- Updated May 03, 2019
- Writen by Editorial Staff
- Table of Contents
12 Best Antifreezes & Coolants of 2020
- Updated May 03, 2019
- Writen by Editorial Staff
- Table of Contents
Antifreeze and coolants were originally two different liquids used in automobile cooling systems, but these days, they've become the same liquid.
Antifreeze prevents your car's cooling liquid or coolant from freezing in the winter or other low-temperature conditions. A coolant, however, prevents the water in the cooling system from boiling at standard temperatures.
As you can imagine, most car engines will overheat and eventually break down without antifreeze/coolant in the system. The variety of offers in the market, however, make this selection process a little difficult for first-time buyers.
This best antifreeze and coolants review therefore aims to simplify that buying process for you by providing you with a list of the top offers in the market and a buying guide to make the selection process easier.
- 12 Best Antifreeze and Coolants – Reviews
- 1. Ford VC-3DIL-B Orange – Ready to Use Formula Needs No Water
- 2. Ford VC-7-B Gold – Concentrated Antifreeze Coolant for Ford Vehicles
- 3. Valvoline Zerex G-05 – Concentrated Formula Approved by Many Automakers
- 4. Honda OL999-9011 – Honda OEM Offer for Honda & Acura Cars
- 5. Valvoline MaxLife 719005 – A Gallon of Pre-diluted Universal Antifreeze
- 6. Valvoline ZX001 – Concentrated Universal Zerex Antifreeze Coolant
- 7. Engine Ice TYDS008 – Made Using Eco-Friendly Propylene Glycol
- 8. OEM 86-324BOEME – Quality Antifreeze Coolant for European Cars
- 9. Aisin ACT002 – A High-quality Formula for High Output Engines
- 10. Havoline 236543499 – Extended Life OEM Coolant for GM Vehicles
- 11. Star Brite 033200 – One of the Most Advanced Engine Antifreeze & Coolants
- 12. Valvoline ZXEL1 – Affordable OAT Formula for GM Vehicles
- How to Buy the Best Antifreeze & Coolants
12 Best Antifreeze and Coolants – Reviews
1. Ford VC-3DIL-B Orange (Ready to Use Formula Needs No Water)
2. Ford VC-7-B Gold (Concentrated Antifreeze Coolant for Ford Vehicles)
3. Valvoline Zerex G-05 (Concentrated Formula Approved by Many Automakers)
4. Honda OL999-9011 (Honda OEM Offer for Honda & Acura Cars)
5. Valvoline MaxLife 719005 (A Gallon of Pre-diluted Universal Antifreeze)
6. Valvoline ZX001 (Concentrated Universal Zerex Antifreeze Coolant)
7. Engine Ice TYDS008 (Made Using Eco-Friendly Propylene Glycol)
8. OEM 86-324BOEME (Quality Antifreeze Coolant for European Cars)
9. Aisin ACT002 (A High-quality Formula for High Output Engines)
10. Havoline 236543499 (Extended Life OEM Coolant for GM Vehicles)
11. Star Brite 033200 (One of the Most Advanced Engine Antifreeze & Coolants)
12. Valvoline ZXEL1 (Affordable OAT Formula for GM Vehicles)
1. Ford VC-3DIL-B Orange
Ready to Use Formula Needs No Water)
2. Ford VC-7-B Gold
(Concentrated Antifreeze Coolant for Ford Vehicles)
3. Valvoline Zerex G-05
(Concentrated Formula Approved by Many Automakers)
4. Honda OL999-9011
(Honda OEM Offer for Honda & Acura Cars)
5. Valvoline MaxLife 719005
(A Gallon of Pre-diluted Universal Antifreeze)
6. Valvoline ZX001
(Concentrated Universal Zerex Antifreeze Coolant)
7. Engine Ice TYDS008
(Made Using Eco-Friendly Propylene Glycol)
8. OEM 86-324BOEME
(Quality Antifreeze Coolant for European Cars)
9. Aisin ACT002
(A High-quality Formula for High Output Engines)
10. Havoline 236543499
(Extended Life OEM Coolant for GM Vehicles)
11. Star Brite 033200
(One of the Most Advanced Engine Antifreeze & Coolants)
12. Valvoline ZXEL1
(Affordable OAT Formula for GM Vehicles)
1. Ford VC-3DIL-B Orange – Ready to Use Formula Needs No Water
Ford's VC-3DIL-B is a top-rated antifreeze and coolant for Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln vehicles. It will also work in other engines that meet Ford's specifications.
