Cooling System Electrolysis Corrosion: Causes And Cures

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Cooling system electrolysis corrosion can be a destructive force to your car. Once this happens the inside of your cooling system, which is made from aluminum, will be eaten away. The leaks that occur from this kind of corrosion can be damaging to your engine. Once the corrosion starts it can destroy your entire engine if you delay getting the issue fixed. As a vehicle owner, it is beneficial for you to learn more about cooling system electrolysis corrosion and what you can do about it.

What Are You Looking For Exactly?

If you are looking for a cooling system electrolysis corrosion problem, then there are some signs that will give it away. You might see coolant leaking from the heater core or the radiator. You might see the radiator and heater hoses have failed. If you really have no idea where the radiator is and what the heater core looks like, consider taking it to a mechanic if you think you have a leak. He/she can catch any leak or corrosion issues and correct the problem for you.

What Causes Cooling System Electrolysis Corrosion, Anyway?

Even if you have no idea what the different parts of your vehicle are and intend to take it to a mechanic, it is normal for you to be curious and want to know what causes the corrosion to happen in the first place. If there are stray electrical coolants traveling through worn out coolant it can cause corrosion in your car. If you haven't changed the coolant in your car out enough then it can also cause corrosion.

Older coolant can turn into acid and begins to eat away at the system causing leaks. Corrosion can be caused by a missing or broken ground straps that go between the chassis and the engine. If you aren't sure they are tight enough, remove and clean them before putting them back on and tightening the strap. This will make sure the electrical contact is keeping things grounded.

Prevention Is Best

You can prevent electrolysis by not allowing the coolant in your car to get too old. A good rule of thumb is changing it out every 30,000 to 50,000 miles to make sure it doesn't have a chance to corrode.  Monitoring is the only real way to keep corrosion from destroying your engine. The cure is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

To inspect your vehicle, you can look for any small holes in your cooling system and any discoloration that will show you have a leak. If you want to check for electrolysis yourself you'll need to attach the negative lead volt/ohm meter to the vehicle's battery ground and place the positive lead on the volt/ohm meter carefully in the coolant of the radiator. If you get a rust of more than 0.10V then you know there is electrical current flowing through the coolant and you need to change it.

Talk to a center like Dean's Automotive Service Center to learn more.