Most people assume they know what antifreeze does in a car’s engine. After all, it is pretty obvious if you just look at the name. It is a chemical agent that keeps the parts of the car engine from freezing. Antifreeze does more than just that for your engine. How does it do everything all at the same time? The answer is in its make-up.
The Chemical Make-up
Antifreeze does keep an engine from locking up because of its chemical make-up. The ingredients in antifreeze combine to make a reaction where the fluids in a car cannot freeze. The reaction of the chemicals will always stay warm enough for all of the parts to keep functioning, no matter how cold it gets. The exception to this rule is oil. An oil pan might need a heat engine block installed if you live in areas that are consistently below zero for extended periods. Antifreeze does not mix with the oil to keep it warm while the car sits out in the garage at night.
Just as the antifreeze keeps the engine from freezing, it also works in reverse. The chemical reaction with the fluids also keeps the engine cool during the summer months so that it does not overheat. How is this possible? Well, it’s possible because of the science behind the ingredients used to make up antifreeze. The properties in the antifreeze also work to cool the engine so the parts do not get too hot and they can still run together without friction causing too much heat.
An engine needs to be kept at a certain temperature to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Keeping the antifreeze levels up all year will allow the engine to run at temperatures where it can do just that. Antifreeze levels can be checked at a service center when the oil is changed. The antifreeze can also be inspected during a maintenance check to see if it is the correct color or if it needs flushing. Sometimes, dirt can get in the fluids and they need to be changed, especially after there are several thousands of miles put on an engine, and if your car travels over roads with dirt.
Antifreeze Can Be Dangerous
Even though the compound is called antifreeze, it anti-boils, too. Since the compound is chemical in nature, it is dangerous to the touch. Keep antifreeze away from children and pets. There is an ingredient in antifreeze that is sweet and will attract pets. However, this ingredient is fatal and could kill a cat or a dog who was caught licking it off the garage floor or from the container in the garage.
If there is antifreeze in containers in your garage, then keep them on a shelf where they cannot be easily reached. If there is a puddle on the floor in the garage, clean it up, and then head to the repair shop to see where the problem is in your engine. Going without antifreeze is hazardous to your car, even in the summer. The name might be deceiving, since the car engine needs antifreeze during both hot and cold days in order to run properly.