Antifreeze is a super important fluid in your car. It’s basically your car’s circulatory system (i.e. it helps your car prevent overheating). Antifreeze keeps the temperature of your engine and transmission within a healthy range. Otherwise, your engine would get too hot and you’d get stuck on the side of the road! Here are five fun facts about antifreeze every driver auto know.
1. Antifreeze smells sweet (but don’t swallow it!).
Make sure to use a funnel when you refill your antifreeze. If you don’t have one, go buy one at the dollar store. Otherwise, you’ll spill it all over the place. That’s especially bad when you a dog or cat. Antifreeze smells sweet, but it’s a lethal substance. Keep your pets away from it!
2. Antifreeze comes in many colors of the rainbow.
Different blends of antifreeze contain different kinds of chemicals, which are designed for different types of engines. This changes the substance’s color. Don’t buy any antifreeze before you read your owner’s manual. There will be a recommendation inside. Unless you want to accidentally kill your radiator, I suggest following the manufacturer’s advice!
3. Antifreeze has absolutely nothing to do with A/C.
A lot of people think antifreeze (a.k.a. coolant) has something to do with their car’s A/C. False! I know the words “freeze” and “cool” are in there, which might be the cause of confusion. Instead, its mission is to keep your engine from freezing in winter or overheating in summer. Talk about multi-purpose! This is why you should keep a tub in your car emergency kit at all times.
4. Antifreeze should contain a 50/50 mix of water.
Read the next sentence before you go dump a pitcher of water in your radiator! Many blends of antifreeze are premixed nowadays, so you might not have to worry about it. Water is better at cooling down your engine than antifreeze. However, water would cause corrosion by itself. Antifreeze allows good ol’ H20 to do its job without killing your engine in the process. Hooray!
5. Antifreeze should be filled and flushed (or at least inspected) every two years.
Have you ever tried to wash dishes in dirty water? I don’t recommend it. You’ll just spread the grease and germs around without getting rid of them. It’s a better idea to replace the water. Auto fluids are similar. You can’t just let them sit there forever. The fluid will get dirty, which causes problems as time passes. Most auto manufacturers recommend changing your antifreeze once 24-36 months. Check your owner’s manual for a specific recommendation.
Note: If you live in a really hot climate, it might be better to get a flush/refill every year.
Share these fun facts about antifreeze with your friends so they can be informed drivers, too!