How to change antifreeze in a car?
Before giving you all the necessary tips to change antifreeze, let’s take a closer look at what antifreeze does.
What is coolant?
Coolant is a liquid stored in your car’s radiator. It has two main functions: helping to prevent engine overheating and corrosion and lubricating the parts it is in contact with, like the water pump. What’s the difference between antifreeze and coolant?
Coolant vs antifreeze:
A coolant should be always an antifreeze. These fluids keep liquids from freezing at low temperatures and boiling at temperatures over 100° Celsius, which are common in city traffic in the summer. Only the correct mix ratio between antifreeze and water provides the required protection for your cooling system.
How many antifreeze types are there?
There are two main groups of antifreeze, mono ethylene glycol-based and mono propylene glycol-based. We recommend you to refer to the owner’s manual to find out which type your engine needs and the correct antifreeze ratio (antifreeze has to be mixed with water). Each antifreeze contains special additives to prevent corrosion of the metal surfaces in the cooling system. Do not mix different antifreezes, which will adversely impact additive performance.
When to change antifreeze or how often to change antifreeze/when to change coolant
The automaker specifies how often coolant should be changed. Please check the owner’s manual or ask your dealer or garage.
How to check antifreeze?
Checking antifreeze is very easy.
There is no need to remove the cap on the radiator. Just check to see if the liquid reaches the “full” mark on the side of the reservoir. If it doesn’t, add a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Some coolants are premixed, so read the instructions on the container to see if you need to add water or can use it as-is.
Only add water to the coolant system in an emergency. If this happens, you’ll have to do a complete flush and change the coolant if the water concentration is above 60% in the coolant after the top-up.
How to flush antifreeze/how to drain engine coolant, change coolant
Every car model is different when it comes to changing antifreeze. It can be a little tricky to remove all the liquid. In some cases, several screws have to be removed to flush the system. Refilling the system can be even more difficult when there is air in the top parts of the engine. We therefore recommend that you have your dealer change the coolant.