Automotive Systems

Formerly Automotive Systems I

automech02.jpg (42077 bytes)

shpslogo.jpg (6992 bytes)

LegalContact Us

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.


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

Copyright 2001-2004 SweetHaven Publishing Services
All rights reserved