Which Antifreeze Color Should I Use?

#driveyourlife

Antifreeze ColorSo you discovered you need to add some antifreeze.  You’re a mechanically inclined person so you popped the hood, found where to add the new antifreeze and are ready to go.  The hang up came when you headed to the auto parts store a found a surprising variety of antifreeze options in front of you.  Many vehicles today are starting to use “lifetime” coolant, meaning that it should not have to be changed for the lifetime of your vehicle.  We can debate whether or not that is true in another article, but for us, that means there are even more varieties and classes of antifreeze available for your vehicle.  Luckily the manufactures of these new and different antifreezes have continued to make them different colors so they are easily identifiable.

What kind of antifreeze do I need?

If you plan on keeping your car for the rest of its useful life, the surefire way to make sure you pick the right kind of antifreeze that your vehicle needs is to go to the dealership and purchase some directly from the manufacturer. That way it will match exactly in color and chemical makeup, leaving nothing to chance and making sure your vehicle’s cooling system will stay working at top efficiency for years to come.  Some such situation where this is a good idea is newer Ford vehicles with a gold color antifreeze, or GM vehicles that came with Dex-Cool.

This option will also most likely be the most expensive option you have available, and there may be an off the shelf antifreeze you can use just as easily without harming your vehicle and save some money.  At the end of the day, it is far more important to have the proper level of coolant in your vehicle, even if it is the “wrong type” or a bad mixture.  Low coolant levels can cause immediate damage while the wrong type or mixed coolants will take a long time to cause problems.

What are the different types of antifreeze?

There are 3 basic types of antifreeze used today, ethylene glycol based, propylene Glycol based and the newer Organic Acid Technology.  The biggest thing to look out for is using the organic acid technology (OAT) in older vehicles with brass or copper radiators.  OAT antifreeze is designed to be used to protect aluminum components from corrosion in newer cars with aluminum radiators and heads.  OAT antifreeze may not do as good of a job preventing corrosion of brass or copper.  Also, mixing brands of antifreezes can cause unwanted chemicals.  For example Toyota red antifreeze contains silicates that American antifreezes will not contain.  These chemicals if added to American glycol based antifreeze can precipitate and float as particulates around your cooling system.

If you are concerned about getting the absolute maximum life out of your vehicle you should add the same type (color and manufacturer) of antifreeze as you already have in your vehicle.  In the long run, adding a different type of antifreeze to your cooling system will probably shorten the life of the antifreeze in your vehicle, meaning you should flush your cooling system sooner than recommended.  When you flush your cooling system refill it with a single type of antifreeze recommended by the manufacturer and it will be unlikely that a significant amount of damage will have been done.

BlueDevil Pour-N-Go Head Gasket Sealer

If you discover any leaks in your cooling system add BlueDevil Pour-N-Go as you top off your cooling system to permanently seal your leaks.  You can purchase BlueDevil Pour-N-Go online.

Pictures provided by: macsworldwide.wordpress.com

44 responses to "Which Antifreeze Color Should I Use?"

44 Comments

  1. Jerry Cartwright on September 17, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    A few years back my wife just had to have a raggedy 2000 VW New Beetle. We paid too much for it and it had too many miles on it. After we owned it for a couple of weeks it started to run hot. My first thought was the thermostat. After a half a day I finally got it changed an it was then that I knew for sure that I had no business working on this marvel of German engineering. Not enough room for me. It was also then that I learned that it had red antifreeze in it. In my small town there was no where that I could buy this red stuff so I just put the regular type in it. Much to my dismay, it continues to run hot to this day. I’ve done everything except replace the head gasket, my next project I guess. I had some guy that told me that the yellow/green antifreeze that I put in it may be causing it to run hot. Could this be true?? HELP!!

