Antifreeze Vs. Engine Coolant: The Kia Experience

Key Takeaways:

  • Coolant and antifreeze keep the engine running at a consistent temperature by absorbing heat.
  • Antifreeze, if used more than required, can damage an engine. It is important to use a corrosion-resistant coolant to protect your engine from rust and other damage.
  • Different colors of engine coolant indicate the different chemical compositions of the fluid.
  • Most engines require a 50:50 mix of antifreeze and water to run properly.

Kia engines use various cooling fluids, each with its specific function. Antifreeze and coolant are the most common radiator fluids that help keep the engine’s temperature stable.

The terms “antifreeze” and “engine coolant” are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Antifreeze is a chemical additive that lowers the freezing point of water. On the other hand, engine coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze.

In this blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at the difference between antifreeze and engine coolant and how Kia cars use each one.

The Difference Between Antifreeze and Engine Coolant

While antifreeze and coolant are used to cool the engine, they work differently. Antifreeze is a glycol-based fluid that circulates through the radiator to keep the engine from overheating. On the other hand, engine coolant is a water-based fluid that circulates through the engine itself to absorb heat.

While both fluids are essential for cooling the engine, they serve different purposes and should be used in the correct ratios. It’s crucial to use the right fluid for each system to prevent damage to the engine.

Does the Color Matter?

Different colors of engine coolant indicate the different chemical compositions of the fluid. It doesn’t matter what color antifreeze you use if it is the right type for your car. The wrong kind of coolant can result in corrosion and scale build-up, damaging the engine.

Do not mix different types of coolant, as this can decrease the performance of the corrosion inhibitor. If you need to top off your coolant, make sure to use the same type that is already in the system.

How Are Kia Coolants Different?

Kia coolants have been tested to ensure compatibility with all the materials used in your engine. They are based on propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. This helps to reduce the risk of corrosion and doesn’t have the sweet smell that attracts animals, so it’s less likely to be ingested by pets or wildlife.

You should use only Kia-branded coolant in Kia vehicles. This is because Kia’s coolant has been designed specifically for Kia engines and contains a corrosion inhibitor that helps protect the engine.

However, if you cannot find a Kia-branded coolant, you can use another type of ethylene glycol-based coolant as long as it meets ASTM D3306 and D4985 standards and is compatible with Kia’s cooling system.

Antifreeze & Coolant: Which One Should I Use?

Antifreeze is a glycol-based fluid that prevents the engine from overheating by circulating through the radiator. It is important to use antifreeze to keep the engine from freezing in cold weather and boiling over in hot weather.

Engine coolant is a water-based fluid that circulates through the engine itself to absorb heat. It is important to use engine coolant to keep the engine from overheating.

The answer to this question depends on the climate you live in. If you live in a cold climate, it is important to use antifreeze to keep the engine from freezing. If you live in a hot climate, it is important to use engine coolant to keep the engine from boiling.

How Often Should I Check the Level of Coolant in My Car?

You should check the level of coolant/antifreeze in your engine regularly to ensure it is at the correct level. The frequency with which you should check the fluid depends on the fluid type and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Most coolants will need to be changed every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first.

What Are the Signs That I Need to Change My Coolant/Antifreeze?

These signs indicate that your radiator is failing, and it is time to change your coolant/antifreeze:

  • The coolant/antifreeze is dirty or rusty
  • The coolant/antifreeze level is low
  • The engine is overheating

Consult a professional mechanic if you’re unsure whether to change your coolant/antifreeze.

What’s the Correct Ratio?

If you live in an area with cold winters & hot summers, it’s best to use a 50:50 mix of antifreeze and water in your engine coolant. This will help to prevent the coolant from freezing and causing damage to the engine.

For extreme weather, you can slightly change the ratio of antifreeze as the temperature drops. For harsh winter, you can use 60 – 70 percent antifreeze in water to make the perfect combination of coolant.

Can I Use Water Instead of Coolant?

You can add water to your car coolant, but it’s not advisable to add too much water. Water will evaporate more quickly than the coolant, and it won’t be able to protect the engine from corrosion as effectively.

It’s also worth noting that most modern engines are designed to run on a 50:50 mix of antifreeze and water. So, if you need to top up your coolant, use a 50:50 mixture of antifreeze and water.

Conclusion

You need to mix water and antifreeze to keep your engine running properly. However, remember that most engines require a 50:50 mix of antifreeze and water. Antifreeze, by itself, can damage your engine. So, if you choose to use antifreeze, mix it with water too.

If you’re looking for a reliable service center, Auffenberg Kia of Cape Girardeau, serving Chaffee, MO, is the place to go. We have an extensive inventory of vehicles from some of today’s top automakers, and our expert team can help you find the perfect car for your needs. We offer services to keep your vehicle running like new, including coolant flush service, radiator fluid check, and more. Learn about our dealership and services by contacting us today!

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