The 1-gallon container comes pre-diluted with a 50/50 mix of this antifreeze and purified water. This means that you simply just need to pour it in and that's it.
It comes with everything that you need for both gasoline and diesel engines, letting your engine work in temperatures as low as -34 degreesFahrenheit and as hot as 265 degrees F.
For downsides, it includes ethylyne glycol, which isn't very environmentally friendly and being pre-diluted also means that it costs more.
In addition to antifreeze and anti-boil protection, this formula also features an anti-corrosion function to help maximize your engine's lifespan.
2. Ford VC-7-B Gold – Concentrated Antifreeze Coolant for Ford Vehicles
Although the previous Ford offer comes pre-mixed, this one comes fully concentrated and designed to get mixed with distilled water in a 50/50 ratio.
It's a yellow-colored coolant, made for both gasoline and diesel engines, with a -34 degrees F antifreeze feature, a 265 degrees F anti-boil feature, and corrosion protection as well.
Being ethylene glycol based, however, you can't really call this an environmentally friendly antifreeze, but its price is good and it also includes a bittering agent to stop pets and babies from drinking it and getting poisoned.
For cons, you'll need to mix it with distilled water first before use and secondly, it's also designed specifically for only Ford and related vehicles.
3. Valvoline Zerex G-05 – Concentrated Formula Approved by Many Automakers
This offer for a Valvoline Zerex offers you one of the best antifreeze and coolants in the market for engines needing a HOAT (Hybrid Organic Acid Technology) system.
It's rated to work on a range of vehicles, including Mercedes, Cummins Deere, Isuzu, CAT and a lot more.
Designed for use on both diesel and gasoline engines, this formula offers a lower concentration of silicate and a total absence of phosphate, although it includes a good anti-corrosion system.
Bing concentrated means that you'll have to dilute it according to instructions. It's rated at 5 years or 150,000 miles or 3 years and 300,000 miles for heavy-duty use.
4. Honda OL999-9011 – Honda OEM Offer for Honda & Acura Cars
So far, we've only looked at Ford-specific antifreeze/coolants, but if you're a Honda guy or chic, then here's a specially formulated antifreeze for Honda and Acura vehicles.
This formula offers advanced protection for the engine, including protection from corrosion for the cooling system's components.
It's also a pre-diluted formula and while this makes it easy to use, it also makes it less cost-effective. The formula, however, is silicate and borate-free, making it a little friendly to the environment.
It still includes ethylene glycol though, for aluminum components protection, so it's not entirely environmentally friendly. Honda rates it, however, for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles.
5. Valvoline MaxLife 719005 – A Gallon of Pre-diluted Universal Antifreeze
Valvoline's Maxlife 50/50 antifreeze/coolant is specifically designed to provide as many cars as possible with a high-quality coolant and antifreeze without compatibility issues.
Including Aluguard Plus makes it one of the best engine antifreeze and coolants for universal application because it lets OAT, IAT, and HOAT chemistries work together.
This formula works to prevent freeze-ups and boil-overs in all car makes and models, including sedans and light-duty trucks.
It's, however, not ideal for high-performance engines and being pre-diluted makes it less cost effective. It lubricates gaskets and seals anyway, making it ideal for high-mileage vehicles. Valvoline rates it for up to 5 years or 150,000 miles.
