Maintaining ideal car temperature is impossible without the correct mixture of water and antifreeze in the radiator. So, it is necessary to check the radiator fluid from time to time with an antifreeze tester. Want to know how to buy the best antifreeze tester? Then, you have landed in the right place.
The perfect antifreeze-water ratio keeps the car temperature in check. As seasons change, car engines become prone to various thermal issues. In summer, the engine temperature can rise above desired levels. On the other hand, winter will increase the risk of your engine fluid freezing.
It is vital to ensure that the radiator fluid in circulation has the appropriate mix of water and antifreeze. An antifreeze tester is a nifty piece of equipment that allows car owners and mechanics to keep a close eye on the matter. We have conducted extensive testing to finalize our list of the best antifreeze testers.
Not in the mood for a long read? Then, let us get straight to the point. The best antifreeze tester in our evaluation is the Prestone AF-1420. The combination of performance and affordability this item provides is downright unbeatable. Buying the Prestone AF-1420, you will get a top-of-the-line product at an unbelievable price. Hence, it is our ultimate pick.
10 Best Antifreeze Testers Review
1. OEMTOOLS 24507
The OEMTOOLS 24507 is a no-frills antifreeze tester that lets you test antifreeze solution most simply. It works on any ethylene glycol-based antifreeze. The plastic material of the tester is immune to thermal changes. For this reason, you can expect the OEMTOLS 24057 to measure boiling and freezing temperatures with utmost accuracy.
OEMTOOLS is not a newcomer in the garage equipment scene. Many mechanics put their trust in OEMTOOLS products because of their impeccable quality. This antifreeze tester is not an exception in that regard. To summarize, we want to say that the OEMTOOLS 24507 is a high-performance coolant tester suitable for both professional and DIY applications.
- Easy To Read: The OEMTOOLS 24507 has a transparent barrel with both Celsius and Fahrenheit markings. So, both US and non-US users can use it without facing any measurement difficulties.
- Thermal Resistance: The OEMTOOLS 24507 fits all the benchmarks you would look for in the most accurate antifreeze tester. It remains unaffected by temperature fluctuations. Therefore, it guarantees reliable readings all the time.
- Simple Floating Disc System: The tester features an easy-to-apprehend floating disc system. Look at the location of the discs and read the corresponding markings on the tester tube to learn about the current state of the mixture.
- Simple to use.
- Immune to temperature changes.
- Special disk for indicating inadequate water presence in the radiator fluid.
- Compatible with coolants used in all types of vehicles.
- Oversized bulb.
2. REED Instruments R9700
The REED Instruments R9700 is the best digital antifreeze tester that can yield pinpoint assessments of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol antifreeze agents. You can easily check the coolant condition whenever you want as the results appear on the LED screen within seconds. All you need is a few drops of the antifreeze solution, and you can test it right away.
Its automatic temperature compensation feature allows for error-free testing in any situation. The power consumption is minimal, so it will remain operational for a substantial amount of charge once you fully charge it. On top of that, the battery icon on the screen constantly notifies you of the remaining battery life.
- Digital LED Screen: The results pop up in the digital LCD screen instantly. There is no need to check for markings on the tube. All information appears on the screen as soon as the device completes the testing process.
- Automatic Temperature Compensation: Reed Instruments R9700 comes with the Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) feature. It enables the tester to remain functional in extremely high and low temperatures.
- Minimal Sample Input: You can get results from only two or three drops of the coolant. Despite the minimal input, there will be no compromises in the accuracy of the test results.
- Ships in a posh carrying case.
- Extensive battery life.
- Unaffected by thermal changes.
- Requires minimal sample input.
3. Performance Tool W1654C Pro Anti-Freeze Tester
Performance Tool W1654C Deluxe Anti-Freeze Tester is another effective coolant tester that goes easy on the pocket. You can count on it to determine the correct concentration of the coolant in your car engine. It might come off as a complicated tool to use at first sight. But, once you get a hold of it, you will find it pretty convenient.
