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What are  antifreeze and car coolant? 

Total coolant and antifreeze


Antifreeze reduces the freezing point of the water in a car’s cooling system. When mixed with water it is called coolant, due to it also raising the boiling point of the liquid in the cooling system. Pure antifreeze must always be mixed with water before use, allowing it to regulate engine temperature in extreme hot and cold environments. Different types of antifreeze and coolant should never be mixed and used to cool the engine – extensive damage can result. 

Learn more about the differences between antifreeze and coolant.   

The ultimate guide to coolant and antifreeze  

Ultimate coolant and antifreeze guide

Every engine needs antifreeze and coolant, but they need to be correctly used for drivers to enjoy their benefits.  

First, you should use the correct type of antifreeze and coolant. These include Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT), Organic Acid Technology (OAT), Nitrated Organic Acid Technology (NOAT) and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) products, named after the corrosion inhibitors within them. Coolants feature these inhibitors, water and antifreeze agents such as ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. Topping up your existing coolant with water should only be a stop-gap measure, as you will reduce the effectiveness of the coolant. 

If your car is leaking antifreeze, always visit your mechanic as it could be due to a defective cooling system, which could result in other parts of your engine overheating and becoming damaged. If oil is present in your coolant, this can also be indicative of engine problems – seek the help of a professional right away if you discover oil in your coolant reservoir 

View the ultimate guide to coolant and antifreeze

What coolant and antifreeze should I use?  

The choice of antifreeze and its ready-to-use, water-mixed form, engine coolant, differs between vehicles. Wondering which to use? This guide will help you find the correct fluid for your car. 


The choice of coolant and antifreeze can be a confusing one. With so many different types available, your selection can mean the difference between maintaining a safe and efficient engine operating temperature and damaging your engine’s cooling system and the engine itself.  

To make sure you can drive safe in the knowledge you’re using the right coolant, check out our guide to finding the correct one for your vehicle, including what different colours mean, where to find out your manufacturer-specific choice, and how to use Total Lub Advisor to discover the right coolant and antifreeze. 

How to top up your coolant

There are two reasons why your car’s coolant level may be low. Either your cooling system is leaking, in which case visit a mechanic, or too little coolant has been put in your reservoir. If your coolant is reaching the end of its service life, visit a mechanic – changing coolant can be a complicated process, especially with newer models. 

If your system isn’t leaking, topping up your engine coolant is simple: 

  • Find the coolant reservoir: Check your owner’s manual. 

  • Check the coolant level: If the coolant level is below the minimum marker, top it up.  

  • Mix the coolant: Use a pre-mixed coolant or mix the correct antifreeze with distilled water as per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

  • Unscrew the reservoir cap: Always cover the cap with a cloth. 

  • Insert a funnel: To avoid spilling the toxic liquid.  

  • Fill with coolant: Slowly top-up to the maximum marker.  

  • Replace the cap: Screw until you hear a click. 

For more in-depth instructions, view our guide to topping up your car’s coolant

What are GLACELF and COOLELF? 


TotalEnergies produces antifreeze concentrates which must be mixed with water (GLACELF) and a range of ready-mixed coolants (COOLELF). 

These high quality, reliable engine fluids take away the worry of engine breakdown, protect against corrosion and overheating, and lower maintenance costs for drivers. Developed in some of the most advanced automotive research centres in Europe, they are approved by a range of world-class car, construction, agricultural and commercial vehicle manufacturers. 

Some of the TotalEnergies engine coolant and antifreeze range: 

  • GLACELF SI-OAT – Concentrated antifreeze for diluted use in EURO 6 engines. For cars, vans, commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles. 

  • GLACELF ECO BS – Antifreeze concentrate requiring dilution; BS 6580 compliant. For cars, vans, commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles.  

  • COOLELF SI-OAT – A ready-to-use engine coolant for EURO 6 engines. For cars, vans, commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles 

  • COOLELF G13 – Ready-to-use coolant suitable for most Volkswagen Group passenger car engines. 

  • COOLELF FR – Ready-to-use in Citroën and Peugeot passenger car models 

  • COOLELF FR RD – Ready-to-use in Renault and Dacia passenger car engines 

  • COOLELF ECO BS – Economical and ready-to-use, it conforms to British Standard 6580. Designed for cars, vans, commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles 

Why choose GLACELF and COOLELF? 

TotalEnergies' antifreeze and coolants are formulated based on special OAT inhibitor technology. They have a much longer service life compared to conventional products, allowing for extended drain intervals. This means reduced maintenance, lower coolant replacement costs, and less harm to the environment. 

OAT inhibitor technology advantages  

Our unique OAT inhibitor technology provides the following advantages: 

  • Increased heat transfer efficiency 

  • Extended coolant life 

  • Superior high temperature aluminium protection 

  • Extended water pump life by up to 50% 

  • Excellent cavitation protection  

  • High temperature oxidation stability 

  • Improved compatibility with elastomers & plastics 

  • Reduced cooling system scaling and deposits 

  • Less product disposal required 

  • Environmentally friendly inhibitors 

  • Decreased maintenance costs 

GLACELF and COOLELF both contain the additives required to protect a full range of vehicles, while also providing exceptional performance in freezing temperatures down to -37°C. 

features and benefits 

  • Exceptional performance – in both high and low temperatures  

  • Variety of options to suit your needs – including ready-to-use and concentrate products 

  • Avoid unnecessary expense – lower maintenance costs 

  • No worries – protects against engine breakdown, corrosion and overheating 

Use TotalEnergies Lub Advisor to find the right antifreeze and coolant for your car, van, construction vehicle, agricultural vehicle or commercial vehicle. Products are available in 1L, 5L, 20L, 60L, 208L, IBC and bulk sizes.