Your car needs fuel to move. However, in order for the engine to work properly, you also need a sufficient amount of quality anti-freeze or coolant.
This coolant not only helps to regulate the required temperature in the engine, but also protects its parts from corrosion and other unpleasant effects that may occur over time.
That is why whenever you go on a trip (not only in summer, but also in winter) it is good to have checked this properly.
Failure to do so may result in extremely unpleasant situations, such as freezing of the coolant (in winter) or overheating the engine when the temperatures are too high in the summer.
Antifreeze or Car Coolant is one of the main components we pour into the car. Without it, trouble-free operation of the engine is not possible. Therefore, the question of what antifreeze to use is always relevant. We must proceed from the recommendations of the manufacturers. They usually set the requirements for your car. The documents of the car also indicate what the appropriate antifreeze is. However, if you have recently acquired a used car and you do not know what coolant was used by the previous owner, the antifreeze must be changed completely.
The other signal of the need for replacement is the change in colour of the antifreeze. If the fluid turns brown, it cannot perform its functions and does not protect the engine from corrosion. In general, the antifreeze is changed every 3-4 years, and for some car brands - every 5 years. Used antifreeze forms foam, loses its useful properties and becomes an aggressive environment for metal parts in the engine.
What Anti-freeze or Coolant Can I Buy?
When reading the instructions, we must pay attention to the numbers written next to the letter G or to the word CODEG on the label. These numbers indicate the classification of antifreeze. The newer the car, the higher its corresponding figure. For example, the number 11 indicates antifreeze for cars manufactured before 1996. For cars launched after 2001, the antifreeze is 12 plus. For sports car engines and those used in extreme conditions, the number 13 is indicated.
Today's antifreeze or car coolant is based on propylene glycol and is less harmful to the environment. There are norms and standards that determine the suitability of antifreeze. Information on this, on the date of manufacture, and on the manufacturer must be given on the label of the tube. Some manufacturers also state whether it can be mixed with antifreeze from other brands. Antifreeze is sold in transparent tubes and you can clearly see what the liquid is. It should not have sediment or strange particles. If the tube is shaken, the liquid forms a foam. With quality antifreeze, the foam disappears in 3 to 5 seconds.
Why Colour Anti-Freeze/Coolant in a Bright Colour?
Manufacturers often add antifreeze colour, helping to see where the cooling system is leaking. Some brands of antifreeze add special chemicals that become visible in ultraviolet light. Another advantage of staining is the ease with which the liquid level in the tank is determined. In addition, the bright colour reminds of the danger, as antifreeze is a very strong poison.
Only 100 ml. of it is a lethal dose to the body. The colour of the coolant has nothing to do with the chemical composition. Therefore, liquids of the same colour may differ from each other in composition, and multi-coloured ones may be the same. For example, manufacturers may colour the same antifreeze in different colours to differentiate them by brand. Many companies, such as General Motors and Volkswagen, paint their antifreeze red or orange. The duration of this antifreeze is 5 years or 200,000 km. Their packaging says G12 or G12 +.
Can we mix antifreezes of different Colour?
Suppose yellow antifreeze is poured into the cooling system. What to do? Definitely should not be topped up on the principle - yellow to yellow or green to green. The colour should be forgotten at all, because it does not mean the same composition.
How to dilute antifreeze?
Dilute the antifreeze only with distilled water, in the proportions recommended in the instructions. Usually the dilution is 1: 1. If a little antifreeze has leaked - no more than 200 ml., You can easily add distilled water. However, if you need to top up more than 200 ml and it is not known what the antifreeze is, it is recommended to change the coolant completely. It is important to remember that mixing different coolants is not recommended because they may lose their useful properties.
Therefore, if you do not know what is in the system, it is better to replace the old antifreeze with a new one and remember its name. With the complete replacement of antifreeze, you can buy any colour - in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and the requirements of the car. When replacing, the old fluid is poured out completely, then the system is washed with water and only then the new antifreeze is poured. Washing is mandatory not only to wash away the colour of the old antifreeze, but also to clean the system from dirt and possible rust.
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Antifreeze must be replaced over a period of time, as ethylene glycol breaks down into mainly glycolic and formic acid. Decomposition occurs faster in engines operating at higher temperatures or those that use more air in cooling systems. The breakdown products of glycols are acids and contribute to the drop in pH, so metals in engine parts are at risk of corrosion. Evaporation of coolant water is also a cause for concern because the heat dissipation capacity of the antifreeze is reduced. Due to such changes, it is necessary to check the pH and water: glycol ratio annually (most often this is done with refractometers to measure the crystallization temperature).
Check the manual of your car for the manufacturer's recommendations for checking the antifreeze. The period of antifreeze change can be increased by using coolants with extended life inhibitors. In principle, the coolant is changed at "recommended use" intervals by the manufacturers.