Coolant: What It Is and Why It’s Important For Your Car

January 9, 2020

What is coolant and why is it important?

  1. Coolant maintains the right working temperature for your car
  2. Not having enough coolant can result in engine failure
  3. There are different types of coolant that car manufacturers use


Cars have so many different components and systems. Without having the right information regarding your vehicle, owning, operating, and maintaining it becomes an even tougher challenge. One such component is your car’s coolant. It is a fluid that helps your engine work properly, but do you really know the importance of coolant and why you should pay attention to it?

Continue reading to know more about coolants and how your car can benefit from having the right kind.


Coolant maintains the right working temperature for your car

An overheating engine

For starters, engine coolant is a substance that is used to regulate the temperature of your car’s system. As outside temperatures change from hot to cold or vice-versa, the coolant will be pumped through your engine to maintain an even operating temperature. Aside from preventing your engine from overheating and/or freezing, it also helps against corrosion.

It always comes in liquid form and is equally important as motor oil and refrigerant. It is also important to note that all fluids in your car need changing at some point, and the coolant is no exception. Thanks to its chemical nature, its components will eventually break down over time and will accumulate rust, sludge, and other impurities.


Not having enough coolant can result in engine failure

A man calling for help for his broken down car

The reason why operating your car without proper levels of coolant is not recommended is because you put your car at risk of engine failure. Engine failure can be caused by overheating and left unchecked, it can lead to potentially irreparable damage in your engine’s parts like the water pump, cylinder head, and the piston’s connector rods.

Many modern cars have an engine cut-off function that serves as protection when the engine starts to overheat. When this kicks in, you won’t be able to use your car until it cools down. However, if you are using an older car model that doesn’t have this function, you need to be more mindful of your car’s coolant levels.


There are different types of coolant that car manufacturers use

A car with coolant

If you are thinking of topping up your car’s coolant or flushing its system with new coolant, then you choose the one that is compatible with your car. You might make the assumption that all kinds of coolant are going to be compatible, but that is not true. In fact, there are three main types that car manufacturers use: Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT), Organic Acid Technology (OAT), and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT).

Older car models typically use IAT coolants and this type is usually changed every two years. They also commonly have a green color. Meanwhile, organic acid and hybrid organic acid are newer forms of coolant and are superior in terms of longevity. These types of coolants are usually changed every five years and can come in orange, yellow, red, or even purple. In terms of the specific car you have, the best way of knowing which type and brand to use is by going to your car dealership or manufacturer. They will usually have a specific official brand of coolant that is best for your car, so using that is your first best option. If you’re planning to go with an aftermarket coolant, such as the ones that can be found in auto parts stores and repair shops, you should ask around or consult your owner’s manual. Aftermarket coolants are cheaper, but they make it harder for you to identify which particular one is appropriate. Always read the labels before putting anything in your car.

It is also important to check if the coolant you are going to use is pre-diluted or not. Pure coolant used to be the more popular way of selling it and this meant that you’d have to dilute it yourself with water. However, modern jugs of coolant are now pre-diluted for user convenience. This type of convenience comes at a price though because you end up paying for less coolant.


Key Takeaway

Now that you know the importance of coolant and all the other necessary information regarding it, you are better prepared to take care of your car for the long term. When in doubt, refer to your car’s manual and get your car serviced and inspected by reputable auto shops like All Fast Cars.

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