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Antifreeze: Keeping Your Engine Cool and Protected

Although no dashboard warning lights should be ignored, when your gauge alerts you to an overheated engine there’s no time to waste. Continuing to drive with an illuminated high-temperature light is a recipe for costly disaster. Here’s what you need to know about avoiding potential overheating by keeping your engine at the right temperature using an effective coolant with antifreeze.

Cooling the Engine To Prevent Overheating

When the weather’s hot, you protect yourself from the heat by staying indoors, wearing lighter clothing, and drinking cool fluids. In the same way you take these measures when the thermometer rises, it’s equally important to safeguard your car from high temperatures. One of the key steps for doing that is to ensure your car has adequate coolant.

Engine coolant, often referred to as antifreeze because it’s the main component of coolant, transfers heat away from vital engine parts. It also protects metal, rubber, and plastic in your engine to keep them from becoming too hot and failing. Maintaining an adequate level of coolant and using it correctly are essential to avoid overheating problems.

Understanding the Dangers of Overheating

Knowing how much damage may result from an overheated engine helps car owners understand the importance of proper cooling. Here’s what can happen when coolant fails:

  • Radiator hoses burst and spray hazardous boiling coolant

  • Cylinder heads warp, causing oil to leak and your engine to misfire

  • Head gaskets blow due to the mixing of oil and coolant, leading to extensive repair work

  • Exhaust manifolds and catalytic converters become so damaged they require replacement

These problems aren’t only inconvenient and potentially dangerous, but they’re also quite costly to repair. Blown head gaskets, for instance, may run thousands of dollars to fix.

Fortunately, several diagnostic systems on your car help identify overheating issues, even the oxygen sensor. In short, if your car is running hot or any dashboard warning light comes on, it’s time to check for overheating.

Neglecting or Using the Wrong Type of Antifreeze

Because coolant is critical for maintaining engine temperatures at proper levels, you need to pay attention to it. Failing to keep your antifreeze topped off, using it incorrectly, or adding the wrong type may be disastrous.

Change coolant as often as your owner’s manual recommends, and use only the recommended type. Because some versions are premixed and others are concentrated, always follow label directions when adding coolant. This ensures you have the right ratio of water and antifreeze in your vehicle. Any time you’re servicing your vehicle, it’s smart to check your coolant to stay ahead of potential overheating issues.

Now that you know how vital antifreeze is for keeping your car from overheating, it’s time to stock up so you’ll never be left low on coolant. For maximum convenience, shop from home on the website of a trusted auto supply retailer. Using a service like AutoZone store pickup makes it simple to get the fluids you need so your car continues to run safely. With such easy shopping options available, there’s no excuse not to have the right coolant on hand!


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