Both ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are clear, colorless, syrupy liquids that are used in antifreeze and de-icing solutions for cars, airplanes, and boats. For them to do their job, they must be mixed in the correct proportion with water. Too little antifreeze equals frozen coolant, big repair bills, and a ride in the company’s carpool — where you’ll meet all sorts of, um, interesting people. Too much can clog your radiator, leading to an overheated engine, big repair bills… You get the idea.
Lately a lot of folks in the midwest are depending on the mix in their vehicles to make sure they’re not trying to start a lump of ice in the morning. Hopefully they picked up one of these little gems and used it sometime recently.
You can find a propylene glycol hydrometer at almost any good auto parts store — especially if you live up North. It’s a small pump that takes in about 1/2 oz. of solution from your anti-freeze mix and shows the mix proportion via colored balls that sink or float to tell you what temperature your mixture is rated to handle.
Street pricing starts at $4.