When it comes to getting the most out of your car, proper maintenance comes as a prerequisite. You have to ensure that the tires are in tip-top condition, change the engine oil regularly, apply the best oil additives, use certified windshield washer fluid, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Now, among the areas where you have to use the best fluids is in car cooling systems. It plays an important role in maintaining an optimum engine temperature. Sadly, when it comes to this part, more than a few car owners opt to use water in place of what is recommended.
Well, you might have in the past used water and worked- good for you! But have you ever thought about the repercussions if temperatures fell below freezing point? Well, that’s why you need to always use the automobile chemical made for that- antifreeze.
Antifreeze, also known as coolant works by circulating in the engine to absorb heat generated when running. By doing this, it protects it against the damages that would result from the excess heat.
Coolants also have anti-corrosion properties and other additives to protect from corrosion and other common engine gremlins. And unlike water that freezes at low temperatures, coolants have anti-freeze properties to retain their liquid state at sub-zero temperatures.
Now, like any other car fluid, some antifreezes work better than others. In this article, we are going to reveal some of the top-performing options out there.
11 Best Antifreeze and Coolants
#1 Valvoline Zerex Asian Vehicle Antifreeze/Coolant
This coolant by Valvoline works perfectly for Asian vehicles. I mean, whether you are having a Toyota, Subaru, Honda, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Scion, or any other car originating from the Asian countries, our first antifreeze on the list should work well for you.
The antifreeze is manufactured in conformance to the requirements of Asian vehicle manufacturers. Therefore, it will serve as the perfect replacement for the original coolant from either of these manufacturers.
Although silicate offers improved corrosion protection to engine components, it causes poor shelf life of the antifreeze because of gel formation. With this in mind, this coolant doesn’t contain silicate.
Having that said, Valvoline Zerex Antifreeze boasts a long life of up to 5 years. Hence, it will help keep your engine safe and running smoothly for approximately the next 150,000 miles.
The long-life formula also packs several anti-corrosive properties. Therefore, it will keep your engine cool and operating in tip-top condition when protecting its parts from corrosion.
The antifreeze arrives in a 1-gallon container. To make it easy for every car owner/operator to use, it comes pre-diluted so that you don’t have to worry about what amount of water you need to add.
#2 EVANS Cooling Systems EC53001 Waterless Engine Coolant
Our next coolant on the list is one of the universal products in the market. It works well for gasoline, light-duty diesel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), and Liquefied Petroleum (LP) vehicles.
This antifreeze utilizes a waterless formula to guarantee zero chances of causing corrosion. Therefore, if you are using the water-based coolants, ensure that you evacuate them before you pour the Evans EC53001 Engine Coolant.
It boasts an impressive boiling point of 375 degrees Fahrenheit, that is, 190 degrees Celsius. The most interesting part is that it will not vaporize once it attains the boiling point, ensuring that it doesn’t cause boilover problems or coolant loss.
It’s generally very effective in all that it’s made to do. I mean, this coolant will get rid of pre-ignition and engine knock issues that result from overheating. That said, expect it to cause a significant drop in engine maintenance costs.
The propylene-glycol based product will protect up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit; quite lower than any coolants on our list. Hence, it’s one of the coolants that promise the best protection to your car’s engine parts even on the coldest winters.
The top-grade product comes in a single pack of a 1-gallon jug. Nevertheless, in case you want to use it for several vehicles, it is also available in packs of 2 and 4 although they are more costly than buying several 1-gallon cans- quite surprising!
#3 BMW 82141467704 Coolant / Antifreeze
When it comes to making sumptuous cars, the BMW Group is one of the industry-leading manufacturers. And yes, this Germany-based organization also shines in making products to support their very own.
Now, if you own a BMW, here comes one of the coolants that work best for your automobile. Since it comes from your car manufacturer, it’s one of the antifreezes you can buy with confidence that they are fine-tuned to meet the requirements of your car’s cooling system.
The blue coolant works well for BMW models up to 2017 models. Therefore, if your car was produced at or after January 2018, this may not work best for you. Its unique formula has a long shelf life and provides better engine protection than most coolers out there.
Also, the special formulation of this BMW antifreeze is environmentally-friendly. Therefore, with this coolant, you are not only getting the best for your automobile but also for the environment!
The product comes in a 1-gallon container. Also, it is not pre-diluted, meaning that the 3.785-liter jug will keep going for long. For the best performance, the manufacturer recommends a mixing ratio of 1:1 with distilled water.
#4 STAR BRITE Star-Cool Premium Synthetic PG Engine Coolant
Maintaining optimal engine temperature helps improve the performance of the engine and avoid temperature-related issues. The Star Brite Synthetic Engine Coolant is one of the go-to options to get the best engine performance.
The high-performance product combines a propylene glycol base with advanced poly organic additives for a technologically-improved product that gives the best protection to your engine parts. It has a protection range of -26 to 265 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unlike some products that contain harmful compounds like silicates, borates, amines, phosphates, and nitrates, this fluid does not have either of these. Therefore, you don’t have to worry that it will make the thermostats and radiators clog.
