Don’t Freeze Up! Are You Using the Right Antifreeze?


Authored by: Allan Zieser, STLE, CLS

Antifreeze is our first defense against cold temperatures. This winter we are hitting record temperatures and getting lots of snow as well. Now is the time to make sure your equipment is ready for more cold weather by testing your antifreeze in your vehicles!

Older coolants had formulations that allowed for the use of a simple ball tester to make sure your antifreeze was ready for action. But today’s modern organic additive technology antifreeze requires the use of a refractometer to ensure that your antifreeze protects in the coldest of temperatures. For the Midwest part of the United States, you will want to ensure your antifreeze tests to at least -25F. Not sure how to mix your antifreeze to meet that?  Well, we sell our Chevron XLC Antifreeze / Coolant and Havoline branded coolants in both premixed formulations and full-strength formulation.

Our premixed antifreeze is mixed to and tested at -32F for bonus protection during the winter months. It is mixed with mineral-free, distilled water to ensure you do not get calcium buildup in your cooling system over time.

Pro Tip: If you are mixing your own concentrated antifreeze, be sure and use only distilled water as it has the minerals removed. Using common tap water in your cooling system will cause the minerals to build up. Also, many of the minerals found in tap water will cut the life of your antifreeze significantly. Here in Iowa, we have some of the hardest water in the United States. It is not suitable for use in an antifreeze water mixture.

Need a refractometer or training on how to use one? Call your Ottsen Expert today and ask for a short class that will have you ready for testing your antifreeze like a pro!



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