Coolant Tips and Info | Coolant Chioces | Choose the Right Coolant
Coolant Choices And History
The following article is a guide on how to choose the right coolant for your car. Similar to choosing an engine oil there are differences between various coolant types. Most drivers do not have any understanding about these differences and therefore it is often a mystery when making a decision about which is the right coolant to choose. In fact, if you ask any driver about coolants they will probably tell you that the only know that they come in a variety of colors such as green, pink, red, or blue. Even many educated car geeks have very little knowledge about coolants.
The first thing that you should know about coolants is that you do not want to mix types and colors. A typical neon green coolant is usually used in older cars because it has additives that are specifically included so as to stop corrosion on steel parts. Other colored coolants may be designed to do the same for aluminum parts or other alloys. If you mix two different colored coolants together it will not be a disaster but your cooling system will not function efficiently. There is also the risk that this mixture could turn into a gel which would not be a good thing for your cooling system.
It is also important to follow whatever ratio is recommended. There are some coolants that can be used straight from the bottle whereas there are other coolants that require a 50% coolant/water ratio. Once again, if you do not mix the proper ratio then it may be too weak or too strong which will eventually lead to poor engine cooling.
If ever you are in a situation where you need a coolant but you are not in a location where a coolant can be purchased then it is best to use only water. For example, let's say that you are out in the country and you have a leak of some sort. If there is no repair facility or gas station in sight then you can simply add some water so as to limp along until you can purchase more of the correct coolant. Just keep in mind to take it easy. Also, be aware that if you are required to top it up from time to time that you need to be careful. There will be a lot of extreme heat pent-up in your cooling system if your car has been continually running for a while.
The basic green coolant that you see on the market is used for the majority of cars on the road that are older than 1995. At this time many manufacturers began to change the coolant to one that used different corrosion inhibitors. All green coolants are fairly interchangeable and one of the more popular brands on the market today is a green coolant called Zerex.
Cars manufactured after 1995 started to use aluminum cylinder heads and engine blocks. It therefore became necessary to also produce a different type of corrosion preventing coolant. One of the more common brands of coolant was produced by Prestone. The name of the Prestone coolant/antifreeze was called Dex-Cool. At this time, Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford began to release her own version of coolant which was just as effective as the Prestone coolant.
During the years of 2000 to 2010 the Ford motor company made a transition from there green propylene glycol coolant to a gold ethylene glycol coolant. They stated that this goad colored coolant could be used on older vehicles so long as the old green coolant was flushed out properly. They warned against mixing any old green coolant with their new gold colored coolant.
Honda was one of the few companies who decided to engineer their own coolant. They did this because they wanted the best coolant suitable for their own engines. The coolant became known as Honda Type 2. Many older Honda vehicles continued to use a generic green ethylene coolant because the Honda company recommended not to switch over to the newer Honda Type 2 coolant.
It is interesting to note that BMW used their own coolant for many years. This company has a long history and it has proven that if you use the wrong coolant or the incorrect coolant mix then it will lead to premature failure in a car's cooling system.