Adjusting Antifreeze Mixture in your Radiator or Cooling System
If you find yourself in a situation where you are adjusting antifreeze mixture you probably need a truck radiator repair. Since a radiator cap is meant to keep pressure within your radiator the whole cooling system is considered a sealed or pressurized system. Your antifreeze should not be low and if it is low, you have a cooling system leak and it is going somewhere. Adjusting antifreeze mixture on the highway is not fun so check your vehicle often for leaks and be prepared if you do find a leak on the road.
If you are on the road and find a loose hose clamp you can just tighten it up and add some water. When you do add just water, you will disrupt the 50/50 mix that most manufactures recommend. If you happen to be at a truck stop maybe you can just buy some 50/50 premix antifreeze and use that. Just make sure the antifreeze you buy is compatible with the antifreeze you currently have in your system. If you are not sure you are probably better off just adding some water till you can get back home. If your cooling system is low and you have to add fluid, keep an eye on your temperature gauge to make sure an air pocket did not form in your cooling system while it was low.
In cases like this, where you just add water, you will have to adjust the mixture back to the 50/50 ratio. If the antifreeze is old, you can just get a system flush and change all the fluid with fresh coolant. If the coolant is not that old, you can test your coolant with a simple antifreeze tester like the one that Prestone offers.
Your goal for proper coolant protection is a freezing point of -34ºF and a boiling point of 265°F. If your readings are not correct, you will have to adjust your fluid mix to reach these readings.
If you find yourself in this situation, and it is not a simple hose clamp leak you will have to have the system completely checked and any leaks repaired as soon as possible. If you are on the road with a hidden leak or a leak you can not repair yourself, you might have to add some stop leak and water. Try adjusting the antifreeze mixture if you have some antifreeze with you. We do not recommend using stop leak, but it is important to always carry some in an emergency road kit. In many cases, you will have no other option but to try stop leak. A truck radiator leak that is hidden up in the corner or a seam leak, a water pump gasket leak or a head gasket leak may all require your adding stop leak and water to your cooling system. it is not the best solution but it does work. Just don’t over do the amount and follow directions on the package.
Adjusting Antifreeze Mixture after a Leak
When you get back home you will need to have the cooling system tested, and make sure that all leaks have been repaired. You will need to have the cooling system completely rinsed and flushed out if you did have to add stop leak on the road. Stop leak that is left in the system can cause other problems and it is best to remove it. New antifreeze will need to be added and the cooling system pressure tested to make sure all leaks are repaired before your next run. This is also the time to make sure your antifreeze to water ratio is right. Adjusting antifreeze mixture on the road and in a hurry can lead to errors, always double check highway repairs.
In conclusion, to avoid a breakdown, it is important that you perform vehicle inspections at regular intervals. It is also important that during these inspections your cooling system is checked and pressure tested. If you neglect your cooling system, you may find yourself adding stop leak and adjusting antifreeze mixture on the side of the road.