Once you turn the ignition on your car, it starts to heat up. Putting the best coolant in your car helps to cool it down and keeps it functioning at top speed. We’ll talk about the best coolants out there to help your car run at its optimal level.
Your car is a result of amazing technology. This technology effectively gets you from point A to point B daily. But any machine that burns fuel and has constantly moving parts also produces a great amount of heat. Friction and movement of parts make an engine very hot, as many of us have found out the hard way. Have you ever opened up your vehicle’s hood when you see smoke pouring out? And then without thinking, you start to turn the water tank’s cap? The result is painful, we know.
This heat is the reason your vehicle has a few systems to protect it. While oil is necessary to reduce friction, you also need to combat the heat itself. This is where your car’s cooling system comes in. Water is the default way of cooling down many things, but luckily today we have improved ways of achieving this goal.
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What goes into your vehicle’s cooling system?
With developed technology, manufacturers don’t depend on water alone for assistance in cooling down your vehicle’s engine. This is beneficial because water itself can cool down too much and freeze. If you live in a cold part of the world, this can easily happen while your car is left outside overnight. If you drive with frozen water in the vehicle’s pipes you can end up damaging the engine.
Thankfully, we can count on a good, quality coolant to help things. Coolant is also called antifreeze. Coolant contains many substances which aid in keeping your vehicle cold enough to function. In addition, it has substances that also protect the engine parts. Most importantly, coolant keeps water from freezing in the pipes. The added benefit of coolant is that it keeps the liquid in the cooling system from evaporating at high temperatures.
Once you’ve bought a coolant, you need to mix it with water. You add one part water for every part coolant you pour into the vehicle’s cooling system. This means your cooling system has 50% water inside it and 50% coolant. This will keep the water from freezing or boiling, as well as protect engine parts against damage.
What types of coolants are available?
First, you have to understand that you’ll find brand-specific coolants and general coolants. Vehicle manufacturers design coolants that are specifically formulated for their models. You need to decide whether you put your trust in these coolants—which are usually more expensive—or general coolants, which are made for all types of vehicles.
You’ll hear talk of different colors of coolants; coolant manufacturers use colors to distinguish between different types of coolants. This makes it easier for buyers to know what type of coolant to acquire because all antifreezes aren’t compatible with each other—you can’t simply mix them without checking their compatibility. As an example, the advanced coolants that are more organic and last longer are red or orange in color, while older types are green or yellow. But how do you know what type to use?
What type of coolant should you use?
You can use your vehicle manufacturer’s coolant if your budget allows it. If you want to try a different type of coolant, you’ll need to drain your vehicle of the old coolant before a new type is put in. This will prevent the substances from producing unwanted effects. If two coolants aren’t compatible, they may form a gel-like compound instead of staying in liquid form. Alternatively, they may influence each other’s functioning or let the vital chemicals deteriorate faster than normal.
You also need to identify the type of engine you drive because some coolants are made specifically for diesel vehicles, while others are designed to benefit gasoline engines.
What other effect does a coolant have on your engine?
Coolants have many ingredients that assist your vehicle. These chemicals protect metals, such as steel and aluminum, against corrosion and rust. This means your coolant is actually a powerful protective liquid that’s vital for your vehicle. Only by protecting all parts as much as possible will you get years of good service out of your vehicle.
When should you buy coolant?
Coolant has many ingredients that don’t that don’t keep; its efficacy wanes over time and this is why your cooling system makes up part of your vehicle’s service. New coolant needs to be added. Most of the time, service will include the draining of the fluid out of the cooling system so new coolant can be poured in instead of mixing old and new versions. In between services, you’ll need to make sure the coolant is topped up for optimal functioning of your vehicle.
So now you know what you’re buying, let’s look at a few types of coolants.
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The BMW Grey Antifreeze Coolant protects all kinds of metals such as cast iron, steel, and aluminum. It is made from ethylene glycol and comes in a one-gallon bottle for convenient use. It really is a great coolant for your vehicle.
- This coolant looks out for your engine by protecting engine parts made of iron, steel, and aluminum.
- There’s a high concentration of the chemicals and other substances. This means your engine receives the best possible treatment.
