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Does Antifreeze Go Bad in Your Car?

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Also known as coolant, antifreeze is comprised of 50% water and 50% propylene glycol. It is added to your car’s cooling system and it prevents overheating by circulating the fluid in the engine. Your car’s engine runs smoothly only when the cooling system functions properly. 

But does antifreeze go bad in your car? The short answer is: yes. In this post, you will learn everything you need to learn about antifreeze or coolant. 

Antifreeze is also called coolant, because even extremely cold temperatures can not freeze it. If your car is left in the cold, coolant will protect the engine by keeping it from overheating. In absence of coolant, on winter mornings, the fluid will get frozen and your car will not start. 

Premature coolant system corrosion can be a great problem. So your vehicle should always have enough coolant. To prevent potential problems, you should go to an auto repair shop and get regular coolant service. 

Does it go bad? 

Antifreeze contains chemical ingredients that do not easily go bad. If antifreeze is properly stored, it will barely degrade over time. But you have to make sure that the container is sealed against contaminants such as dirt. 

However, when you are going to refill your radiator, you do not need to be very careful about it. Feel free to use an old jug. There is no problem if you mix up old antifreeze with fresh antifreeze. That means a mixture of old and fresh antifreeze still works.

Let’s go back to the original question. Does antifreeze go bad in your car? Yes it does, but the process is not very quick. Antifreeze is not something that quickly goes bad. It takes a very long time to degrade. 

Why keep it fresh? 

Overtime, regardless of the quality of your antifreeze, it will deteriorate. As it turns more acidic, it can no longer effectively prevent corrosion and rust. If this is the condition, you should stop driving the car until the issue is resolved. 

If you ignore the problem and just keep driving, the contaminated antifreeze can cause damage to various parts of the cooling system.  That is why you should take necessary actions as soon as possible.

With old and contaminated antifreeze, your engine will no longer be able to withstand extreme hot and cold. It can be a real issue in mid winter and on hot summer days. If you do not address the issue in the beginning, you will have to deal with very expensive repairs. This is why your antifreeze should be replaced regularly. 

How often should you get an antifreeze service on your vehicle?  

As a rule of thumb, your vehicle should get a coolant service once it has run around 100,000 miles. However, an old car may require this service more often. Rust or scaling may contaminate engine coolant and make it unusable. And when coolant becomes contaminated, it loses its ability to resist freezing.

If there is deteriorated antifreeze in your vehicle’s engine, the engine will not start in cold temperatures and it will run hotter than normal. So take your car to an auto mechanic and get antifreeze replaced when necessary. Does antifreeze go bad in your car? Yes it does, and it is very important to replace it when it goes bad.

Maintaining your cooling system

In modern engines, the coolant must flow through fairly narrow passages to keep the engine cool. Coolant serves two purposes. It keeps the temperature of the engine under control and maintains balance of the heat in the small passages. 

When you start your engine on a cold morning, the engine will quickly get warm if it is in good condition. It is one of the main signs of a good engine. To some extent, it depends on how functional the cooling system is.

Modern cars now come with pollution-stopping devices and emission-control systems. These systems work only because the engine can function at the proper temperatures. 

Thanks to the coolant system, your car’s engine can not get too hot or cold. It just achieves the proper operating temperature and maintains that temperature. It also makes the anti-pollution devices work. 

In today’s engines, there are numerous passageways. Some small passages and some are large radiator hoses. These passageways manage the engine by providing warm air to the sensors. There is also the water pump and the radiator itself. 

Overtime, as your engine’s antifreeze picks of the gunk, it becomes contaminated. This problem may clog the subsystems. You can prevent that buildup by flushing your cooling system. And if you ignore that built up, you may need to repair your vehicle unnecessarily. 

Symptoms of bad antifreeze

Does antifreeze go bad in your car? So far we have learnt that it does. How do you know that your antifreeze has gone bad and you need to do something about it? Now we are going to discuss some symptoms of bad antifreeze. Look for these symptoms to know if the coolant needs to be replaced. 

Your coolant is murky, dark or smelly

If your antifreeze looks bad, maybe something is wrong with it. It needs to be replaced. Coolant may be red, green or orange, and fresh coolant will look bright. When you notice that your antifreeze has deteriorated, a coolant flush is a better option than just a change. 

Higher reading of your temperature gauge 

If your car suddenly runs hotter than normal perhaps your coolant has depleted. Check the coolant when you have stopped driving. If you noticed that the coolant reservoir is full, perhaps the coolant is too old. And if the reserve is low, maybe there is a leak. Try to find out that leak.

It can also happen when coolant hoses and passages get blocked. It can be a result of sludge and circulating rust. Make sure your cooling system is checked after regular intervals. Take your vehicle to a mechanic. Does antifreeze go bad in your car? We hope you have already got an answer.

Overheating engine

If the Previous problem gets worse, your engine will get overheated. If it happens, the temperature gauge is going to hit the red zone. This problem can lead to serious damage. So you should immediately shut off the engine and take necessary actions. 

Very bad antifreeze can cause this problem. However, other mechanical problems can be responsible for the overheating of your engine. In such a case, you will have to call a mechanic or take your vehicle to a repair shop. You may not be able to drive your car until it is repaired. 

Does antifreeze go bad in your car? Now you know that it does, and you know why it is important to replace antifreeze when it goes bad. In this post we have tried to explain what antifreeze is and when it goes bad. Hopefully you will check your car’s antifreeze and replace it when it is necessary.

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