Is Coolant The Same As Antifreeze? [Comparison]

Published: 09/14/22 •  6 min read

In this article, you will learn “Is coolant the same as antifreeze?“. And you will also learn:

Extremely cold and hot temperatures can seriously harm your vehicle. Therefore when the seasons change, it’s an excellent idea to maintain the cooling system in your car correctly. The cold frigid temperatures could cause the effect of squeezing up and impacting your car’s engine, making it unusable and leading to costly repairs. To ensure a functional cooling system, you will have to use antifreeze and coolant. 

Automobile owners use antifreeze, often mistaken for coolant, to overcome this issue. Even though you might think antifreeze and coolant are the same things, they aren’t. They have a lot in common; however, they are not identical.  

Is coolant the same as antifreeze? Find out more below.

Is Coolant The Same Is Antifreeze? A Brief Answer-

Antifreeze is a concentrated glycol-based fluid that has to be mixed with water before usage, after which it is known as coolant. Coolant usually consists of a 50-50 mix of water and antifreeze. However, it could comprise up to 70% antifreeze to combat freezing temperature. The 50-50 blend can provide enough cooling for engines operating at temperatures of more than 200 degrees and prevents freezing at temperatures 30 degrees below zero or lower.

What is Antifreeze?

Antifreeze is a concentrated glycol-based fluid that has to be mixed with water prior to usage, after which it is known as coolant. When it is mixed with water to make coolant, the antifreeze assists in keeping the engine’s components safe from overheating and freezing and regulating temperatures to shield the engine from damage. It protects the engine’s performance in freezing or hot weather conditions, or even at the which is within the limits of operation for the engine.

It reduces the freezing point of water-based liquids. A mixture of antifreeze is utilized to reduce the freezing point in cold climates—common antifreeze boost temperatures of boiling of liquids leading to an increase in the temperature of the coolant. 

Antifreeze is composed of ethylene glycol. The cooling system allows trouble-free engine operation in even the coldest, most severe weather. Ethylene Glycol keeps coolant liquid from freezing in your radiator by reducing its freezing temperature, in addition to providing lubrication to the water pump as well as preventing corrosion.

What is a Coolant?

Coolant is a chemical substance that is usually gas or liquid. It is used to control or decrease the temperature of the system. The ideal coolant has a large thermal capacity and low viscosity. It is low-cost, non-toxic, and chemically inert. It prevents corrosion of the cooling device. 

The term “coolant” is frequently used for automotive and HVAC (Heating ventilating, air conditioning). The coolant may either maintain its liquid phase or gaseous or undergo a phase change that results in the latent heat enhancing the cooling effectiveness. 

Coolant is a blend of water with antifreeze, the proportion of which differs between vehicles. This ensures that the water in your vehicle’s radiator does not freeze during winter or boil and evaporate during summer. When you have coolant in your vehicle’s cooling system, it efficiently controls your engine to the ideal temperature all through the year.

What is the Difference Between Antifreeze and Coolant?

Is Coolant The Same As Antifreeze- Coolant vs antifreeze

Coolant and antifreeze are not the same. 

Antifreeze is a chemical additive that can lower the freezing point and increase the temperatures of water-based liquids. 

Coolant is a byproduct of antifreeze and water, which are typically mixed at a 50/50 ratio. If you are discussing the liquid inside your cooling system, you may see experts r

efer to this fluid in your cooling unit as coolant, antifreeze, or both. They are interchangeable to describe the liquid within the cooling system, which helps keep the engine running at the proper temperature.

The main distinction in the terms is quite simple the engine must be kept at the ideal temperature all the time, even during the winter season. Therefore, the engine requires cooling throughout the year. The coolant must be antifreeze-based to prevent its freezing when it is cold. 

A quality coolant already has antifreeze components, which means you do not need to change the fluid inside your engine every season. Coolant/antifreeze is an organic compound known as mono ethylene glycol. It is a colorless, odorless liquid renowned for its antifreeze capabilities. When it is added to water in your car’s cooling system, ethylene glycol reduces the freezing temperature and raises the boiling point. This ensures that the liquid flowing throughout the engine bay will remain in operation regardless of weather or season.

While both are interchangeably used for car maintenance, there are various distinctions between them. Antifreeze is among the ingredients used to make an engine cooling agent. In essence, a coolant is made up of a 50-50 mix of water as well as an antifreeze formulation. 

Antifreeze is essential in lowering the freezing temperature of engine fluids. Constructed from ethylene glycol, the antifreeze performs higher, making it suitable for extreme weather conditions. By using an antifreeze formulation, you can prevent the formation of ice crystals on the engine. In addition, use a coolant to disperse or transfer warmth away from the engine to stop it from overheating. A coolant also helps keep the engine’s internal components well-lubricated.

Coolant vs Antifreeze

Coolant is a blend of water with antifreeze in the ratio of 50:50. It raises the boiling temperature of water between 240 and 270° C and lowers the freezing temperature to about -37° C. It is essential to utilize coolant in your vehicle and not just pure antifreeze because antifreeze has a greater freezing point, around 20° C. Engine coolant is a mix of antifreeze and water found in the radiator of your car. It stops your engine from becoming overheated in extreme heat and freezing in cold temperatures situations where things could get very bad for engines.

Antifreeze Vs. Coolant

Reduces the freezing point of liquids.Transfers of heat from the engine.
Helps prevent the engine from freezing.Stops the engine from overheating.
It is made from ethylene glycol or propylene glycol.It is made up of a 50-50 mix of water with antifreeze.

Also read: Does Coolant Affect the Air Conditioning?


Antifreeze and coolant are employed interchangeably due to the fact that the ingredient that creates cooling fluid is also an antifreeze ingredient. The only thing between the two is the inclusion of water in the mix. Because an antifreeze formulation is not meant to be directly poured into an engine, it is packaged and sold as a cooling fluid.