What happens when you don't top up your antifreeze?

I had my vehicle services the other day and they said I needed anti freeze, brake fluid and wheel alignment. I am going to get my wheel alignment done next week and have been quoted about £30 in Bedfordshire is this a good price?

Also I will get some antifreeze on Monday but will my car be ok until then, it was minus 7 last night and I drove it this morning and it seems fine. What happens to cars when they dont have anti freeze?

(Yes Im a girl but be nice I need all the help I can get)


My car is a little Vauxhall Corsa. And the brake fluid is low because I needed new pads but I've had those done already and the brake fluid just needs topping up. I'll get that done on Monday aswell I think, Im hoping it is easy enough to do as it just needs a top up.

Update 2:

Well my car was at minus 7 last night and when I drove it, it didnt need to 'thaw out' it just drove like normal

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    antifreeze prevents your coolant from freezing if it froze it would probably crack your engine and the engine would over heat when started its usually mixed 50/50 with water and goes into the expansion tank ie clear tank that has a pipe leading to the radiator just fill the tank up to the maximum mark with antifreeze.Make sure u do it when the engine is cold though and get the brake fluid done asap u will need dot 4 brake fluid ive added 2 links for u both from halfords of what u need to get if u get stuck ask one of there guys or send me a email and ill talk u through it and 30 is really for the alignment whoever did your brake pads should of topped up the fluid aswell

  • a tao
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Antifreeze does many things for your car, not just the obvious.

    Even at minus 7 you probably have enough from last time it was topped up to prevent the water freezing and expanding to cause damage to the radiator.

    But just because you are lucky this time does not mean its ok.

    Antifreeze also prevents rust in the cooling system.

    Antifreeze also raises the boiling point of the coolant (so your engine can run a bit hotter and more efficiently without boiling dry).

    Older engines were built to use tap water, but to make cheaper, more efficient ones they are designed to use a special coolant. A 50-50 mix of distilled water and glycol.

    When topping up a car cooling system it is best (by far) to buy ready mixed water and antifreeze.

    The major causes of engine failure are low/bad coolant and low oil.

  • 1 decade ago

    Take care of your brake fluid BEFORE driving the car any where.

    If the chemistry of the antifreeze is okay, it will not hurt to wait if the car is just sitting, If it is way too low, and you drive it, major engine damage will result - like the engine stopping suddenly, and you buying a new engine - which will most likely cost more than the car is worth.

    Wheel alignment out of specification results in faster tire wear.

    Taking care of you car is very important, failure to do so is very very expensive.

    Hey it is your money, if you want to spend a lot more later to fix damage you created by not doing things now for a little money, it is your choice.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you have low but proper antifreeze mix: possible overheating due to insufficient coolant.

    Mix fresh antifreeze with water (see container for correct ratio) and add the mixture to radiator. Then drive around a little to expel trapped air, let cool down, and recheck level.

    If your current ratio is too low, or you have only water in the radiator, I'd advise you to drain it out and add fresh coolant with the proper mixture. Beware that even after draining, a fair amount of coolant generally remains in the car's heater so err on the high side for the antifreeze.

    Good luck and Happy New Year!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    ,When you got the b pads in, the brake fluid would have got pushed back up into the reservoir, so check first before you buy more brake fluid. Antifreeze, If you don`t need it, nothing happens to cars but for peace of mind get it tested at a garage, I can`t envisage you being charged unless you need some. Luv Al

  • 1 decade ago

    put brake fluid in straight away - thats kinda important. pretty sure if your car freezes up due to lack of antifreeze u will just have to wait for it to thaw out haha - no permenant damage i don't think? but yeh probably could freeze up with no antifreeze at -7...... i get lazy with wheel alignment n don't really worry about it.

  • 1 decade ago

    anti freeze doe exactly that stops the engine from freezing and cracking your pipes

    but more important whoever did your brakes should have topped the brake bottle straight away as that is dangerous running with brake fluid low get that done asap

  • 1 decade ago

    get the anti freeze sorted soon as its getting colder and it will make a serious dent in you pocket.at the moment its cheap little jobs but if you don't get it done you could crack the head/blow the head gasket or in some cases shear the teeth off the timing belt on start up and bend the valves. the tracking price sounds about right but its the least of your problems.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your car could overheat. Your car will be fine. If you're paying for an alignment they should add the fluids for free.

  • 1 decade ago

    The water will freeze

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