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Are antifreeze and coolant the same thing? Should engine coolant be orange, green or a different color? This article will help answer these questions and more.

  1. Coolant Sensor
  2. Coolant Flush
  3. Coolant For Car
  4. Coolant Flush Cost
  5. Coolant Leaking From Car
  6. Coolant

The formula indicates the chemical composition of the fluid or coolant. Formulas determine whether the lubricant can work at high speeds, resist severe temperatures or withstand extreme pressure during heavy loads. Antifreeze & Coolant features a patented, advanced organic acid technology that provides guaranteed lifetime protection for as long as you own your vehicle. Patented inhibitors provide maximum protection against damaging rust and corrosion in all automobiles and light trucks worldwide, regardless of make, model, year or original antifreeze color. Coolant is a water-based liquid that works to draw heat from your engine. The liquid is circulated into the engine through a hose into gaps or ‘passages’ in the engine block. Once the coolant.

What Is Engine Coolant?

Engine coolant, also known as antifreeze, is mixed with water to keep the radiator from freezing in extreme cold and overheating in extreme heat. There are many different types of coolant, so it’s important to know what variety is right for your car or truck.

Different Coolant Types

Different vehicles require different coolants. There are varieties for every type of vehicle, from diesel engines to American, Asian and European vehicles. Each one is specifically formulated to keep its designated engine type running in extreme temperatures. It’s important to know the differences so you get the correct antifreeze for your vehicle.

IAT Coolant

Coolant Sensor


The most common variety of liquid antifreeze is an IAT formula, or Inorganic Additive Technology. ZEREX™ Original Green is an IAT coolant that has been used for decades and is a formula proven to provide unsurpassed corrosion protection.

Dex-Cool™ Coolant

Another common antifreeze formula is Dex-Cool®, a coolant formula approved for use in GM vehicles. An option like ZEREX™ Dex-Cool Antifreeze/Coolant, is automaker-approved and meets or exceeds multiple industry specifications.

Coolant for Older Cars

Since coolant technology has evolved so much in the last few decades, if you own an older vehicle you need a formula with a special additive to allow chemistries old and new to work together. MaxLife™ Antifreeze/Coolant helps extend the life of higher mileage vehicles with the additive AlugardPlus®.

The Colors of Coolant

Coolant Flush

You might be thinking, “What color is antifreeze? What color is Dex-Cool®?” It’s true, coolant liquid comes in different colors, most commonly green (orange for Dex-Cool®). Each color is a unique formula that should not be mixed. The below chart will help you decipher which fluid is in your vehicle. Reminder, you can often find the recommended type of coolant in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

IAT (Inorganic Additive Technology)SilicatesZerex™ Original Older Vehicles


OAT (Organic Acid Technology)Organic AcidsZerex™ Dex-Cool®
GM, Saab, VW


HOAT (Hybrid OAT)Silicates & Organic AcidsZerex™ G-05™
Ford, Chrysler, European


HOAT (Hybrid OAT, Phosphate-free)NAP FreeZEREX™ G-48BMW, Volvo, Tesla, Mini, others


P-HOAT (Phosphated HOAT)Phosphates & Organic AcidsZEREX™ Asian Vehicle
Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, KIA & other Asian vehiclesPINK / BLUE
Si-OAT (Silicated HOAT)Silicates & Organic AcidsZEREX™ G-40Mercedes-Benz, Audi, VW, Porsche, others


CARS.COM — When is the right time to change your engine coolant? For some vehicles, you’re advised to change the coolant every 30,000 miles. For others, changing it isn’t even on the maintenance schedule.

For example, Hyundai says the coolant in the engine (what many refer to as “antifreeze”) in most of its models should be replaced after the first 60,000 miles, then every 30,000 miles after that. The interval is every 30,000 miles on some Mercedes-Benz models with some engines, but on others it’s 120,000 miles or 12 years. On still other Mercedes, it’s 150,000 miles or 15 years.

Related: More Car Service Advice

Some manufacturers recommend you drain and flush the engine’s cooling system and change the coolant more often on vehicles subjected to “severe service,” such as frequent towing, which can generate more heat. The schedule for many Chevrolets, though, is a change at 150,000 miles regardless of how the vehicle is driven.

Many service shops, though — including some at dealerships that sell cars with “lifetime” coolant say you should do a coolant change more often than the maintenance schedule recommends, such as every 30,000 or 50,000 miles.

Coolant For Car

Here’s why: Most vehicles use long-life engine coolant (usually a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water) in the radiator that for several years will provide protection against boiling in hot weather and freezing in cold temperatures, with little or no maintenance. Modern vehicles also have longer intervals between fluid changes of all types partly because environmental regulators have pressured automakers to reduce the amount of old coolant, as well as other waste fluids, that must be disposed of or recycled.


Coolant Flush Cost


Coolant can deteriorate over time and should be tested to see if it’s still good, as it can be hard to tell just by appearances. Even if the coolant reservoir shows sufficient coolant level and testing shows the cooling and antifreeze protection are still adequate, a coolant drain and antifreeze flush may be needed.

The coolant can become more acidic over time and lose its rust-inhibiting properties, causing corrosion. Corrosion can damage the radiator, water pump, thermostat, radiator cap, hoses and other parts of the cooling system, as well as to the vehicle heater system. And that can cause a car engine to overheat.

Thus, the coolant in any vehicle with more than about 50,000 miles should be tested periodically. That’s to look for signs of rust, leaks and to make sure it has sufficient cooling and overheating protection, even if the cooling system seems to be working properly and the reservoir is full. The cooling system can be checked with test strips that measure acidity, and with a hydrometer that measures freezing and boiling protection.

If the corrosion inhibitors have deteriorated, the antifreeze coolant should be changed. The cooling system might also need flushing to remove contaminants no matter what the maintenance schedule calls for or how many miles are on the odometer. On the other hand, if testing shows the coolant is still doing its job protecting from overheating and not allowing corrosion, changing it more often than what the manufacturer recommends could be a waste of money.

Coolant Leaking From Car

For more on the fluids in your car, check out the video below.

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