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Is Coolant the Same as Antifreeze? Here’s the Clear Answer 

when to change coolant

If you're searching for is coolant the same as anti-freeze? The short answer is no. Coolant is a mixture of both water and antifreeze with a 50/50 ratio. 

When seasons change, it's important for you as a driver to familiarize yourself with how fluids work and what type of change you need to consider when it comes to the cooling system.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

The cooling system is responsible for maintaining the proper temperature level and preventing extreme temperatures from damaging the engine, affecting its overall performance.

Mechanics always recommend using anti-freeze to prevent coolant from freezing in the lines, resulting in catastrophic engine self-destruction outcomes. However, some drivers are still confused about the difference between the coolant and the antifreeze, thinking that it's the same thing.

This article helps you distinguish between the two different liquids and provides you with additional information to keep in mind related to the same topic. 

Is coolant the same as antifreeze? 

Have you ever noticed that the coolant gallon says antifreeze/coolant? That is not surprising because antifreeze is part of the coolant mixer, and over the years, people started using the tool terms interchangeably.

In fact, coolant is not the same as antifreeze, and to get a better sense of the main difference between the two, works take a closer look at the main job of the coolant in your cooling system. 

Any engine is expected to release a huge amount of heat, raising, and temperature beyond the proper level. As a result, the engine might not function properly unless it's cooled down. Thanks to the coolant for bringing the engine's temperature to the proper level every time it exceeds a certain threshold.

Water is a great fluid to help bring down the engine temperature but, it counts performed by itself, especially in freezing temperatures. 

For the engine to work properly, especially during winter conditions, it is important to have a mixture of what's known as the antifreeze or fluid that prevents the coolant from freezing in the pipes during very low temperatures. 

Therefore, automakers decided to have the coolant as a mixture of both water and antifreeze. Water is responsible for bringing down the engine servers to the proper level and anti-freeze to take care of any freezing issues in winter. Thus, any coolant is consisting of 50% water and 50% of antifreeze.

Luckily, you don't have to worry about mixing water and antifreeze and determining the right proportion because most coolants are now sold as a premixed mixture ready for your vehicle. 

Are there any different types of coolants? 

While it might sound that coolant will be all the time mixture of water and antifreeze, there are some types of coolants that you might need to choose from depending on your vehicle's type and manufacturer. The only big difference between this coolant is the amount and type of additives added to the water anti-freeze mixture.

In general, there are three types of coolants in the market including:

  • Inorganic acid coolant 

The inorganic acid technology was used in older vehicles up to the 1990s. This coolant contains some inorganic salts as the main additives. Overtime reviews, automotive experts realize that this type of technology creates many deposits that might clog the system and, in some scenarios, might damage the water pump.

The average lifespan of a coolant following the inorganic acid technology is about 30,000 miles or two years. 

Keep in mind that some light-duty vehicles still use the inorganic acid coolant. 

  • Organic acid coolant 

The second type of coolants relies on using organic acid additives instead of inorganic ones. This type uses some carbon corrosion inhibitors like benzoates and Sebecate. These additives are not expected to create any deposits and do not usually harm the fuel pump.

The average lifetime of an organic acid coolant is about 150,000 miles or five years. 

  • Hybrid organic acid coolant 

As the name suggests, some coolants are made up of a mixture of inorganic and organic acid technologies. These coolants are considered universal and used in many vehicles. It provides a quote life span of five years or 150,000 miles.

Does the coolant color indicate its type?

That is a great question! Many people reach out to us wondering whether the green color or any other color means or indicates the technology used or the additives included in a certain coolant.

The short answer is no. The color does not have to do anything with the technology. It all depends on the manufacturer who prefers using certain dyes that don't have any meaning referring to the technology. 

For example, organic acid and hybrid organic acid coupons have the same orange or yellow color in some scenarios. Thus, never rely on the coolant color as the mean to determine its type, and instead, you should read the description and characteristics carefully before making her purchase decision. 

What should I do if I constantly need to top up my coolant with antifreeze? 

If you notice a significant reduction in your antifreeze or coolant level, this might indicate a coolant leak which can be a significant problem. Still, you must take care of it immediately.

You can do quick checks to determine whether there are any signs of a coolant leak in your vehicle before taking it to your mechanic. For example, you can take a look under the vehicle and see any puddles of light-colored fluid. You might also need to look beneath the vehicle and check what are there are any signs of fluid drops around your radiator.

In some scenarios, the leak might not be very severe, which means that once it leaks, the coolant evaporates immediately, and you won't be able to detect it.

