What Type of Coolant to Use for Your Car?



What Type of Coolant to Use for Your Car?


Not that long ago, most coolants were colored green. With advances in automotive technology, there are varieties of coolants available in a rainbow of colors that adds to the confusion. Not every coolant is the same and selecting the right type of coolant is extremely important. We have provided you with information that helps clear the confusion related to the types of coolants.


What are the Different Coolant Types?


Coolant type is determined by the inhibitor package it contains that include OAT (Organic Acid Coolant), IAT (Inorganic Acid Technology) and HOAT (Hybrid Organic Acid Technology).


  • OAT coolants do not have nitrite. These coolants have a long service life and you don’t need to change the coolant for 600,000 miles or up to 12,000 engine hours. However, you need to be careful to not add any nitrite-based coolant as it will reduce the performance and service life of the OAT coolant.

  • IAT coolants are a low silicate based which need to be mixed with water. These coolants are mostly green in color. IAT coolants are recommended for cars and light-duty trucks.

  • HOAT coolants are a combination of IAT and OAT coolants, and they are low silicate based and also have nitrite technology. They are mostly dyed orange or yellow.


Don’t Confuse the Color of the Coolant with Its Type


Coolant is a mixture of antifreeze compound, water and inhibitor package (chemical compounds). Most chemicals of the coolants are colorless. Coolant manufacturers add dye to the coolant so that it is easy to detect coolant leaks. Today, you can find IAT coolants available in traditional green, yellow or blue color. Similarly, OAT coolant is available in different colors starting from green to orange. The color of the coolant has no relation to the coolant type. It will be difficult even for an auto expert to determine the chemical composition of coolant by looking at the color of the coolant.


Can You Mix Coolants?


No, you should never mix coolants. If you mix two incompatible coolant types, it will affect the performance and service life of the coolant. In simple words, the mixture of incompatible coolant in the radiator will not reduce the temperature of the engine nor stop the corrosion attacks of different chemicals on engine components. The result is that your engine will suffer severe damage just because you used the wrong type of coolant.


What is the Right Type of Coolant to Use for Your Car?


If you are uncertain about the right type of coolant after knowing about the different coolant types, you should approach a car dealership for the information. Car manufacturers supply dealers with the right type of coolants and you can easily buy the right OEM coolant for your vehicle at your car dealership. You can also find information about the right type of coolant in the car’s owner manual. There are several aftermarket coolants that might be compatible with your engine and cooling system. Aftermarket coolants have the car manufacturer name mentioned on the packaging.


There are several aftermarket coolants specially designed for cars manufactured by different companies so it is not that hard to pick the right type of coolant to use for your car.


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