What is Antifreeze?

If you want to become more familiar with your car’s inner workings and mechanical systems, you may at some point wonder, what is antifreeze? And what is antifreeze used for? Put simply, antifreeze helps regulate your car’s temperature as you cruise through North Charleston. The Rick Hendrick Chevrolet service pros provide more insight into common antifreeze questions in the guide below, including:

  • Is antifreeze coolant?
  • Why is antifreeze important?
  • What is antifreeze’s maintenance schedule?

Continue reading for the answers you seek!

Is Antifreeze Coolant?

When car owners visit our service center, “is antifreeze coolant?” is a question that commonly follows “what is antifreeze?” Plenty of Mount Pleasant drivers use these terms mutually, but coolant is actually a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water – most of the time. There are also more concentrated coolants that are comprised of a 70/30 antifreeze to water ratio. While their names might imply conflicting purposes, antifreeze and coolant both help regulate your engine’s temperature.

Antifreeze is usually made from ethylene glycol or propylene glycol and tends to be green, pink, or orange in color. The majority of vehicles on the road in Charleston use green antifreeze, but it’s smart to check the owner’s manual to be sure.

What is Antifreeze Used For?

Now, exactly what is antifreeze used for in your vehicle? Your vehicle stores antifreeze in the radiator. It’s connected by a tank in the engine bay, allowing it to circulate through the engine by way of a water pump. This carries the heat generated by combustion away from the engine. Now hot, the coolant is circulated back to the radiator where it is then air-cooled to remove excess heat and effectively regulate your car’s temperature, keeping you safe as you travel from Charleston to James Island.

More On the Importance of Antifreeze

Without antifreeze, your car’s temperature would go unregulated and the engine would overheat. Antifreeze is formulated not just to regulate the engine temperature, but also to prevent your coolant from freezing over on frigid below-zero nights. The following major components would be susceptible to serious damage without antifreeze and coolant:

  • Water Pump
  • Head Gasket
  • Connector Rods
  • Engine Cylinders

If there is ever a time where you can feel intense heat radiating from under the hood or there is visible steam emitting from underneath, you should schedule a service appointment without delay.

What is the Antifreeze Maintenance Schedule?

Just like the other liquids in your vehicle, the coolant should be changed every now and then. We recommend checking it at least twice per year — once at the start of winter and once at the start of summer. As always, you should also check your owner’s manual to see what it recommends!

Consult Rick Hendrick Chevrolet for More Service Tips

Whether you’re questioning what antifreeze is used for or you’re seeking other auto service knowledge, like how an alternator works, Rick Hendrick Chevrolet provides answers you can trust in our service tips hub. You can also speak directly with a service advisor when you contact us online! We look forward to hearing from you.

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All prices exclude all taxes, tag, title, registration fees, government fees, and $649.00 Dealer Closing Fee. Out-of-state buyers are responsible for all taxes, government fees, and title/registration fees in the state where the vehicle will be registered.

All prices include all manufacturer-to-dealer incentives, which the dealer retains unless otherwise specifically provided. Dealer is not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers are subject to change without notice; please confirm listings with the dealer.

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Additional Disclaimers:


Well-qualified customers who purchase a new, used, or certified pre-owned vehicle, 4 model years or newer with less than 60K miles between December 1, 2023, and January 12, 2024, and finance through a participating dealer and lender have the option to defer monthly payments for 90 days from contract date. Finance charges begin to accrue on the date you sign the Retail Installment Sale Contract at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the contract. May not be combined with other preferred lender financing offers. 72 months maximum term limit. Equal monthly payments only. Not available to Pennsylvania residents; see your dealer for details. Must take retail delivery by January 12, 2024. See dealer for complete down payment options and details.

*1.9% APR for 36 months. Monthly payment is $28.60 for every $1,000 you finance. Example down payment varies by model. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 1/2/24. Well-qualified customers who purchase a new, used, or certified pre-owned vehicle, 4 model years or newer with less than 60K miles between December 1, 2023, and January 12, 2024, and finance through a participating dealer and lender have the option to defer monthly payments for 90 days from contract date. Finance charges begin to accrue on the date you sign the Retail Installment Sale Contract at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the contract. May not be combined with other preferred lender financing offers. 72 months maximum term limit. Equal monthly payments only. Not available to Pennsylvania residents; see your dealer for details. Must take retail delivery by January 12, 2024. See dealer for complete down payment options and details.

*1.9% APR for 36 months. Monthly payment is $28.60 for every $1,000 you finance. Example down payment varies by model. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 1/2/24. Applies to Equinox models. **Well-qualified customers who purchase a new, used, or certified pre-owned vehicle, 4 model years or newer with less than 60K miles between December 1, 2023, and January 12, 2024, and finance through a participating dealer and lender have the option to defer monthly payments for 90 days from contract date. Finance charges begin to accrue on the date you sign the Retail Installment Sale Contract at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the contract. May not be combined with other preferred lender financing offers. 72 months maximum term limit. Equal monthly payments only. Not available to Pennsylvania residents; see your dealer for details. Must take retail delivery by January 12, 2024. See dealer for complete down payment options and details.

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