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How Antifreeze Works to Protect Your Car in the Winter12.24.2012 | Okan Sengullu

Without the proper amount of antifreeze in your car’s cooling system this winter, the system could freeze and you could end up having to pay an expensive car repair bill. Here’s how antifreeze works in your car and why it’s so important to have the antifreeze levels checked at a car repair shop before the Chicago winter hits full force.

Antifreeze Keeps Your Radiator Working

In order to cool your car’s engine properly, your radiator needs fluid. This fluid is circulated throughout the car in order to extract some of the heat from your engine. Since your engine is extremely hot, this fluid must have a high boiling point. It must also have a low freezing point to avoid freezing when your car is not running in winter weather—frozen radiator fluid would render your cooling system useless. In order to have the most ideal combination of boiling and freezing points, car mechanics use a combination of water and ethylene glycol, known also as antifreeze.

Antifreeze Lowers the Freezing Point

On a mechanical level, antifreeze works to save your car from expensive car repair services. On a molecular level, though, antifreeze works by dissolving into water and adding to the total number of molecules in the fluid. The more molecules there are, the lower the freezing point will be.

Antifreeze Doesn’t React with Other Chemicals in Your Car

Ethylene glycol is today’s most trusted antifreeze because it is able to lower the freezing point to -40 degrees Fahrenheit without causing a buildup of pressure within the cooling system, without costing too much, and without causing unwanted chemical reactions in the cooling system.

To protect your car from damage this winter, it’s essential to have the antifreeze levels in your car’s cooling system checked by a professional mechanic. Come to Bucaro Brothers Auto Care of Chicago for an antifreeze check and any other pre-winter maintenance you may need. For more information, visit our website or call (773) 570-4541.

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