going from drive to reverse. During this time there is very little air flow through the engine bay because the car is not actually moving. This action causes the transmission fluid to reach temperatures that can be harmful to internal parts. Keeping the fluid serviced will help to extend the life of the transmission and help to prevent damage during these situations.