Engine Coolants

What Should You Pour Into the Cooling System?

What's the Difference Between Green and Yellow Coolant? Find out to Make Sure You Use the Right Antifreeze in Your Car

Wondering what to pour into your vehicle's cooling system? You are not the only one asking this common question. Automakers have added a variety of different coolants and antifreeze in their latest models. This is one of the reasons that your owner's manual is a valuable asset to your car.

The newer vehicles' cooling systems (consisting of the engine, radiator, heater core, and hoses) have changed a lot. The effort to achieve the best heat transfer or cooling has manufacturers using a lot of aluminum.

Most radiators and heater cores are aluminum and many of the engines have aluminum cylinder heads along with the engine block itself being aluminum. The coolant in these systems has to change to meet the needs of newly designed parts. The color is the first thing that we will notice. All coolant is dyed to achieve the desired color.
Green is the most common color you will see. It was recommended to change the coolant in these vehicles every two years to keep the cooling system protected. It has been found that drain intervals of this coolant can be increased if the system has the pH level and freeze point tested on a regular basis.

In the mid 1990s, General Motors started using a different formula. The orange coolant (known as long life, extended life, or Dexcool) has different chemicals added to it to achieve the long-life status. It is stated that if the coolant system is kept free of contaminants, the service life is 5 years or 150,000 miles. Keeping the system free of contaminants is of the utmost importance. This means that the cooling system needs to have any leak repaired quickly before any other fluid is added to the system. Adding water will deplete the additive package and shorten the long-life status.

GO 5 (dyed yellow in color) is the latest to join the passenger car and light truck coolant category. It is also a long-life coolant that needs to be handled the same as Dexcool. The GO 5 coolant is used in later models of Ford and Chrysler vehicles.

I recommend that you use distilled water to dilute the coolants to a 50% to a 70% mixture. The use of distilled water instead of ordinary tap water will prevent the scale and corrosion caused by hard water.

Keep in mind that in a pinch it is not going to hurt the cooling system to add tap water. It is better to use something that can be flushed out than to overheat the engine. Our advice is always FREE and honest!
Engine Coolant

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