We can’t tell you that this is the most durable thing you will buy. But, considering the paltry price, you will get great value for your money. The scale is easy to read and has markings in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Performance Tool W1654C is a compact unit, but it won’t take a stern test of your eyesight as you take the readings.
- Easy To Read Scale: If you have normal vision, the markings on the tester will not escape your sight. You can clearly see the fluid level inside the chamber and take readings.
- Dual Unit Markings: To avoid confusion, Performance Tool W1654C Deluxe has indicator marks in Celsius and Fahrenheit. So, you won’t have to go through the hassle of converting the findings to your preferable unit.
- Thermal Resistance: Performance Tools W1654C packs a decent amount of thermal resistance to yield valid results in high and low temperatures. So, you can expect to take boiling point and freezing point reading with it.
- Fahrenheit and Celsius readings.
- Easy to read scale.
- Not difficult to use.
- Not durable.
4. Laser 4293
Laser 4293 antifreeze tester is strictly for ethylene glycol coolants. It implements a disc system like the OEMTOOLS 24507 we discussed earlier. Depending on the fluid density, the discs take up different positions on the tube and give out the information you need to know to keep the engine cooling system up and running.
Laser 4293 is an excellent antifreeze tester for Organic Acid Technology (OAT) coolants. The set of instructions misses a few key points, but it is still quite informative. We didn’t notice any deviations from ideal readings while testing the Laser 4293 in critically hot and cold temperatures.
- Purposefully Made For Ethylene Glycol Coolants: The Laser 4293 antifreeze tester specializes in ethylene glycol coolants. Thus, you can expect to get accurate results for that type of coolants using the Laser 4293.
- Floating Disc System: It has a floating disc system for indicating the condition of the coolant. There are six discs in total, including a special orange one that shows the extent of overprotection and efficiency loss.
- Celsius And Fahrenheit Readings: The Laser 4293 indicators use both imperial and metric systems. That means you all get Fahrenheit and Celsius values for all your readings.
- Easy to use.
- Celsius and Fahrenheit readings.
- Special disk for pointing out the inefficient mix.
- Accurate results in both high and low temperatures.
- Tends to leak after a couple of uses.
5. BAHCO BHBE401
Bahco BHBE401 makes its way into our selection mainly because of its versatility. One particular aspect of this tester is very appealing to auto technicians, and that is its compatibility with two different antifreeze variants. You can test methanol and ethylene coolants with the BAHCO BE401.
The glass construction gives a better feel at hand than traditional plastic testers. That said, it also makes the tester a bit fragile. However, we expect it to survive one or two accidental slips. In terms of performance, we don’t have any serious complaints about the BAHCO BE401. It has a satisfactory level of accuracy and comes at a reasonable price.
- Simple Float System: Not a fan of the multi-disc system? BAHCO BE401 has an even simpler testing mechanism in place. Instead of a number of floatable discs, it has one float item to indicate the status of the liquid.
- Efficient Bulb: The bulb draws in a lot of air upon a single squeeze. So, you can fill up the liquid chamber in a flash. It is comfortable to press, and the rubber doesn’t wear out so quickly.
- High Accuracy: The BAHCO BE401 exhibits great resilience to abrupt changes in temperature. Therefore, you can trust this piece of equipment to deliver flawless results in all scenarios.
- Works on two separate types of coolants.
- Ergonomic bulb.
- Easy to use.
- High accuracy.
- Not durable.
6. E-Z Red S102 Anti-Freeze Hydrometer
E-Z Red S102 is a common entry in almost all the best antifreeze tester debates you will find online. What makes this unit unique is the use of E-Z Red’s trademark technology to come up with results that are right on the money. It can express its findings in Celsius and Fahrenheit, which adds to its list of utilities.
The tester is functional between 32⁰F to -60⁰F (0⁰C to -50⁰C). Therefore, we can say that it has an impressive range of operation. When it comes to sturdiness, you won’t find many testers that can beat the E-Z Red S102. Besides its heavy-duty construction, the E-Z Red S102 is a cakewalk to maneuver.
- Proprietary Measurement Method: The E-Z Red S102 implements a proprietary measurement technique. For this reason, it can produce accurate results in a blink of an eye.
