Winter can be extremely harsh on your motor vehicle. Cold weather tends to put a harsher draw on your battery and it is also harder for the oil to get up into the valves, on colder days. This is why it is vitally important to winterize your motor vehicle. By having the anti-freeze checked, you can prevent a frozen block and the proper flow of coolant/antifreeze throughout your engine and radiator. A good automotive technician should be checking your anti-freeze/coolant when he or she changes your oil.
A good practice is have have the anti-freeze flushed and replaced every 3 years or 30,000 miles, which ever comes first for Green Coolant/Anti-freeze. Dex-Cool should be changed every 100,000 miles, but again, if you live in New England, it is suggested that Dex-Cool should be replaced at 60,000 miles.
When the automotive technician checks your anti-freeze, he or she is checking for a couple of different things. First of all they are looking at the acidic nature of the fluid. Too much acid in the fluid can cause the eating away of your radiator. Next they are looking at the corrosion protection. If the corrosion level is at 3.2 or below 3.0, corrosion is building up in your radiator, which causes poor flow of the fluid, thus possibly causing your engine to crack or freeze up. No flow is BAD.
Lastly, they will be looking at the level at which your anti-freeze/coolant is measured. This is measured at Temperature. The lower the temp. rating the better the protection, however, you must look at all the tests to make sure your vehicle is protected. A failure in any of the tests should prompt you to have the fluid flushed and replaced.