Holding Icon What is Antifreeze?

Using antifreeze is absolutely essential to keep your car running smoothly. Take a look at this Halfords guide to find out what antifreeze is and why you need to use it.

As the name suggests, antifreeze prevents the water in your engine's cooling system from freezing. However, it also does a number of other important jobs that make it a vital car fluid for the health of your engine - read on to find out more.

What is Antifreeze?

What is Antifreeze and Why Does Your Car Need It?

Antifreeze is a liquid that is added to the water in an engine's cooling system in order to lower the freezing point. This means that the water will not freeze under normal cold weather conditions.

If water were allowed to freeze within your car's engine, it would cause serious damage to the radiator and other components, which would be very costly to fix.

As well as preventing water from freezing up, antifreeze raises the boiling point of engine coolant to prevent overheating, protects your engine from corrosion, aids heat transfer, and prevents scale from building up internally.

For help with adding antifreeze to your engine, take a look at our guide to preventing overheating.

WARNING - Almost all motor vehicle antifreeze is based on Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG), a substance that is harmful to humans and animals. Make sure you always follow the manufacturer's safety advice when using it. As an added precaution, all Halfords antifreeze contains a bittering agent to help prevent accidental ingestion.

What Types of Antifreeze Are There?

Antifreeze is either sold in concentrated form, or ready-mixed with water. The ready-mixed version is commonly referred to as engine coolant and can normally be used straightaway for top-ups and replacements.

However the concentrated form needs to be diluted with water, usually at a level of around 50% antifreeze and 50% water. Always check the instructions for the right ratio to use.

Many modern cars manufactured after 1998 require antifreeze that uses silicate-free, organic acid (OAT) technology. Older cars usually require a more traditional type of antifreeze that is not OAT based and does contain silicate.

ALWAYS refer to your car manufacturer's handbook or Haynes manual to check which is the right antifreeze to use for your vehicle.

Antifreeze Available Online at Halfords has a range of antifreeze available that can be reserved online and collected in-store, or bought online for home delivery.

If you're unsure about what antifreeze is right for your vehicle, call into your local Halfords where the staff will be happy to help.

We also offer a free five-point car check in-store, where trained professionals will check essentials such as your car battery, engine oil and screenwash and can top up products for a low cost where needed.

That's helpful, that's Halfords - make sure your car is prepared for winter today.