Us, your best course of action in this situation is to visit your nearest mechanic shop and have your professional mechanic inspect the vehicle and fix the problem.

If you notice that repair costs are piling up and it's beyond your capabilities, it might be the right time now to evaluate whether you should keep this car or sell it to Cash Cars Buyer.

Cash Cars Buyer guarantees to buy your car even if it has major problems in the cooling system and the transmission itself or the engine.

We will pay the top dollars for you this car along with free towing no matter where you're living around the United States. 

How often should a coolant be changed? 

While determining the right frequency of changing your point might differ significantly depending on your vehicle's type and add virus, most automotive experts recommend replacing the coolant at around 30,000 miles.

The best course of action for you at this point is to check your vehicle's owner’s manual to get a more accurate answer. Some manuals might only require flushing or replacing the coolant and antifreeze after 60,000 miles, while others might only stick with the 30,000 miles. 

Keep in mind that if you notice any signs of coolant leaks, you don't want to stick with this frequency, and you have to reach out to a professional mechanic to determine the purposes of this leak and whether it's needed to flush the coolant.

Considering the significant role of the coolant in the cooling system and the operation of your vehicle, it is crucial to keep frequent maintenance to this coolant and never skip a coolant change. 

Is coolant flush necessary? 

One might wonder if we're having the right amount of coolant in the cooling system, why would we need to flush it between now and then?

That is a great question, and yes, in many situations, your coolant level might not drop significantly, which means that you can still use it. However, the other thing that you need to keep in mind is how the coolant works and what happens to it over time of use.

In general, the coolant breaks down the more you use it, and therefore, it won't be suitable for doing its job of bringing the engine temperature to the proper level. As a result, even if you have the right amount of coolant, your engine's temperature will not be controlled, and you might deal with situations like engine overheating if not engine destruction. 

How much does it cost to flush a coolant? 

Coolant flush depends heavily on your coolant type, along with the entire freeze and probably the location where you get the job done. In most scenarios, coolant flush should cost between $100 and $200. Of course, there are situations where coolant and radiator flush might cost up to $900 for certain vehicles. 

Many people find it handy to get their radiator flushed at Walmart, and the radiator flush costs them between $112.00 and 879 dollars. 

On the other hand, many people prefer to get their coolant flushed at Jiffy Lube which costs them about $99. 

Is radiator flush the same as coolant flush? 

Yes. These are flush is another common term used to represent coolant flush and the reason people using it is because the coolant runs around the radiator, and it's drained and flushed from around the radiator. 

Can you do a colon flush yourself? 

Flushing your vehicle coolant is not a complicated job, and many people prefer to do it themselves. The process shouldn't take a lot of time or effort, but you need to be very careful about the steps and refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual to confirm the type of coolant needed.

The other thing to consider is how you dispose of the old coolant because it's not safe to dispose of any fluid in your vehicle to the environment. Whether you're deciding to dispose of it to the settlement or the waterways, there is always a big risk that can, in some scenarios, kill living creatures.

While the process is not very complicated and doesn't take a lot of time, many drivers prefer to have it done at a professional repair shop to prevent introducing major problems to the vehicle. It's been proven that most DIYs do not work the first time, and if you own an expensive modern vehicle, it might not be worth risking this vehicle by testing any mechanical repair or maintenance on them.

Another thing to consider is your vehicles' extended warranty because the insurance company might cover coolant flush to a certain mileage in some scenarios. Thus, you don't only get frequent flush, but also you ensure that the coolant flush is performed by experienced professional mechanics who know your vehicle very well. 

That's why it's recommended that once you confirm that the insurance company covers the coolant flush, you should visit a dealership from the same brand to confirm that their mechanics know your vehicle type and know exactly what issues might be introduced when flushing the coolant. 


There is a very common misconception indicating that coolant is the same as antifreeze. However, coolant is just a mixture of both water and antifreeze. The reason for bringing anti-freeze to the equation is just to prevent coolant from freezing during very cold weather temperatures.

It is crucial to keep the right type of coolant in your vehicle to prevent dealing with major and Pacific outcomes that might damage your engine.

As a driver, you need to be familiar with the type of fluid required and keep an eye for any signs of coolant leaks that might indicate a major internal problem.

If you realize that your vehicle suffers from a lot of issues that have to do with either the coolant system or any other major components, you might need to reach out to Cash Cars Buyer to sell this vehicle and use the payment towards a better vehicle. 

To learn more about our process and our team, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.

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