6. Valvoline ZX001 – Concentrated Universal Zerex Antifreeze Coolant
Zerex is a family brand of Valvoline and so, practically belongs to the best antifreeze and coolant brands. This formula comes fully concentrated, so it's left for you dilute it as you need.
Its features depend on its level of dilution, with a 50/50 dilution with water creating a -34 to 265 degrees F range, while a 70/30 rate with water offers a -90 to 277 degrees F temperature range.
This formulation works on both gasoline and diesel engines, and although it comes with a low-silicate content, it still has ethylene glycol, which makes it environmentally hazardous.
Valvoline recommends using a supplemental additive if you are planning to use it on heavy-duty systems. Else it works great on small and light-duty engines.
7. Engine Ice TYDS008 – Made Using Eco-Friendly Propylene Glycol
Here's a product for those looking for the best coolants for high-performance cars. It's a blue-colored formula, designed to keep the engine at the right temperature for optimal performance.
It's also biodegradable and environmentally friendly because it's made using propylene glycol, unlike most other formulas that use ethylene glycol, which is toxic.
Downsides include a relatively higher cost and additionally because it's pre-mixed with water.
This formula is additionally phosphate free and reduces the engine temperature by an extra 10 degrees F. In addition, propylene glycol helps to cut gasket and seal failures in the water pump system.
8. OEM 86-324BOEME – Quality Antifreeze Coolant for European Cars
Here's an antifreeze coolant formulated especially for European cars. So, if you've got a car like Mercedes, Jaguar, Mini, Volvo, BMW, and so on, then you may want to check it out.
The formula focuses on newer models with both diesel and gasoline engines. It also features a low-silicate OAT formula and is phosphate and Nitrite-free.
Some people will find the 50/50 premix with water convenient, while others won't and will prefer the concentrate offer which is also available.
It will mix with most coolants but it's recommended to avoid high pH, borate, phosphate, and silicate-based formulas for best results.
9. Aisin ACT002 – A High-quality Formula for High Output Engines
Aisin offers an impressive line of automotive parts and accessories. The brand had always stood for quality since its 1965 start and it remains that way till date.
This Aisin ACT002 is from the best-quality materials. It's made using Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) and recommended for cars that accept either pink HOAT or red OAT antifreeze coolants.
As this coolant is not universal, it's definitely of no use to many users. But those who find it compatible will appreciate its many qualities.
It provides lubrication, prevents cavitation and pitting, includes specialized inhibitors for temperature maintenance, and it meets or exceeds all ASTM and SAE coolant standards.
10. Havoline 236543499 – Extended Life OEM Coolant for GM Vehicles
This antifreeze coolant is based on a unique formula that's patented by Chevron's Havoline and offers lots of impressive features like its 150,000-mile or 5-year service lifespan.
The formula is GM-approved under the GM6277M specification and recommended for both GM vehicles and European or Asian vehicles, including their hybrid models.
One downside is that you can only get this premixed version and not the concentrate. The formula also includes ethylene glycol, which makes it toxic.
It's however, free of nitrate, silicate, borate, and phosphate. It's also compatible with seal materials and helps in minimizing the way harmful abrasive solids form.
11. Star Brite 033200 – One of the Most Advanced Engine Antifreeze & Coolants
If you're looking for the best antifreeze and coolant for high-performance cars, then this offer from Star Brite might be what you need.
It's made using a non-toxic, biodegradable propylene glycol formula, it's more environmentally friendly than most other offers. It also provides a wide protection range between -26 and 265 degrees F.
This formula works on all water-cooled engines and includes additives that help to keep up an ideal engine temperature for the best performance and horsepower.
Star Brite rates it with an over 2-year or 250,000-mile service life in gasoline engines and a longer, 7+ years or 750,000 miles for diesel engines.
