After 38 years on the American and other overseas markets, Prestone antifreeze is making its first appearance in British garages and shops this autumn. Union Carbide, makers of Prestone, have long been producers of the chemical Ethylene Glycol, which they have supplied, and still are supplying, in bulk to other makers of proprietary antifreeze compounds. Now, they aim for a stake of the British retail market themselves with a product which is equally at home in an aluminium engine as in a cast iron one.
Many motorists, though they add antifreeze to their radiator coolants each winter, do so with some trepidation, fearing that the presence of the compound will prematurely corrode the cooling system and cause leaks all over the place.
Leaks, of course, are not caused by the antifreeze. It merely finds existing leaks by its “searching action ” which is far greater than that of water alone,
The primary function of an antifreeze is to prevent freezing of the coolant. In addition, it must be non-corrosive, or at least as non-corrosive as it is possible to be, and it is this requirement that causes the headache to the manufacturers of antifreeze. Many people are of the opinion that antifreeze increases the corrosive power of the coolant. Water itself, of course, is a very active corrosive agent, and Union Carbide claim to have found, in the various Prestone additives, a solution which is far less harmful to cooling systems than water alone, so that it can be left in throughout the year with impunity. It seems that the molecules of one of the additives possess minute electric charges which attract them to the walls of the system, forming a thin layer over existing rust. preventing its possible circulation and the formation of new rust This property is also responsible for reducing the problem of seepage.
Another additive acts as a defoamant. Ethylene Glycol is particularly prone to this phenomenon and the additive ensures that, actual liquid, and not just a bubble, always remains in contact with engine surfaces.
Prestone will sell in tins of four sizes at 38s. 6d. per gallon. Other new products from this manufacturer are a radiator flush compound and a sealer, both suitable for all types of engine, and selling at 4s. 9d. per tin.—G. P.