    • BlueDevil Pro on September 18, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Jerry-

      It is important to use the factory recommended antifreeze in your vehicle. We recommend that you do a complete cooling system flush and refill with the factory recommended coolant. If the vehicle is still acting up after the fact then you may want to have it diagnosed for a possible head gasket leak.

      -BDP

  2. mary harris on March 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    IS THERE ANY KIND OF ADDITIVE YOU CAN ADD TO ANTIFREEZE TO STOP A LEAK IN THE ENGINE.

    • BlueDevil Pro on March 16, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Mary-

      Yes, the BlueDevil “Pour N Go” Head Gasket Sealer can be added directly to your antifreeze.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  3. Peter Diamond on August 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I inherited an 85 Maserati bi-turbo from my brother. The car has been sitting in a heated garage since the year 2000. The cooling system was not drained before the car was laid up. There’s a lot of gunk and scale sitting in the aluminum filling box area for the intercooler but no liquid. The radiator overflow tank is also dry. It might have some liquid halfway down the radiator and engine block but I haven’t checked yet. The engine has not been started in 15 years but was running when it was parked and well serviced by a dealership until it was parked. In the past I was an auto mechanic and I am very capable of working on this vehicle. What is the best way to de-scale and flash this engine? I can remove the thermostat before working on this. Is there a product that I can mix with hot water prior to filling the cooling system then put it in the radiator and let it soak without running the engine? Kind of like a pre-flush?

    • BlueDevil Pro on August 14, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Peter,

      Thanks for your question about your Maserati. Besides flushing the cooling system, we’d recommend changing all the oils as well as they’ve probably lost their ability to lubricate over that many years. For the cooling system, you can use BlueDevil Radiator Flush (available here: http://store.gobdp.com/radiator-flush-00204/) to start the process. You can mix it with hot water and manually fill your system as it is a concentrated formula and will start to work even without the engine running. It of course will do a better job if the engine is running or you can manually pump it through the system as the descaling process works both chemically and from the flow of the water in the engine.

  4. pat on October 22, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I have a 41 Ford with a fully blown 35o chevy engine. It has begun running hot and I want to flush the radiator. It foes not have a heater should I flush the block as well?

  5. JR on February 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I have a 2012 Mazda 5 and need to add a bit of antifreeze to the overflow container as it is close to dry. The Mazda specified brand is around $35/gal. Is there a cheaper substitute that will work safely?

    • BlueDevil Pro on February 13, 2016 at 9:24 am

      JR,

      Thanks for your question about your Mazda 5. Even though it is expensive we would recommend you using the Mazda specified antifreeze. Many less expensive “universal” antifreezes claim to be able to mix with all kinds of antifreeze but in our experience, they may keep your engine cool, but they may also cause particulates to form or other problems down the road. Using the manufacture’s recommended antifreeze will keep your cooling system pure and free of particulates or precipitants.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  6. Lashawn Hodge on May 12, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I have a 1999 Chevy me r told I 1.3 cylinder what kind of antifreeze should I use?

    • BlueDevil Pro on May 12, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Lashawn-

      The factory recommendation is GM Dex-Cool for your vehicle.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  7. Mike Semies on January 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Have a 05magnum 3.5v6. What color antifreeze does it use? Thanks Mike

    • BlueDevil Pro on January 17, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Mike-

      The factory recommended antifreeze is made by Mopar, part# – WX-4700503

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  8. dan jennings on January 28, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    i have a yale fork lift with a 2l mitsubishi engine. had to rebuild as it had top engine damage seemingly caused by a bad coolant mix or wrong anti freeze. it is about 2009 year. who anti freeze should use?

    • BlueDevil Pro on January 30, 2017 at 11:33 am

      Dan-

      We recommend using the recommended Mitsubishi Coolant for your Yale Forklift. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  9. Frank on March 11, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Iv noticed some dealerships use a grey color antifreeze in my pickup . what is it and is it a cheep byproduct ?

