Antifreeze, also known as coolant, is a liquid that is added to your vehicle's radiator to keep the engine from overheating in extreme summer temperatures and freezing in harsh winter temperatures. Antifreeze also contains anti-corrosion agents and other additives for long life. Shop Advance Auto Parts for top brands of antifreeze and coolant.
Antifreeze and coolant do more than just keep your engine cool by circulating through the radiator and water jackets. Antifreeze also contains an additive package of corrosion inhibitors, lubricants and other compounds that help keep the cooling system in good shape.
Like any other automotive fluid, coolant (really a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water) will become contaminated and lose its effectiveness over time. If you're in doubt about your antifreeze's condition, it's easy for a tech to check it with a hydrometer or a refractometer, but most manufacturers recommend a coolant flush and refill at every 60K miles or so (check your owner's manual). Remember that there are new formulations of coolant on the market, including organic acid and hybrid organic acid coolants, which are required by some manufacturers (check your owner's manual).
Flushing and replacing coolant is a clear case of pay now/pay a lot more later. It's a preventive maintenance task that can head off a lot of trouble down the road. If it's time for a coolant flush, shop Advance for your coolant needs.