Antifreeze is a vital fluid for car engines since it keeps at the right temperature. Antifreeze is mixed with water to form an engine coolant. It prevents the vehicle from freezing in the winter season and boiling during summer. Car owners and mechanics are recommended to keep on checking the conditions of the antifreeze or coolant.
An antifreeze tester allows you to visually inspect the condition of your vehicle’s coolant. With the many testers available today, it is quite challenging to get the right one. We have made things easy by reviewing the top 5 best antifreeze testers and a guide on things to consider when buying one.
The Best Antifreeze Tester
01. Prestone AF-1420-6PK Antifreeze Tester
Prestone AF-1420-6PK Antifreeze tester is one of the best coolant or antifreeze testers for professionals and DIYers. This tester helps to test antifreeze or anti-boil quite easily. This antifreeze tester allows all visual inspections for sediment and rust.
Prestone Antifreeze tester provides you with an easy and quick method to collect a sample safely and measure the concentration of coolant. It assists you to ensure adequate corrosion protection. These high-quality products also help in preventing boil-overs and freeze-ups.
This Prestone AF-1420-6PK Antifreeze 6 pack can run multiple tests in different cars. The tester can serve you for years as long as you take good care of it. Remember to flush it with water when using it for another car.
This Prestone coolant tester works with any ethylene glycol-based coolant. It works for a wide range of vehicles including street motor scooters, all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, snowmobiles, street cruiser motorcycles, personal marine craft, street sport motorcycles, and street touring motorcycles, among others.
- Easily test anti-boil/antifreeze protection
- Helps to prevent boil-overs and freeze-ups
- Ensure good corrosion protection
- Easy and quick measure coolant concentration
- Allows visual inspection of sediments and rust
- The suction hose is short for some radiators
02. ABN Deluxe Antifreeze Tester
ABN Company is known for making premium tools and accessories. Their Deluxe Antifreeze and coolant tester is the right way to test your antifreeze mixture effortlessly and get immediate results. Antifreeze is designed to prevent the water from freezing during the cold seasons and the engine from overheating, which can lead to engine failure or other mechanical breakdowns. This ABN automotive coolant test kit will help you avoid these problems by enabling you to test the coolant mixture in the vehicle.
ABN coolant tester is designed to serve you for a long time. It is made with premium rubber and plastic materials, helping you to easily test the boiling and freezing temperatures of the antifreeze solution. The tester has a 5.5-inch tuber tube and a large rubber bulb, enabling it to easily such the coolant in the plastic reservoir. Its stickers are easy to read and also provide instructions.
If you are looking for a clear tester for visual inspection, then ABN deluxe is the right tester to buy. This tester has a clear reservoir allowing you to easily inspect the condition of the coolant in your vehicle. You will be able to inspect the color or any sediments, sludge, or rust. Flush the tester with water after every use to enable you to get an accurate reading in the next test.
ABN deluxe coolant tester comes with an easy-to-read hydrometer scale. Its clear capsule has sensitive pointers which measure the boiling and freezing point of the antifreeze in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. One side of the tester has the boiling point scale while the other side has a freeze point scale. The tester is compatible with all ethylene glycol coolants including GM Dex-Cool.
- Test your antifreeze mixture effortlessly
- It provides immediate results
- It is clear for easy visual inspection
- The hydrometer scale is easy to read
- Reads in both Celsius and Fahrenheit
- Compatible with all ethylene glycol coolants
- It is durable
- Hard to clean due to glued rubber bulb
03. Thexton Anti-Freeze Tester
Thexton THE106 is among the best antifreeze testers for professionals. This disc type 16-1/4 inch tester gives you accurate results at all temperatures. This Thexton antifreeze tester is compatible with all ethylene glycol-based coolants, inclusive of Dex-Cool, irrespective of whether they are hot or cold.
Thexton THE106 coolant tester has easy-to-read disks. The disks are magnified by a convex design of the clear SAN plastic barrel. The number of floating discs in this tester measures the level of protection. The special feature of this coolant tester is its 6th disc, showing overprotection and loss of cooling efficiency.
