If the water (coolant) in the radiator of your car starts to look like it is in the image below, you seriously need to change your car maintenance habits.
Car’s cooling system is one of those things that you just cannot afford to ignore. And this is especially important in a country like Pakistan where the temperatures can get to extremes. You need a perfectly working cooling system both in the blistering summers as well as the freezing winters.
By nature, engines produce heat due to the friction of all the moving parts. And the fact that it literally has to perform detonation of fuel and air mixture inside to push components in order to create movement. Those tiny explosions push the pistons in a synchronized manner, rotating the crank, and generating movement. That is just the nature of the beast. That detonation of fuel creates an immense amount of heat. Most of that heat is led out through exhaust in gaseous form. But a lot of that heat remains within the metal/alloy of the engine block.
Vehicles come with a robust system to counter that heat. The fluid (coolant) passes through various areas of the engine block collecting heat, and then the radiator of the car cools the almost boiling fluid down until the cooled down coolant once again is pushed into the engine. Engines come equipped with a water pump that does all the pumping and as a result maintaining the optimal working temperature of the engine.
In all this, it is arguably the coolant that can affect the health of engine of the car the most. Using plain water in the cooling system of the car is never recommended. It causes rust and is not suitable to use for a prolonged period. Using just plain water in the cooling system is what has caused what you see in that photo. With the passage of time, the various rust-prone metal parts of the engine that come in contact with the water start to rust, and as a result, you get that muddy looking water inside the radiator.
If you already have that going in your car, flush the water immediately. Get the radiator cleaned from a professional, and refill the car with a good quality coolant (antifreeze). Make sure you mix antifreeze and water in correct proportion. Usually, it is 50/50 but you can either consult your car’s user manual or usually the back of the coolant bottle also has the necessary information. Or you can just use a quality premixed coolant.
If you do not want to take the car to a shop for radiator cleaning, there are several aftermarket products you can use to clean the cooling system of your vehicle. Flush the dirty water out, pour in the radiator cleaner with the correct amount of water and run the car as advised on the cleaner bottle. Flush the detergent and fill the system with fresh coolant mix. Repeat the process if you think the radiator was too dirty and needs at least a couple of cycles before pouring in coolant mix.
Winters are about to end, and it is better you prepare your car for the scorching Pakistani summers now.