Antifreeze (from the English “freeze”) is a collective term for special liquids designed to cool units that heat up during operation - internal combustion engines, industrial plants, pumps, etc. when operating below zero. There are a variety of types of antifreeze, and their characteristics are also different. A feature of these liquids is a low freezing point and a high boiling point. In automobile engines, such fluids are used. It should be remembered that antifreeze is not eternal. It should be changed from time to time, especially in the off-season. Unfortunately, many car owners neglect such a procedure or fill in whatever comes to hand. Meanwhile, this is a very extensive topic in which it is necessary to understand and know the theoretical aspects of choosing a coolant. Before you figure out what the classification of antifreeze is, you should study in more detail what it is and what the cooling system is.
Cooling systeminternal combustion engine
As the name implies, as a result of the processes occurring inside the motor, it heats up. Therefore, it needs cooling. It is carried out by means of the circulation of the coolant. She moves through special channels. So what is antifreeze and how does it work?
The liquid, passing through the channels, heats up, and then enters the radiator, where it cools. After that, the cycle repeats. Antifreeze circulates constantly under pressure, which is provided by a special pump.
Purpose of coolant
A special fluid is used to remove heat from the engine. In addition to cooling, it also equalizes the temperature of various parts of the engine. The channels through which the coolant circulates can become clogged with deposits and rust over time. In such places, the engine will heat up more. Therefore, when the cooling system breaks down, warping of the cylinder head often occurs.
The secondary function of the SOD is the heating of the passenger compartment and the throttle assembly. Thus, the stove is included in the cooling unit and is its integral part. Before the advent of the famous antifreeze, ordinary water was poured into the cooling system. But she had several shortcomings. First, the liquid freezes at 0 degrees and expands, breaking the cast-iron cylinder block. Therefore, in the USSR it was extremely necessary to drain water from the system every evening during the cold season.cooling. Secondly, the liquid boils at 100 degrees. At that time, motors did not heat up to such a temperature under normal conditions. But in the highlands, such boiling was not uncommon. The third disadvantage of water is that it promotes corrosion. The cooling channels and ducts inside the engine actively rusted, and their thermal conductivity deteriorated.
Composition of antifreezes
So what is antifreeze? Simplified, it consists of two components:
- Additive complex.
The base is a water-glycol composition (and it doesn’t matter what types of antifreeze it is). The ability not to freeze at low temperatures, fluidity, and specific heat capacity depend on it. The most common component of any coolant is ethylene glycol. However, its mixture with water also contributes to the development of corrosion of the elements of the cooling system. But what about in such a situation? For this, additives are added to the composition of the base. It is a complex of antifoaming, stabilizing and anticorrosive components. In addition, flavoring fragrances and dyes are often added to antifreeze.
Types of products and their characteristics
Modern coolants are conditionally divided into two types - silicate and carboxylate. The well-known antifreeze belongs to the first type as the cheapest and most versatile. Silicates are the main additive in inorganic coolants. The disadvantage of these substances is that they settle on the walls of the channels in the cylinder block and prevent normal heat transfer. As a result, frequentmotor overheating. There is another serious drawback - inorganic antifreezes must be changed at least 30 thousand kilometers. Otherwise, there will be clear signs of corrosion of the cooling channels, which will be difficult to deal with. Organic antifreezes contain only organic acids. The peculiarity of these additives is that they cover only areas with manifested corrosion. Due to this, the thermal conductivity of the cooling channels practically does not deteriorate. Another advantage of organic antifreeze is a long service life. The product can be used up to 150 thousand kilometers or up to five years.
Classification of antifreezes
At the moment, antifreezes come in only three varieties: G11, G12 and G13 (according to the classification of General Motors USA) - in accordance with the content of additives in them. Class G11 - initial, with a basic set of inorganic additives and low performance properties. These fluids are suitable for cars and trucks.
Antifreeze of this group most often has a green or blue tint. It is to this class that antifreeze common in our country can be attributed. Class G12 is the main type of antifreeze. The composition includes organic additives (carboxylate and ethylene glycol). Such antifreeze is intended mainly for heavy trucks and modern high-speed engines. It is ideal for heavy duty applications where maximum cooling is required.
Has a red or pink color. Class G13make up antifreezes, where propylene glycol acts as the basis. Such antifreeze is colored by the manufacturer in yellow or orange. Its characteristic feature is that, when released into the external environment, it quickly decomposes into components, unlike ethylene glycol. Thus, the product of the 13th group is more environmentally friendly.
Select type of antifreeze
Antifreeze, as already mentioned, is getting better with an increase in class. Therefore, it is not worth saving on it: more expensive means better. In addition to classes, there is another classification of antifreeze. These are ready-to-use liquids and concentrates. The former can be recommended to novice motorists, while experienced mechanics can experiment with concentrates. They must be diluted with distilled water to the desired proportion.
Choose brand of antifreeze
Due to the fact that coolants are a necessary consumable element of any internal combustion engine, there are a lot of manufacturers of this product. Among the most common are several companies. In our country, these are: Felix, Alaska, Sintek. These products are the most balanced in terms of price-quality ratio. Felix antifreezes belong to the G12 class, which greatly expands their applicability. The product "Alaska" is related to antifreeze (class G11, with inorganic additives).
Depending on the options, "Alaska" is able to operate in a wide temperature range: from -65 to 50 degrees (arctic and tropical composition). Of course, class G11 imposescertain restrictions on the durability of the liquid and its properties. However, the democratic price is quite a significant factor. Sintec products are produced mainly in the G12 class. Such antifreezes are great for all modern engines. The additives in this product are proprietary, proprietary formulations that prevent deposits and corrosion on the internal surfaces of the cooling system.
Mix different brands
A few words must be said about mixing different brands of coolant. There are a variety of types of antifreeze and their compatibility, unfortunately, tends to zero. As a result, there may be a conflict between different additives.
The result can be very different, up to damage to the rubber pipes of the cooling system and clogging of the channels in the engine block. It should be borne in mind that it is strictly forbidden to pour water into systems designed to work with antifreeze. Since it has a large heat capacity, the thermal characteristics of the cooling system will change. In addition, different types of antifreeze, due to their composition and the presence of additives, have lubricating properties, and when using water, the water pump will deteriorate first of all. Worse, if after water, pour antifreeze again. Then he, interacting with the s alts that stood out from the water, will begin to foam. Then it will be squeezed out through small gaps and leaks. This happens with any coolant (it does not matter what types of antifreeze were mixed).
Antifreeze as an indicator of technical conditionvehicle
The condition of the coolant in the engine can indirectly serve as an indicator of the well-groomed machine and partly indicate its technical condition. If the product is dark and cloudy, with traces of sediment at the bottom of the expansion tank, then the car is not only with high mileage, but also with signs of poor maintenance.
A caring and attentive owner will not delay changing the coolant to the last.
Features of operation of cars with antifreeze in the cooling system
To prevent breakdowns, regular maintenance of the cooling system is necessary. During operation, antifreeze, performing its main function, transferring heat from the engine to the radiator, deteriorates over time. Regardless of which species were used. And the properties of antifreeze also change over time. In addition to monitoring the state of the fluid itself, one should not lose sight of the system itself. It must be absolutely sealed. Exhaust gases or air must not be sucked into it. The appearance of such in the cooling system entails a decrease in heat-conducting properties. As a result, the machine quickly overheats, leads the cylinder head. The motor is almost beyond repair.
So, we found out the types of antifreeze and their compatibility with each other.