ANTIFREEZE TYPES AND COLORS
GREEN, ORANGE, RED, PURPLE, PINK, YELLOW?
There is some confusion regarding the different antifreezes out in the market place. This article is written to try to clear up the differences. The following observations are only for guidance. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) colors may vary from aftermarket colors.
Antifreeze types are broken down into two major categories–Automotive and Heavy Duty Trucks.
Automotive antifreeze has traditionally been GREEN. This is still the predominant color of antifreeze used. This antifreeze lasts an average of 40K miles.
An ORANGE antifreeze known as Dexcool is recommended for extended drain intervals (5 yr/150k miles). YELLOW also is an extended drain automotive antifreeze for Ford/Chrysler (5yr/150k) GO5.
Toyota has a RED automotive antifreeze.
Prime All Vechicle is a new addition to the automotive antifreeze market and covers all of the automotive applications for top off or replacement. This Light Yellow antifreeze helps automotive shops consolidate their antifreeze inventory needs into one product.
HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS
GREEN antifreeze can also be used in a Heavy Duty truck. In heavy duty applications, a Supplemental Coolant Additive (SCA) should and is sometimes required to be added to the GREEN antifreeze to reduce water pump wear due to cavitation and electrolysis of the piston sleeves. This additive also comes pre-charged in the antifreeze and comes in a PURPLE color. PINK is also a color that designates a precharged SCA antifreeze as well as GREEN in some cases. Note that the purple and pink antifreeze requires monitoring at 15K mile intervals with a simple coolant test strip.
The extended life antifreeze for heavy duty engines is typically RED in color. Note that some RED formulations require the addition of deionized water and are therefore usually sold in a premixed state. Also, because this RED antifreeze is organic acid based, it does not need SCA’s added to it.