The two terms might sound a bit like opposites, but at the end of the day, coolant and antifreeze are the same exact thing. With the term “coolant,” you might be wondering why you would want to use this during the winter. It’s already cold enough as it is, so why would you want to use something that would theoretically make it even cooler? Well, sometimes you just have to give coolant the benefit of the doubt. Or you can pretend like you’ve never even heard of the word coolant before and just focus on antifreeze—either way works!
When looking for antifreeze and oil changes in Lansing, MI, it’s important to remember these auto maintenance steps aren’t just seasonal plans of action. There are a variety of roles antifreeze plays in the grand scheme of your car, and this is especially important during the winter months. The implications involved often run deeper than people even think.
What exactly is antifreeze?
Antifreeze is at its best when it is mixed with one other ingredient: water. This simple combination is vital during the winter season and should be monitored in your car year-round. It’s worth knowing how much glycol vs. how much water should be mixed into your car. The recommended amount is a hard 50/50 split. If you use only glycol, your engine might fail. If you use only water, your engine is going to overheat.
What does antifreeze do during the winter?
Everyone knows that water can freeze, so the biggest factor here is the glycol. This glycol factor makes sure the liquids running through the radiator do not freeze and provides lubrication for the constantly moving parts with which it interacts. Everywhere it goes, it helps things like seals and gaskets remain flexible to prevent them from hardening due to the cold weather. No matter how low temperatures may get, antifreeze will keep things from freezing. This can be done through transferring engine heat to other areas, or simply by forming a shell around the hardware it touches.
When should you top off or change your antifreeze?
It can be hard to tell if antifreeze is at appropriate levels (or working at all) until it’s too late. Sometimes you just need a top-off, while other times you might need a complete replacement. Look at things like the color of the fluid. If it appears rusty or you see debris floating around, it’s time to freshen things up. Regular checkups of your antifreeze really depend on the make and model of your vehicle, so don’t be afraid to ask next time you visit for antifreeze or oil changes in Lansing, MI.
Believe it or not, cars really can overheat in the winter, so it’s important to keep an eye on your antifreeze levels as you fight through the slush and snow. It’s amazing how much protection a little bit of water and glycol can give you. Consider PFS Auto Repair for your next auto maintenance visit. We take our antifreeze just as seriously as we take any other auto repair service we are asked to tackle. Come see us soon to keep your car running smoothly all winter long!