Does anti-freeze get “old” and ineffective sitting in the container it comes in? I have some about 12 years old. Is it any good?

It is probably still good. But is it acceptable for your car? Most cars on the road today have aluminum radiators. They are easily corroded by may chemicals. Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of antifreeze to use. If the old jug is not the right stuff, don’t use it.

My first thought is it would be good. My second thought is if you have doubts why risk 10 bucks for antifreeze if in doubt vs a couple grand for engine repair?

Sure! It’s as good as the day it was bought 12 years ago. And I wouldn’t hesitate to use it.


If your car is also 12 years old, it is probably OK. However, antifreeze, now called “engine coolant”, has changed a lot over the years in terms of additives. I would not use it in the newer cars. So, I agree with most, get rid of it by taking it to a proper recycling location. Where I live the city dump has a place for motor oil, paint, antifreeze, etc.

get rid of it by taking it to a proper recycling location

I would suggest getting rid of it by using it in a car that it was designed for. There are plenty of older cars and newer cars that don’t call for special coolants. Just make sure the car you are planning to use it in does not require something else.

It’s still like new. Just be sure it’s appropriate for the car.

Anti-freeze gets “old” and ineffective in use not because of age, but because the additives that prevent corrosion and that act as lubricants become used up, and because it can become contaminated.

That, of course, would be the most elegant solution.

In fact, the ethylene glycol oxidizes to formic and glycolic acid. This will shift the pH of the coolant toward the acid range. It is probably a large contributor to coolant degradation. Higher temperature and exposure to oxygen and metals in the cooling system will certainly accelerate the process compared to storage in a plastic jug. How much? I don’t know.

If it is clear and translucent, that is that it is like looking through colored glass, it is OK. If it is cloudy, do not use it.