How to change antifreeze in a car
Before informing you about how to change antifreeze, let’s have a look at what antifreeze does.
What is coolant?
Coolant is a liquid which is stored in the car’s radiator. It has two main functions: firstly, it helps to prevent engine from overheating and corrosion and secondly, lubricating the parts that it is in contact with, like the water pump. But what is the difference between antifreeze and coolant?
Coolant VS Antifreeze:
A coolant should be always an antifreeze. These fluids protect liquids from freezing at low temperatures and boiling at high temperatures over 100° Celsius, which are common in city traffic during summer. Only the correct mix ratio between antifreeze and water can provide the necessary protection for the cooling system.
How many antifreeze types are there?
There are two main groups of antifreeze: mono ethylene glycol-based and mono propylene glycol-based. In order to check which type is best for your engine and which is the correct antifreeze ratio (antifreeze has to be mixed with water), we recommend you to consult the owner’s manual. Each antifreeze contains special additives so as to prevent corrosion of the metal surfaces in the cooling system. You should not mix different antifreezes, which will adversely impact additive performance.
When to change antifreeze or how often to change antifreeze?
The automaker defines how frequently coolant should be changed. Please have a look at the owner’s manual or ask your dealer or garage.
How to check antifreeze?
Checking antifreeze is very easy. You don’t need to remove the cap on the radiator. Just check to see if the liquid is reaching the “full” mark on the side of the reservoir. If it is not, just add a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Some coolants are premixed, so you have to read the instructions on the packaging to find out if you need to add water or can use it as-is.
Only add water to the coolant system in case of emergency. If this happens, you’ll have to do a complete flush and change the coolant if the water concentration is above 60% after the top-up.
How to flush antifreeze/how to drain engine coolant, change coolant?
Concerning changing antifreeze, every car model is different. It can be a little complicated 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.
Please note that all these are mainly recommendations. You should follow the steps carefully and remember that you are responsible for these actions. So, be sure that you have both necessary equipment and skills. If not, we suggest that you should address to a qualified mechanic so as to implement these operations. We also recommend that you recycle your used oil by taking it to an oil change center or a waste recycling facility. Any type of oil can be reused: car oil, motorbike oil, truck oil, tractor oil, boat oil and others. In recycling, do not mix different products such as brake fluid, coolant and engine oil. Each fluid has to be recycled separately. Even small quantities of coolant or brake fluid in used engine oil could disrupt or halt the recycling process.