Car Bibles is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
It’s important to give your car the proper servicing it deserves and focus on key areas like oil changes, new tires, windshield wipers, etc. Most people tend to overlook their cars’ cooling systems, which are vital for keeping your car going throughout the year. If you want optimum functionality in your cooling system, it’s time to upgrade to the top engine coolants/anti-freezes that are up for grabs. Choose the right one from our list below of the top anti-freezes and coolants.
The Best Anti Freeze
An anti-freeze that has been specially created for BMW cars, this is a popular product that many car owners are happy to use in their automobiles. You can use it all-year round to provide protection against common issues, such as heat damage, boilovers, and corrosion.
If you are wary about using more generic coolant products in your pride and joy, many BMW owners swear by this product. And it is also relatively affordable for the price. For us, it is one of the best antifreeze options out there for BMWs.
Specially designed for BMW engines
Offers year-round protection
Affordable price point
High-quality product for premium cars
- Weight 4.01 pounds
A product that is easy to use, this coolant leak repair fluid can be mixed with all antifreezes. No draining or flushing is required – all you have to do is shake it up and pour it in. It is specially designed to permanently seal any cracks or holes in the engine.
Once you pour it in, this product gets to work on a range of different parts of your car, including the radiator, freeze plugs, and cylinder heads. As well as being scientifically tested, it has a professional seal of approval.
Detects cracks and holes and meshes to fill the gaps
Precisely designed to seal up small holes
Creates strong and permanent seal
Shake and pour application
- Weight 9.6 ounces
Suitable for use all-year round, this product gets to work protecting the cooling system in your engine against negative occurrences, such as boiling over and corroding. Not only will it cool your engine down in the summer, it will also defend against freezing during the colder months of the year.
An aluminum compatible product, it works with all foreign and domestic gasoline as well as diesel-powered engines. Since it is an Audi product, you can expect a high level of testing and expertise in its creation.
Protects against overheating, freezing, calcium build-up and corrosion
Suitable for all engine types
Created with high Audi standards
- Model G013A8J1G
- Weight 9.95 pounds
The Star Brite Star-Cool Premium Synthetic PG Engine Coolant gives you the solution to your engine overheating problems by providing the appropriate protection that is more efficient than other available coolants. In addition, without any added side effects on other parts of your car, it incorporates an effective formula that is non-toxic and biodegradable, making it environmentally safe while giving your car and engine maximum performance and horsepower.
Furthermore, it is devoid of silicate, borate, nitrate, phosphate, or amine, which makes it a clog-preventive and a cost-effective product you can rely on for your car’s continuous stability. The PCT Additives of the Star Bright Engine Coolant ensure that your engine maintains the optimum temperature to keep your car running by reducing temperatures at a faster rate than other commonly available coolants.
Specially designed to maximise horsepower
Lowers operating temperature quicker than some rival products
Offers a highly extended service life
Seals up pinhole leaks or fissures
- BrandStar Brite
- Weight9.18 lbs
Here’s a universal product for a wide range of engine types. The high boiling point of this product prevents it from boiling over, so it can effectively do the job of stopping coolant loss and reducing strain on the different components of your car.
Also, there is no water in this product, which helps to prevent corrosion. Overheating can cause all sorts of issues to your car’s engine, but this product helps by improving fuel economy and enhancing the power of your vehicle.
Designed for modern, classic, and vintage engines
Eliminates water in your cooling system
Fights against corrosion
- Weight 5 pounds
A popular long life coolant designed for use in Honda engines, it is ready to use straight out of the bottle as there is no need to mix it with any water. A 50/50 prediluted coolant, many customers prefer this type of product designed specifically for their cars. Ultimately, it is the type of product that does what you would expect of a good-quality coolant, which is a good endorsement.
Formulated for Honda engines
Pre-mixed – no need to add water
Contains a bittering agent
- Model OL999-9011
- Weight 9.15 pounds
Recommended by the Ford Motor Company for their vehicles, it works in both gasoline and diesel engines. You can use it all-year round for protection, including anti-freeze, anti-boil, and corrosion resistance. The product comes pre-mixed in a 50/50 split of coolant and distilled water. A bittering agent is also included.
Ethylene glycol-based antifreeze/coolant
Usable in diesel and gasoline engines
50/50 mix of distilled water and coolant
Contains bittering agent
- Model VC-7-B
- Weight 9.85 pounds
So far, we have discussed a lot of products that are specifically designed for different brands of cars. This one is made for vehicles in the Toyota, Scion, and Lexus families. Bear in mind that there is no need to add water to this anti-freeze as it already comes pre-mixed. And since this is a product with a very long life, you won’t have to add it to your car’s engine all the time.
Made for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles
Super long-life product
- Weight 9.4 pounds
Then there’s this antifreeze/cooling pre-mixed product from Havoline. Compared to products containing silicate, it improves heat transfer. You can use it in a wide range of cars and light-duty trucks, which makes it great in a professional capacity. Users have reported that this is a product that is both effective and easy to use.
