The Importance of Coolant/Antifreeze Within Your Engine

Coolant (antifreeze) mixes with water in a car’s radiator and helps to prevent the liquid from freezing and boiling within your engine. Your engine’s cooling system is vital for the vehicle’s overall health. Considering the amount of heat energy generated by burning gasoline within the engine, the engine’s cooling system has a direct role in whether or not the car functions properly.

The mixture of antifreeze within the engine lowers the temperature at which water freezes. Because of this, your internal engine fluids can remain liquid well into negative temperatures.

While oil is important for an engine’s overall livelihood, coolant is equally necessary to keep everything running at optimum temperature.

More on Coolant

The coolant in your vehicle’s cooling system needs to be inspected every so often to protect against corrosion. While the main component of antifreeze does not “expire”, any additives to prevent decomposition eventually do. This is why many car manufacturers recommend changing the coolant every 30,000 miles. As mentioned above, the job of coolant is to absorb the heat generated by the engine and to mitigate it keeping the engine cool. In order to accomplish this, the coolant must be pumped very quickly. Once the coolant has absorbed heat, it flows into the radiator where it is cooled down.

Most cars have the radiator installed in the front of the vehicle, right behind the grill. 

Radiator & the Cooling System

The forward movement of the car forces air through the radiator, in turn, cooling the coolant inside of it before being recirculated. If your vehicle has lower-than-normal levels of coolant, that means less time to cool in the radiator before being pushed back through the engine’s system. Heated coolant, means improper temperature regulation and potential for engine problems.

A radiator full of coolant can mean the difference between getting to your destination safely and breaking down on the freeway in the middle of rush hour. As your vehicle get older it may start to leak coolant, which is why we recommend you regularly check your coolant levels. This is one system of your car you do not want to neglect.

In many automotive circles, it is accepted that a majority of mechanical breakdowns are caused by overheating engines. Ensuring that the cooling system components such as the radiator, water pump and thermostat work well and by maintaining the level of the coolant in the system, you can largely avoid such problems.

Excessive Heat Can Ruin Your Engine

The engine powers your vehicle, but in order to do so they must work at high temperatures & high revolutions per minute (RPMs) to produce that power. High RPMs equal more motion and more motion means more heat generation. In order to generate the kind of power needed to move your car, the engine works hard creating higher temperatures than the metal of the engine can handle. If not properly taken care of with proper coolant and engine maintenance, the heat in the engine will build and eventually overheat and break down. This is why maintaining your cooling system is so important.

Can you top up your cooling system with water?

Topping your cooling system with water is OK if that’s all you have access to, but there are a few things you need to be aware of. If your radiator or engine has a leak, and you keep topping it off with water, you are then diluting the coolant mix further and reducing its effectiveness. Also, tap water contains many minerals, such as calcium, which can deposit themselves around your cooling system and cause damage to the inner components. Water is safe in the short run, but not a long term fix.

Costa Mesa & Newport Automotive Service

At Saddleback Automotive Service Center, we strive to provide you with an alternative to dealerships by providing the vehicles, and you, with excellent service and the best possible repairs.

We are continually updating and upgrading all of our diagnostic equipment in order to serve our clients confidently, knowing that despite all the changes in technology, we are prepared for any automotive challenges that come our way.


Proudly Serving the Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and the Orange County community for over 30 years! Contact us below for a consultation!





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