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Antifreeze: Drive Safe Knowing More About What’s Going in Your Car

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What is Antifreeze, and What Does it Do?

Antifreeze is mixed with water to create coolant, which functions mainly to prevent your car’s coolant from freezing. It also contains properties which help protect your vehicle’s radiator and other cooling components from corrosion and harmful damage from when temperatures rise, making it vital to keep your car running smoothly.

Is Antifreeze the Same as Coolant?

Not exactly. Antifreeze is a concentrate and must be mixed with water, usually a 50/50 ratio, to create engine coolant, which is what will be added into your expansion tank.

Common Types of Antifreeze

There are many different antifreeze types so it’s important to make sure that you use the correct one for your vehicle. Make sure that you check this in your vehicle’s manual, or ask one of our team.

IAT – Inorganic Additive Technology

IAT antifreeze is the green traditional stuff used in many older vehicles, but only has a limited life of about 36,000 miles before it starts to break down and cause corrosion in your cooling system.

OAT – Organic Acid Technology

OAT is a much safer antifreeze with a longer life span of about 150,000 miles, or about 5-7 years


Do I need Ready Mixed or Concentrate Coolant?

A pre-mixed coolant can save time and hassle, but generally an antifreeze concentrate will be better value for your money. Usually, you will want to mix this at a 50/50 ratio, but always check this with your vehicle’s handbook.

How Do You Check Your Car’s Coolant Level?

When the engine is turned off and cooled, locate the expansion tank, which you should be able to find in your vehicle handbook if you are unsure. Make sure the coolant is between the min and max levels, indicated on the side of the tank. If low, check the hoses for leaks. Wet patches or white stains can give this away. If there are no leaks and you have checked to make sure you have the correct coolant for your car you can unscrew the cap and fill between the indicated levels.

How Often Do I Need to Change My Coolant?

A very rough estimate would be able every two years, or 30,000 miles. Keep an eye on the condition of your hoses, check for any leaks and check the level of your coolant to make sure that it doesn’t need to be topped up early.

Testing your Antifreeze

You can find out how effective your antifreeze is with a tester. Simply dip the tube into your coolant reservoir and squeeze the rubber ball to suck some of the coolant into the tester and it will give you the freezing point of the coolant.

You can find a cheap antifreeze tester on our website.

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