Also, this antifreeze is one of the products that are engineered with compatibility in mind. I mean, no matter the car model or year, this product works with all water-cooled gasoline and diesel engines.
The product is made to the highest standard and meets or exceeds the OEM requirements. Therefore, it’s one of the coolants you can trust for all-year-round engine protection without voiding your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty.
When using for gasoline engines, Star Brite Coolant delivers a service life of 250,000 miles or 4,000 hours. However, when using it for a diesel engine, it lasts for up to 750,000 miles or 12,500 hours. It comes in a 1-gallon bottle.
#5 Genuine Ford Fluid Antifreeze/Coolant
Like any of our previous members on the list, this product comes in a 1-gallon container. However, it comes as a concentrated antifreeze and will require the user to mix with distilled water in a 50-50 ratio.
That said, expect to get 2 gallons of a mixture- twice the amount you get in 1-gallon pre-diluted coolants.
The yellow antifreeze is compatible with gasoline and diesel fuel engines. Nevertheless, since it comes from Ford Motor Company, this ethylene glycol-based antifreeze is a perfect option for Ford vehicles and won’t void the warranty.
The top-grade coolant uses a special formula that provides all-year-round engine protection from corrosion. The product will provide freezing protection to -34 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 265 degrees Fahrenheit of boiling protection.
For the best performance, the manufacturer warns against mixing this coolant with others of a different color. Hence, if you have a different coolant, you should first empty it from your vehicle before using this product.
This product, however, isn’t cool on the skin, eyes, or when inhaled or consumed. That’s why it contains a bittering agent to prevent any further ingestion by pets and the little members of the family.
#6 Audi Coolant Antifreeze (Part No. G013A8J1G)
When servicing your car, it’s worth paying extra bucks for the genuine OEM product than chasing the cheaper aftermarket products that you aren’t sure how they will react with your automobile’s engine.
Now, for those that own vehicle(s) from the Volkswagen Group, including Volkswagen and Audi models, here comes a product from their car manufacturer. This product is designed for the best performance, just like your cool car.
The coolant is aluminum compatible. Therefore, unlike some options that cause corrosion in the cooling system, this product interacts well with radiators and other engine parts made of materials that are susceptible to corrosion.
The ethylene glycol formula provides superior protection against overheating, frost, calcium deposits, corrosion, and other elements that may suppress the capability of your vehicle’s engine.
We like that G13 is backward compatible. I mean, it mixes well with earlier versions such as G11, G12, and G12+. Therefore, if you have been using either of these coolants, you won’t have to remove them entirely before installing the new product.
Like any of the coolants, however, G13 can turn fatal once ingested and that’s why the manufacturer tries to curb this from her side by including bittering agents in the product. Therefore, keep it away from children, pets, and other bottles containing consumables.
#7 Aisin ACT002 Anti-Freeze
The Aisin ACT002 is designed with Asian vehicles in mind. It meets the OEM engineering requirements of the most famous Asian manufacturers such as Toyota, Lexus, Scion, and many others that use pink/red coolants.
The high-quality option is yet another product that comes as an already diluted solution. That said, Aisin ACT002 brings convenience by saving you a step and eliminating any chances of messing up in mixing the product.
Of course, this may not be the best news for those that are looking for a concentrated formula, but since it goes for a price that is lower than that of the undiluted versions, you are still getting some good value for your money.
Here, you are getting a whole gallon of high-performance antifreeze. The good thing is that it boasts extra-long shelf life. Hence, a single container should keep you going for some years before there is a need to buy another gallon.
The premium product has advanced inhibitors for great engine temperature protection. The product will also provide water pump lubrication and prevent pitting, cavitation, and more.
Finally, Aisin ACT002 Anti-Freeze meets or exceeds the stringent ASTM and SAE standards. I mean, it contains everything that coolant needs to have to provide all-round engine protection including against corrosion.
#8 PEAK PXAB53 Antifreeze Coolant
In case you are looking for a product that comes ready to use, this is yet another product designed for you. It comes in a large 1-gallon container with a distilled water to coolant ratio of 1:1.
The best thing about this premium-grade product is compatibility. I mean, PEAK PXAB53 supports use in Asian, American, and European vehicles no matter the model, year, and the color of the original coolant.
The product has an amber color that mixes readily with your current coolant. And since it doesn’t change the color of the original antifreeze, PEAK PXAB53 will work fine for topping off if you don’t want to get rid of the current coolant.
The high-quality product uses an advanced organic acid in its formula. Also, the product is free from phosphate and silicate to ensure that you are getting an engine-healthy product that will offer protection for a very long time.
The premium-grade product is designed to protect the engine up to 224 degrees Fahrenheit and down to -34 degrees Fahrenheit. The patented inhibitors guarantee superior protection against threats such as rust and corrosion.
Lastly, this universal coolant meets ASTM D-3306 and ASTM D-4340 requirements. That said, it’s one of the options you can buy with the confidence that it will work well for your vehicle.
#9 GENUINE MERCEDES MB Genuine Antifreeze (2002-2012)
When it comes to luxury cars, Mercedes Benz is among the industry-leading manufacturers. They deliver beastly performance on the road owing to the tremendous amount of engineering they carry.
