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The right antifreeze mix will keep your engine purring—even in the dead of winter.

Polar vortex putting you into the frozen category? Well, maybe not the Californians still hanging-ten and catching rays on the coastline well into January. But for the rest of the nation, it’s cold enough to give penguins frostbite. Which begs the question, is your car protected—specifically your radiator? Are you using the right antifreeze, making sure it’s swimming harmoniously with the water in your radiator, protecting it from turning into a block of ice—thus transforming your daily driver into a couple-ton-paper weight? We hope so, but in case you’re not, here’s a little info on antifreeze mixtures and what happens if you don’t use the right antifreeze-to-water ratio. Throw on your beanies and parkas, kids, class is in session.

Antifreeze, as we’ve covered before, is designed to protect your engine from rust, corrosion, overheating and freezing. But like anything else in life, too much of anything isn’t good (except for money—that can’t apply, can it?) Balance is truly the key. Which is why our line of PEAK antifreeze and coolants have a perfectly-balanced mixture of water and the awesome chemical (we refer to it as a liquid magic wand)—ethylene glycol. PEAK offers full-strength antifreeze that must be mixed with deionized water, as well as pre-mixed 50/50 versions that are perfect for topping off. If your mailbox is buried under six feet of snow, or your zip code should be closer to Antarctica than Ann Arbor, we have a feeling you’ll need more than 50% of the liquid wand. For extremely cold climates, we recommend a 70/30 mix of antifreeze to deionized water. 

Food for thought: water may be a liquid, but it’s really a chemical when you break it down. That’s why it’s called H2O—two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. You probably already knew that. But did you know that water expands up to ten times its original mass when it freezes? Now imagine the water in your radiator and engine freezing; not only will it seize your ride and make you put on your snowshoes and get walking, but when water freezes, it freezes with great force—which means it can permanently damage your ride. In short, don’t let your engine block become a block of ice.

So what’s the right mix for your ride? It all depends on your car and where you’re located. If you’re living in a state where the temps don’t really get below freezing, a PEAK antifreeze with your typical 50/50 ratio should do the trick. However, if you’re home should be called the frozen tundra, and you’re subjected to temps that reach well into the negative, you’re probably best suited rockin’ PEAK Long Life Full Strength antifreeze—where a 70/30 antifreeze-to-water mix will protect your car at temps as low as -84 degrees to as hot as +276 degrees. That said, we always recommend checking with your car’s owner’s manual to see what the hardworking guys and gals who made your car have to say on the matter.

Good luck, get the right PEAK products, and don’t let your engine freeze its pistons off.

Got more questions? Learn all you need to know about antifreeze over at our PEAK Auto DIY Hub.


The Peak Team

January 30, 2014

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