What is the difference between antifreeze and coolant?
Antifreeze, also known as coolant, is a bright yellow or green liquid that mixes with the water in cars, trucks and other vehicles to keep the radiators from freezing or overheating. Made from either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, antifreeze and coolant change the freezing and boiling points of water.
The color of healthy engine coolant is green (for ethylene glycol) or orange (for Dexcool). A rusty color indicates that the rust inhibitor in the coolant has broken down and it can no longer control rust and scale buildup.
- Long life antifreeze is also ethylene glycol based. The difference between the two colours is that Orange / Red antifreeze contains a different type of corrosion inhibitor that has a much longer life than silicates, phosphates and borates.
- The cost of a coolant flush typically runs between $100 and $150, according to highly rated mechanics. Kauffeld says this can include four gallons of coolant, a conditioner and a cleaner. CostHelper.com estimates the cost between $54 and $144 for a radiator flush at a standard shop, with an average price of $99.
- Prestone is guaranteed for all cars and can be mixed with any other colour of coolant/antifreeze, making it the best choice for you. You can use it to top up your car or to refill the cooling system after you've drained and flushed it.
Although both the green and orange antifreeze are ethylene glycol-based, the difference between them is that they contain different corrosion inhibitor ingredients or additives. While orange antifreezecontains organic acids, green antifreeze has additives, such as silicates, borates and phosphates.
- Part 2 Draining the Radiator
- Locate the drain valve on the radiator.
- Place a bucket beneath the radiator and open the valve.
- Close the drain valve and open the radiator pressure cap.
- Replace the radiator cap if necessary.
- Fill the radiator with water.
- Pour the drained coolant into sealable containers.
- This is one of those questions usually asked after the fact, and usually engine damage has already occurred. The green and orange coolants do not mix. When mixed together they form a gel-like substance that stops coolant flow and consequently the engine overheats.
- If you're looking to change your coolant, make sure you flush your radiator system a couple of times and then add Prestone (or any other regular coolant). A sidenote: if you're ever using water with any coolant of yours (yes, diluting coolants is no problem) and if you're using G12, please use distilled water only.
Updated: 2nd October 2019