Coolant vs Antifreeze: What’s the Difference?

Coolant and antifreeze very often come up in the same sentence, and very regularly are confused, but did you know that making sure you’re using the right coolant or antifreeze could very well be the difference between happy motoring and an expensive trip to the garage.

Are Antifreeze and Coolant the Same Thing?

You may find that the terms ‘coolant’ and ‘antifreeze’ are almost used interchangeably, and while they do the same job, they are not the same. The difference between the two simply changes how you work with them before they are added to your car’s engine.

What’s the Difference Between Antifreeze and Coolant

Antifreeze is a liquid that is predominantly made of ethylene glycol and as a result is difficult to boil or freeze. Antifreeze comes in a concentrated form and must be diluted before it is added to your car, and once you have added the water, from that point on it is now considered ‘coolant’ as opposed to antifreeze. Coolant usually has a 50/50 ratio of antifreeze to water, with the water helping the antifreeze take on the intense heat of the engine, and regulating your engine to stay at its optimum operating temperatures.

Can I Mix Antifreeze with Coolant

Mixing antifreeze with coolant is an incredibly risky business and should be avoided at all costs. Mixing the two together will mess around with the ratio between antifreeze and coolant, and using an incorrect mixture can lead to your cooling system not working properly, in turn potentially damaging your engine. 

Both antifreeze and coolant come as brightly coloured liquids, but do not use these colours to identify between the two – a number of different colours can be used for the same type of coolant, so you could be mixing two different liquids without realising.

Do I Need Antifreeze or Coolant For My Car

It’s always best to ensure that you use the same type, and brand, of coolant when topping up, so to be certain you’re using the right stuff, consult the recommendations of the manufacturer of your car, or visit your local garage, who will know what you need to use.

If your car has had an issue as a result of the wrong coolant, or poor coolant levels, then chances are you’re going to be looking at a pricey engine repair bill. Rather than emptying your bank account, why not fill it? Here at Scrap Car Comparison we can guarantee you the very best price possible for your vehicle, and we’ll even come and collect it no matter where you are, free of charge.

For hints, tips, and general guides on how to keep you and your car on the road, visit our Car Care hub, where we talk you through everything from driving lessons to changing your brake fluid, and everything in between. 

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