Changing Anti-Freeze?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man


Bob,
I feel as a woman, I get the "runaround" regarding facts when it comes to car maintenance. I keep my '86 Honda in good repair. It has 48,880 original miles. I had a new AC system and new mufflers/shocks put in this summer. The brakes were all redone two years ago. And I change the oil about every 4-6 months as I don't drive much.

Do I need to change the antifreeze? The radiator has antifreeze in it. It is green, but it looks somewhat dirty. I would like to wait until next year if possible. I can't find my records on when I did the last change of course. I park in a carport but live in Kansas City where winters can be extreme. Can I just add some antifreeze? Do I have to pay to have the radiator flushed, drained, etc?
Gerri G.

Gerri,
There is a test that can be done to see how good your anti freeze is. It is a simple little tool that looks like a turkey baster with some balls floating in it. You take a sample of room temperature antifreeze (up to the fill mark on the baster) and look at the floating balls. This will tell you how good or bad your coolant is operating (based on specific gravity and other chemical properties). From there, you can make a determination if you need it now or if it can wait till spring. However, if you think it might have been 3 years since the last change, then in order to be safe, I would have it done now.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man


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