What do you think about adding a little vinegar before changing the coolant?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am writing about changing the coolant in my vehicles. I have two cars and an RV
that are ready for this service. What do you think of applying a bit of vinegar
into the system, letting it circulate a bit, then draining the system and adding
the new coolant? -- Ralph

TOM: Great idea, Ralph. And if the vinegar mixes with a little bit of oil that
happens to be in the cooling system, when you drain it you'll end up with a
delicious vinaigrette.

RAY: I think that's how Paul Newman got started in the salad dressing business.

TOM: Actually, you probably don't need to put anything in your cooling system. If
the system is in good shape, you can just drain out the old coolant, dispose of
it properly and put the new coolant in.

RAY: If you've ignored your cooling system for many years and it's now corroded,
then I'd start by using one of the bottled cooling-system flushes that are
available at any auto parts store. If you have a lot of corrosion, then you may
need to go to a mechanic who can power flush your system.

TOM: So an auto parts store? Yes. A mechanic? Yes. The condiments aisle of your
supermarket? I don't think so.

Don't get stuck with a lemon. Read Tom and Ray's guide How to Buy a Great Used
Car: Things Detroit and Tokyo Don't Want You to Know. Send $3 and a stamped (55
cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope to Used Car, PO Box 6420, Riverton, NJ
08077-6420.

?(C) 1999 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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