Business Info

7890 Vantage Way, Delta,
BC, Canada V4G 1A7


Phone: 604-946-0506
Fax: 604-946-0575
Toll Free: 1-855-673-6847

Search Ecofreez Website

Antifreeze FAQ Print E-mail
1. What does antifreeze do?
Antifreeze prevents an engine from over heating at high temperatures and freezing during cold temperatures.   Antifreeze also keeps metal surfaces in the radiator clean, and prevents scaling and corrosion attacks within the system; it also prevents wet sleeve liner cavitation in diesel applications.

2. What is the difference between propylene and ethylene glycol?
Although the chemical make of propylene glycol and ethylene glycol are quite similar, propylene glycol is less toxic, whereas ethylene glycol is less expensive and has slightly better heat transfer.  Ethylene glycol is the most commonly used of the two in the automotive industry.

3. Can I mix propylene glycol with ethylene glycol?

Propylene glycol can be mixed with ethylene glycol without causing harm to the cooling system, but it does slightly weaken the heat transfer.

4. What types of Antifreeze are there?

There are a variety of types of antifreezes out there, depending on the application.  The most traditional is conventional antifreeze, made for automotive and heavy-duty applications.  Some heavy-duty conventional antifreeze is pre-charged with or without supplemental coolant additives (SCAs).  There is an organic acid technology (OAT) that is considered an extended life or long life; and, there is a hybrid OAT, which combines conventional IAT and OAT technology that can also be fully formulated or not fully formulated with SCAs for heavy-duty use.

5. What is conventional Antifreeze?
Conventional antifreeze, also known as “Universal” antifreeze, is typically green in colour and is the most traditional of all automotive coolants.  Its formulation includes a number of inorganic corrosion inhibitors known as inorganic acid technology (IAT); it provides fast acting protection and maintains the pH of the antifreeze.  As the antifreeze is cooled and heated and exposed to air, the components of the formulation break down over time.  At this point, the pH has dropped and it’s time to change the coolant.  Ecofreez Premium Universal Coolant has a life span of 3 years or 80,000km.

6. What does OAT mean?
OAT means Organic Acid Technology, but is more commonly known as Extended Life Antifreeze or DEX-COOL® antifreeze.

7. What is Long-Life or Extended Life antifreeze?
Extended Life Antifreeze is typically carboxylate-based and was developed to provide superior performance over conventional coolants.  While these coolants last significantly longer, they differ from conventional coolants; they are not chemically consumed and they do not protect as quickly as conventional coolants.  Both coolants require very different procedures and change intervals from each other.  Extended Life antifreeze is most commonly orange, but can range in colour.  It is known to have unsurpassed corrosion protection for extended time intervals.  Because carboxylate coolants have virtually no silicates or phosphates, they meet Asian and European Coolant specifications.  Unlike conventional coolants, the chemical make in the additives of an OAT are not chemically consumed as they perform their function of inhibiting corrosion.  OAT chemicals form a thin protective coating on the inside of the cooling system, which inhibits corrosion.  As long as the cooling system is kept “topped-up” with proper extended life antifreeze and has a proper dilution ratio, it will continue to function properly.  If the cooling system is not properly maintained and it develops leaks and/or sludge build-up, therefore leading to serious cooling system problems.

8. What happens if you mix conventional Antifreeze with Extended Life antifreeze?
Extended Life (OAT) antifreeze is NOT compatible with conventional (IAT) antifreeze.  Aside from discoloration of antifreeze when the two are mixed together, a chemical reaction is caused when the carboxylate salts are mixed with the inorganic salts and caustics found in conventional antifreeze.  If they are mixed, the antifreeze can become cloudy, precipitation can generate and the coolant will lose it’s extended life properties.

9. What is “hybrid” antifreeze?

Although, conventional antifreeze provides excellent corrosion protection, it has a shorter lifespan than Extended Life antifreeze.  Hybrid antifreeze was created to combine the advantages of both inorganic and organic corrosion inhibitors and is partially or totally compatible with both conventional and Extended Life coolants. Hybrid antifreeze contains concentrations of inorganic acid technology (IAT) inhibitors as well as OAT carboxylate salts.  However, in this case, the carboxylate salts are modified to be totally compatible with the specific conventional antifreeze components used.  EcoFreez “Global” Premium Coolant is a hybrid and is yellow in colour.

10. What is the difference between Ecofreez “Global” antifreeze and “Universal” antifreeze?
Ecofreez “Universal” Antifreeze is not only green in colour; it is also a conventional (IAT) antifreeze.  It cannot be mixed with Extended Life antifreeze.  EcoFreez “Global” antifreeze is yellow in colour and uses hybrid technologies that can be mixed with both Universal and Extended Life antifreeze.

11. What are SCAs?
SCAs are supplemental coolant additives used in Heavy-Duty diesel/gasoline applications to boost the life of antifreeze.  SCAs help maintain proper concentration of inhibitors between change intervals.  

