For those looking to buy red anti-freeze, navigating the differences between the various additives and inhibitors available from each brand often proves difficult. Ultimately, each will bring different enhancements to a vehicle's performance. Finding a product that suits the needs of a specific shopper requires understanding information about that automobile as well as what an anti-freeze product contains.
Many associate red anti-freeze with a newer element called Dex-Cool, but some options actually do not contain this additive. Many want Dex-Cool products for their promises of longevity, but pouring them in cars not specially calibrated for their use might prove risky in the long run. In fact, GM moved away from this ingredient after alleged claims that it damaged vehicles. However, some cars made in the early 2000s require it for their coolant systems. To be safe, read all packaging information and manuals thoroughly before making a final decision about a product's ability to match the needs of your vehicle.
No matter what the antifreeze contains in terms of additives, all products typically contain glycol in their base. Some products contain ethanoyl glycol, while other contain propylene glycol. Although little difference exists between these coolants' performances, this distinction is important because the base of a product relates to its toxicity. Generally, buyers should gravitate towards options that include propylene when storing the product in areas where children and pets roam. However, most products contain ethanoyl glycol. If bringing one of these products home, store it on a high shelf out of the reach of curious hands and chewers. For added precaution, discuss the dangers of ingesting these products with older children to help prevent a horrible accident.
Inhibitors and the Problem with Mixing Anti-freeze Products
Some countries allow the use of phosphate in anti-freezes to help protect against corrosion and acid build-up, although European automakers feel other elements achieve the same results without risking hardening water with solids created by phosphate. Despite these concerns, it remains unclear whether these masses result in problems with the performance of engine coolant. When purchasing a red anti-freeze, you will want to ensure that you do not mix products with different inhibitor combinations as those might result in damage to the vehicle. If replacing fluids, only use red antifreeze if the car already has traces of it in its system, and follow the same advice with Dex-Cool. When in doubt, take the precaution of having the previous antifreeze identified by a professional mechanic to avoid any damage to the engine. In the end, such exploration beforehand might save you the expense of repairing a vehicle later.