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Auto Maintenance & Care

Best Antifreeze

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is a liquid solution designed to regulate engine temperature within a vehicle and wick away excess heat to the radiator. This auto maintenance product is used with internal combustion engines, although some engines require specialty formulas to comply with vehicle regulations, especially newer engines. Antifreeze is poured into the coolant chamber, typically found under a vehicle’s hood although often installed in different configurations based on the model of vehicle. The best antifreeze products below were chosen based on their wide temperature range of performance, their compatibility with many car models and for their long service life.

Valvoline MaxLife Antifreeze/Coolant

The patented Alugard Plus technology used in Valvoline MaxLife allows this antifreeze to provide optimum engine cooling even when mixed with antifreeze of other colors. Instead of flushing all of the engine coolant, a car owner can top off their antifreeze with this formula and be confident that it won’t cause excessive corrosion, which sometimes happens when mixing incompatible formulas. At a 50 percent dilution with water, Valvoline MaxLife has a boiling point of 265 degrees Fahrenheit and a freezing point of -34 degrees Fahrenheit. Valvoline uses yellow dye for this antifreeze, which they choose for color compatibility with other brands. Valvoline recommends this brand for use with both gasoline and diesel engines.

Prestone Prime Antifreeze/Coolant

Prestone Prime Antifreeze/Coolant offers superior long-lasting performance over many other brands. Cars and light-duty trucks using this formula are protected against engine overheating for 150,000 miles or 5 years. Prestone Prime is also useful for heavy-duty vehicles, such as RVs and tractor trailers. Although a 50 percent water dilution is recommended, Prime can be used at concentrations of 70 percent for protection between 276 degrees Fahrenheit and -84 degrees Fahrenheit. Long-lasting corrosion inhibitors in this antifreeze provides extra protection against rusting and water pump failure.

PEAK Global LifeTime Antifreeze & Coolant

PEAK Global LifeTime Antifreeze & Coolant

This antifreeze from PEAK provides engine protection in all vehicles manufactured in America, Europe or Asia. Car owners can perform a coolant flush and replace with PEAK Global LifeTime and not have to change the coolant again, when following proper maintenance. The PEAK formula is phosphate and silicate-free, making it capable of topping off older antifreeze without requiring a flush. The amber color of this formula keeps from discoloring other antifreezes when mixed, so that a car owner can know exactly what color antifreeze should go in the vehicle. This product comes pre-diluted at a 50 percent concentration for quick use. This brand is promoted by PEAK as the world’s only extended life antifreeze technology to be approved by original equipment manufacturers across the world, including Ford and Daimler-Chrysler.

Pennzoil Multi-Vehicle Extended Life Antifreeze & Summer Coolant

Pennzoil Multi-Vehicle Extended Life Antifreeze & Summer Coolant

Pennzoil Multi-Vehicle Extended Life Antifreeze is an ethylene glycol formula that offers universal compatibility with engine coolant systems for all cars and trucks. The service life of this product is rated at 5 years or 150,000 miles driven, requiring fewer changes. The chemicals used by Pennzoil for this engine coolant do not react corrosively with other antifreezes, which prevents problems from mixing or topping off old coolant, whether that coolant is conventional or an extended life formula. This antifreeze is given a slight yellow dye so it can be added to older antifreeze without changing the color drastically. This product has an extremely high boiling point of 345 degrees Fahrenheit for superior protection for all engine metals at high temperatures.

Prestone Extended Life Antifreeze / Coolant

Prestone Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant can be used with any make or model of car or light truck, even for vehicles that take highly specialized formulas. It can also be mixed with other antifreeze and engine coolants without the chemicals interacting poorly with each other. This product can be diluted with water to concentrations from 50 percent up to 70 percent for superior heat transfer protection. At the highest concentration, Prestone Extended Life can protect an engine within a temperature range from -84 degrees Fahrenheit to 276 degrees Fahrenheit. This product offers good compatibility coupled with a reasonable price tag compared to many similar formulas on the market.

Steve Brachmann
I've written extensively on auto repair, car maintenance and product review for online audiences. I covered automotive topics over the course of three years for Demand Media Studios. I've also earned a lot of auto experience the hard way, having identified problems and made repairs on my own vehicles. If my time with cars has taught me anything, it's that you better have plenty of sockets and patience when working on them.
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