What is Antifreeze and How Does it Work?

If you’re on a mission to better understand what goes on under the hood of your vehicle, at some point you’ll probably want to learn more about antifreeze. As always, Hendrick Chevrolet Cary is here to provide service information you can trust! In the guide below, we’ll answer some common antifreeze questions, including:

  • What is antifreeze?
  • What is antifreeze used for?
  • Why is antifreeze important?

What is Antifreeze?

What is antifreeze made of? Usually, it’s a mixture of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. It can be green, pink, or orange in color, depending on its properties. Inside most vehicles, you’ll find green antifreeze, but it’s imperative that you check your owner’s manual to confirm what the proper color of antifreeze is for your vehicle.

Many Apex car owners confuse antifreeze with coolant or use the terms interchangeably. Is antifreeze coolant? Technically, they are two separate fluids. Coolant is a mixture of antifreeze and water – often a 50/50 mix, or sometimes a 70/30 mix. Although they’re technically two separate things, antifreeze and coolant both help regulate your engine’s temperature.

What is Antifreeze Used for?

Inside your car’s engine bay, there is a reservoir that connects to the radiator where antifreeze is stored. A water pump mixes the antifreeze with the coolant and moves it throughout the engine, transferring combustion-generated heat away from the engine. Now hot, the coolant gets circulated back to the radiator, where it is air-cooled to rid it of excess heat. Unbeknownst to you, this cycle repeats itself while you’re driving in Raleigh to keep your engine running at a safe temperature.

Why is Antifreeze Important?

While the coolant is in your vehicle year-round, antifreeze is only needed during the winter months. The reason antifreeze is so crucial if you live in an area that gets extremely cold temperatures is that it’s formulated to prevent the coolant from freezing. If your coolant froze, these vital components could become seriously damaged:

  • Water Pump
  • Engine Cylinders
  • Connector Rods
  • Head Gasket

Schedule Auto Service in Cary, NC

Even in a somewhat mild climate like we have in Cary, it’s not a bad idea to winterize your vehicle with antifreeze. If you haven’t done so yet, you can schedule an appointment at our service center. Our expert technicians will ensure your vehicle is prepared to handle the cold to come!