Isn’t Coolant Just Water
For the most part yes, though each car maker has its own set of guidelines, which you should strictly adhere to in terms of coolant specification and anti-freeze concentration. It’s fine to top up the coolant with water when needs be, though larger top-ups and flush-outs should be done with the recommended amounts of coolant and anti-freeze.
How Often Should I Flush My Radiator
When it comes to flushing your cars radiator, if there are no other signs that you need to do it then you should replace it at least every 30,000 miles or as recommended by your owners manual.
Radiator coolant in your car will deteriorate over time if they sit idle for long periods of time, and it can become a big problem if they become contaminated or have debris build-up. Over time, radiator coolant can cause radiator corrosion, generate rust, or other debris. A coolant flush solves this problem by removing the old antifreeze from the system. Go to this post if you want to read the similar article about Antifreeze Tester reviews.
Signs That Your Vehicle Needs An Antifreeze/coolant Service
1. The temperature gauge reads hotter than normal when the engine is running2. Antifreeze leaks and puddles beneath your vehicle 3. A grinding noise is coming from under the hood of your car4. Flecks or bits of rust start to show up in the antifreeze/coolant liquid5. Steam or an odor similar to boiling maple syrup is coming from the engine
Recommended Reading: What Is The Right Car For Me
What Is Coolant Exactly
Coolant is commonly also called antifreeze. It is comprised of a 50/50 mix of ethylene or propylene glycol and water. Coolant/antifreeze is added to a vehicles cooling system, which circulates the fluid throughout the engine and radiator to prevent overheating. If your vehicles cooling system is functioning properly, it will effectively reduce the heat produced by the engine and keep everything running smoothly. Without regular coolant service, the cooling system may not function as it should, causing the engine to become too hot and cause damage such as warped heads, blown head gaskets, or even engine failure.Coolant is also called antifreeze because, as the name suggests, it will not freeze even in extremely cold temperatures. As coolant keeps the engine from overheating it also keeps it from freezing up when left to sit in the cold. Frozen fluid may prevent your car from starting on cold winter mornings.
It is important to make sure that you have enough coolant in your vehicle at all times to stave off premature coolant system corrosion, as well. The best way to stay on top of potential problems with your coolant system is with regular coolant service as a trusted auto repair shop.
How Much Antifreeze Does A Car Usually Take
Whatâs a normal amount of antifreeze for most cars to take? My friend checked my antifreeze levels and said they were low. Iâd like to refill it by myself, but I donât know how much to buy.
most cars can hold around three gallons of antifreezecheck your ownerâs manualrequire users to add water to the solutionmay do more harm than gooddonât be afraid to purchase a large containerfor freebefore
Also Check: What Is An Automatic Car
Coolant Or Antifreeze Is One Of The Most Important Fluids In Your Car We Explain What It Is And Why Its Essential To The Good Health Of Your Cars Engine
AS ITS NAME SUGGESTS, antifreeze is designed to keep the water in your cars engine from freezing. But its also designed, rather confusingly, to keep your engine cool by reducing the chances of the water in the engine from overheating just about every single engine on-sale today is water-cooled. Confused? Dont be.
Procedure For Safe Flush And Fill Of Radiator
Most of my readers are interested in engine coolant because they are actively undertaking the replacement of their engine coolant themselves. This is awesome and will save you guys some money, however you need to make sure you are replacing the fluid properly and especially that you dispose of your old coolant in a responsible fashion.
I found this youtube video exceptionally helpful when it came to flushing my cooling system replacing my own engine coolant. It will talk about:
Also Check: How To Donate Your Car
Why Cars Have Issues With Overheating
Typically when your engine overheats it is most likely caused by faulty or old engine coolant. The controlled gasoline explosions within the average cars combustion engines is pushing 500 degrees and this is far too hot for most of the engine parts.
If there isnt enough coolant or the coolant is old and not functioning properly it may get hot enough to boil. Any boiling liquid is incapable of taking on any more heat until it becomes a vapor.
If the engine coolant starts to boil it is no longer effective at cooling down those metal engine parts that are being exposed to those scalding hot temps. When that metal heats up past a certain temperature a number of things can happen and none of them are a positive for your car.
Typical repairs after an engine overheats include warped cylinders, cracked head gaskets and busted water pumps. The repairs average about $700 to fix just one of these issues. That is why it is imperative to ensure your engine coolant is not old and deteriorating.
