What is Antifreeze?
Your vehicle's combustion chamber endures extreme heat, which can lead to fast deterioration of critical engine components if left unchecked. To regulate temperatures and keep corrosion at bay, your engine must have a sufficient supply of antifreeze flowing through its veins!
Automotive antifreeze is a liquid combination of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. When antifreeze was first discovered in the late 1850s, vehicles weren't around to take advantage of its powerful chemical properties. Antifreeze didn't have its breakthrough until World War I when it was used as a coolant for military machinery. While antifreeze is most known for its ability to lubricate your vehicle's engine and manage internal heat, NAPA also carries non-automotive antifreeze for pressure washers, air brake systems and recreational vehicles.
From diesel engine trucks to electric cars, all vehicles rely on antifreeze to maintain proper engine temperatures. It is one of the most important types of fluid for vehicle operation. Without it, your engine can succumb to extreme heat and pressure, resulting in expensive repair bills. Whether it's the middle of summer or the dead of winter, your vehicle will always need antifreeze. This critical additive is used to raise or lower the boiling point and freezing point of any water-based solution intended to regulate your engine block. Not only does antifreeze stabilize temperatures, but it also prevents corrosion and rust buildup that can degrade your engine.
The Difference Between Antifreeze and Coolant
You might hear 'antifreeze' and 'coolant' used interchangeably, but there's a slight difference to acknowledge. Antifreeze is a pure substance that usually requires water dilution before you can apply it to your reservoir. Once antifreeze gets added (usually in a 50/50 ratio) to water, it becomes the compound known as coolant. Most quality automotive coolants already contain antifreeze properties, so diluting the solution yourself is not necessary. For long-lasting options, check out NAPA's branded antifreeze for sale, which is specially formulated for your American, European or Asian vehicle with service life protection of up to 150,000 miles or 5 years.
When to Flush Out Your Antifreeze
Some basic indicators will let you know when it's time for an antifreeze flush and refill. In many vehicles, a 'check coolant level' warning light will appear on your dashboard. Depending on your vehicle type, the maintenance timeline for coolant refills may vary. However, a quality coolant should last you around 30,000 miles. If you're noticing a suspicious puddle of liquid under your hood, your vehicle is potentially leaking coolant. A compromised radiator is the most common culprit for these leaks and often stems from a broken radiator hose, faulty hose clamp or warped head gasket.
Another way to know if your coolant needs replaced is by checking the color; if the once-brightly colored hue is now a sludge-like, brownish shade and consistency, then it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! Whether you want to purchase concentrate or a pre-mixed liquid, make sure to find the best antifreeze solution for your make and model. Choose to shop by your specific vehicle to find what kind of antifreeze you need.
When working with antifreeze for cars, ensure your engine is cooled. Remember to handle the toxic substance with protective hand and eyewear, and properly dispose of any remaining solution.