- Wide Reading Range: The reading range of the tester spans from 32⁰F to -60⁰F. Thus, it is capable of determining the correct state of the antifreeze mixture in all plausible circumstances.
- Durable: E-Z Red engineers have gone for highly durable materials to make this item come to life. It holds up pretty well against grease, grime, water, rust, and other adversities.
- One-of-a-kind measurement technique.
- Easy to operate.
- Reads Celsius as well as Fahrenheit.
- Poor instructions.
7. Prestone AF-1420
Whether you handle a severe workload as a day-to-day mechanic or a DIY person who checks on his car once in a while, Prestone AF-1420 can be the best antifreeze tester for you. It facilitates immediate checks for corrosion and sediment. Therefore, it can be instrumental in averting a cooling system disaster in your car.
You can run a variety of tests across several car models using the Prestone AF-1420. Upon proper maintenance, it will have a prolonged lifespan. Prestone AF-1420 deals with all kinds of ethylene glycol coolants. Sports cars, ATVs, motorcycles, speed boats-the Prestone AF-1420, fit a broad spectrum of transportations.
- Antifreeze/Anti-boil Tests: Your engine might suffer both freezing and boiling problems. The Prestone AF-1420 can efficiently perform checks for both scenarios and give your engine comprehensive protection.
- Rust and Sediment Check: Corrosion and grime accumulation are common culprits that can hamper your engine performance. The Prestone AF-1420 helps you conduct regular checks for these issues.
- Effortless Sample Collection And Measurement: The Prestone AF-1420 deploys a simple mechanism to collect sample fluid and run tests. Therefore, the entire process requires a negligible amount of time.
- Checks for both freeze up and boil over issues.
- Promotes superior rust protection.
- Fits all types of vehicles.
- Allows checking for sediment and corrosion.
- The suction tube length is shorter than ideal.
8. ABN Deluxe
We had a hard time picking one between the ABN Deluxe and the Prestone-1420 as our ultimate recommendation. Prestone-1420 got the nod because of its lucrative price, but there isn’t much to differentiate it from ABN Deluxe in terms of efficiency. Construction, usability, and accuracy; ABN gets flying colors in all three of these aspects.
First of all, ABN Deluxe will stand the test of time because of its high-quality rubber and plastic materials. There are clearly defined boiling and freezing points on the tester. Furthermore, the labels include precise directions to let you know how the tester works. The high-visibility plastic tank makes it even easier to take readings.
- Long-lasting Build: The plastic reservoir is immune to the effects of coolant exposure. Moreover, the rubber bulb and the suction tube are substantially heavy-duty to keep the tester serviceable for a long time.
- High Visibility: The see-through plastic tank helps you to check the physical condition of the coolant. You can inspect for rust, grime, and other impurities. Also, it helps you a lot while taking readings.
- Comprehensible Hydrometer Scale: The hydrometer is marked in Celsius and Fahrenheit. There are elaborate instructions on the labels for making sense of the output.
- Instant results.
- Clear reservoir for easier assessment.
- Celsius and Fahrenheit readings.
- The rubber bulb is not easy to clean.
9. Thexton THE106
Thexton THE106 is one of the bestselling antifreeze testers in the market. It is a disc-type tester that gives you fairly accurate results over a wide range of temperatures. It has a six-disc system. For water, only one disc will float. In a 1:1 solution, four discs will stay afloat, and in an antifreeze-only scenario, all six of the discs will float.
So, when you see no submerged discs, it means you need to dilute the solution. The Thexton THE 106 is an antifreeze tester aimed at ethylene glycol antifreeze agents. It has a neoprene dip tube that enables it to draw more liquid. Not to mention, it’s unbelievably heavy-duty. Also, the tester reads in Celsius and Fahrenheit simultaneously.
- Celsius and Fahrenheit Readings: The Thexton THE106 chose to leave the imperial versus metric system debate open. Hence, they opted for both Celsius and Fahrenheit markings on the tester.