Why Am I Losing Coolant So Fast
Coolant loss may indicate a poorly maintained cooling system, a system fault, or even a change in driving patterns. For example, a coolant leak could have any of these causes: A leak that only occurs under certain operating conditions. An undiagnosed cracked engine block or cylinder head, or a blown gasket.
Also Check: How Much Does It Cost To Get A Car Painted
Common Antifreeze Types By Color
Water and antifreeze are both colorless.
Manufacturers started adding colored dye to the mixture in order to differentiate between the coolant and other engine fluids. If your car was leaking a blue fluid, it meant one thing. If it was leaking a pink fluid, it meant another.
As time went on, and more types of antifreeze were released to the market, manufacturers started added specific colored dyes to specific types of antifreeze so consumers could tell the types and brands apart.
This guide breaks down the most common types of antifreeze by their commonly associated colors. Not all types of antifreeze are covered.
If Needed Drain And Refill The Antifreeze
if you arenât comfortable doing it, take your car to a professional
- Using your ownerâs manual, locate the radiatorâs petcock valve
- Place your drain pan beneath the valve
- Turn the petcock valve counterclockwise by a quarter or a halfâyour old antifreeze should start draining out
- Once itâs done, close the valve tightly, lower the car down from the jack, and remove the wheel chocks
- Set the starter to the âonâ position so the battery activatesâbut donât start the engine
- Crank up your temperature and fan to their maximum settings, then turn the starter back off
- Consult your manual to find any bleed valves your engine has and open themâthis prevents air from getting trapped inside your coolant system
- With your bleed valves open, slowly add your antifreeze mixture to the coolant reservoir
- Stop when you reach the cold fill line and wait for 10 to 15 seconds for the fluid to settle, then continue filling
- Stop filling when youâve reached the fill line and it isnât going down any furtherâif you see coolant exiting bleed valves, stop filling and close them
- Once youâre done, close any open bleed valves and firmly replace the cap
Key Takeaway If youâre not experienced working underneath a car, antifreeze replacement is best left to a mechanic.
Recommended Reading: How Old For Car Seat
Antifreeze Vs Coolant: Final Thoughts
Understanding the biggest difference between antifreeze and coolant is essential information for any driver. Both terms refer to the fluid used in the cooling system, but they don’t mean the same thing.
Therefore, if you are still confused about antifreeze vs. coolant, coolant is a mixture of both antifreeze and water, and would newer mechanics refer to the coolant as anti-freeze? Again, you shouldn’t get confused because it is not the same thing.
Your vehicle must have a specific amount of coolant to prevent engine overheating and provides lubrication. If your vehicle got into a situation where engine overheating led to significant engine damages, it might not be worth investing your money in getting this vehicle to work because repair costs will be extremely high. Therefore, you are advised to sell your car and use the money towards a better vehicle that doesn’t have any problem.
Cash Cars Buyer is willing to remove your vehicle within one to three days only! Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States.
Our process is very straightforward and doesn’t take more than a couple of days to get your car removed safely and for the most money.
All it takes you is to:
- Describe your cars type and condition
- Receive our instant free quote
- Accept the quote
- Get your car removed and receive your cash payment on the spot!
When Should You Change Your Engine Coolant
Engine coolant, like many other parts and fluids within a vehicle, is becoming increasingly advanced as we make strides forward in the automotive industry. As engine coolant has progressed, it needs less maintenance.
One of the maintenance items that is now less frequently required is the flush and fill procedure where the coolant reservoir is emptied, cleaned and filled with new engine coolant. Your car will have a recommended maintenance schedule that you can find online or in your owners manual. For information on how frequently the coolant needs to be replaced for your car seek out information there. On average, you should flush your radiator and refill it with fresh coolant once every five years or every 100,000 miles .
Also Check: What Happens To Your Car When You File Chapter 7
What Can I Do About An Overheating Engine
If your temperature gauge is in the red or the coolant warning light is illuminated then you really do need to stop the car as soon as is safe, pull in and turn off the engine. First and foremost, the coolant level needs to be checked, but be very very careful, as it will be under pressure and incredibly hot. It’s not advised to open the radiator cap at this stage, but opening the bonnet is not a bad idea. Allow the engine to cool before attempting to top up the coolant system and even then you may need the assistance of a mechanic to recover the vehicle and fix it. It’s not advised to drive the car if the temperature cannot be controlled, as it could lead to complete engine failure. Here’s a useful tip if your car starts to overheat: Turn the internal car heater onto maximum and put the fans on full. This helps remove heat from the coolant, as the car’s heating and cooling systems use the same coolant/water to function.
