What Is Radiator Coolant?
In today’s modern vehicle the range of coolants is as varied as the number of motor vehicle models available. Regardless of the terminology, coolant has two base factors:
- To protect the surface of the cooling system.
- To transfer heat from the engine to the radiator.
Each manufacturer of coolant has their own formula of chemicals that makes up their inhibitor pack contained within their product. Each will provide information on what their product is suitable for.
In a number of new vehicles, the manufacturer has opted for an organic formulation.
All inhibitors have a life span, this could range from 1 to 3 years or 20,000 up to 100,000km life. The chemical or organic formulation is a depleting item within the coolant.
Even if the coolant still retains its colour it may have stopped working (stopped protecting your cooling system) and can in fact attack the surface it was designed to protect if not maintained correctly. It is recommended to change the coolant at the end of the service life.
Always refer your owners manual.
One word that covers a wide and varied range of liquid that transfers heat from the engine to the radiator.
Each vehicle has its own combination of coolant, water, ethylene glycol or any of the 50 or so combinations.
Ethylene Glycol continues to confuse, known under a range of names – Antifreeze, Antiboil, summer coolant – it’s all the same product, designed to perform six basic functions within the cooling system.
- Increase the boiling point of water.
- Decrease the freezing point of water.
- Assist in the transfer of heat.
- Excellent hot spot corrosion protection.
- Anti corrosion.
- Anti foam.
Every vehicle manufacturer has designed their own coolant. Regardless of the advice, nobody knows your car’s cooling system like the manufacturer who built it. Follow their recommendations and you can’t go wrong.
Rules of Thumb
• No two brands of coolant are compatible.
• Do not mix coolants - refer to cooling system flushing procedure on page 16.
• Always use manufacturer recommended coolant.