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Insurance Article

Using Antifreeze? This Is What You Should Be Knowing

January 30 2019

There are certain things that should be kept in mind before using Antifreeze for your car

The slowly changing weather signals that it is time to check your car. Parts, such as the tyres, brake-oil, battery, wiper, windscreen, etc., need to be looked after. However, one thing that we often tend to forget and skip is the engine coolant.

Like water keeps a human body hydrated and cool, the coolant, a mixture of antifreeze and water helps to keep the car engine cool and prevents overheating. Engine overheating can result in engine failure and repairing which can significantly dent your finances.

Although the importance of antifreeze cannot be downplayed, it is important to keep certain things in mind before using it.

  1. Difference between coolant and antifreeze

  2. Most cars use a liquid-based cooling system and water serves as the liquid which helps to keep the engines cool by absorbing the heat through a specially designed system. However, water can freeze in the coolant pipes as the temperature outside plunges. This is where antifreeze helps.

    Antifreeze is a glycol-based concentrated liquid that is mixed with water in the coolant system of your engine. It lowers the freezing temperature of water and increases its boiling point and slows its response to outer temperature. Coolant and Antifreeze differ in this respect as coolant comes pre-mixed with water whereas antifreeze is a concentrate that needs to be diluted.

  3. Need to periodically flush out coolant

  4. Like every other fluid used in your car, the coolant also loses its effectiveness over time. The only solution is to replace the coolant after a period of time. The vehicle owner’s manual that comes with your car contains detailed guidelines in this respect.

    A general rule of thumb to follow in this regard is to change the coolant after your car has travelled 32,000 kilometres or every two years. Although nowadays coolants come with a longer shelf-life, it is better to be safe than sorry.

  5. Antifreeze types

  6. While you go to the market for getting antifreeze or coolant for your vehicle, you will come across a lot of different varieties. It is important to point out that irrespective of whether it is red, green or orange coolant, all are made up of the same base chemical ethylene glycol.

    What differentiates one variant from the other is the additives and dyes that are added to make them fit for vehicles with different mileage.

    However, that does not mean any one of the variants could be used in your car. When it comes to selecting the best coolant for your car, you should always follow the recommendation of the manufacturer.

  7. Deciding the amount

  8. The maxim ‘excess of anything is bad’ holds true in case of car coolant as well. While using antifreeze is useful in preventing water from freezing and protects against corrosion, it is important to use it in the right amount.

    There is a dilution guideline that is present on the packaging of most antifreeze brands. While using antifreeze for your car, you should follow the dilution chart and dilute the antifreeze to the recommended level.

  9. Safety

  10. Ethylene glycol, which is the main ingredient of the antifreeze is a highly toxic chemical. Ethylene glycol can cause damage to the heart, brain and kidneys and is potent enough to cause fatalities when ingested.

    It is important to store antifreeze in a safe place away from children and pets. While pets are attracted to its smell, children are attracted to the colour of antifreeze. A bitter agent is added to the antifreeze, to prevent consumption, but as it is often said ‘prevention is better than cure’, it should be kept away from unsuspecting individuals.

    You should always wear gloves while cleaning antifreeze as absorption of the solution through the skin can cause severe internal damage. Even inhalation of the fumes can cause dizziness.

    You can also opt for another antifreeze which has propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol as its base. This variant is relatively less toxic and can be used as an alternative.

    Along with getting a good antifreeze, ensure you get a good car insurance policy. You can now get the best vehicle insurance plan online and also pay the premium amount online without having to leave the comfort of your home. A good motor insurance plan covers you against financial liabilities during an emergency situation with your vehicle.

Related Article:

8 Tips for Driving in Dark Winter Conditions
Top Tips to Take Care of Your Car During Winter

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