Automobiles use several fluids to support mechanical components and improve performance. Antifreeze, also known as coolant, is an essential substance that absorbs excess heat from the engine and keeps it from freezing, preventing problems on the roads. Below, you'll learn more about the importance of this fluid and how auto maintenance technicians recommend making sure your vehicle always contains the appropriate amount. 

How Does Antifreeze Work?

Antifreeze sits in a coolant reservoir, a plastic container located in the engine bay beneath your vehicle's hood. Though often green, this fluid may be blue, orange, or yellow. Auto mechanics typically recommend diluting it with water, which can allow the liquid to reach a higher temperature and absorb more heat. 

A water pump moves the fluid through hollow structures in the engine block known as water jackets, where antifreeze absorbs heat. Next, the warm fluid flows through hoses into the radiator, where cool air that enters the grille lowers the liquid's temperature. 

Finally, the coolant moves through a separate set of hoses to reenter the water jackets before repeating the whole cycle continuously. This fluid also serves the dual purpose of preventing moisture in the engine block from forming crystal lattices. This can keep mechanical components from freezing while the vehicle is at rest. 

Why Is It Important?

auto maintenance

Antifreeze may keep the engine from overheating, which can help you avoid breakdowns and the need for roadside assistance or emergency towing. Since it also keeps liquids in the engine from freezing, it can prevent internal components from sticking together and seizing. 

This fluid may also protect internal engine components such as the pistons, valves, and crankshaft, preventing them from becoming damaged because of exposure to extremely high or low temperatures. Coolant can keep the engine running dependably and eliminate the need for engine repairs, rebuilds, or a premature replacement. 

How Should You Check & Add Coolant?

You can ensure your vehicle has enough coolant by checking the markings on the side of the reservoir, located adjacent to the engine. Auto maintenance providers recommend doing this during winter since lower temperatures can make the engine more likely to freeze. 

If the coolant sits at or near the "full" mark on the container, you don't need to add antifreeze. However, if the level is low, dilute coolant with equal parts water; remove the metal cap on the reservoir; and carefully pour in the substance until it reaches the "full" line. Do this when your vehicle's engine has completely cooled to avoid producing steam or getting burned. 


Keep your engine in excellent condition with help from Brothers Tire Sales. They provide routine auto maintenance along with repairs and tire services to drivers throughout Kannapolis, NC and the surrounding areas. Call (704) 933-2203 to request an estimate from an auto mechanic and visit the website to learn more about how they can keep you on the roads.