Do you own a vehicle that is starting to overheat, even in the middle of winter? Has your radiator started to leak ,and you're not sure what to do? An engine is a complicated piece of machinery, and if any one part is having issues, then the whole thing can break down. While an engine can often be fixed up so that it works like new again, there are still some things that you should not do, if you are trying to avoid having to rebuild or replace the entire engine in your vehicle. These things include:
Don't use just water: It may seem silly to pay for "green water" to pour into your car's radiator, when you can just fill it up with normal tap or bottled water instead, but there are several reasons not to do so. Water has a relatively low boiling point, compared to radiator fluid, and it isn't able to provide the same amount of cooling to the radiators. Straight tap water can also be corrosive and may eventually eat holes in your radiator. Tap water can also leave mineral deposits on the inside of your radiator. If your radiator leaks and you must fill it with water in order to be able to get it to the mechanic, this is fine. But you need to know that you shouldn't be doing this on a regular basis.
Don't add too much coolant: More is not always better, especially when it comes to adding coolant to radiators. You may be tempted to fill the radiator all the way up with coolant, but this can cause more problems than it solves. The coolant will start to expand, as it heats up. Without sufficient room in the radiator for this expansion, the entire cooling system can be extremely damaged, as the coolant forces its way out of your radiator hoses or, worse, the radiator itself.
Don't plug the leaks yourself: Radiators can start to leak, due to a variety of factors. It may simply be due to age, or you may run over something that creates a hole in the radiator. Regardless of the cause, you may have seen a so-called solution being sold in auto repair stores in the form of a metallic powder that you pour into your radiator. This powder is supposed to seal up holes that are smaller than a certain size, allowing you to continue driving your vehicle. What the package doesn't say, however, is that there is a good chance that this will completely ruin your engine, instead. The powder may plug up some holes temporarily, but it can also clog up the coolant system enough that the whole thing needs to be replaced.