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Do Coolant Test Strips Expire? (Explained)

do coolant test strips expire

Coolant test strips are a quick and easy way to check the condition of your coolant/antifreeze. To make sure your coolant test is reliable, you need to make sure that the strips you are using are still within their useable date.

Do coolant test strips expire? The answer is yes. Coolant test strips do expire, and to have a reliable test, they must be used within their expiration date.

To check for the expiration date, simply take a look at the cap or pouch. There should be a date of expiration clearly printed on the package. If no expiration date can be found, the test may be unreliable.

What Does a Coolant Tester Test For?

A coolant test strip is a small disposable strip that measures and tests the concentration level of your coolant/antifreeze.

The test is measuring the pH level and alkalinity of the coolant to hopefully determine when the coolant needs to be changed or replaced.

Coolant test strips are most commonly used amongst vehicle owners to check the integrity of their coolant. During harsh Winter months, coolant can be prone to freezing, especially if your coolant is no longer as pure as it once was.

The same can be said during the hot Summer months. Testing your coolant will warn you of potential boiling points.

Why Do Test Strips Expire?

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The reason coolant test strips expire is because they lose their acid and base indicators naturally over time. These indicators are what allow the test strips to determine the pH level of the liquid they are being used in, in this instance coolant.

Without the proper amount of acid and base indicators on the test strip, the resulted pH level will be inaccurate and should not be used as an indicator of the overall health of your vehicle’s coolant.

Why Can’t You Use Expired Test Strips?

Using expired test strips will skew the results of the integrity of your coolant. This is because your test strips will have less indicators than if they were fresh, causing the readings to be off.

To check the current price and availability of Phoenix Systems Coolant Test Strips, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

How Long Are Test Strips Stable For?

Usually, pH testing strips start to lose their base indicators after about two years after production.

This is highly dependent on the manufacturer, so it is always good practice to check the expiration date on the bottle or container you are using.

How Long Are Test Strips Good for After Opening?

Once opened, pH strips will stay good for about 3-4 months when they are properly stored. If they are improperly stored, expect them to last only a few weeks if that.

To ensure the maximum life of your test strips, always keep unused test strips in their air tight container. They should also be stored in a cool, dry area that is free from extreme weather and moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Coolant Test Strips Work?

Coolant test strips are a quick and reliable way to accurately test the pH levels of your vehicle’s coolant. We recommend using test strips that are not expired, and far from their expiration date, for the most accurate readings.

If you are using expired test strips, or opened test strips that have been left out, they will most likely not work. Expired or improperly stored test strips will have skewed results as their base indicators will be compromised.

What Do Coolant Test Strips Measure?

Coolant test strips are measuring the pH level of your vehicle’s coolant. The pH level will determine if the coolant is too acidic or too alkaline.

The pH level that your coolant has will be used to determine whether or not it has to be replaced, or is close to having to be replaced.

Does Any pH Strip Work for Coolant?

Most pH strips on the market work the same way. This means that the same pH strips that are used in swimming pools, will also work for engine coolant/antifreeze.

Final Thoughts

All coolant test strips have an expiration date. This is mainly due to the fact that the base indicators on the pH strips degrade over time whether they are properly stored or not.

Most pH strips have a shelf life of about 2 years after production. Always check your container for the exact expiration date, as this can vary based on the manufacturer used.

Once opened, pH sticks are good for about 3-4 months. The base indicators will degrade at a quicker rate and you are more likely to get an incorrect reading than a pH strip that has not yet been opened.

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