Winter Is Coming: Don’t Get Stranded (And Trust Us, It Happens)

When preparing vehicles for the cold, checking the cooling system is a must. Trust us – we hear about failed cooling systems as much in the winter as we do the summer.

In colder climates, most drivers are somewhat familiar with the basics of winterizing their vehicles: checking and changing wiper blades, changing over to snow tires (and checking tire pressure), testing the battery and putting a snow brush in the vehicle. But one thing many don’t always remember to do is check their cooling systems.

Cars that ran all summer on water or with minor coolant leaks are likely to leave their owners stranded when the weather turns bad. Before the weather gets nasty, take some simple steps to keep your cooling system trouble-free this winter.

  1. Any vehicle that is running with just water in its cooling system needs to be switched over to a water-antifreeze mixture ASAP. Pure water will freeze, expand and damage the cooling system.
  2. Check the coolant level and test coolant to see if it needs to be replaced. If it’s time for fresh coolant, use an easy-to-use flush to clean out the system. Bar’s Leaks Radiator 10 Minute Flush (p/n 1211) and Super Radiator Flush (p/n 1201) both contain no acid, so no neutralizing is needed, and they work in any vehicle with copper, aluminum or plastic radiators.
  3. Check for leaks and seal them. Even the smallest engine coolant leak will expand over time, so taking action before winter hits could save you hundreds of dollars in repair bills (not to mention car downtime). For minor leaks, seepage or just as a preventative measure, Bar’s Leaks Radiator Stop Leak Tablets (p/n HDC) are a cost-effective solution. For larger leaks, evaluate the leak’s location and severity to determine the best product. For example, Bar’s Leaks Liquid Copper (p/n 1109) is a permanent solution to large leaks in intake manifolds and gaskets, heater cores, blocks, heads and freeze plugs. Liquid Aluminum (p/n 1186) not only seals radiator and heater core leaks, it also contains Xtreme Cool™, which stops overheating and significantly decreases water temperature to prevent future leaks.

We’ve been in this business a long time – over 70 years. If you want to read a bit more about our cooling system products, see here. And if you have any questions or need help in finding a product, hit us up on social. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook, and we’re always happy to help.

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