12. Valvoline ZXEL1 – Affordable OAT Formula for GM Vehicles
This Valvoline coolant features an Organic Acid Technology (OAT) formula, which makes it phosphate-, silicate-, borate-, and nitrate-free.
You are free to dilute the concentrated formula according to your needs and it provides a service-life up to 150,000 miles or five years, making it one of the best antifreeze and coolants out there.
It includes the toxic ethylene glycol, however, so you need to take care with its disposal. Another issue is that it's not a universal antifreeze, but is rather recommended for GM, Chrysler, and Ford cars.
How to Buy the Best Antifreeze & Coolants
Antifreeze and coolants come in a wide variety, so you need to have some basic understanding if you want to choose the right product for your vehicle.
Following is a listing of the important aspects of antifreeze/coolants that you need to consider and keep in mind when making your choice.
1. Types of Antifreeze and Coolants
Antifreeze coolants have evolved over the years, with better technologies invested in creating more effective and durable formulas.
There are three major types of antifreeze and coolants based on the technology that they got manufactured with. These three types are as follows:
Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT). This type of antifreeze/coolant is the bright green antifreeze that most people know. It is, however, an older formula and has since been replaced by better formulas that get used in newer cars.
You won't find IAT coolants in most vehicles made since the turn of the century because it has silicates and phosphates, which make it bad for the environment. It also includes the toxic ethylene glycol and should get changed every 30,000 miles or 2 years.
Organic Acid Technology (OAT). With organic acid technology coolants, you get a more environmentally friendly formula that isn't much of an issue if it happens to leak into the environment because it includes neither phosphates nor silicates.
It includes ethylene glycol, however, and the recommendation if to flush once in five years or after about 150,000 miles. This makes it a better antifreeze that finds use in many new vehicles. It also comes in different colors.
Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT). This one is also available in different colors and has silicates for corrosion inhibition. It's however, developed to specifically protect aluminum engine blocks.
Most of its other features are the same, such as containing ethylene glycol and needing a flush every 150,000 miles or five years. It also contains other additives for more features.
2. Fuel Types
Coolants were originally developed differently for gasoline and diesel engines, each needing different additives to make it perfect for that type of engine that it's made for.
Most antifreeze and coolant offers that you'll get in the market today, are, however, compatible with both gasoline and diesel engines. But, always check to make sure.
It's additionally important that you understand that different antifreeze formulas are ideal for different types of cars, so it's better to stick to what you've used, rather than switching to something new.
You should also avoid mixing different coolants together, especially those with different colors. Most formulas need you to use them as they are, while others need you to mix them with water. It's important that you follow these instructions.
If you ever find your car low on coolant and you have no option to buy the right type of coolant for it, keep in mind that it's okay to top off your radiator with water and slowly drive to the next gas station.
4. Operating Temperature
You'll find that most antifreeze and coolants will offer to keep your engine working perfectly between low temperatures of -26 degrees F and highs of 250 F.
This is an ideal temperature range, but it's left for you to make sure that any product that you are about to buy offers this range or any other range that better fits your needs.
5. Extra Points
Asides from the major factors above, there are other less important features that you may need to keep an eye on when choosing a particular product for your car.
Some formulas include extra leak-repair additives or environmentally friendly anti-corrosion additives. Also, make sure that it comes with a service life that's long enough for your car and its condition.
Another important point is having a bittering agent. Since many pets and children get attracted to the bright colors and sweet taste of antifreeze, it's important to deter them from drinking it and a bittering agent is one such good deterrent.
Read More: 7 Best Transmisson Coolers
Coming to the end of this antifreeze and coolants review, you must have seen just how varied the different formulas are and how important it is to choose correctly.
From the universal solutions to the more environmentally friendly propylene glycol formulas and those designed for high-performance engines, you can see that there's an offer for every budget and engine type.
In the end, it's left for you to choose the right antifreeze coolant for your vehicle because you're the only one that knows exactly what your car needs and what you can afford.