Kelly's Garage - Active Green and Ross - September 2010


I wanted to let everyone know that I will be giving a number of ladies car care clinics across Ontario this September and October. So if you happened to be at one of my clinics and think one of your friends could benefit or that you could use a refresher make sure you go to and click on the “Kelly’s Garage” link to see the various dates. You could even sign up for the clinic by sending the shop an email or calling them directly.

Now onto another topic and that is coolant. I will get into more detail below but I wanted to share with you one of my own experiences with overheating. I was driving up the 427 one day behind my boyfriend in his Ford F450, and all of a sudden the temperature light on his truck came on, the engine temperature was in the red and the engine wasn’t running quite right. So he pulled over and I stopped behind him. He looked at the coolant reservoir and there was hardly coolant in it. He didn’t have any “spare” coolant in his truck (who does?) so I drove him to the nearest gas station where he bought a five gallon gas can and filled it with water. He took the water and filled up the reservoir and the next day took it into the shop to have the problem repaired. Moral of the story, in a pinch water will work. Do you have any stories you would like to share? If you do, email me and I’ll see about getting them posted onto the website.




This Months Topic:

Coolant is the fluid that keeps your engine from overheating or from freezing in the winter. There are a variety of colours with green and orange being the most common. Typically the green coolant is good up to 80,000 kms and the orange coolant which is called “long life coolant” is good for about 160,00 0kms. The life of your coolant is something that should be checked with a fall check up. Most shops will check it when you are having an oil change. As I mentioned coolant keeps your engine from freezing in the winter and from overheating in the summer. It also has corrosion inhibiting chemicals for the metal parts and lubricating chemicals for the water pump. This is why it isn’t good to use just straight water in your radiator.

When the shop is checking your coolant they are assessing how cold it will go down to before it freezes and also the acidity of it. As the coolant deteriorates it will become acidic and start to attack some of the aluminum engine parts inside the engine. As it deteriorates the coolant will not go “cold” enough to keep the engine from freezing.

When a shop suggests a “coolant flush” it is because your existing coolant has deteriorated. This is suggested every two years, but you always want to check with you local Active Green and Ross store.
I also mentioned green and orange coolants are the most common, but I’ve also seen pink and purple coolant. A good rule of thumb is to stick with what you have. Don’t mix coolants for fear of causing a bigger issue. If you decide you want to switch from the orange coolant to the green because it is cheaper I would first discuss this with your service technician to make sure it is a good idea for the type of engine in your vehicle.

My last bit of advice is, if you ever have a puddle of coolant under your car; make sure you get it cleaned up right away as it is highly toxic, especially to dogs. Kitty litter works well for this and then I would take my car into the shop!

Take care of your car and it will take care of you!


Have you ever seen this light on your dash? It’s red for a reason, don’t keep driving as you are likely doing damage to your engine. You may have lost your coolant…………


Click here to ask Kelly a question



Car Care Clinics

No events