- Floating Disc System: The floating disc system is very easy to understand. More floating discs indicate a higher concentration of antifreeze. When all six discs float, it interprets as over protection.
- Temperature Compensation: You will have to use the tester at various temperatures. To keep the readings unaffected by thermal changes, the Thexton THE106 comes equipped with temperature compensation attributes.
- Easy to use.
- Compatible with all ethylene glycol coolants.
- Fahrenheit and Celsius markings.
- Neoprene dip tube.
- The markings are difficult to read because they are too small.
10. Allsun Digital Handheld Refractometer
The Allsun Digital Handheld Refractometer has a handful of utilities in its list of offerings. Testing antifreeze liquids is one of its specialties, and it can rival any top-level antifreeze tester on the ground of accuracy. It can determine freezing temperatures for propylene glycol and ethylene glycol antifreeze liquids.
The Allsun Digital Handheld Refractometer can automatically calibrate its temperature to 0⁰C-30⁰C (32⁰F-86⁰F) to maintain precision. You can get a dependable reading from only two to three drops. It has a testing range of -60⁰F-32⁰F for antifreeze liquids. Besides antifreeze testing, you can use this to examine liquor quality and electrolyte strength in batteries.
- Multipurpose: This tester is suitable for multiple applications. Apart from testing cooling agents in car engines, for example, you can use this to check alcohol concentration in liquors and battery electrolytes.
- Suitable For Propylene and Ethylene Glycols: Most antifreeze testers work on a single type of coolant, but the Allsun Digital Refractometer is a glaring exception. You can use it to test both propylene and ethylene glycol-based antifreeze liquids.
- Temperature Compensation: The Allsun Digital Refractometer can compensate for temperature from 0⁰C to 30⁰C. Therefore, it can provide trustworthy output at all temperatures.
- High accuracy.
- Compatible with both propylene and ethylene glycol coolants.
- Requires only two to three drops of input.
- Less reliable in higher temperatures.
How To Buy The Best Antifreeze Tester?
When you start to look for a dependable antifreeze tester, you will find out that there is a surprising amount of options out there. It’s normal to get lost in the overflow of choices, so you need to be on the lookout for certain attributes to make sure you get a decent product. Here are the factors you need to consider:
How Accurate Is It?
You can find many inexpensive testers, but not all of them provide genuine results. If the tester fails to deliver the correct readings, you will not get the actual picture of your cooling system. If there are underlying problems, they will go undetected. For this reason, you need to prioritize accuracy.
Fahrenheit or Celsius?
In the United States, Fahrenheit is the unit of temperature. But that’s not the case in the rest of the world. Most countries prefer the metric system of measurement, unlike the Americans, who use the imperial system. Look for testers that offer both Celsius and Fahrenheit readings. In doing so, you can avoid rigorous calculations to convert from one unit to another.
What Type Of Antifreeze Do You Use?
Before purchasing a tester, make sure it can check the type of antifreeze you use in your car. For instance, buying the OEMTOOLS 24507 will do you no good if your vehicle doesn’t use ethylene glycol antifreeze liquids. You can choose testers that specialize in the type of antifreeze you use. For professional use, however, we recommend testers that can test multiple variants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How Can I Prolong The Lifespan Of My Antifreeze Testers?
Modern-day antifreeze testers are more durable than their predecessors, but you would need to do some maintenance to keep them in top shape. We recommend flushing out the residual liquid with water after every use. Wash the suction tubes occasionally to prevent clogging. Also, keep the reservoir clean for good readability.
Q. Is There Any Difference Between Coolants And Antifreeze?
Even though we often interchangeably use the terms “coolant” and “antifreeze,” there are some technical differences between them. Antifreeze is a material you mix with water. Coolant, on the other hand, is a mixture of antifreeze and water. You must maintain an ideal ratio of water and antifreeze to run your engine efficiently.
An antifreeze tester is a necessary tool that gives you the ability to make routine checks on your engine cooling system. We have scrutinized the best antifreeze tester reviews to come up with our list of recommendations. If you follow our guidelines and choose any one of the items we mentioned above, we are confident that you will get a top-quality tester.