What's with all the different antifreeze colors.
December 27, 2004 1:13 PM   Subscribe

What's with all the different antifreeze colors. My GF took her car to the quicky-change for an oil change. They tell her that she has the wrong kind of antifreeze - her's is green they say she needs orange. I bounced around on Google and found a lot of conflicting information. Most say that there are differences in antifreeze and that the different types are made for specific makes of vehicle. What I couldn't find was agreement on whether or not it is critical that the correct type be used. Some say change immediately, others say it's best to use the proper type but it doesn't really matter and others say it doesn't matter at all. The vehicle is a 99 GMC Yukon. Any advice??
posted by Carbolic to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
See here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:30 PM on December 27, 2004

Dis you mean that the quick-lube said that she should be running orange coolant?

Meh. GM mandates that you use DexCool (Their specific version of the orange stuff). Double-check your manual to make sure it's called for, and pay the lads the (relatively) meager fee to do a flush and fill. From what I understand, aluminum radiators do much better with the types of corrosion inhibitors found in DexCool.
posted by Kwantsar at 1:31 PM on December 27, 2004

Piggyback: do you really need to dilute the antifreeze wih distilled water? I tend to mix it for the right seasonal proportions, but my dad just uses straight antifreeze year round. Is he being careless, or am I just wasting my time?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:33 PM on December 27, 2004

do you really need to dilute the antifreeze wih distilled water?

I'm not a car mechanic, nor do I know much about cars, but I do know straight methylene glycol doesn't provide maximum anti-freezing properties without water.
posted by shepd at 1:52 PM on December 27, 2004

You certainly should dilute the antifreeze. 50-60% ethylene glycol is optimal. Propylene glycol works differently.
posted by Kwantsar at 2:19 PM on December 27, 2004

Some antifreeze (like the prestone orange stuff that I use in my bike) comes from the factory pre-mixed with water. Read the packaging.
posted by SpecialK at 10:12 PM on December 27, 2004

The orange stuff was originally for newer, aluminum radiators, then for about everything - it was billed as "forever" antifreeze. It has corrosion inhibitors in it that are pretty much ruined with even the smallest dilution by the green stuff. So, yeah, check to see if the manuf. calls for dex-cool or equiv, and if so, make sure the system is damn well flushed before adding in any new coolant.
Or, don't worry about corrosion, (it's not *that* bad), make sure the proper mix is in there, and don't worry about it. Depends on how much the car means to your GF.
posted by notsnot at 11:04 PM on December 27, 2004

We left the green antifreeze in the car. It's still running. Can't say what the long term effects will be. Thanks all.
posted by Carbolic at 1:29 PM on November 30, 2005

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