12. When should I use SCAs in Heavy Duty applications?
Some coolants come pre-charged, whereas some do not.  Pink Heavy-duty Extended Life Coolant is most commonly identified as being fully formulated/pre-charged with SCAs, although some manufacturers also initially pre-charge green Heavy-Duty Antifreeze (as required by government agencies).  EcoFreez Heavy-Duty and Heavy-Duty Extended Life coolants are fully formulated/pre-charged with SCAs and do not need an initial charge and they also meet performance requirements for major automotive specifications.  This is convenient in that mixed-fleet operators can use one antifreeze for all applications.

13. How do I know which coolant to use?
You can refer to your owners’ manual or cross-reference on EcoFreez compatibility chart at

14. Why are there so many different colours of antifreeze?
Different colours of antifreeze can help distinguish between different corrosion inhibitors; for example, most conventional antifreeze was green in the past.  These days, the chemical make of antifreeze can vary.  Extended Life (OAT) antifreeze is typically orange and should not be mixed with green conventional antifreeze because of the different formulations of corrosion inhibitors.  Hybrid, or EcoFreez Premium Global coolant is yellow and can generally be mixed with all other types of automotive antifreeze.

Manufacturers also use various colours of antifreeze in their product lines as a way to not only identify whether the consumer is using their recommended antifreeze, but also as a sort of marketing ploy.  There are no hard rules governing the use of these colours.

Since the mid-1990’s, the rapid growing range of antifreeze colours has caused a lot of confusion.  All engine coolants are glycol based but vary in different performance additives/corrosion inhibitors.  All antifreeze is clear as water before dye is added.

15. What could happen if I mix two different colours of antifreeze in my radiator?
If two different colours of antifreeze are mixed together, not only will it discolour and look brown or cloudy, it could also cause problems with the cooling system if they contain non-compatible corrosion inhibitors.  The different colours of antifreeze usually help distinguish between different corrosion inhibitors.  EcoFreez makes a Global Premium Coolant, yellow in colour, which is safe to mix with both conventional and OAT coolants and takes on the dominant colour of antifreeze in the radiator.

16. How often do I need to change my antifreeze?
Always refer to your owner’s manual for your vehicle.  Intervals vary significantly from one auto manufacturer to another.

17. What happens if I neglect antifreeze maintenance?
Neglecting to check your antifreeze on a regular basis or get it serviced when recommended can cause serious problems such as corrosion and over-heating.  When the components of antifreeze break down and are depleted, this can lead to increased acidity, which attacks a wise range of metals and alloys using in cooling systems.  These problems will ultimately lead to expensive repairs on your vehicle.  Like any other service for your vehicle, preventative maintenance is the cheapest way to keep your vehicle running efficiently.

18. Is quality compromised if I use recycled antifreeze versus virgin?

Quality varies from different recycling processes.  Vacuum distillation removes virtually all contaminants and restores glycol to its pure form.  EcoFreez is manufactured from Canada’s largest and most state of the art Vacuum distillation units.  There is no quality difference when comparing EcoFreez antifreeze next to a virgin product.

19. Does used antifreeze harm the environment?
Antifreeze is very harmful to the environment.  Not only does it deplete oxygen levels in water, choking and killing aquatic life, if it seeps in to ground water, just 4 litres of it can deem up to 38,000 litres of ground water unsafe to drink.  It is also toxic to humans, animals and plants.  Because of its typically sweet taste, animals can sometimes be drawn to it, ultimately leading to fatal consequences.  EcoFreez contains a bittering agent in it that makes the antifreeze unappealing to the taste.  All waste antifreeze should be recycled appropriately.

20. Where can I recycle my antifreeze?

Never pour waste antifreeze on the ground or down the drain.  Like mentioned above, antifreeze is harmful to the environment and extremely toxic to animals and humans.  Collection centres are set up in most cities.  Contact your local mechanic for more details as to where to recycle your waste antifreeze.  GFL Environmental in Delta, British Columbia is also an authorized collector of waste antifreeze.  You can find more information about GFL Environmental Inc. at:

21. What happen if I mix too much water with my antifreeze?
Mixing too much water with antifreeze not only decreases the concentration of corrosion inhibitors in the antifreeze, but it also decreases the protection against freezing and corrosion.

22. What happens if I mix too little water with my antifreeze?
Using too much concentrate antifreeze can cause a lot of harm to an engine.  Pure glycol freezes around -12c.  If temperatures are cold and there is not a proper water/antifreeze ratio, the coolant can turn slushy, therefore being extremely hard on the engine.  High concentrations of antifreeze can lead to water pump failure, corrosion and increased engine wear.  Any concentration of antifreeze above 60% can significantly decrease an engine’s freezing and overheating protection.

23. Why should I use pre-mixed antifreeze?

There are many reasons why most professionals recommend using pre-mixed antifreeze.  Not only is a pre-mix the proper ratio of water/glycol, it is blended with de-ionized water.

Mixing concentrate antifreeze with tap water can cause many problems.  Tap water can be ‘hard’, which means it contains metals that are hard on the cooling system and can cause scaling.  

Tap water also contains 2 harsh acid processes: one acid process is free carbon dioxide (CO2); this can cause formation of bubbles in the coolant; this leads to cavitation and converts to carbonic acid to pit metal.  Chlorine and chloride are also found in all tap water.  Chlorine forms chlorides and chloride is very corrosive, especially to aluminum cooling systems.