Car coolant, also known as antifreeze, comes in various colors. The color of coolant is not just for aesthetics; it often indicates the specific type or formulation of the coolant. While the color-coding can vary by manufacturer and region, here are some common coolant colors and their associated formulations:
Green Coolant: Traditional green coolant is often ethylene glycol-based and contains additives to protect against corrosion and scale buildup. It’s commonly used in older vehicles and is sometimes referred to as “conventional” or “universal” coolant.
Orange Coolant: Orange coolant is typically associated with Dexcool, a type of extended-life coolant. Dexcool is often used in General Motors (GM) vehicles and contains organic acids to provide longer-lasting protection against corrosion.
Yellow Coolant: Yellow coolant is usually associated with hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) coolants. These coolants have a longer lifespan and are often used in European and Asian vehicles. They offer a balance between the older green coolants and newer long-life options.
Red Coolant: Red coolant is often found in Asian vehicles and is also known as Asian red or extended-life coolant. It typically contains hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) and provides extended protection against corrosion and overheating.
Blue Coolant: Blue coolant is often associated with European vehicles and is known as European blue or extended-life coolant. It contains similar HOAT technology but is formulated to meet the specific requirements of European car manufacturers.
Pink Coolant: Some manufacturers, like Toyota, use pink coolant, which is often a variation of red or orange coolant with specific additives tailored to their engine designs.
Purple Coolant: Purple coolant is less common but is sometimes used by manufacturers who want to distinguish their specific coolant formulation.
It’s important to note that while these coolant colors can help identify the type of coolant used, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific vehicle. Mixing incompatible coolant types can lead to chemical reactions and cooling system problems. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult with a qualified mechanic to ensure you use the right coolant for your car. Additionally, modern coolants are often available as “universal” or “all-makes” formulations that claim compatibility with various types, but it’s still essential to confirm compatibility with your vehicle’s specifications.