Have you ever wondered why your vehicle's engine sometimes gets overheated and may even fail to start? The problem could be with its cooling system. Ideally, an automobile's cooling system uses coolant to keep the engine at its best operating temperature.
And as the name suggests, your vehicle's antifreeze or coolant protects the engine during the hot summer and cold winter months. This insightful piece is about coolant/antifreeze and what it does.
What is Antifreeze/Coolant?
As mentioned above, coolant/antifreeze is fluid in an automobile's cooling system that helps raise the system's boiling point while lowering the freezing point. As an alcohol-based additive, antifreeze or coolant is typically colored (ranging from green to red, orange, and blue).
Understanding the Difference Between Antifreeze and Coolant
The main difference between coolant and antifreeze is in their chemical composition. While coolant mainly consists of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water, antifreeze mainly constitutes propylene glycol or ethylene glycol.
Why Do You Need Coolant/Antifreeze?
Your vehicle needs antifreeze, a colored fluid, to lower the coolant's freezing point. This helps stop the coolant in the engine's cooling system from freezing out. This phenomenon is primarily common during the winter months. Besides protecting the engine from freezing, coolant/antifreeze defends most of the engine's components against corrosion.
Additionally, coolant/antifreeze is essential in removing heat from the vehicle's engine, thus sustaining the engine heat balance.
Using Water Instead of Coolant
Here is the answer if you want to know whether you can use water instead of coolant. Depending on your residence in the United States of America, the water you use as coolant can either be softer or harder than in another location.
However, it is essential to note that running water in your car's engine without any antifreeze/coolant can significantly reduce some components' lifespan. This is mainly due to the dissolved minerals and salts present in water.
We hope you are now better positioned to tell what coolant/antifreeze actually does and when your vehicle is experiencing antifreeze/coolant issues through this brief, insightful piece. Therefore, if you need a cooling system repair, give Paul's Automotive a call today!