- Joel Youngman
What is Antifreeze? We Explain Here.
Vehicle owners know the importance of keeping their vehicles’ antifreeze reservoirs full, but what is antifreeze? Why is it important?
Antifreeze is a liquid that helps regulate engine temperature to prevent it from overheating or freezing. It must first be mixed with distilled or high-purity water (usually 50/50), either by the antifreeze manufacturer or the consumer, before it goes into the vehicle’s radiator.
Why can’t I just use water?
Because water boils at 212°F (100°C) and freezes at 32°F (0°C), it just doesn’t have the temperature range to provide boil-over protection in normal engine operating temperatures or freeze protection in normal winter temperatures.
Mixing water 50/50 with antifreeze, however, raises boil-over protection up to around 265°F (129°C) and freeze protection down to around -34°F (-37°C). Interestingly enough, the freeze point of straight antifreeze is only about 0°F (-18°C), underscoring the importance of mixing it with distilled or high-purity water.
Why is there Sludge/Slime in my Radiator?
Radiator sludge is a symptom of larger problems, many of which are traced back to using low-cost “green” coolants. Here’s what you can do.
Not only does antifreeze keep your engine’s temperature in check, it also provides the following benefits:
Protects against corrosion that damages metal components
Protects against scaling that interferes with heat transfer
Protects against cavitation and pitting that damages cylinder liners (heavy-duty applications)
Which antifreeze should I use? How much antifreeze?
Antifreeze is available in a variety of formulations designed for specific vehicles. Check the recommended antifreeze specification and capacity in your vehicle owner’s manual.
AMSOIL Passenger Car/Light Truck Antifreeze & Coolant simplifies matters as it’s formulated for use in ALL domestic and import passenger cars and light trucks, and it is conveniently pre-mixed 50/50 with high-purity water.
AMSOIL Heavy-Duty Antifreeze & Coolant is formulated for heavy-duty applications or mixed fleets of both passenger-vehicle and heavy-duty applications, and it is conveniently pre-mixed 50/50 with high-purity water.
AMSOIL Propylene Glycol Antifreeze & Coolant is formulated for use in ALL domestic and import passenger cars and light trucks, as well as heavy-duty applications. Its low-toxicity, concentrated formula requires mixing with distilled or high-purity water.