Checking a vehicle's coolant level is one of the most important vehicle maintenance tasks. However, anti-freeze comes in a wide variety of colours. Manufacturers produce coloured dyes to enable drivers to detect leaks. However, the factors to consider when buying blue anti-freeze involve more than the colour of the dye.
The vast majority of cars, SUVs, vans, and trucks utilise ethylene glycol based coolant. Owners typically mix ethylene glycol based anti-freeze with 50 per cent water as it contains anti-corrosion chemicals. The amount of anti-corrosion chemicals differs amongst brand name coolants. Since coolant systems possess varied types of metals, vehicle owners should buy the coolant brand recommended by their vehicle manufacturers. For example, a vehicle engine that includes a cooling system constructed with mostly stainless steel does not need as many anti-corrosion chemicals.
British consumers are a vibrant market for European car manufacturers, such as Renault and Volkswagen. They should know that cars manufactured in European countries require phosphate-free anti-freeze. Vehicle owners that add coolants that include phosphates can expect performance-inhibiting deposits to build within the cooling system. Enough accumulated deposits can render the coolant system useless. European car owners should read the vehicle owner's manual to discern the right type of engine coolant for their vehicles. Most European vehicle manufacturers insert "No Phosphate" in bold print within the anti-freeze description.
Many vehicle owners recycle engine oil, so wonder if recycling anti-freeze is a good idea. Recycled anti-freeze not only protects the environment, it also saves vehicle owners money on maintenance costs. Vehicle owners can attach a specially designed machine to the cooling system for recycling coolant or recycle anti-freeze at a recycling plant. They can also recycle coolant at auto maintenance shops, where professionals have both the knowledge and the tools to recycle coolant. Do it yourself vehicle owners must be able to perform vacuum distillation, filtration, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange to perform a successful anti-freeze recycling job.
Other Anti-Freeze Tips
Although the colour of anti-freeze does not factor into performance, the type of dye has ramifications for the environment that can negatively influence health. Blue dye anti-freeze manufacturers typically list the chemicals that they place within blue dye. Some manufacturers label the blue dye with a symbol that designates the dye as environmentally friendly. Vehicle owners should be aware that a few automobile manufacturers, such as Toyota, only use blue dye coolants for their vehicles. Vehicle owners who have any questions on what type of blue dye anti-freeze to use can consult with the professionals at the local auto parts shop. Finally, consumers can save money by purchasing blue anti-freeze in large quantities, as anti-freeze possesses a long shelf life.