Antifreeze, Coolant & De Icer

Keep your vehicle in action whatever the weather with antifreeze, engine coolant and de-icer from Cromwell. We stock a range of products at great prices to suit your automotive needs. Choose from market-leading brands, like CarPlan®, Holts®, Vikan®, Fuchs® and our own brand, Solent Maintenance®.

What is antifreeze, engine coolant & de-icer?

These seasonal automotive products are used to maintain a vehicle's performance during any weather. Antifreeze and engine coolant are liquid additions made to engine components. Antifreeze must be diluted with water before use, but both are added to a reservoir to feed the car's cooling system and prevent the water from freezing and overheating in variable weather conditions.

De-icer, on the other hand, is used when ice has formed on the windows of a car. Made from a blend of chemicals, de-icer works to either melt the ice or to prevent the adhesion of ice to the window's surface. This allows the ice to be removed with a scraper or the window wipers.

Why antifreeze, engine coolant & de-icer?

To keep your vehicle moving and safe to drive, these products are an essential addition to your car's maintenance kit. Engine coolant and antifreeze will keep your car's running temperature at optimum levels regardless of the weather. While de-icer is a quick and convenient product for those cold mornings when you need to get to work.

When to use antifreeze, coolant & de-icer?

All three products should be checked in your car regularly, with de-icer being the only caveat - this is more suited for use in the colder months. It's always advised to check both your coolant and antifreeze levels on a semi-regular basis.

Antifreeze, engine coolant & de-icer types

Antifreeze & Engine coolant
Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT)   -   A derivative of OAT coolant, this phosphate coolant prevents overheating and contains additives to prevent engine corrosion.

Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT)   -   Used in older models of car, this coolant contains glycol which rapidly depletes and must be changed frequently.

Organic Acid Technology (OAT)   -   This nitrate-free formula utilises organic acid inhibitors to cool and protect engines against corrosion.


De-icer spray   -   Made with a blend of chemicals, de-icer is available as a liquid spray and an aerosol spray. Both types lower the freezing point of the ice formed on the windscreen to start the melting process and loosen the adhesion between the ice and the glass to make it easy to scrape away.

Pre-icer spray   -   When sprayed onto car windows the night before a frost, the pre-icer formula prevents ice from adhering to the glass. This makes it much easier to remove in the morning.

Considerations when choosing antifreeze, engine coolant & de-icer

Vehicle age - when it comes to any engine additives, make sure you check the vehicle handbook to make sure you use the right type for the vehicle model. As already discussed, classic car models require different types of coolant and antifreeze to modern cars.

Personal preference - For de-icer products, the choice is down to your preference of when to treat the car and how much time you have in the morning. A good pre-icer spray can remove the need to de-ice at all in the morning but requires evening treatment. While de-icer must be used before driving the vehicle to ensure a clear and safe windscreen.


Is de-icer bad for your car?

De-icer is formulated specifically for car windows and shouldn't cause any damage to the car at all. The thing you need to be careful of is using the right scraper after spraying de-icer to ensure you don't scratch or damage the windshield. Only use a car window scraper on your vehicle, as these are designed specifically for tempered glass and won't crack or dint the surface.

Is antifreeze and engine coolant the same thing?

While similar, antifreeze and engine coolant are not the same thing. Engine coolant is a premixed additive that contains antifreeze and can be used straight from the bottle. Antifreeze on the other hand, is a concentrated liquid and must be diluted with water before it can be used. Once diluted, its then classed as a coolant.