Types of Antifreeze

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How to Check & Fill Coolant/Antifreeze....5

Learn all about the types of antifreeze you can use to winterize your car, extend its life, and improve safety in this free vehicle maintenance and safety video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Winterize a Car
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Video Transcript

In this clip, we're going to talk about the strength of your antifreeze and the two different types of antifreeze. There are two types of antifreeze; one is called ethylene glycol, the other is called propylene glycol. Propylene glycol lasts about 150,000 miles and is used in most General Motors vehicles. Ethylene glycol and propylene glycol cannot mix. They are differentiated by their color. Coolant is color specific. If you have green coolant in your engine, you cannot and should not add orange coolant to it. Orange coolant is called Dex-Cool. It's an extended life coolant and has a different chemical composition than the green coolant. What I want to identify as well is for the coolant strength temperature differences. The stronger your coolant, the less overheating protection you have. However, the difference is pretty miniscule. To go from 70 to 50/50, you're only going to lose about 10 degrees of overheating protection. However, if you go from 70% to 50%, you are going to lose 50 degrees of freezing protection. So, if you're living in Northern States or if it gets cold about where you live, it's better to be stronger than weaker. Exactly what 50/50 means when it comes to your coolant mixture is that you're going to use 1 gallon of coolant per 1 gallon of water. If you're going to use a 70/30 mix, the jugs will be marked, as you can see here on the side, they are marked in quarters. From here up is 25%, from here up is 50%, from here up is 75% and from here down is 100%. You going to just want to gauge it. They don't really have a specific tool for measuring it. But if you have a doubt, your parts store will sell 50/50 mix coolant already. So, if you're in the Southern States below the Rust Belt, it's okay to go ahead and buy the 50/50 mix. However, you get less coolant for a very miniscule amount of parts savings. If you look here, I have my chart which will indicate the actual temperatures that it will overheat at and that it will cool at. You have the 70/30, the 60/40 and the 50/50. It is not recommended anywhere in the continental United States to run anything less than 50/50. That's the proper way to determine the strength of coolant that you need and the differences between the two of them.

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