Are Antifreeze and Coolant The Same Thing


As winter is approaching, all car owners are preparing their vehicles for the cold weather. The most important thing that you have to check before winter hits its antifreeze or coolant. Some people like to use the term antifreeze, some coolant. But, are antifreeze and coolant the same thing?

Antifreeze and coolant are not the same thing because the antifreeze is an undiluted chemical additive that has the ability to reduce the freezing point and increase the boiling point of water-based liquids whereas the coolant is a by-product of water and antifreeze most commonly mixed at a 50:50 ratio.

Are Antifreeze and Coolant The Same Thing

Are Antifreeze and Coolant The Same Thing

Even though people refer to antifreeze and coolant as the same thing, in essence, they are different even though their mission is the same. Both the antifreeze and coolant have a mission to keep the engine from overheating. But, what is the difference between the antifreeze and coolant?

Antifreeze

The antifreeze is an undiluted additive that has the ability to lower the freezing point of water-based liquids and to increase their boiling point. This makes it perfect for the job of keeping the engine from overheating.

You know that water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit and it boils at 100 degrees Celsius which is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature outside drops below 0 Celsius / 32 Fahrenheit, all the water in the cooling system will freeze and expand and will damage the piping of the cooling system.

Then there is the boiling problem. Most car engines operate on temperatures between 75 to 105 degrees Celsius / 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. As I mentioned above, the water boils at 100 Celsius / 212 Fahrenheit. Once your engine gets to the optimal working temperature, the water in your cooling system would start to boil and evaporate. Before you know it, your cooling system would be without water and your engine would overheat.

The antifreeze brings the freezing temperature of the water down to – 37 degrees Celsius / -34 degrees Fahrenheit and the boiling point to 129 degrees Celsius / 265 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coolant

The coolant is a by-product of water and antifreeze. The antifreeze is an undiluted additive with the ability to lower the freezing point of water and increase the boiling point of water. Once you dilute the antifreeze with water, you get coolant.

Coolant manufacturers advise that you use a 50:50 ratio to water. Basically, 50 percent of the solution is water and the rest is ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and corrosion inhibitors. The coolant has anti-corrosion properties which are great because the cooling system won’t get rusty.

Which Antifreeze Is Best For My Car

The best antifreeze for your car is listed in the manufacturer manual. Basically, if your vehicle is made after 1998, you need an antifreeze with silicate-free, organic acid technology(OAT). If your vehicle is made before 1998, you don’t have to worry about the organic acid technology(OAT), only that it does contain silicate.

There is a wide range of products that you can find on amazon.com

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