How to Buy the Right Type of Engine Coolant

by Contributor

If you have ever bought engine coolant, you know that there are many brand choices on the shelves. Although mixing brands generally doesn't create problems, you may want to consider a few factors before deciding what type of coolant to buy. Read on to learn how to buy the right type of engine coolant.

Use ethylene glycol base anti-freeze. It's used in the majority of cars. This is a 50/50 mixture of water and ethylene glycol; it also contains corrosion chemicals. The corrosion inhibitors are the main difference between most coolant brands. Since systems contain various metals, it might be better to go with the brand recommended by your car's manufacturer.

Look for phosphate-free antifreeze if you drive a European car and it requires this type of coolant. Adding coolant containing phosphates may cause deposits to form in the cooling system. Make sure you follow the manual's directions.

Consider using recycled antifreeze. One way to do this is to attach a machine directly to the vehicle's cooling system to recycle the coolant. Another option is to recycle the coolant at a recycling plant or on-site. Recycling involves the following procedures: vacuum distillation, filtration, reverse osmosis and ion exchange.

Visit your auto parts store if you're unsure as to what type of coolant to buy or use.


  • check It's unacceptable to use filtration alone for recycling engine coolant.


  • close Even small quantities of conventional antifreeze are deadly to children, cats and dogs. Immediately clean up spills and never leave a container with drained coolant lying around.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

More Articles