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Is antifreeze the same thing as engine coolant?

I don't know. 0.23333333333333 23.3% [ 7 ]
Yes. 0.33333333333333 33.3% [ 10 ]
No. 0.43333333333333 43.3% [ 13 ]
Total Votes:[ 30 ]
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I think I need to put more engine coolant into my car, but all I can find in my dad's garage is "ANTIFREEZE / COOLANT".

I need to use an ethylene-glycol coolant, and it says ethylene-glycol on the back. I didn't know antifreeze was the same thing as coolant. Is it? Or is it something you mix in with coolant?

In changing it, it says,

my owner's manual
b. Pour the proper amount of antifreeze into the radiator. Then fill with clean demineralized or distilled water until the radiator is full.

So engine coolant is water mixed with antifreeze? How much antifreeze do I use, then? Or by "the proper amount" does it mean merely, don't fill it past the FULL line? Oh, on the next page:
Coolant type selection
Your coolant must contain ethylene-glycol antifreeze. ... Read the ... container for information on freeze protection. Follow the ... directions for how much to mix with water. ... We recommend 50% solution be used...
Aetherius Lamia
I think I need to put more engine coolant into my car, but all I can find in my dad's garage is "ANTIFREEZE / COOLANT".

I need to use an ethylene-glycol coolant, and it says ethylene-glycol on the back. I didn't know antifreeze was the same thing as coolant. Is it? Or is it something you mix in with coolant?

In changing it, it says,

my owner's manual
b. Pour the proper amount of antifreeze into the radiator. Then fill with clean demineralized or distilled water until the radiator is full.

So engine coolant is water mixed with antifreeze? How much antifreeze do I use, then? Or by "the proper amount" does it mean merely, don't fill it past the FULL line? Oh, on the next page:
Coolant type selection
Your coolant must contain ethylene-glycol antifreeze. ... Read the ... container for information on freeze protection. Follow the ... directions for how much to mix with water.


Anti-freeze is not the same as coolant. Some coolants have double-features.
You don't have to quote my entire post when you're the first to respond. rolleyes

I put roughly 50% water and 50% "antifreeze/coolant" in it. That's what I think engine coolant is. Did I get it right?
I hope going slightly above the FULL line won't be that big of a deal. Will it?
Resid3nt
Aetherius Lamia
I think I need to put more engine coolant into my car, but all I can find in my dad's garage is "ANTIFREEZE / COOLANT".

I need to use an ethylene-glycol coolant, and it says ethylene-glycol on the back. I didn't know antifreeze was the same thing as coolant. Is it? Or is it something you mix in with coolant?

In changing it, it says,

my owner's manual
b. Pour the proper amount of antifreeze into the radiator. Then fill with clean demineralized or distilled water until the radiator is full.

So engine coolant is water mixed with antifreeze? How much antifreeze do I use, then? Or by "the proper amount" does it mean merely, don't fill it past the FULL line? Oh, on the next page:
Coolant type selection
Your coolant must contain ethylene-glycol antifreeze. ... Read the ... container for information on freeze protection. Follow the ... directions for how much to mix with water.


Anti-freeze is not the same as coolant. Some coolants have double-features.

Antifreeze is a coolant, therefore, it is the same as a coolant. Antifreeze when used in the proper mix ratio will not freeze untill 60 below F with the best brands, and will not boil until between 240 and 250 degrees. Most antifreezes nowdays have cleaning agents and anticorrossion agente in it too.
I'm going to Advanced Auto Parts to buy engine coolant; I was told there's a kind that's premixed with water or something so I won't have to worry about getting 50% antifreeze and 50% water.
that is correct. the premix is the best way to go in my opinion. it is much easier to do than mixing yourself, and it provides the optimum protection.
Antifreeze makes a good wine additive also... gives that "extra" kick

/Please do not do this
//It is a joke
JimTheCactus's avatar

Dapper Gaian

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For the record:

Engine Coolant: Any substance used for transferring heat from the engine. Water by itself is a coolant, antifreeze is a coolant (though not a very good one,) and many other liquids can be used as coolants.
Antifreeze: A preparation of ethylene glycol or polypropylene glycol (usually called non-toxic antifreeze) that when added to water in equal proportions will prevent boiling and freezing.

In general the best thing to use for cooling an automobile engine is a 50%/50% mixture of water and antifreeze. This mixture raises the boiling point and lowers the freezing point of the water which allows the car to operate under a wider range of environments

As you've already discovered, many companies manufacture and sell a premixed solution of water and antifreeze. This mixture is better for people who are unskilled, in a hurry, or want to carry some in their car for emergencies where mixing would be difficult.
Corrosion resistance, people...
Yes, you can use antifreeze/water/coolant. They all perform the same basic function.
Does it matter if I mix it before or after pouring it in? For example, can I put a cup of antifreeze in it followed by a cup of water?

Or do I need to pour the two together into a bottle and then pour the bottle in?

Common sense would tell me I could just pour them in separately, but maybe the design is different...
JimTheCactus's avatar

Dapper Gaian

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You should mix equal parts deionized water and antifreeze before adding it to your engine (if you're not using premix.) If it is not mixed before it is added it will not properly mix in your engine, or at the very least won't mix for a while leaving you unprotected.

And Soldier Scientist is correct as well. Antifreeze usually includes additional corrosion protection that obviously isn't in water alone. Along those lines I would like to restate that you shouldn't use tap water. Use deionized water instead.

Tap water contains many things beyond just water and although good for us as humans or good for getting the water to us, it's bad for your cars engine and can leave deposits that may clog up your car. Doing it once won't immediately kill it, but over time it can cause significant cooling system failure.
Anti freeze is an Ethylene Glycol substance you add to water to form engine coolant. Generally a 50% mixture is sufficient, but in colder places you can up the mixture to 1 part water 2 parts antifreeze. I'm not certain why, but higher concentrations of antifreeze tend to result in over heating. As long as you ad an equal amount of each, their is no need to pre-mix it. Just run your engine for about 15 minutes or until your temp gage says the car is warmed up good and you should be fine. This should eliminate air pockets inside your engine too.

Several of the cars I rebuilt wouldn't fill up completely until I ran the engine for a while. The car would actually over heat if I tried to drive any where after I replaced the coolant.
What is deionized water, exactly? And how would I go about deionizing water?
Grae's avatar

Eloquent Explorer

Distilled water, I believe, is deionized. You can buy it at the store, unless you have a distillery at home, which I doubt (:

You should just buy a couple gallons at a supermarket. It has no additives in it, since the water was boiled and re-condensed (:

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