206 Elantra - Coolant/Anti-Freeze Question

I recently purchased a new 2006 Elantra GLS, and have a question regarding engine coolant and anti-freeze. I've been a firm believer in using the low-silicate, low-pH, phosphate-free ethylene glycol
coolants, such as the Mercedes-Benz OEM coolant, in all of my cars. I have observed engine tear downs of engines using the old green-colored Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) coolants vs. the Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) coolants, such as the M-B coolant, and the difference was very apparent. The old green coolant etches and evenutally "eats away" aluminum parts in an engine and cooling system.
There are three basic technologies in ethylene glycol coolant: 1). The old green-colored type that we're all familiar with using the Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT), 2). The HOAT-technology based coolant such as the Mercedes-Benz coolant which is actually manufactured for M-B by Valvoline. This is Zerex G-05 coolant by Valvoline, and 3). the Organic Acid Technology (OAT) coolant, such as DexCool by GM, and available from other sources as well, including Peak, Prestone, and Valvoline.
OAT coolants are not only phosphate-free, but also silicate-free, and low pH.
Now (and, Hyundaitech if your reading, please add your thoughts to this discussion), here's my question . . .
Since Hyundai does not sell its own branded coolant like Honda, M-B, etc. do, what is the factory specification of the coolant supplied in current Hyundai vehicles? The Owner's Manual for my 2006 Elantra simply states to use an ethylene glycol-based coolant - period. Nothing about the actual formulation. I do know the original coolant supplied was green in color, thus it must be the old-standard IAT technology-based coolant. I checked with my local Hyundai dealer, and the Service Manager said: "We go over to NAPA and buy their standard coolant for all applications." Interestingly, he had never heard of the 3 types of coolant technologies available. Nor, does he use de-mineralized water or distilled water, as I have always done since the late '60s.
According to many of the coolant manufacturers' websites, they imply that the OAT coolant, specified by Honda, is best for all Asian cars. GM's DexCool is OAT-based, as mentioned previously, and the only difference between it and any other OAT-based coolant, such as Honda's, is the color. However, OAT-based coolant is NOT compatible with IAT-based or HOAT-based coolant, so you have to do a complete and thorough flush, which is almost impossible in the real world by the D-I-Y'er (Do-It-Yourself). On the other hand, IAT-based coolant and HOAT-based coolant are compatible.
As I previously stated, I've used the HOAT-based coolants for a number of years, and have never experienced a coolant-related failure, and from recently replacing a water pump in my SAAB, the aluminum casting looked brand new without any etching of the aluminum. But, should I consider the OAT-based coolant for the 2006 Elantra, or just stick with what I've used in the past? OR, am I being too technical and obsessive, and just use the approach of the Hyundai Service Manager and just use "any old coolant?" BTW . . . I typically change coolant every 2 years, which is also the Hyundai recommend maintenance spec interval on the Elantra.
Thanks for listening!
Don
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Why would you be worried about changing the coolant on a 2006 car? It doesn't need to be done until 30K miles. Also, why would you second guess Hyundai's coolant recommendation? They're not going to recommend something that won't work properly.
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Brian Nystrom wrote:

I am not considering immediate replacement of the coolant in my 2006 Elantra. And, I am not second guessing Hyundai. Their recommendation is very generic however, and non-committal: As per the Owner's Manual, the specified coolant is - "Ethylene Glycol for Aluminum Radiator." This is vague at best, and effectively does very little to inform the owner on exactly which type of coolant is to be used.
I have worked on a and serviced a multitude of cars that have used the standard IAT type coolant (the old green stuff we Americans have used for years), and it can be a pretty ugly sight, especially with aluminum components. After only a year, this type of coolant can cause aluminum oxide to form, and begin etching away aluminum components. This is exactly why Europe mandated HOAT coolant years ago to remove the phosphates from coolant, reduce the nitrate levels, and maintain a constant low pH. IAT coolant was fine back in the days of cast iron blocks and heads, but not any more.
I was looking for information and experience from others, not necessarily criticism. Brian I suggest you do some research, and talk to mechanics with experience in this area, and I think you will feel otherwise on Hyundai's decision to use IAT coolant. It's primarily a function of cost, and HOAT is more expensive, e.g. up to $25 per gallon.
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Don Allen wrote:

Since you seem to already know the answer, what were you expecting to learn here?
Matt
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Matt Whiting wrote:

