Andy’s Car Valeting

What Is Antifreeze and Why Is It Needed?

As the temperatures drop below freezing point and we prepare ourselves for the colder months, you’ll need to start thinking about how to keep your car running during the winter season. One of the many things you’ll have to add to your winter car maintenance routine is adding antifreeze. If you’re one of the many car owners who have always wondered what it does and why it’s so important for cars throughout the colder months, read on.


Here, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about engine coolants.

Antifreeze: What Is It?

It is the coloured liquid found in the radiator, and it comes in a variety of different colours. It can also be called a coolant. This coloured liquid contains primarily of either propylene glycol or ethylene glycol.


It may also contain additives such as azoles, borates, nitrates, or silicates. While these additives usually make up less than 10% of the total solution, they are potent enough to help prevent corrosion and oxidation. A 50/50 blend of antifreeze and water is usually added to a car’s engine. However, there are some coolants that are pre-mixed and already contain the necessary water.


When working with this coloured liquid, it’s crucial to check the label carefully so as to identify whether or not you have to mix water before using it. Another thing to remember is that this coolant is toxic. Thus, it should always be kept away from children and pets and when spilled, should be cleaned up promptly to prevent accidental consumption.


How Does It Work?

This coloured liquid is essential as it helps regulate temperatures in your car and stops the water in your engine’s cooling system from freezing during the colder months. It lowers the freezing point of the water as the temperature outside drops. Coolant is pumped throughout the engine block to maintain an even temperature, making you feel comfortable as you drive no matter the weather outside.


Antifreeze is not only helpful during the winter. It’s also essential in hot weather as it keeps the water in the engine and radiator from boiling over. This coolant is effective with liquids at temperatures of up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and even in temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero. In addition to regulating temperatures, it also works as a lubricant in the car’s engine, ensuring that various parts move smoothly and reducing friction that can cause damage to the engine.


As previously mentioned, it helps prevent corrosion and oxidation in the engine. It’s made with particles that corrode themselves. This way, the engine’s metal doesn’t corrode. Bear in mind that the aluminium cylinder heads in most engines are susceptible to corrosion. This is why antifreeze is critical for the health and longevity of vehicles.


Where Does It Go in a Car?

It typically goes into the vehicle’s coolant reservoir. Some older cars lack a coolant reservoir, so the antifreeze goes straight into their radiator. Whether it’s the coolant reservoir or radiator cap you’re looking for, you can find them under the hood.


Note that the exact placement varies by make and model. As such, refer to your car’s owner’s manual for instructions on where to find the coolant reservoir for antifreeze.


How to Add It to a Vehicle?

Think the antifreeze in your car is running a little low? Worry not as you can top it off fairly easily. Here are the steps to take to add antifreeze to your car:


⦁ Park your car on level ground.
⦁ Let the engine cool completely.
⦁ Set the parking brake for added safety.
⦁ Check its label to determine whether it needs to be mixed with water, and mix the antifreeze with water as indicated. (Note: Adding unmixed antifreeze to your car can cause serious damage to its radiator.)
⦁ Open the coolant reservoir.
⦁ Add the coolant. It should reach the fill line on the outside of the tank.
⦁ Finally, secure the cap tightly on the reservoir once done.


Does your vehicle need to have the antifreeze flushed? Do you suspect another problem with the cooling system? You may need to have your car checked by experienced mechanics. They can inspect your car to identify and fix the issue at hand, helping you keep your vehicle on the road.


Prepare Your Car for the Cold Season

As we head into the winter months, make sure that your car can take on the cold. Here at Andy’s Car Valeting, we offer car winterizing services to ensure your car is ready for the winter. Call 01728 572990 or email to make a booking.


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