Engine Coolant Or Antifreeze: A Simple Guide To Your Ride!

January 4th, 2024 by

Engine Coolant Or Antifreeze

Key Takeaways:

  • There are different types of radiator fluids.
  • You need to check the level regularly and top it off as needed.
  • Car coolant and antifreeze are both important for your ride.
  • All antifreeze is coolant, but not all coolant is antifreeze.

What initial thing pops into your mind when you think about cars? Speed? Power? Money? For most people, cars represent freedom. They’re a way to ease from point A to point B, and they can be a real lifesaver in bad weather. But many people don’t realize that cars need a TLC every once in a while.

We all know that the engine is one of the most important things to take care of in our cars. We must keep it cooled and lubricated, or bad things can happen. But what exactly do we need to put into our engine? Coolant or car Antifreeze? Some people might not even know there is a difference! In this post, Eastern Shore Toyota will explain the basics of both and help you choose which one is best for your car. (Trust is, it’s not as complicated as it seems!) So, let’s get started!

Car Coolant: All You Need to Know – Literally

Alright, let’s start with the basics. Do you know what radiator fluid even is? Radiator fluid, simply put, is a mixture of water and glycol. Yep, the same thing that’s in your windshield washer fluid! This mixture helps keep your engine cool by drawing heat away from it. It was initially synthesized in 1856. The mix’s water portion helps dissipate the heat while the glycol protects against freezing and boiling. Most carmakers use ethylene glycol in their radiator fluids. Still, some use propylene glycol instead because it’s less toxic.

This radiator fluid is commonly known as car coolant or engine coolant. It flows through your car’s engine to absorb heat and then through your car’s radiator to release that heat into the air.

Car Antifreeze: All You Need to Know – Literally

So, antifreeze is basically just a coolant, right? Well, yes and no. All antifreeze is coolant, but not all coolant is antifreeze. Confused yet? Let’s see if we can explain things clearly.

Antifreeze is a concentrate that you mix with water to create a coolant. The advantage of using a concentrate is that it allows you to easily achieve the proper water ratio to antifreeze.

You need both water and antifreeze in your radiator fluid because they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Water has a lower B.P than antifreeze, so it’s better at dissipating heat. However, water also has a higher freezing point than antifreeze, so it’s not as effective at preventing your engine from freezing up in cold weather.

On the other hand, car antifreeze has a higher boiling point than water, so it’s better at preventing your engine from overheating. But because it has a lower freezing point than water, it’s not as effective at preventing your engine fluids from freezing up in cold weather.

The best way to protect your engine is to use a mixture of water and antifreeze. The proportions will vary depending on the climate you live in and the antifreeze you’re using. Still, as a general rule, you should use about a 50/50 mix of both.

The Difference Between Car Coolant & Antifreeze

So, what’s the difference between car coolant and car antifreeze? In a nutshell, coolant is water-based, while antifreeze is glycol-based.

Glycol is a type of alcohol, and it’s what gives antifreeze its distinctive sweet smell. It’s also poisonous, so if you suspect that your engine has been leaking antifreeze, be sure to have it checked out by a local mechanic as soon as possible.

The Advantages of Using Radiator Fluids Properly. 

So, why should you bother with radiator fluids in the first place? Here is why:

They Help to Keep Your Engine at The Right Temperature:

If your ride’s engine gets too hot, it can seize up and cause serious damage. On the other hand, if it gets too cold, the oil will thicken and won’t flow properly, leading to poor lubrication and increased wear and tear.

They Protect Your Engine from Corrosion and Rust:

Radiator fluids contain chemicals that help to protect your engine from corrosion and rust. Over time, these fluids can break down, so it’s important to check them regularly and top them up if necessary.

They Can Help to Prolong the Life of Your Engine:

By keeping your engine at the optimal temperature and preventing corrosion, radiator fluids can help extend your engine’s life.

They Can Improve Fuel Efficiency:

If your ride’s engine runs at the correct temperature, it will be more efficient and use less fuel. This is good for both your wallet & the environment.

They Can Help to Save You Money in The Long Run:

By maintaining your engine and preventing problems early on, radiator fluids can help you to save money in the long run.

Are you a full-fledged gearhead who loves reading about automobiles? Here’s our take on Revolutionary Automotive Industry Trends for 2022.

How To Choose the Right Radiator Fluid for Your Car? 

There are a few things you need to take into account when choosing the right radiator fluid for your car:

The Climate You Live In:

If you dwell in a colder climate, you’ll need antifreeze with a higher percentage of glycol to prevent your engine from freezing.

The Type of Engine You Have:

Suppose you have a newer ride with an aluminum engine. In that case, you’ll need to use a different type of radiator fluid than an older car with an iron engine.

Your Budget:

A wide range of radiator fluids is available on the market, so you need to decide how much you’re willing to spend.

Your Driving Habits:

Suppose you are habitual of covering long distances or in stop-and-go traffic. In that case, you’ll need a different type of radiator fluid than if you only drive on the highway.

The Color of Your Coolant:

Some people prefer to use colored coolant so that they can easily see when it needs to be replaced.

No matter what type of radiator fluid you choose, it’s important to check the level regularly and top it off as needed. If you let the level get too low, your engine could overheat and sustain serious damage.

Here’s How Eastern Shore Toyota Can Help You.

Eastern Shore Toyota serving Daphne, AL, is here to help you with all your car needs. From maintenance to repairs, our Toyota service department is here for you. Schedule an appointment with our service department today, and let us help you keep your car running smoothly.

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