With snow making an early season appearance in Chicago today, it is a good reminder, if you haven’t already done so, to consult your vehicle owner’s manual to determine the recommended change interval and type of antifreeze/coolant to use in your vehicle.
Although extended-life antifreeze/coolant can last up to 5 years, many recommend changing conventional antifreeze every 1 to 2 years since it can lose effectiveness and pick up contamination over time. If it is time to change your antifreeze/coolant, keep in mind that not all products are the same. In fact, whereas the big print on the labels will commonly state “Antifreeze/Coolant,” there are many types of antifreeze/coolant chemistries in the market, and not all are recommended for use in your vehicle.
Makes and models of vehicles require certain types of antifreeze/coolants, and the color helps to identify fluid types. Florescent green, for example, is a color commonly used to identify a product with Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) generally referred to as “Conventional Antifreeze/Coolant.” This type was specified for use in most Ford cars built prior to 2003. Following that year, Ford specified the use of Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT). This type of fluid is commonly yellow and was also specified in most Asian manufactured vehicles built prior to 1996. Unlike many of the other car manufacturers, however, most Asian vehicles switched from HOAT to Phosphate Organic Acid Technology (POAT) in 1996.
The PQIA Quick Reference Guide below is provided to help consumers understand some of the differences in coolant types and their applications. Whereas this guide helps illustrate the differences is antifreeze/coolant types, always consult your owner’s manual to assure you know when to change your antifreeze/coolant, and what type is recommended for your vehicle. Further, always read the labels before purchasing a antifreeze/coolant to help assure you make the right choice.