cooling / antifreeze

What type of coolant is the best? Is there any difference between green and red one?
Susanna

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Heather wrote:

If you're talking about a late model Chrysler, you should be using the Chrysler-specified G-05 type - AFAIK Zerex is the only brand of that that you'll find in the stores (might be cheaper than the dealer). According to Ford and Chrysler, the orange stuff (Prestone Extended Life/DexCool), while better than the traditional green stuff, has been found to have some corrosion problems due to being silicate-free. The G-05 has a small amount of silicate which Chrysler claims is shown to give longer pump (impeller?) life.
So to answer your question: Use G-05 *only*. Whether this is universally true or not I don't know - I would think the laws of physics are the same for any brand of car, barring different materials being used in the seals and metal parts.
Bill Putney (to reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with "x")
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CHRYSLER PRODUCTS. You can get the MOPAR anti freeze from the dealer but it is very expensive. He is right when he says you should use Zerex G-05. DO NOT USE Dexcool. It may LOOK the same but it is NOT. YOU WILL VOID your warranty if you do. Here is the website for the new antifreeze: http://www.valvoline.com/pages/products/product_detail.asp?product 
One thing you will notice is that it is NOT the same color. It is yellowish where the Mopar is red/orange. That is ok. It IS the recommeded antifreeze. IF it has the red/orange in it, do NOT mix GREEN anti freeze with it. USE THE RIGHT STUFF.
Good Luck
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DEXCOOL shouldn't be used in ANY Chrysler product.
As far as the G-05 type, my understanding is that its only advantage over traditional glycol with silicone (eg. regular Prestone) is extended life. If I had a car that calls for G-05, I'd check the manual carefully and if it said that traditional Glycol MAY be used if you revert to an annual or 2-year drain cycle, that's what I'd do, otherwise I'd use G-05 but flush it every year instead of waiting 5 years. I don't trust "extended life" coolants at all. Also, never mix antifreeze types.

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When DexCool came out and Chrysler later came out with a SIMILAR but not the same coolant, there was a reply posted about the different chemistry of the Chrysler-spec and GM-spec coolants.
GM claims that you can mix DexCool with normal green coolant in an emergency, but when people have done that (for whatever reason), it can form a brown mud-like solution in the cooling system. End result, a full flush job is needed to get everything cleaned out again. GM does state that if you have to mix the two coolants, that you get things flushed out and returned to the original spec coolant solution as soon as possible.
Interesting about the silicate situation. GM claims that silicate-free extends water pump life, but we've still replaced some small block Chevy pumps during the warranty period.
The main problems with DexCool equipped vehicles, and this varies from vehicle platform to vehicle platform and customer demographics, seem to have been the result of poor maintenance. Meaning, the radiators must be maintained at the proper coolant level and not allowed to be too low for an extended period of time. GM issued a service bulletin on the S-10s about this and also required a radiator cap change too. The bulletin also spec'd the Prestone 2-part cleaner to use to get things cleaned out.
I suspect that some of Chrysler's situations might be similar in this respect.
I have seen the Valvoline coolant at WalMart and probably other similar chains have it too.
Check the link to the Valvoline information. It's quite good.
Some of these maintenance requirements might seem a little different, but they work.
Hope this helps,
C-BODY
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Be sure that when you drain the cooling system that you might need to purge the air from the system. In that case, where the thermostat on the engine is at a higher level than the radiator, there should be a brass valve similar to a brake bleeder valve on the highest point in the cooling system (usually the thermostat housing). If you don't purge the air, the cooling system performance will be substandard as it isn't full of coolant. It might mention this in the owner's manual and certainly in the service manual.
Enjoy!
C-BODY
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