The following tips from the Car Care Council will guarantee that your cooling system works effectively this winter:
* Properly check coolant levels. You will need a few basic service tools and an antifreeze ball tester, which is available at your local auto parts store.
* Start with a cold engine. Opening a hot radiator, coolant reservoir or overflow tank can cause severe burns.
* Add the correct mix ratio if low. If the antifreeze or coolant is low, add a 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and distilled water. If you have changed your antifreeze recently, but levels are low, use the antifreeze ball tester to make sure the coolant-to-water ratio is correct.
* Don't forget the hoses. This is also a good time to check for and replace any leaking, brittle, spongy or cracked hoses. Also make sure the radiator hose clamps are tight to prevent leaks at the connections.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign, promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. To obtain a free service interval schedule, visit www.carcare.org.