It’s almost that time again. Winter is coming.
Okay—Fall still has some ways to go, but preparing for the impending, extreme temperatures is not just a task for the people of Westeros. While the fantastical characters of Game of Thrones can refuel their horses with pure water, water alone will not protect your engine’s cooling system from the elements.
Water is a wonderful coolant when combined with corrosion inhibitors, but its form-shifting properties make it insufficient in extreme heat and cold. Antifreeze not only lowers the freezing point of the water in the engine’s cooling system, it also raises the boiling point. This means that water won’t easily boil and release corrosive water vapor to dry onto internal surfaces. Conversely, the water will not freeze in harsh winter conditions and damage the cooling system.
In addition to heat transfer, antifreeze can also help prevent scale deposits in hard, mineralized water from sticking to metal parts and causing the engine to overheat.
Antifreeze is the best way to protect the system’s metal surfaces in the long-term, but how much is the proper amount for optimal value?
Ready-to-use antifreeze is fast and simple, but if you are purchasing drums of 100% concentrated antifreeze, the coolant to water ratio should be 50/50. Too much antifreeze (beyond 70% in the coldest climates) is no more effective than water alone in preventing freezing.