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What is coolant?

Coolant is a specially-formulated chemical liquid, commonly known as antifreeze, that circulates through a car’s engine. It removes excess heat from a car’s engine by passing it through the car’s radiator. Furthermore, the solution contains inhibitors that protect the metal, plastic and rubber in the cooling system from corrosion. And, as the name antifreeze suggests, it also doesn’t freeze up in bitterly cold conditions, so it plays an important role in a car all year long.

Why is changing the coolant important?

Coolant levels should be checked frequently, at least every 3-6 months. Low coolant can cause overheating, which would have serious implications for other components on the car. Even though coolant can leak and evaporate over time, in many cars it often looks as though the coolant never needs changing because its level seems to stay the same. However, draining and flushing the coolant system, including the radiator, at least once a year is important. Flushing pushes out all the old coolant, debris from corrosion and scale. If left in the engine, it may become clogged up, potentially causing extensive damage.

How is a coolant change done?

Before a mechanic drains the cooling system, he might add coolant cleaner to the coolant and then start the engine, depending on what the manufacturer specifies. After the car has run for a while, he would turn it off and drain it. He would then add water to flush it and drain it again, twice, before finally putting in the fresh coolant.

What are the possible signs that a car needs a coolant change?

  • When a car’s maintenance or engine temperature light illuminates on its dashboard.
  • If the car’s engine starts running at a higher temperature than usual, signifying that the engine is overheating.

How long does a coolant change take?

  • Approximately 1 hour.

How much does a coolant change cost?

  • Up to £50.

Driving in Birmingham

Birmingham is the second largest and most populous UK city after London, a fact which might go some way to explaining why it’s simply stuffed with things to do and see. Six universities keep the place youthful with a vibrant and multi-cultural grassroots art, music and literary scene. Birmingham’s international reputation has been built on its many celebrated cultural institutions. As well as housing the world’s largest pre-Raphaelite collection of artwork, the city is home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Symphony Orchestra, the Repertory Theatre and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts as well a diverse range of other arts, theatre and music venues.

You’ll find high street and designer shops at the Bullring and Mailbox centres, and if vintage chic is more your thing then wander the quirky East Side for some unique finds. Birmingham’s drink and food scene is currently thriving, with exotic flavours catering for all tastes. It also boasts four Michelin-starred restaurants (more than any city in England except London) and street food that’s hard to beat. It may be a tightly populated place but Brummies love their green spaces. As well as the splendid Birmingham Botanical Gardens there are an additional five hundred and seventy-one parks to choose from - more than any other European city.

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