In British Columbia, we experience a wide range of weather patterns – from below freezing and snowstorms on the Coquihalla Highway to hot Summers in the Fraser Valley. With this, vehicles need antifreeze (or coolant) to ensure that the engine runs smoothly in all conditions, regardless of the weather.
What is Antifreeze?
Antifreeze, otherwise known as coolant, is a liquid mixed with water to regulate your engine during extreme temperatures (like the aforementioned below freezing or very hot!)
During this time, while the temperature changes from hot to cold, or vice versa, the antifreeze pumps though the engine to regulate and maintain an optimal driving temperature.
Why should you use antifreeze in your vehicle?
To protect the maintenance of your vehicle, you should ensure that you have the proper amounts of antifreeze at all times. Without this, your vehicle can either overheat or freeze, which could have damaging impacts in the long term.
Antifreeze keeps the water in your radiator and engine from freezing in cold temperature, and boiling in hot temperatures. It can also help to serve as a lubricant for moving parts in your vehicle, such as the water pump.
How can you check antifreeze levels?
First, check to see if the liquid reaches the “full” indicator line on the side of the reservoir tank. If the liquid does not reach this line, open the cap and add a 50/50 mixture of water and coolant until it does. You can either use a coolant exclusively, or you can find coolants that are already premixed, which will take the guesswork out of the addition. Before you place this liquid in your vehicle, be sure to check the side of the bottle to determine if you do you have a premixed solution. Learn more about some of the best products on the market here.
Important notes on antifreeze…
When dealing with antifreeze, it is important to keep note of the following cautions:
- Never add coolant to a hot engine. This prevents the possibility of being burned or impacting your engine. Wait until your engine cools.
- If your antifreeze mixture is sludgy or has an oil surface, take your vehicle to a mechanic immediately.
- If the coolant is colourless or has objects floating within in, you will need to flush your system
- Feel your radiator hoses; replace them immediately if they are leaking or cracked.
Dealing with antifreeze is something that should not be taken lightly; this has a significant impact on your vehicle! Before you engage in adding antifreeze, be sure to take note of the cautions above, or consult a professional to ensure your engine runs smoothly.