Check Engine Coolant On Cars With A Reservoir
Also Check: How To Unlock Car Door From Outside
Never Get Yourself Into Debt Over Car Repairs Again
Car repairs can be absurdly expensive, and you can expect those unexpected repairs before too long no matter what vehicle you drive.
If you have to replace the engine block it could cost you more than $10,000.
Depending on your vehicle it could cost you up to $10,000 dollars to make repairs to components like the transmission and suspension.
If that seems absurd to you, luckily you arent alone.
A vehicle service contract from Protect My Car can help cover the cost of these excessive repairs. In fact, you could pay as little as $100 dollars for that $5,000 engine replacement.
Yes, you heard that right.
For less that the cost of a cup of coffee each day, you can get coverage for:
- Navigation and Electronics
- and so much more.
When you walk into the repair shop with a coverage plan from PMC, you can rest assured that you will never pay for these repairs listed here. You pay a $100 deductible, just like insurance and we pay the rest.
Does that sound like a fair deal to you?
If it does, just fill out the form below for a free quote, and see how great it can be to never have to pay for car repairs ever again.
About Protect My Car
Looking for Something?
What Is In Antifreeze
Antifreeze is comprised primarily of either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. Antifreeze may contain additives as well, such as silicates, nitrates, azoles, or borates to prevent oxidation and corrosion. These additives usually make up less than 10% of the total solution.
Vehicles use a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. However, some antifreeze is pre-mixed and already contains the necessary water. Check the label carefully when you’re working with antifreeze so you know whether or not you have to mix water into the antifreeze before using it.
It’s important to note that antifreeze is toxic and should always be kept away from children and pets. If you spill antifreeze, clean it up promptly to prevent accidental consumption.
You May Like: How To Pay Cash For A Car At Dealership
How Long Does A Coolant Flush Take
You must drain the system, flush it with radiator cleaner, and flush it repeatedly with distilled water until the water is clear – running the engine for ten minutes in between and letting it cool for 30 minutes after running the engine. Difficulty getting to the right access points will extend the process. It can easily take several hours to complete the process.
Top Up Your Antifreeze
- Using your rag, turn the cap on the coolant reservoir counter-clockwiseâitâs usually pressurized, so donât twist it too quickly and let the pressure escape before removing it
- Fill up the reservoir with your mixed antifreeze to the fill line
- Firmly replace the cap
Recommended Reading: How Do I Know What Rims Fit My Car
Ethylene Glycol Vs Propylene Glycol
While antifreeze is made largely from glycol , glycol is available in two different types: ethylene glycol and propylene glycol.
- Ethylene glycol : First introduced in 1926, ethylene glycol is used in the majority of antifreezes even today. It is also extremely toxic.
- Propylene glycol : The toxicity of ethylene glycol gave rise to the more environmentally friendly propylene glycol. While less common, this glycol is available in some antifreezes that are usually labeled as being less toxic. Note that we dont say safe, as propylene glycol is still something you dont want to be drinking. But for those with pets or children, propylene glycol may be a better alternative to ethylene glycol.
What Kind Of Engine Coolant Should I Use
Antifreeze is really divided into 2 different types IAT and OAT antifreeze. IAT antifreeze is the green antifreeze of old, and the universal standard for over 70 years. During the late 80s, cars began using more and more aluminum parts in engines, and the need to come up with a better, longer lasting antifreeze led to OAT antifreeze. While any IAT green antifreeze can be mixed with other green, mixing OAT antifreeze with other types is not recommended. Many manufacturers developed their own blend of OAT antifreeze, with less of more silicates and phosphates, and in doing so, developed a specific color of antifreeze to identify it. You should check your owners manual, to check on what type or color of antifreeze your car takes. One of the most common, and longstanding coolants of this type is DEX COOL®, which was developed by GM in the late 1980s and has been used ever since. You can find out more about the history and details of different types of antifreeze here!
Of course, there are specialty formulas available, and understanding the options there could make your car ownership experience a lot better. Some examples of special variants you might find useful under the right circumstances include:
- Cold weather protection to -34 degrees is available from many manufacturers
- Antifreeze that is non-toxic to animals is also very popular
- Some coolant manufacturers offer extreme heat formulas similar to their cold weather options
You May Like: Where To Sell Your Car