If you want your car to perform at its optimum for the longest, be sure to carry out all your regular maintenance per your manufacturer’s or dealer’s recommendations. This way you will ensure your car gets the right treatment which means that you will maximize your car’s potential.
Adding proper coolant to your car is part of regular maintenance, but many people are unsure which type of coolant to go for because there are several different options available. Performing a thorough engine coolant flush is necessary every 30k miles or so for your car to stay cool in all sorts of environments.
There are many different factors you need to consider while choosing the right coolant such as the make and model of your vehicle, how old is your vehicle, and where you tend to drive it. Either way, you can choose between Inorganic additive technology coolant, Organic acid technology coolant, hybrid acid technology coolant, and so on.
The best way to determine which coolant your car needs is to look for coolant information in the owner’s manual. If you don’t have an owner’s manual on hand, you can also inquire about the right coolant directly from your dealer.
Engine coolant essentials – Cools the engine and makes it run for longer
In order for your engine to continuously provide both optimum efficiency and optimum power, you need to make sure that the engine is properly oiled and properly cooled. This way the friction reduction the engine oil offers will ensure that the working temperature of your engine is as intended by the manufacturer.
On the other hand, proper coolant will ensure that the engine stays at the right temperature for as long as possible. Even though motor oil also cools down the engine, without coolant your engine could even start melting because inner engine temperatures within the combustion chamber can reach upwards of 2000ºC.
This is where engine coolant comes in handy because it circulates from the radiator where it is cooled and into the engine to remove heat. This process is continuously repeated until you need to replace the coolant itself. However, coolant also ensures that your engine runs smoothly even at freezing temperatures.
Different types of coolant
There are many different coolant options to choose from and they mostly differ depending on their chemical structures, color, and name. Older cars are known to use Inorganic additive technology (IAT) coolant which is mostly associated with pre-1990s US cars and is colored green and should be replaced every 30k miles or so.
Organic acid technology (OAT) is made for newer cars and GM, VW even recommends this type of coolant for their cars. OAT coolants are usually colored orange which makes them stand out from other types of coolants out there. These need to be changed every 50k miles or so.
Hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) coolant is somewhat of a mixture made from OAT and IAT coolants and it’s mostly used by European cars and Ford Chrysler. These come in many different colors, so be sure to choose one depending on the type and not the color. HOAT coolant requires a complete flush every 50k miles.
HOAT coolant also offers phosphate-induced and phosphate-free iterations which should be considered while choosing the perfect coolant for your car. Silicated HOAT coolant offers the greatest protection out of all coolant types because it keeps your engine cool for more than 150k miles.
The perfect coolant for your car
You can use all the factors listed above to help you choose the right coolant for your car. However, the main point of consideration should be the owner’s manual because it contains all the necessary maintenance information specifically designed for your car.
This means that you should rely on your owner’s manual for all the questions you have concerning your car’s maintenance. Furthermore, also make sure to check if the coolant formula you are using mixes with water or not.
The ratio should be as precise as possible to ensure that everything goes according to plan. It is best to leave coolant replacement jobs to professionals because they are less likely to make a mistake.
However, if you are well versed in car maintenance, you can perform coolant replacement by yourself. Also, be sure to perform a thorough coolant flush whenever you decide to replace the coolant itself.
Do diesel cars use a different type of coolant?
Diesel engines work differently than gas engines which means that they do use a differently formulated coolant. Diesel antifreeze uses special additives which are designed to protect the engine from erosion on the inner parts of the engine such as the cylinder walls.
Diesel engines have a lower operating temperature which means that the coolant needs to approach the coolant aspect a bit differently. However, if you want to find the perfect coolant for your diesel car, be sure to consult yourself with the owner’s manual and follow all the steps you usually would with a gas car.
How important is coolant color?
There are many people out there that discern different types of coolants depending on the color, but this is not exactly a good idea because some manufacturers tend to use the same colors for different types of coolants.
Be that as it may, the vast majority of manufacturers do tend to follow the general formula. As such, you should use the color as a reference point primarily, but you should mainly focus on the brand and the label that comes with the coolant you opted for.
How much does a coolant flush cost?
A coolant flush should set you back for anywhere between $71 and $120. It’s worth mentioning that the bulk of that price is associated with labor, and not the parts. Either way, these tend to differ depending on the type of engine your car is using, the displacement of the engine, the age of the engine, and the type of coolant your engine uses.
Older cars that use IAT coolants are usually the cheapest when it comes to coolant replacements. Prices such as these can seem a bit exaggerated, as such, you should always learn how to carry out all the basic maintenance yourself.