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Is Coolant and Antifreeze the Same Thing? Debunking the Confusion

When it comes to caring for our vehicles, understanding the various fluids and their functions is essential. Two terms often used interchangeably are "coolant" and "antifreeze." While they are related, they do not mean the same thing as you will see shortly.

Are They Different?

Coolant is a general name for the fluid that cools down the engine and prevents corrosion. Anti-freeze is a special kind of coolant that also protects the engine from freezing in low temperatures.

Not all coolants have antifreeze properties, but all antifreeze fluids are coolants. When you buy coolant for your vehicle, make sure it meets the requirements and offers enough freeze and boil protection for your weather conditions.

Coolant: The Multifunctional Fluid

Coolant is a vital fluid that helps regulate the temperature of the engine, preventing it from overheating. It is a mixture of water and additives designed to transfer and dissipate heat efficiently. The primary function of coolant is to absorb excess heat from the engine and transfer it to the radiator, where it is dissipated into the air.

In addition to its cooling properties, coolant also serves other important functions:

  • Freezing and Boiling Point Protection: Coolant contains additives that lower the freezing point and increase the boiling point of the mixture. This prevents the coolant from freezing in cold temperatures and boiling in hot conditions.
  • Corrosion Prevention: Coolant contains corrosion inhibitors that protect the various components of the cooling system, such as the radiator, water pump, and engine block, from rust and corrosion. These additives help extend the lifespan of the cooling system.

Anti-Freeze: Protecting Against Freezing Temperatures

Anti-freeze is a specific type of coolant that is formulated to provide protection against freezing temperatures. It is typically a concentrated solution of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol mixed with water. The primary purpose of antifreeze is to prevent the coolant from freezing in cold climates, which can lead to engine damage.

Antifreeze is often used in conjunction with coolant. It is mixed with water in the appropriate ratio to create a coolant mixture suitable for the anticipated temperature range. For example, in colder regions, a higher concentration of antifreeze is used to provide better protection against freezing.

Fluid Flushes And Top-Offs At KAMS Auto Service Center!

Fluids need to be changed frequently and that's a fact! That's why we invite you to our shop, simply book an appointment and leave the rest to our mechanics!

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