- This coolant is manufactured specifically for BMW vehicles. It’s a quality product but it won’t necessarily benefit other brands because it’s made for a specific type of engine.
- Original BMW parts and substances are quite pricey when compared to other options.
The Toyota Genuine Fluid Long Life Coolant has won accolades from customers all over the world. It contains genuine Toyota fluids and provides very high performance. This OEM Toyota coolant is specifically developed for all Toyota vehicles. However, it can be used for other vehicles too and works very well. It is important to know that this product is only for gasoline engines.
- For Toyota drivers, this is the best option because it’s designed to benefit Toyota models.
- Ethylene glycol in the liquid gives additional protection for aluminum parts.
- This coolant can’t turn into gel, so you know you’ll always have liquid in your vehicle’s pipes.
- You receive this coolant already diluted. Toyota already added water so you don’t have to add anything but this to your cooling system.
- It’s a more expensive option than the general coolants because it’s made specifically to benefit Toyota engines.
The Zerex G-05 Concentrate Antifreeze/Coolant is another very popular product in the market today. Its anti-corrosion, European technology protects all the metals from decaying. Its lower-silicate, phosphate-free formulation works well for both gasoline and diesel engines. It also comes with a high-quality defoamer system that does not harm hoses and other plastic materials of your vehicle. This nitrite containing coolant protects diesel engine liners from cavitations.
- In a world where you’re looking for quick answers and quick fixes, you only need one purchase: You can use Zerex G-05 for all your vehicles because this coolant can be used in both gasoline and diesel engines.
- It looks after your engine’s cooling system by protecting the metals—even aluminum—against corrosion.
- You don’t have to be concerned about your water source because Zerex G-05 contains substances that protect the liquid from hard water deposits or scale.
- It can’t harm non-metal surfaces such as plastics made of hoses, or your vehicle’s body.
- It’s advisable to use the same coolant a manufacturer uses. Zerex isn’t distributed by a particular brand of vehicle, so you won’t find it in your newly bought vehicle.
- It’s reported to work in most brands, but you’ll have to have your vehicle’s cooling system drained and cleaned before simply adding this coolant to your current type.
The Prestone Extended Life 50/50 Antifreeze can be used for all models of cars and light trucks. It lasts a long time as well, up to 5 years. It prevents corrosion while helping to keep the cooling system running. It is totally compatible with any other antifreeze or coolant. It even prevents metals from corroding and enhances their lifespan.
- This coolant is one of the most affordable coolants on the market.
- It’s designed to work with any type of vehicle including bigger designs such as light trucks.
- A propylene glycol formula is a great safety feature. This ingredient offers protection for the environment and for pets that accidentally drink it. This substance lowers the freezing point of water but it’s an environmentally friendly product used in some pet foods.
- This isn’t produced by a specific vehicle brand. Though the product’s guidelines state it can be added to any vehicle’s current coolant, this may shorten the time coolants work optimally.
- It doesn’t offer continual protection and efficacy over long periods of time.
The Genuine Honda Parts Blue Type 2 Coolant is specially developed for Honda vehicles and fits all models very well. It provides protection against corrosion and rust for all cooling system components. It can protect your vehicle for up to 5 years if you follow the directions that it comes with. You won’t need extra corrosion inhibitors for this particular product. It is an ethylene glycol based product that provides long-lasting aluminum component protection.
- You can be assured any Honda vehicle will benefit from using this coolant. This means your Honda motor vehicle, as well as your Honda motorcycle, can use one type of coolant.
- You don’t have to add any additional corrosion inhibitors as it already contains ethylene glycol which protects components in the cooling system.
- It’s not wise to use this coolant in other types of vehicles because it’s specifically designed to benefit a Honda engine’s cooling system.
- It’s more expensive than other brands that design a general coolant for any vehicle.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to opt for brand-manufactured coolants. With today’s technology, you can acquire great working coolant for a more acceptable price. This is why a substance such as Zerex is an ideal option as a coolant. It can be trusted in most vehicles to effectively cool and protect your engine. And Zerex makes it all possible without breaking the bank.
Not all general coolants can claim this. An item such as the Prestone coolant is only great as a short-term answer. It can’t be trusted to give the same level of protection as the manufacturers’ coolants and is only a wise option if you need an affordable coolant to top up your engine right before service.