Matt,
I didn't "already know the answer" when I originally posted my query. I was expecting to learn or determine exactly what coolant type Hyundai used in the 2006 Elantra, since I was unable to get an answer from my local authorized Hyundai dealer or Hyundai corporate. I had my suspicions due to the coolants color. I was later given the answer on the Edmunds.com Elantra forum only slightly prior to my response to Brian's post.
It's most unfortunate when individuals seek legitimate answers to valid questions that some, regardless of internet venue, choose to criticize rather than endeavor to assist in answering the question. We've all experienced this at one time or another here on the internet, as it seems to be human nature. But, if this is what it takes to eventually get an answer to my question(s), I will happily continue to do so.
Thanks, Hyundaitech for your input as well - it is sincerely appreciated.
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Well, I didn't know the three types, either. Based on what you post, I conclude that Hyundai has IAT coolant.
For what it's worth, I wouldn't even consider going to OAT. I've seen some horrors in GM DexCool vehicles.
I've got a question back for you, then. Toyota was one of the first on the market with long-life coolant, Toyota Original Red. I've not once heard a bad word about it. Can you tell me which of the three types of coolant it is?
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hyundaitech wrote:

I can't find any definitive reference. This site claims it is just standard IAT with red rather than green dye.
http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/Extension/ExtProg/machinery/Articles/engcool.htm
And this site seems to concur, but has a lot more detail. Personally, I still use green and change it every two years, but it looks like G-05 is fine as well.
Matt
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Matt Whiting wrote:

Oops, forgot to paste the link.
http://www.gates.com/downloads/download_common.cfm?file=MOTORCoolantFeature.pdf&folder=brochure#search=%22toyota%20red%20coolant%20type%22
Matt
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hyundaitech wrote:

Hyundaitech,
According to my research, both Toyota and Honda use OAT coolant, but not the the DexCool OAT formula. It appears the possible "culprit" in DexCool is an additive called 2-EHA. This additive is not present in either the OEM Toyota or Honda coolant. In fact, Honda is having a fit (no pun intended) that GM is installing DexCool in the Honda-built 3.5 litre V6 used in the Saturn VUE.
Here is a link regarding the above information:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3828/is_200408/ai_n9453107
When I change out the IAT coolant in the 2006 Elantra, I've decided to go with the HOAT coolant that I've used since the purchase of my 1985 SAAB 900 in April 1985.. HOAT is fully compatible with IAT green coolant, but is much more protective of aluminum and plastic cooling system components. Mercedes-Benz only recommends this type of coolant, and I've had excellent luck with it in my SAAB. The 2 litre SOHC 8-valve SAAB engine is known for leaking head gaskets, and I've never experienced a head gasket failure with the '85 900 in over 185,000 miles. Other than a starter, alternator, clutch, and belts, nothing has been done to the SAAB engine - other than normal tune-ups and 3K/3 month oil changes of course. The M-B HOAT coolant costs $22/gal., but it's manufactured for M-B North American by Valvoline. It is "one and the same" as Valvoline Zerex G-05 coolant, available at any NAPA store for $10.99/gal.
Here is a interesting link regarding the G-05 type HOAT coolant (M-B and SAAB-specific, but it's an interesting read):
http://www.thesaabsite.com/Coolantinfo.htm
Thanks, Don
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You can get G-05 for about $10.00 a gallon at Napa or Pep Boys. That's what my Town & Country uses. It's a light yellow, almost clear fluid. Also, it smells like bleach when you open the container.
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Oops... I should have read this post all the way to the bottom - you already knew where to get it. It still smells like bleach, though.
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Bob wrote:

Bob,
Thanks. As you most likely know, the G-05 HOAT coolant is what Daimler-Chrysler specifies for all its vehicles.
Here is a link to all of the various formulations that Valvoline manufactures:
https://www.valvoline-technology.com/data/valv/valvtechnology.nsf/fsZerex?OpenFrameSet
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Dear Don, Did you just open Pandoras's Box? or what !I bought my Sonata new April 01 I was thinking about changing the coolant this year for the 1st. Time but, I don't know now!!
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Dear Don,Did you just open Pandoras's Box? or What! I bought my Sonata new in april 01, I was going to change coolant this year for the 1st. time but now I"m almost skeered to touch the thing!
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I've know some people that are very about cars, but Don is the first that I know of to use de-mineralized or distilled water. Makes some sense though in some areas where hte water is full of "stuff"
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Ed,
The use of distilled or de-mineralized water all started with my SAAB dealer over 30 years ago. He was a firm believer in using distilled water. He stated it minimizes electrolysis with all of the aluminum pieces and parts in an engine. Who knows . . . the bottom line is I've never had a cooling system failure since then when using distilled water and quality coolant. Of course, changing the coolant every 24 months helps, but I'm quite strict on car preventive maintenance. Maybe that's why my 1985 SAAB with over 200K is still going strong! I hope the Hyundai does as well in the long-term.
Don
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Don Allen wrote:

He's absolutely right. All well/municipal/filtered/spring water contains minerals, none of which are beneficial to the cooling system in a car. Premixed antifreeze uses distilled or demineralized water for dilution, which should tell us something.
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