When winter comes, there is the danger of sudden drops in temperature, and the engines go into distress: car antifreeze protects us from all this.
What is it and how to choose it
Antifreeze is a special fluid that protects the motor from dangerous and harmful freezing of liquids circulating in the gears, starting from the radiator . But not only. In fact, there are three types of antifreeze, depending on whether it is used for:
- wiper fluid;
- engine fluid .
The engine is obviously the most delicate part because the mechanics of its components can be dangerously compromised if the fluids that spray it are not in the liquid state. Furthermore, the freezing process involves the transformation of the liquid mass into solid with an increase of the same of almost 10% , with the danger of breaking the radiator and connecting pipes.
Antifreeze is composed of chemicals capable of:
- remain soluble, so do not solidify;
- undergo many cooling cycles without losing their properties;
- protect the walls and ducts of the engine refrigeration apparatus;
- face the freezing threshold up to -40 degrees;
- becoming thinner to avoid boiling.
The antifreeze appears as a liquid with a gelatinousappearance , colored with a greenish blue , odorless and almost pleasing to the eye: attention, however, because it hides the dangers of a highly concentrated chemical product , whose handling must be carried out with great care .
The main chemical component is ethylene glycol , the second is demineralized or distilled water . The latter, in fact, must be free of any type of salt and calcium , as these factors are the cause of bothersome and harmful encrustations .
Alone the ethylene glycol freezes below 12 degrees , but mixed with demineralized water can reach 45 degrees below zero . The proportions are as follows:
- 60 percent of ethylene glycol
- 40 percent of demineralized water.
But beware of the toxic and poisonous properties of ethylene glycol : if very worn, then oxidized , it releases acidic substances that are dangerous for human health . This also constitutes a long-standing problem of disposal , especially for those who work with the “do-it-yourself” so it is recommended not to disperse the spent liquid in the environment .
When to put it
The opportunity to put the antifreeze fluids in the three car tanks – windshield wipers, fuel and engine – is in the vicinity of winter , and especially in those areas where temperatures drop dramatically even by many degrees below zero . Even in the case of trips to Nordic countries where it is known that temperatures are extremely rigid, or in the high mountains to make a trip on the snow, it is good to prevent the danger of freezing the car’s internal fluids with the application of this useful liquid .