When the antifreeze goes beyond 70 percent, corrosion and cooling effectiveness are reduced. Another great thing about this antifreeze tester is that it can be read in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. The tester also comes with a neoprene dip tube and a one-piece bulb.
- It is accurate at all temperatures
- Tests all ethylene glycol-based coolant
- Discs are magnified for easy reading
- Have both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales
- Have 6 discs for overprotection
- Features neoprene dip tube and one-piece bulb
- Not very accurate
04. Rhino Antifreeze Refractometer
Rhino Antifreeze Refractometer is an outstanding antifreeze tester for automobile antifreeze systems, battery acid, diesel exhaust fluid, and windshield washer fluid. It is used for measuring freezing point concentration and freezing point temperature. It is suitable for all propylene glycol and ethylene glycol.
Rhino Car coolant refractometer has an automatic temperature compensation of 10 to 30 degrees (50 – 86°F) and zero calibration with water close to 20 degrees Celsius (68°F). The tester measures a wide range of AdBlue from 20%- to 40%. With all the information you will get using this tool, you will be able to protect your car engine.
The surface of this Rhino refractometer is sprayed with Teflon. This makes the tester anti-adhesion, anti-static, corrosion-resistant, and wear-resistant. The two plastic pipettes make the tester more convenient. The refractometer comes complete with a cleaning cloth, mini screw drive, water bottle, portable holster, user manual, and a case.
- Has a Teflon coating for protection
- The plastic pipette makes it convenient
- Has automatic temperature compensation
- Comes with a case for storage
- Measures a wide range of AdBlue
- Helps to protect the car engine
- Only reads in Celsius
05. AMTAST Digital Coolant Refractometer
AMTAST Digital Coolant Refractometer is designed to measure car antifreeze and coolant based on propylene glycol and ethylene glycol. This tool is versatile since it checks the condition of battery fluid and screen-wash antifreeze based on isopropyl alcohol or ethanol. You can also use this refractometer to check the concentration of urea in AdBlue.
AMTAST AMR317 digital antifreeze tester is easy and fast to use. You only need a few drops of the sample measurement, and you will get the results in 2 seconds. One amazing thing about this tester is its power-off feature. If the meter stays for more than one minute without use, it will power off automatically.
AMTAST Digital Coolant Refractometer features a temperature display that you can freely switch when operating. It has automatic temperature compensation which is a necessary feature for every refractometer. Other great features of this digital antifreeze refractometer are its anti-loss design and low power consumption.
This coolant refractometer is quite pretty and portable. It is made to serve you for a long time as long as you take good care of it. AMTAST AMR317 Digital Coolant Refractometer is one of the most versatile antifreeze testers you will find in the market. The unit is powered by AAA alkaline battery. The battery is, however, not included, and you have to purchase it separately.
- It is beautiful and portable
- Made with an anti-loss design
- Has low power consumption
- The refractometer is versatile
- Measures in less than 2 seconds
- The battery is bought separately
Best Antifreeze Testers Buying Guide
The market is saturated with many coolant testers, and you may be confused about how to get a genuine and durable tester. Just like other tools, the best coolant tester refractometer is the one that meets your needs. To get the best antifreeze tester for your requirements, you need to consider a number of factors which include:
One of the most important factors of an antifreeze or coolant tester is its accuracy. Some manufacturers sell their testers at a low price, but they give you results that are far mush away from accurate. The coolant testers we have discussed in the above review have been tested to give very accurate results. Go through the reviews given by previous users.
Another thing to check is the scale the antifreeze tester is using. Is the tester using Fahrenheit or Celsius? Different brands of testers give their reading on different scales. Consider which scale you consider to avoid the stress of converting your results from one scale to the other. It would be, however, more prudent to buy a coolant tester with double scales where you can get the readings in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
Type of Antifreeze
Some antifreeze testers are only suitable for testing specific fluids. It is, therefore, crucial to confirm the type of coolant or antifreeze you are using and if the tester and the fluid are compatible. Most of the best antifreeze testers are compatible with all ethylene glycol-based coolants including GM Dex-Cool.