Now, if you own a Benz model, you definitely aren’t willing to gamble with the engine life of your vehicle. We neither want that, and that’s why we have this MB Genuine Antifreeze on our list.
The product is specially designed to meet the engine requirements of all sprinters and other Mercedes Benz models. That said, it’s one of the coolants that are conceived for wide compatibility.
The product comes in a large 1-gallon bottle, just like every other member of the list. However, since it’s concentrated, expect to get 2 gallons once you mix it with distilled water in the recommended ratio of 1:1.
It works by raising the boiling point although it also contains anti-corrosion properties to help protect some critical engine parts like a radiator from damage. It is a blue coolant that will not mix with any other antifreeze color.
#10 Valvoline Zerex G05 Pre-diluted Antifreeze/Coolant
Unlike the earlier brother on the list that works well for Asian vehicles, this antifreeze is engineered to meet the engine requirements of some Asian and non-Asian models such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Ford, Chrysler, and more.
The special formulation is compatible with both gasoline and diesel engines, one of the reasons behind its wide compatibility. The low PH alongside the European-technology guarantees peak engine performance from your automobile.
It contains very minimal levels of silicate to ensure corrosion protection to engine components without compromising on the shelf life. Therefore, it’s still one of the coolants you can count on to keep their integrity for years.
The coolant contains an important nitrite that plays a central role in protecting against cavitation. The product also packs essential additives to protect it from deposits and scale caused by the use of hard water.
The high-quality defoamer system of this product will not cause any negative effect on the engine, hoses, plastic parts, or the original finish of your vehicle. Thus, it’s one of the safest products out there.
To make it easy for anyone to use, this product comes as a diluted solution. Hence, it’s a coolant that you can apply straight out of the box without having to make a trip to the supermarket to buy distilled water.
#11 Engine Ice TYDS008-02 High-Performance Coolant
High engine temperatures will affect the performance of your engine and reduce the lifespan of some engine parts. Therefore, it’s always wise to keep the engine temperature at an optimal level for the best performance and durability.
The high-quality product comes from the United States. Therefore, it’s one of the coolants we least expect to disappoint. It arrives in a smaller pre-diluted 0.5-gallon bottle and that is why we see it good to opt for the cost-efficient pack of 2.
The product has a protection range of between -26 and 256 degrees Fahrenheit. And since it reduces temperature by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, this is one of the most effective products the market holds.
It works well for ATV, motorcycle, auto, snow machine, and other many automobile machines that support the use of coolants. It doesn’t cause corrosion on aluminum and other metals out there.
The product makes use of propylene glycol-based formula. Also, this biodegradable high-performance product doesn’t contain some environmentally-harmful compounds such as phosphates.
Engine Ice TYDS008-02 meets all the standards set by ASTM and SAE organizations. Hence, it’s one of the options you can buy knowing that it won’t leave you regretting in the long haul.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it matter which antifreeze I use?
Yes. In fact, not all ‘best’ antifreezes are good for your vehicle’s engine. The perfect antifreeze for your car is the one designed to meet the special requirements of its engine.
That’s why the majority of our models come from most automobile manufacturers. Buying antifreeze from your car manufacturer is wise since she has a better understanding of what your engine needs to deliver the best performance.
What happens if you use the wrong color antifreeze?
Mixing different colors of coolants may lead to the incompatibility of the special additives used in the 2 coolants. The blend may expose the engine parts to corrosion and may also not provide good temperature protection.
Is universal antifreeze safe?
Yes. The universal coolants are designed in conformance to the standards set by SAE and other standard-setting organizations. Therefore, they are safe and will mix readily with any other coolant.
Can I use water instead of coolant in an emergency?
Yes. However, ensure that you replace it as soon as possible with the recommended antifreeze since it doesn’t work well beyond its freezing and boiling points. Also, it is corrosive and can affect the cooling system when used for long.
How long should I let my car cool down before adding coolant?
Most experts in the automobile industry suggest that you leave the car for at least 30 minutes before you add any cold coolant. This is good for your safety and that of the engine.
Antifreeze plays an essential role in maintaining optimal engine temperature level. Therefore, it has a great impact on how an engine works.
That said, we have compiled some of the top-notch models that will ensure that your engine performs to its very best.
- 11 Best Antifreeze and Coolants
- #1 Valvoline Zerex Asian Vehicle Antifreeze/Coolant
- #2 EVANS Cooling Systems EC53001 Waterless Engine Coolant
- #3 BMW 82141467704 Coolant / Antifreeze
- #4 STAR BRITE Star-Cool Premium Synthetic PG Engine Coolant
- #5 Genuine Ford Fluid Antifreeze/Coolant
- #6 Audi Coolant Antifreeze (Part No. G013A8J1G)
- #7 Aisin ACT002 Anti-Freeze
- #8 PEAK PXAB53 Antifreeze Coolant
- #9 GENUINE MERCEDES MB Genuine Antifreeze (2002-2012)
- #10 Valvoline Zerex G05 Pre-diluted Antifreeze/Coolant
- #11 Engine Ice TYDS008-02 High-Performance Coolant