Torque Tips | What is the difference between coolant and antifreeze?

What is the difference between coolant and antifreeze?

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I had a problem navigating the difference between a coolant and antifreeze. I knew that both are added to your radiator and I knew that antifreeze was to stop the water in your engine from freezing (that was kind of taken from the name) but I have never heard of coolant before. The word coolant already gave me an idea of what its function could be (to cool the engine down) but what exactly are both of these liquids and how do they work?

·         Are they the same?

Yes and no, yes I know that is confusing but allow me to explain.

Antifreeze is a concentrated ethylene glycol liquid that lowers the freezing point of water so that it doesn’t freeze and cause any problems in your engine. When you take antifreeze and mix it with an equal amount of water, it becomes coolant. Coolant’s duty is to combat heat by raising the boiling point of water. This means that your engine is protected from extreme temperatures all year round

·         Great, but how do I use it?

It’s as simple as tying shoelaces.

Once you have mixed the antifreeze and water 50:50, simply pour it into the expansion tank/reservoir and voila! Done! The engine will do the rest and circulate it through the engine.

You do get different types of anti-freeze available in the market, so be sure to check your vehicle?s user manual or speak to the supplier about the correct type for your vehicle as you cannot mix two different types of anti-freeze. We hope that this Torque Tip has been enlightening and that next time you plan on topping up that this would help you to do it confidently.

Written by: Nita Stadler