Radiator antifreeze, also known as antifreeze or coolant, is a fluid that is responsible for maintaining an engine’s temperature. Antifreeze is capable of allowing a car to run in very cold climates, and in very hot climates. The chemical composition of antifreeze gives it the ability to maintain a wider range of temperatures than water alone.
Nearly all of the antifreeze available on the market needs to be mixed with water before it is placed into a vehicle. Fortunately, many manufacturers sell their antifreeze pre-mixed so that customers can simply pour it straight into their radiators. Manufacturers that do not pre-mix their antifreeze typically place instructions on their products with their recommended mixture ratios.
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Why Use Radiator Antifreeze?
Antifreeze allows your vehicle to operate in a wider range of temperatures than water alone. The freezing point and boiling point of antifreeze are much lower and higher than water. If you live in a cold climate and attempt to start a vehicle that is only cooled by water, then your vehicle may not start because the water might be frozen. Contrary, if you live in a warm climate and operate a vehicle, that is cooled by water, for an extended period, then the vehicle may overheat quickly. Both examples may be damaging to an engine and may cause problems that will require expensive repairs.
Checking the Fluid Level
The first step that you will need to take when checking the level of antifreeze in your vehicle is finding out where the vehicle’s coolant reservoir is located. The instruction manual for the vehicle should have information on the location of the fluid reservoir. Once you have located the coolant reservoir you will then want to look for the fluid level line, make sure to observe the colour of the coolant at this time also.
Comparison with Oil & Lubricants
Antifreeze does not prevent metal parts from grinding together, which is the primary job of most oils and lubricants. However, like oil and other lubricants, antifreeze is able to keep an engine cool by absorbing heat into the fluid. Antifreeze, oil, and other lubricants continually circulate through a vehicle while releasing any absorbed heat back into the atmosphere.
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