Did you know that coolant does much more than just keeping the engine temperature within the given range? Most drivers know how important it is to have a good mixture of antifreeze and water, especially with upcoming cold days. However, there is much more to it, as modern engines are sensitive. In this article, we will learn all about coolant and go through different types of it.
What does the coolant do?
The coolant is a liquid that circulates between the engine and radiators to prevent overheating and ensure a proper running temperature. For that task alone, a tap water would do just fine, and many older cars used just that. But the problem with water is that it freezes at temperatures below zero. If that happens inside the engine, it can cause cracks and other damage to sensitive components like a cylinder head. To prevent that, all modern cars use a mixture of antifreeze and distilled water. Depending on ratios, a coolant like that can stay in liquid state even when the temperatures are extremely low.
Can I use water during summer?
Despite the significance, the ability of modern coolants to resist freezing is not the only important upside that comes with it. Modern engines use components made from different materials, ranging from steel to aluminum and magnesium. Most of these components would corrode in contact with plain water, which would cause failure over time. Another problem are deposits and dirt build-ups that happen inside water-filled systems. Having a proper mixture of antifreeze and distilled water inside the cooling system prevents this. As an additional upside, antifreeze also acts as a lubricant that helps the water pump and various seals to last longer. It’s also worth mentioning that coolant has a higher boiling point than tap water, which is important in cars today. This is because modern engines run at high temperatures in order to meet strict emissions control demands.
What different types of antifreeze are there?
Go in any auto store, and you will notice that there are several types of antifreeze available. The most obvious difference is the color that can range from blue and yellow to red and pink. As choosing among these is not a straightforward job, it is best to consult the owner's manual for the right specification. In general, older engines use blue or yellow liquid, while newer ones need a pink or red antifreeze. But whatever you choose, make sure not to mix coolants with different colors, as this may cause bubbling and overheating.
How important is this?
As you may have learned from this article, checking and replacing the coolant in your car is a simple job. However, if you don’t have the right tools or don’t feel up to the job, consider hiring a professional. At FixMyCar, we have certified and seasoned technicians that can come to your home and solve all cooling system related issues. This will ensure all important components are checked and that your car is ready to hit the road.