Coolant is an essential element for the proper functioning of your engine, it´s role is to keep the engine at the right temperature so that it does not overheat at high temperatures, nor freeze if the temperatures are too low. The coolant is made up of 3 main elements:
- Water that prevents the engine from overheating.
- Antifreeze that protects the engine from freezing.
- Anticorrosive that prevents corrosion.
Are There different types of coolant?
If you are new to the coolant world, then you are certainly confused! Because yes, there are different types of coolant and most importantly: you should never mix them together unless you are an expert in the field because it can potentially cause severe damage.
Several manufacturers have set their own requirements which are recorded in their respective standards.
The most famous standards are certainly those of the Volkswagen Group, which have been developed in collaboration with Haertol Chemie. The VW standards are known under the following designations: G11, G12, G12+, G12++, and G13.
Historically, the first coolants (G11) contained Silicates that prevented the aluminum corrosion but as they degrade quickly, the coolant had to be renewed regularly. After that, organic compounds replaced the Silicates to extend the usability of the coolants- as their last longer- the G12 standard was created.
The G13, which is the most recent standard, is a Glycerin-based coolant and is, therefore, more environmentally friendly.
The BASF – The largest chemical producer in the world, located in Ludwigshafen, Germany- has also its standards, which are: G30, G40, G48, G05, G33, and G34.
Here is a VW-BASF equivalent table:
How to choose the right coolant for my car?
Always refer to your car manual when having a doubt, it will provide you with the needed information about the appropriate coolant for your vehicle.
When to change your coolant?
The coolant is replaced approximately every 2 to 4 years depending on your car model and its state of wear. However, you might need to do it before this timeline if your car coolant light turns on, the heating system doesn't work, or your vehicle is overheating.
Pre-diluted or concentrated Coolant? When buying Coolant, you have the choice between pre-diluted or concentrated coolant. When purchasing pre-diluted coolant- also called ready-to-use- you can directly pour it into the reservoir. Never use concentrated coolant directly, your engine would be damaged because of its poor heat transfer properties. It is generally recommended to use a mix of 50/50 of coolant and distilled water, you can adjust this ratio but never use more than 70% water.