When you fill the coolant tank, do you sometimes use water instead of antifreeze? If so, you aren't alone. Many people think it's okay to use pure distilled water instead of coolant when living in a hot climate. So why do you use antifreeze when you don't ever operate your car below 32°F? You probably don't need antifreeze, right? WRONG!
A common misconception about water is that it can be cheaper and equally effective when dealing with overheating. For example, a car's cooling system cannot function without cooling fluid. Discover why in this article.
Coolant, or antifreeze, expands the range of freezing and boiling points of water by mixing it with water at a 50/50 ratio. A 32-degree Celsius water will freeze, and a 212-degree Celsius water will boil. As soon as the solution is mixed with an equal amount of antifreeze, the freezing point drops to -35 degrees Fahrenheit. Comparatively, it reaches a boiling point of 223 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most types of antifreeze contain propylene glycol (PG) or ethylene glycol (EG). Due to these active ingredients, water/coolant mixtures can remain in liquid form even under such extreme temperatures. The engine parts are also treated with several additives and inhibitors that prevent corrosion.
A very bright color is also produced by adding dyes to the coolant. There are many different colors you can choose from, including green, yellow, pink, red, orange, and blue. A car's cooling system can be identified by its color to determine the type of antifreeze needed. Consult the owner's manual or a dealer if you change the coolant yourself.
Tip: By examining the color of liquid on the ground under your car, you can also identify a leak by knowing the color of your coolant. For example, the fluid in an oil pan is black, the liquid in windshield washers is blue, the fluid in the coolant is brightly colored, and the fluid in brakes is usually greasy and clear.
The main reason why coolant is so essential is that it stays liquid at extreme temperatures and even during adverse operating conditions. Coolant keeps your vehicle's engine running smoothly for a long time. It is a good idea to regularly check your car's coolant levels and add more, if necessary, but remember to maintain a 50/50 water to coolant ratio.
This mixture is best made with distilled water instead of tap water since the latter may contain minerals that could build up in the radiator and interfere with its proper operation. As soon as you notice any leaks, make sure to repair them. When you move your vehicle into your garage, you will see the color of the coolant (usually a bright color).
It is also essential that you use the correct type of coolant for your vehicle, as using the wrong one can cause corrosion inside the engine and damage to particular components such as hoses, belts, cylinder gaskets, radiators and water pumps.
To learn more about different types of coolants and what each brand has to offer, head to Lebanese Europe Auto Parts Center down BMW Road, Sharjah, or contact us here.
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