Automotive Systems

Formerly Automotive Systems I

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Coolants And Antifreeze

Coolants and Antifreeze

Since water is easily obtained, cheap, and has the ability to transfer heat readily, it has served as a basic coolant for many years. Some properties of water, such as its boiling point, freezing point, and natural corrosive action on metals, limit its usefulness as a coolant. To counteract this, use an antifreeze.

Antifreeze, usually ethylene glycol, is mixed with water to produce the engine coolant. Antifreeze has several functions.

  • Prevents winter freeze up, which can cause serious damage to the engine and cooling system.
  • Prevents rust and corrosion by providing a protective film on the metal surfaces.
  • Lubricates the water pump, which increases the service life of the pump and seals.
  • Cools the engine; prevents overheating in hot weather.

For ideal cooling and winter protection, a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water is recommended. It will provide protection from ice formation to about –34F.

Higher ratios of antifreeze produce even lower freezing temperatures; for example, a 60/40 mixture will protect the cooling system to about –62F. However, this much protection is not normally needed.

WARNING

Ethylene glycol is a toxic material. Avoid prolonged skin contact or accidental ingestion. Wear protective gloves and goggles while handling antifreeze and coolants.

Published by SweetHaven Publishing Services
Based upon a text provided by the U.S. Navy

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All rights reserved