Coolant or antifreeze can be defined as an ethylene glycol based liquid used in the radiator of a motor vehicle. It can be added to water to lower the freezing point.

Antifreeze is an important fluid in a car. Metaphorically it is your car’s circulatory system as it abates overheating and it keeps the temperature of the transmission and engine within a healthy range.

It is recommended to regularly use coolant as it prevents overheating thereby avoiding major damage to the engine and transmission. Below are five facts about coolant every driver ought to know.

1.Antifreeze smells sweet (but don’t swallow it!).

It is recommended to use a funnel when refilling your antifreeze to avoid spillage. Although it smells sweet, it’s a lethal substance especially when one has pets as they have a tendency of sniffing. Make sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets.

2. Antifreeze comes in many colors of the rainbow.

As the rainbow has many colors, so does antifreeze. It comes with many blends of colors as it contains an assortment of chemicals that are designed for different types of engines. Before buying antifreeze for your vehicle, make sure to read the owner’s manual, as there will be a recommendation inside. Or better still, your supplier will give you advice as to the type of coolant to buy.

Antifreeze should contain a 50/50 mix of water.

Some blends of antifreeze are premixed nowadays, so one might not have to worry about it. Water is better at cooling down your engine than antifreeze. However, by itself water would cause corrosion. Antifreeze allows water to do its job without damaging the engine in the process

Antifreeze should be changed and flushed (or at least inspected) every two years.

Ever tried washing dishes with dirty water? It is not recommended, as you will spread the grease and germs around without getting rid of them. It’s a wise idea to replace the water, so are auto fluids. Over time the fluids will get dirty, which causes problems as time passes. Most auto manufacturers recommend changing your antifreeze once 24months. Check your owner’s manual for a specific recommendation.

Note: If you live in a really hot climate, it might be better to get a flush/refill every year.