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Antifreeze and Coolants

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Of course, it is the right time of year to be sure that your antifreeze is at its optimum level. 

Modern cars tend to have sealed coolant systems so, unless you have had a leak in the system you may not need to top it up. However, if your car is approaching 5yearsold and has not been checked it is worth checking and topping up the coolant with antifreeze.

The use of Antifreeze has been known for over 100 years and for the most part a simple mixture of Ethylene Glycol and Water (coolant) is used to provide cooling for your car’s engine, protecting it in the winter months from the extreme cold and, oddly enough, a good antifreeze mixture also controls your engine temperature through the hot summer months. The coolant mixture is an excellent transport for heat, taking the engines heat to the radiator to cool. 

Choosing the correct antifreeze for your car is very important and if you are not sure please check your owners handbook, or alternatively give the MotorNuts® technical team a call on 01254 778255 they will be happy to guide help you select the correct fluid. 

The correct antifreeze is very important because of the different corrosion inhibitors that are included, your car manufacturer will have selected a particular antifreeze specification to match your engine charac­te­ristics, so it is important to stick with that. 

As mentioned earlier, modern cars have sealed systems and may not need a top up but it is important to check. 

Checking your coolant

Only release the coolant filler cap when the engine is cold.

Identify the car’s expansion tank – check your drivers handbook to locate the coolant filler cap.

Follow any vehicle-specific advice given (adding antifreeze to the screen wash, brake fluid or power steering reservoir would be a very bad idea.)

Check that that the coolant is between the min/max marking on the expansion tank

If you think that you need to top up the coolant. Please do not remove the filler cap unless the engine is cold– a hot engine will have hot pressurised water in the tank. A scalding risk

Before you top up just check that you have the correct antifreeze/­coolant. Some types will not be happy to mix. 

A dropping level for coolant is not a normal expectation. Check any hoses that you can see at the same time; wet or white staining is a sign of possible problems to come.

Otherwise it may be wise to check with a local garage.