The difference between Anti-freeze and Coolant

  • Anti-freeze is the concentrated version which still needs to be mixed with water
  • Coolant is the diluted version that has already been mixed and needs to be added to your car.

Your engine generates massive amounts of heat due to the combustion that takes place to push your pistons up and down. Coolant cools this heat to prevent your car from overheating.

How does my Coolant move around my engine?

As the water pump pushes your coolant around your engine it absorbs heat. The Coolant then carries this heat through to the radiator where it is cooled down by either a fan or wind.

The wind rushing past your radiator will be the first step to cooling down the Coolant. However, if that is not enough, the radiator fan will kick in and cool it the rest of the way. After the Coolant has been cooled off, it continues its journey through the cooling system until it reaches the water pump where the process starts again.

Why can’t I use water in my car?

When correctly operating, Coolant protects rubber and metal from rust by cleaning the rust off and collecting it. Water on the other hand causes rust which damages the metal, iron, and aluminum around your engine.

Plain water will also cause your car to overheat. Anti-freeze raises the boiling of water and so without it the water in your cooling system would start to boil at 100 degrees Celsius. If the water boils it will turn to steam. This steam will then escape from your cooling system and your water level will drop. This drop in water level could easily happen within one drive and your car could overheat.

How often do I need to change my Coolant?

As Anti-freeze ages it starts to become acidic. This acid can corrode the metal in your water pump, radiator, and thermostat. For this reason, manufacturers recommend that your Anti-freeze is changed every two to five years depending on the type of car that you drive.

There are three main reasons why, and all are to prevent your engine from overheating:

  1. With a damaged water pump and thermostat your Coolant won’t be able to flow around your engine, and without a radiator your Coolant won’t be able to cool down and absorb any more heat.
  2. As your coolant moves around it collects small pieces of rust and dirt that is has cleaned and stored. Over time this prevents the Coolant from cooling down correctly.
  3. Last but not least the leaks. If the acidity corrodes enough of the metal away it could cause a leak and your Coolant level will drop.
Can I add any color of Coolant to my car?

There are many different colors of Anti-freeze/Coolant, ranging from green to pink, and each color represents a different chemical make-up.

Different types of cars take different colors of Anti-freeze/Coolant, and it is best not to mix the colors. If the wrong colors are mixed it will cause a chemical reaction which results in a brown sludge. This brown sludge will clog up your cooling system and your vehicle will overheat.

What Anti-freeze/Coolant do Autoworks use?
  • Radiator Power
  • OTC (Organic Technology Coolant)
  • TTC (Traditional Technology Coolant Concentrate)
  • LGC (Lobrid Glycerin Coolant Concentrate)

OTC, TTC, and LGC are considered long lasting and can be found in most newer cars today. They are designed to be eco-friendly and long-lasting. Depending on the type of car you drive, these coolants would need to be changed every four to five years.

Whereas the Radiator Power is your older coolant version. It is recommended that this coolant be replaced every year or at a stretch once every 2 years to keep your cooling system operating correctly.

Here at Autoworks we know what type of coolant your vehicle is compatible with and at what year or mileage it needs to be changed to safely maintain the health of your engine. Therefore, we recommend that the Radiator Power be replaced with a longer lasting and more effective Anti-freeze/Coolant. To replace it, Autoworks will have a qualified and well-trained technician remove all the old coolant, completely flush out your cooling system (ensuring that no coolant remains to prevent any chemical reaction), replace it, and then test to make sure your cooling system is running at 100%.

Contact us today and we will be able to provide you with a quote!

Autoworks | Maintenance and repair centre | When should I flush the coolant in my vehicle?

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