ZCC-man removing frozen ice in the windshield

31 Dec Antifreeze: Winter Weather Protection for Your Car

Invest in protection for your car this winter and schedule a cooling system service with your local auto shop. They will ensure your car heater and defroster are working correctly for winter driving, which is vital as the temperatures continue to drop. The service technician will also check for coolant leaks and inspect the quality of your antifreeze.

Winter Driving

Winter driving creates unique challenges for your vehicle. One way to protect your car in winter weather is to flush & refill the antifreeze in the cooling system every 30,000-60,000 miles.

Antifreeze vs. Coolant

Is there a difference between antifreeze and coolant? Technically, yes, there is a difference. Antifreeze is an undiluted chemical solution. It may be composed of ethylene glycol (an organic compound), propylene glycol (a synthetic compound), or a hybrid of the two. Antifreeze becomes coolant once it is mixed with distilled water. In general, the coolant mixture is 50% water and 50% antifreeze. However, your auto manufacturer may recommend upping the coolant mixture to 70% antifreeze and 30% distilled water for added protection during extremely cold weather.

Why Does Antifreeze Come In Different Colors?

The days when antifreeze was always a bright neon yellow-green color and worked in every car are long gone. These days, antifreeze is available in numerous formulas and colors for various vehicles. Some auto manufacturers even formulate different antifreeze compounds for each of their specific vehicle types. The colors may help distinguish the type of antifreeze, but never assume the formula by color alone. Always read the container carefully before using antifreeze, or ready-mixed coolant, for your car. Only use the type and brand as recommended in your owner’s manual.

Coolant Leaks

No matter what color your coolant is, a leak can be identified by the sweet smell and slightly sticky residue left in puddles under your car. Since antifreeze is toxic if ingested, make sure to clean up spills and leaks completely with soapy water. A coolant leak can indicate a severe issue within your vehicle’s cooling system. Schedule a diagnostic service with your auto shop so they can identify the issue and suggest the necessary repairs. Ignoring a coolant leak may lead to more serious problems and expensive repairs.

Benefits of Fresh Antifreeze

The cooling system is a complex, closed system. It is responsible for dispersing the intense heat generated by the engine through numerous components.

Car Heater & Defroster

The cooling system brings heat into the cabin through the HVAC system during cold weather. Fresh coolant helps prevent scale, rust, and other particulates from clogging the HVAC components. The defroster also benefits from new antifreeze in the coolant.

Cooling System Lubrication

Antifreeze formulas provide various amounts of oil and other lubricants to keep the cooling system running smoothly. Without proper lubrication, seals and gaskets can dry out and cause leaks. Excessive wear can create the need for premature component replacements.

Corrosion Inhibitors

Corrosion inhibitors are also added to the antifreeze formulas to prevent scale build-up, rust, and chemical reactions within the cooling system. These inhibitors wear out over time and become less effective. Fresh antifreeze provides the anti-corrosive compounds needed to keep the whole system running efficiently.

Antifreeze Service in Hillsboro, OR

Z’s Car Care is a full-service auto repair shop in Hillsboro, OR. We have provided top-quality auto repairs and service for all makes and models of vehicles for over 35 years. If you are looking for honest and reliable technicians to perform a Cooling System Service on your car, we are here to help!

Schedule Appointment

Give us a call at (503) 648-3552 or visit us online to schedule your cooling system service and preventative maintenance needs.

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