Temperature is one factor that affects the accuracy of an antifreeze tester. Before you purchase a tester, it is important to know at what range of temperature it works. Some testers only work at a certain range of temperature while others will give you results irrespective of the temperature. You can also buy a unit featuring automatic temperature compensation (ATC), and it will help you get reading with no errors.
Some of the best antifreeze testers these days are quite versatile and can also act as a refractometer. It would be good if you get a tester that will help you test other fluids in the vehicle apart from the coolant. Consider a tester that will work on coolants, AdBlue, battery fluid, diesel exhaust fluid, and windshield washer fluid. The tester should also be an ideal unit to work on the different types of vehicles, street motor scooters, snowmobiles, street cruiser motorcycles, marine personal craft, street sport motorcycles, and street touring motorcycles.
Of course, we all want to buy a tester that will serve us for a long. Ensure that you get an antifreeze tester that has been made with high-quality and durable materials. The unit should not be a one-time tester. You should be able to test different vehicles multiple times for a long time. The best antifreeze tester should be resistant to corrosion, rust, and wear. It should also be anti-adhesion and anti-static for more safety.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you Test Antifreeze With a Tester?
Antifreeze testers are the best for checking the condition of antifreeze. You can buy them from different places like antifreeze tester AutoZone, amazon, or even at your local shops. The process of reading the tester will differ depending on the type of tester you are using. The following tips on testing antifreeze with a tester:
- Leave the car to rest for a while for the antifreeze to settle
- Squeeze the bulb of the tester to suck some antifreeze
- Fill the tester tube with the coolant. Put your finger right at the end to prevent air from getting in. In case you see some air on the balls, shake it off.
- Observe the number of balls that float. The location and number of floating balls correspond with the quality of the coolant and how well the vehicle is protected against freezing. The more balls you have floating, the more protection your vehicle has against freezing. The markings on the tube will guide you on the readings. The reading will be explained further on the package.
Tips: If the coolant has stayed for more than a year, it is recommended to change it. Vehicle coolant becomes more acidic as it stays, which can cause damage. If you notice that the antifreeze is low, add more antifreeze and wait for around two to four days to do the test. If the antifreeze is still below, then you need to check for any coolant leakages. You can check this video to learn more about how to use antifreeze tester using an antifreeze tester.
What Is an Antifreeze Tester Called?
One common question among people is what is an antifreeze tester called. An antifreeze tester can also be called a coolant tester or an antifreeze hydrometer. The antifreeze hydrometer accurately tests if the coolants in the vehicle have been mixed properly to prevent freezing and boiling. This tool is also referred to as a Refractometer since it measures the concentrations of aqueous solutions. However, when buying a Refractometer, ensure it is designed for automotive purposes.
Do Antifreeze Testers Go Bad?
Most of the antifreeze testers these days have been designed to check more than one vehicle, and they can do so multiple times. Just like any other tool, an antifreeze can go bad. However, if you maintain it well, the tester will serve you even for years. The most important thing to do is to flush the tester with water after every use. This way, it will give you an accurate reading during your next test.
Is Coolant the Same as Antifreeze?
Engine coolant and antifreeze are similar, but they are not the same. Antifreeze is a glycol-based fluid that you dilute with water to get coolant. However, you can get a premixed and ready-to-use solution which is known as engine coolant. Coolant is a mixture of antifreeze and water mainly at a ratio of 50:50.
The coolant then circulates through the engine coolant system and motor, keeping it efficient and cool. It lowers the boiling point of the engine coolant during summer to prevent it from boiling. In the winter season, it prevents the engine coolant from freezing. Antifreeze also reduces electrolysis, prevents corrosion of plastic and rubber parts, and reduces corrosion and rust of engine metal parts.
An antifreeze tester is an important tool that helps you prevent your vehicle’s coolant from freezing or boiling. The above review shows among the best antifreeze testers, which will give you accurate readings. A high-quality antifreeze tester should be easy to read with an easy-to-read scale. Always remember to flush your tester with water after every use for you to get accurate results in the next use. Well concentrated antifreeze prevents boil-overs and freeze-ups and protects engine parts from corrosion. It is advisable to change your antifreeze after every year.