ANTIFREEZE: So MANY choices; so little time…

What types of ANTIFREEZE does Integrity Auto recommend for Toyota/Lexus/Scion?

Different types of coolant: Red-colored, pink or green? 

  • The quick response:The best, most uncomplicated recommendation we can make is to use Toyota’s red, Long Life Coolant wherever specified, and their pink Super Long Life Coolant where it’s specified. On vehicles older than 1998, Toyota’s suggestions are very general. However, we are strongly tilted toward Toyota Long Life Coolant for older vehicles as well, because our experience is that the generic coolants are far more likely to clog radiators and heater core coolant passages.
  • The lengthier response:Regarding the frequently used generic, green coolant, we are willing to use it to top off systems that have already have green coolant. However, if we’re replacing the coolant, I strongly prefer to go with the appropriate coolant from Toyota. These coolants were specifically formulated with full engineering knowledge of the numerous materials (seals and alloyed metals) they need to protect. They were also intentionally formulated with zero silicates. Although the silicates in other coolants provide exceptional corrosion protection, in the long run, they tend to precipitate out and clog cooling passages. This can eventually result in overheating and/or having to replace the radiator. The additional cost of Toyota’s coolant is minimal if you consider that the cost is amortized over a two to three year period and that the superior coolant may well save having to replace your radiator.

If you’re still unsure what coolant is appropriate for your Toyota – Lexus – Scion, please give us a call at 503-408-6385 or schedule an appointment.

For those of you interested in further reading:

If you have ever taken a stroll into your local auto parts store you may have noticed the antifreeze/coolant section has grown substantially. I was recently with a friend and we were in a local auto parts store and he saw that there was over 30 different types or variations of ANTIFREEZE. Of course, there was the store’s name brand – (It was also the lowest in price). Then there was the big manufacturers: Prestone, PEAK, Motorcraft, Shell, Mopar, Zerex, etc. There, of course, was the different Antifreeze types: original equipment, precision blend, 50/50, long life, full strength, premix heavy duty formula, conventional full strength formula and on top of all these types were also different colored variations.

Why Were All These Different Types Of ANTIFREEZE Created?

Over the decades, there have been numerous engineering changes in manufacturing materials — metallurgy, plastics, etc. — to meet increased fuel economy requirements and longer service intervals. Antifreeze has had to change also, both in order to achieve high quality protection over the longer service intervals and for compatibility with newer manufacturing materials in engines and their cooling systems. Numerous manufacturers are specifying their particular form of antifreeze and with all the aftermarket alternatives available it has become be rather puzzling to the consumer regarding which color or formula of coolant is appropriate for his or her vehicle.

European and Asian coolants are designed to satisfy manufacturer’s specified additives each engine calls for to help keep it operating at its maximum. European and Asian specifications may be greatly different from those created for American vehicles.

Why all the different colors?

The unparalleled growth of the number of available antifreeze/coolant formulations available today has forced antifreeze manufacturers to use different color dyes for different types of antifreeze/coolants. Let’s dig into the technical aspects of The ANTIFREEZE MYSTERY. There are three main types of ANTIFREEZE: Inorganic AcidOrganic Acid, and Hybrid Organic Acid.

Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) This is the prevalent green stuff original equipment companies have utilized for more than 70 years. Ethylene glycol is its basic chemical compound and you will find silicate and phosphate additives which make it appropriate for copper, brass, cast iron, and aluminum cooling system components. Manufacturers recommended that you simply replace the green IAT antifreeze each and every 36,000 miles or 3 years. IAT coolant was utilized in General motors automobiles right up until 1994. Chrysler utilized green IAT material right up until 2001 as did Ford, (excluding some 1999 models that utilized OAT blue coolant which has to be bought from Ford).

Organic Acid Technology (OAT) This coolant is usually dyed Red or yellow. This has no nitrite included. These coolants generally deliver six-hundred thousand miles or 12-thousand engine hours of service life, however, their overall performance life could be significantly decreased if contaminated with nitrite-containing coolants.

Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) One version is dyed orange and possesses 10% recycled antifreeze. An additional variation is dyed yellow and doesn’t include any recycled antifreeze. This is really a blend of a number of the inhibitors utilized in inorganic IAT and organic OAT coolants, it’s generally using a low-silicate, nitrite technologies. As opposed to the OAT and NOAT Extended Life Coolants (ELC), HOAT coolants, such as the IAT coolants, usually require SCA included into the system for the initial routine maintenance span (25,000 miles) or as laid out in the engine maker. HOAT coolants are most frequently identified colored yellow or orange. These formulations aren’t suitable for the extended interval coolant formula of both NOAT or OAT coolants and shouldn’t be combined with them.