John Deere Maintenance Monday: Purpose of a coolant
Check it out
Visually inspect the coolant from time to time. A rusty color to the fluid is an indicator that there's rust in the system. If it looks milky, this means oil is somehow getting into the coolant. Changing it involves a procedure called a "flush and fill" and should be done every few years or so. In between flushings, Buckmaster advises keeping track of the fluid level.
"You can use a specific gravity meter to check the concentration," Buckmaster says. "Essentially it's correlated to the freezing temperature of the fluid that you have, so you could draw a sample with these little bulb-type meters, see what the freezing temperature will be, realize where you live and determine whether you're satisfied with that or not. That will tell you if you need to either make it more concentrated or less concentrated."
A very important component of the coolant system is the radiator cap. The system is pressurized, and the cap holds everything in. You never want to remove it while the engine is hot -- it'll blow! In general, a cap doesn't need to be replaced, but if your tractor overheats on a regular basis, it's worth a check.
Remember, antifreeze is poisonous, so it should always be recycled or disposed of properly.
Maggie gets a free John Deere cap for submitting her maintenance question, and you will, too, if we use your question in our program.
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