Winter is coming, so if you’re all about being prepared for the coldest time of the year, you’re going to want to make sure your vehicle’s engine stays working during freezing conditions.
That’s where antifreeze comes in handy, but what is it and what happens to your car if you forget it?
Antifreeze is a liquid you add to the water in an engine’s cooling system. This is essentially what forms the ‘coolant’ solution in your engine, which is one of the most crucial fluids under your vehicles bonnet, maintaining the temperature of the engine to prevent overheating and freezing.
Made from either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, antifreeze changes the freezing and boiling points of water. Without antifreeze, the fluid in your coolant tank is pretty much just water, and what happens to water in freezing temperatures? It freezes of course! And you won’t get far with a frozen engine.
Coolant/antifreeze needs to circulate through the engine to maintain the correct working temperature of different components and protect them from heat, freezing and corrosion. If your car runs out of coolant on the road, it will result in one of the following:
The resulting damage is likely to include:
When it comes to the warning signs of dangerously low coolant/antifreeze levels, there are quite a few to look out for. You’ll be able to spot the following signs straight away, and if you do you should get those fluid levels topped up immediately:
If you notice any of these, find a safe place to pull over immediately to try and prevent further damage to your vehicle.
Of course, we recommend you keep your coolant/antifreeze levels topped up at all times, making sure you have spare fluid stored in your vehicle just incase.
If you have driven your vehicle with no coolant in the tank at any point, take your vehicle to an approved garage right away - especially if you’ve noticed any of the signs we mentioned above.