    • BlueDevil Pro on March 13, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Frank-

      There are a few antifreeze manufacturers that have a grey colored antifreeze, such as Prestone. It may not be the specific factory recommended antifreeze, however, it may still be compatible in your vehicle. What type of vehicle is it? Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  10. Nelson on March 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Hello, I drive a Hyundai and the user manual says that I should use a coolant which is optimal for aluminium components. Other than that, it doesn’t say anything about a specific coolant type to use when topping of or filling up after flushing. As far as i know, the coolant has not been changed in roughly 5-6 years which is why I now want to flush the cooling system, Clean it and then fill it up again with fresh coolant. My question is thus; if i flush the radiator, Clean it with distilled water and bluedevil chems and lastly fill it up with long-Life coolant (the red kind, OAT), would this be a problem?

    • BlueDevil Pro on March 21, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Nelson-

      Thank you for asking about your Hyundai. There is absolutely no problem with what you have described. It is a good idea to flush the cooling system every 90,000 – 100,000 miles to get rid of any jellied antifreeze, or other debris that could be in the system, and using the long-life coolant should be compatible in your vehicle. Feel free to contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 with any other questions.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  11. dean McLeman on March 26, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Hello,
    Any idea about the scientific name of the green dye used for anti freeze.

    Thanks
    Dean

    • BlueDevil Pro on March 27, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Dean-

      You may want to refer to the MSDS for the specific brand of antifreeze that you are referring to. You could also contact the manufacturer.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  12. Raymond on May 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Hi, I have a 2015 Evoque 2.0 Si and which coolant would you recommand? Thanks

    • BlueDevil Pro on May 19, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Raymond-

      The factory recommended coolant for your Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is Pentosin Antifreeze/Coolant-OE, which would be available at your local parts store.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  13. Ted on July 15, 2017 at 1:36 am

    I have a 383 stroker in my 37 ford the radiator is aluminum and so are the heads what would you recommend for antifreeze.

    • BlueDevil Pro on July 17, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Ted-

      We recommend going with a 50/50 mix green coolant for your 37 Ford. Be sure to stay away from anything saying “Extended-Life” as the chemicals used will actually eat away at older vehicles, and will specifically attack aluminum. Antifreeze that can be used safely in older cars uses older-fashioned Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT) additive, so you can look for something that mentions that, or something that mentions it is safe or recommended for older vehicles.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  14. Royce Richmond on July 18, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I have a 1985 Buick Riviera T-Type with 42k original miles that has been sitting for about 5 years and I am slowly bringing it back to life. What oil and which antifreeze is recommended?

    • BlueDevil Pro on July 18, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Royce-

      Thank you for asking about your Buick Riviera. Based on the age of the vehicle, it would be a good idea to go with a synthetic or synthetic blend oil, even though it doesn’t appear to be a high mileage vehicle. A 50/50 mix antifreeze, green coolant, would be your best bet. Anything that says “safe for older automobiles” would also work. Be careful of “Extended-Life” additives, as these will eat away at older aluminum, and could cause more harm than good.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  15. DJDJ on August 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I have a peugeot 208 urban soul what type of liquid coolant should I use?

    • BlueDevil Pro on August 11, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      DJDJ-

      The factory recommendation is COMMA XSTREAM G30 (part #XSR1L). This is an ethylene glycol based antifreeze with OAT (Organic Additive Technology) inhibitors.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  16. Cale Saylor on August 10, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Howdy….I have a 20002 Pontiac Montana that overheated today. Everything seems to be flowing as it should (which rules out water pump & thermostat) I believe. It’s getting “bubbles” in the overflow container& I am told that points to a blown head gasket. I was able to get it home without severely overheating the engine. My question is…since this JUST STARTED & doing something NOW may save the car for a while (It is not worth a $1,000.00 + fix) nice body but 158K miles. Is Your Pour & Go compatible with Dex-Cool Coolant or is it just going to cause everything to gel in the water jackets? I have read where mixing anything with Dex-Cool causes it to gel & just clog everything up. Thank You for Your time……. P.S. I looked at MANY sites ABOUT Your product but saw this issue addressed in none of them..