Provides a service life of 150,000 miles/5 years
GM approved product
Improved heat transfer
- Model 236543499
- Weight 9.2 pounds
Anti-Freeze & Coolant Buying Guide & FAQ
While the above-mentioned list should help you pick the right coolant that works for your car, however, it is still not an easy decision for beginners to make who have no clear concept of what a coolant or an anti-freeze really is. When is it needed, where is it applied, and which one works best according to what criteria? This simple guide should help answer your most frequently asked questions regarding engine coolants so that you can give your car the proper tune-up it needs.
What Does Anti-freeze Do?
To put it simply, anti-freeze is the liquid that prevents water in your car's cooling system from breaking down, and it does so by reducing the freezing temperature of the water in your cooling systems and raising its boiling point. While water is essentially the main coolant that your engine will need, it is damaging to metal cooling systems due to its rusting and corrosive properties that affect the car components.
Moreover, your car's engine faces extreme temperature changes, whether it is through overworking or due to severe seasonal conditions like winter colds and summer blazes. All these affect the water in engine cooling systems, which can result in different problems depending on the temperature. Freezing water causes costly damage to engines and radiators while boiling leads to overheating of engines that are not only detrimental to your car's function but also can be hazardous and can lead to car backfires or breakdowns.
To prevent these dangerous and expensive damage conditions, as well as to improve other vital functions of your car's systems, you must keep anti-freeze on hand at all times. Anti-freeze is now a common automotive care product available at almost every local car shop and store, with different brands and varieties having popped up over many years for every type of car, engine, model and make that is out there.
Initially, antifreeze was only available as green, with a glycol formula having silicates as corrosion inhibitors that were diluted with 50% water and poured into radiators. Now, there is a variety of anti-freezes available in an array of colors due to improved technology in a rainbow of colors, which makes choosing the right anti-freeze a bit more difficult without the proper knowledge. Most anti-freezes are still based on an ethylene glycol formula, which is readily available and easily procured, and some are even made with less toxic and more environmentally safer alcohol variants like propylene glycol, so regardless of which product you choose, you can feel safe in knowing they're all eco-friendly. With that being said, here are the different types of anti-freezes:
- Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) gives you the classic green antifreeze. The products contain either EG or PG and usually have silicate or phosphate for compatibility with most metal cooling system components.
- OAT or organic acid technology is a long-life coolant originating in Europe and now having widespread popularity in North America. It mainly has EG.
- Hybrid-OAT combines OAT and IAT to include nitrites, making it universal for all makes and models.
- Hybrid coolants involve mixing anti-freeze technologies to make custom coolants for varying cars. Depending on dilution and anti-freeze knowledge, these hybrids can work both negatively and positively.
- Water is considered the original universal coolant and is the base for the production of many anti-freezes.
What is the Difference Between Anti-freeze & Coolant?
While the terms anti-freeze and coolant have been interchangeable for many years now, it should be known that the two are not actually the same thing, even though it is common to think so. Antifreeze is actually a common component of a coolant mixture since coolants generally have a 50-50 ratio of anti-freeze and water. Antifreeze lowers the freezing temperatures of engine cooling system liquids and raises the boiling point of said liquid to prevent overheating and evaporation. Coolants have the added use of lubricating other important parts of a car engine for greater efficiency. Therefore, the addition of water is the differentiating factor between these two products.
How do I Find out What Coolant my Car Needs?
Here are some key points to figuring out which anti-freeze is meant for your car:
- American mobiles use antifreeze with silicates and phosphate corrosion inhibitors.
- European mobiles use antifreeze containing no phosphate.
- Japanese mobiles use antifreeze with no silicates.
- Copper/Brass radiators use IAT formulas.
- Aluminum engines use OAT formulas.
- Modern vehicles use OAT products.
- Relying on anti-freeze colors is not a fixed science, so you must confirm which products work for which manufacturer and whether your required coolants are wrongly replaced at mechanics and workshops.
- Do no use OAT-IAT formula mixes/hybrids. Mixes should be avoided as much as possible since they give sludgy reactions that can harm car engines.
- Call reliable manufacturers and service providers for proper information and product collection
How to Flush Coolant
To prevent sludge accumulation, car-cooling systems must be flushed every two to five years for efficient car function. Your engine should be completed cooled and resting for a minimum of 2 hours, after which you must Lift the front of your car using a jack and expose the car radiator by lifting the hood. Analyze your radiator before flushing to see any signs of rusting, scaling, corrosion or dirt to make sure it is working effectively. Place a drain pan under the car's drainage valve, and then drain by removing the valve, allowing any sludge to flow out to leave as little as possible behind.
Moreover, the remaining sludge must be flushed out using water by starting the car for about 10 minutes before letting it cool off and then adding the water with a garden hose about 2-3 times. Fill the appropriate coolant in the radiator after flushing, and then remove any insisting air pockets by tapping the radiator cap and then leaving the car on or 15 minutes. Make sure to wear gloves throughout the process and recycle the removed sludge at the appropriate cleaning facility.
- Antifreeze Explained: What It Does And Why It's Needed - Carid
- How To Check A Vehicle’s Coolant/Antifreeze - Dummies
- Antifreeze - Wikipedia