Should I Run Coolant in the Winter?


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CHARLOTTE – Coolant is perhaps best known for its ability to dissipate heat, so often times we’ll get asked if it’s necessary to run coolant in the winter. Yes, you should! Coolant doesn’t just have a high boiling point, it has a very low freezing point, considerably lower than water. Let’s build on why that’s important for a moment.

To put it simply, water expands when it freezes. This is the absolute last thing you want to happen to your car’s more delicate components. Your radiator, its hoses, the block itself are just a few of the things that can be cracked by water freezing.



While most engines do have what is known as “freeze plugs” which pop open to give water a place to expand should it freeze in the motor, these do create a point for your engine to leak from once the fluid has returned to its liquid state.

This is where proper coolant comes into play. Coolant has a freezing point of around -36 degrees. That’s almost 70 degrees colder than water’s freezing point! Thankfully the odds of us seeing anything below 20 degrees are slim, but that’s still more than cold enough for water to freeze. It is more important than ever this time of year to have proper coolant in your engine.

This same rule applies to washer fluid too. Ice can crack your plastic reservoir. A proper winter washer fluid freezes at a much lower temp.

Questions? Call us at (704) 545-4597 or check us out online at www.manchesterautoandtire.com

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