The Truth About Antifreeze: Functions it Provides for Your Engine

truth about antifreeze

Here’s something you might already know: Antifreeze (also known as coolant) is part of your engine’s cooling system, and its obvious job is to protect the water in the system from freezing. Without the right mixture and amount of antifreeze, the water could freeze, swell up, and cause major engine damage. And that’s not cheap.

But just because antifreeze is called antifreeze doesn’t mean its only purpose is to protect your car from freezing. This hard-working fluid actually has tons of other jobs! Antifreeze…

Keeps your vehicle from overheating

Antifreeze protects your car from chilly winter days by lowering the freezing point of the cooling system. But did you know that it also protects that same system from boiling over in the summer? Antifreeze raises your cooling system’s boiling point, which means your engine can safely run at high temperatures.

Some people aren’t aware of this, and insist that it’s better to use plain old water in the summertime. Not true! Whether it’s -40 or +40, we always recommend a 50/50 mix of fresh coolant and water.

Makes leaks obvious

Antifreeze doesn’t come in neon colours just for fun. It’s so you’ll know immediately if your coolant system has a leak. That telltale fluorescent puddle under your car means it’s time for some TLC from Searle’s Auto Repair.

Reduces corrosion

Unlike plain old water, which can quickly destroy metal parts, antifreeze contains additives that are designed to protect the internal engine components from corrosion. That means that with the right mix of antifreeze and water, you’re less likely to have to shell out for a new water pump, radiator, or other critical repair.

Do keep in mind that over time, these corrosion inhibitors will be depleted and will lose their protective abilities. That’s why it’s so important to flush and replace your coolant at the recommended intervals.

Lubricates and seals

Fresh coolant has the power to lubricate the moving parts within your engine, particularly the seals of your water pump. This constant lubrication prevents the seals from deteriorating, which can cause premature pump failure in a relatively short period of time.

Aids in heat transfer

As fuel is burned in your engine, only one-third of the energy created is used to power your vehicle. Another third disappears out the exhaust system, and the rest has to be taken care of by the cooling system.

Luckily, antifreeze has excellent heat transfer properties. It’s designed to remove excess heat from your engine, allowing it to operate safely and efficiently (in other words, prevent it from melting down).

Want to know more about this oh-so important fluid? Want to make sure your cooling system is functioning at its best, or to take advantage of our other auto repair services? Then don’t hesitate to contact us here in Victoria BC.


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