    • BlueDevil Pro on August 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Cale-

      It sounds like the vehicle is getting combustion/exhaust gases blowing into the cooling system and creating pressure. We recommend applying BlueDevil Pour N Go Head Gasket Sealer. To give yourself the best overall chance of BlueDevil working successfully, in addition to the directions, you should remove the spark plug from the cylinder with the leak; this will be the spark plug from the cylinder with the low compression reading. If you are not sure which one that is, you may pull all of the spark plugs and will notice one will have a white-crystal-like substance on it and/or may look dirty; this is the plug you should pull. Leave that plug out for the 50 minute idle in order to relieve the pressure from building up and thus allowing the product to seal properly.

      If your vehicle only has a reservoir/overflow rather than a radiator cap, instead of pouring BlueDevil through the reservoir/overflow, with the car off and engine cold you should disconnect the top radiator hose and add the product there. Once it has been added reconnect the hose and start the idle from that point.

      Feel free to contact us at 888-863-0426 with any additional questions.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  17. John on December 2, 2017 at 4:03 am

    I have a Porsche Boxster 986 1997 which has pink coloured coolant. I would like to fill up the expansion tank which has run below the minimum level. What anti freeze would you recommend?

    • BlueDevil Pro on December 4, 2017 at 10:47 am

      John-

      Thank you for asking about your Porsche Boxster 986. It would be your preference as to what specific brand of antifreeze to use. As long as it is factory recommended, it would be compatible in your vehicle. You may continue using the pink G-40 antifreeze.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  18. j young on April 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    i have a new Ford Transit Connect 1.5 2016 TDCI 120, what coolant should i use, should i drain the old coolant out and how? or can i top up and go

    • BlueDevil Pro on April 4, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      J-

      Thank you for asking about your Ford Transit Connect. According to the factory recommendations, you should be using Orange Prediluted Antifreeze. It would be best to drain the system completely through the bottom radiator hose, or draincock, and refill the system with the recommended amount, per your owner’s manual.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  19. Anam Wasim on April 16, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I have Chevrolet equinox please recommend a coolant and also I think there is some blockage which heats it up which flushing liquid would you suggest ?

    • BlueDevil Pro on April 17, 2018 at 8:34 am

      Anam-

      Thank you for asking about your Chevrolet Equinox. The factory recommended antifreeze for your vehicle is the orange Dexcool. To flush your cooling system, we recommend using the BlueDevil Radiator Flush, found here on our website, https://store.gobdp.com/radiator-flush-00204/.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  20. Lloyd Brown on October 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I have a 2005 Chevy Classic, and I’m not sure what type of antifreeze to use. I don’t want to put the wrong kind in, but winter is coming.

    • BlueDevil Pro on October 15, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Lloyd-

      The factory recommended antifreeze for your Chevy is Dexcool.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  21. Carmen Allen-Denys on November 26, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Hello – Which Antifreeze do you recommend for a 2009 Dodge Journey?

    Thank You!

    • BlueDevil Pro on November 27, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Carmen-

      It appears the factory recommended antifreeze for your Dodge Journey is Mopar Antifreeze/Coolant 5 Year.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  22. Dan Santilli on May 28, 2019 at 11:14 am

    I have a 1980 Plymouth Horizon with an aluminum cylinder head ( Volkswagen engine) and other aluminum alloys in cooling system . The manual calls for an ethylene glycol antifreeze containing silicate corrosion inhibitors such as Mopar 4106784 or Prestone ll. What is currently available as a replacement?

    • BlueDevil Pro on May 28, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      Dan-

      Mopar would still be the recommended antifreeze for your Plymouth Horizon. It looks like Walmart carries it, as well as the official Mopar website.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

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