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We look at the difference between water and coolant and what to use to ensure longevity of your vehicle’s engine.


What is coolant?

Coolant is an alcohol-based additive that works to keep your engine cool. Using coolant in your car’s engine increases the boiling point of the water meaning your car can run for longer without overheating. It also works to lower the temperature at which water will freeze.

Coolant keeps the cooling liquid in your engine a liquid ensuring it doesn’t freeze or turn to steam. Many coolants also have additives to help prevent corrosion of parts.

Do I use pure coolant?

Coolant should be mixed with water (check with your mechanic for the right ratio for your car make & model) as coolant alone isn’t as good as a mix at dissipating heat.

Can I just use water?

No, for the same reason why you shouldn’t use pure coolant, water itself isn’t as good as a mix when it comes to dissipating heat.

Can I mix different types of coolant?

Typically coolant is green but you can now get some in red, orange or blue depending on the make of your vehicle. Mixing two different types can be damaging to your engine and is not recommended.
In short, the best way to protect your engine is to use a mixture of water and coolant, not one or the other.

Looking for more car health checks? Here's our guide to replacing your tyres.

05 Mar