Adding Anti-Freeze Into What ?

Have a 2005 Accord; 6 cyl. version.
Over the years, I have added water and or anti-freeze to the white plastic jug whenever it has gone down a bit without ever really thinking about it. Have never, ever, cracked the metal cap on the radiator itself to do so.
Today, I picked up a jug of Prestone 50-50 pre-diluted anti freeze.
Looked at the rear instructions on the jug and was surprised to see that they say:
If you have an "Expansion Tank", add the mix into sit.
If you have a "Recovery Bottle," add the mix into the radiator pix shows via its metal cap).
The plastic jugs in their instruction-pix both looked pretty much the same.
Which do I have ? An expansion tank or a recovery bottle ?
I always thought that you should ALWAYS add ONLY into the plastic jug. Have I been doing sit wrong all these years ?
It's a bit confusing. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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Bob wrote in news:ht11us$i7d$
I think the instructions are trying to differentiate between a plastic bottle that holds pressure (has a rad cap), and a bottle that does not hold pressure (does not have a rad cap). According to their descriptions, you have a Recovery Bottle.
Have you ever /changed/ the coolant? If not, you're severely overdue. Plus you're overdue for a new rad cap. Leaving that old coolant in there means early death for your hoses, and all sorts of other problems.
If that's the original coolant in there, do NOT put Prestone in. I strongly advise you return that jug and get a full-change of the correct Honda coolant.
Does your tank level RISE about an inch when hot, and go BACK DOWN when cold? Or is the level always the same when hot or cold?
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if you re-read the owners manual and get yourself past "120,000 miles (192,000 km) or 10 years", you'll see it also says "then every 60,000 miles (96,000 km) or 5 years". given that honda use the same coolant formulation on original fill as they sell you in jug at the dealer, why would you not want to be careful about this stuff and stick to a 5-year schedule? it's not like a failed hose, coolant pump or even head gasket won't cost you just a teensy weensy little bit more than the cost of the coolant you're begrudging. especially if you're in the habit of topping up with non-honda coolant. [note: prestone standard is fit for only 3 years. their higher level stuff for 5.]
besides, [when cold] you should always check in the radiator, not the expansion bottle. any pressurization failure allows the system to suck back air, not fluid from the bottle - you can have a perfectly normal looking bottle level, but a completely empty radiator. always always check in the radiator. and as tegger correctly advises you [again], you should consider replacing the radiator cap on intervals to ensure it doesn't fail and cause a much more seriously expensive repairs.
two more things: 1. never top up with just water - you'll easily get the concentration too diluted and mess up the corrosion protection [see above]. 2. unless it's an emergency, never top up with tap water. use de-ionized. minerals in tap water can increase corrosion of the metals in the system and prematurely compromise coolant pump seals.
Reply to
jim beam

"Bob Jones" wrote in news:4bf471e2$0$12592$
So Honda's now allowing ten whole years on the original coolant fill? Wow. You're absolutely sure about that?
I'd give more info about the rad/tank fill thing, but most posters tend to be unable to handle more than one point at a time, so I'll hold off in case you're one of those.
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On 5/19/10 10:11 PM, in article Xns9D7DEBD7D28Btegger@,
I just checked the schedule for my '06 CRV. Sure enough, on the "normal" schedule its 120,000 miles/10 years. On the "severe" schedule the first change is 120,000 miles/10 years, then every 60,000 miles/5 years after that.
Reply to
E. Meyer

"E. Meyer" wrote in news:C81AA064.1B38F%
The factory fill must be different from the stuff Honda sells to the dealers, and completely different from what the aftermarket sells.
In that case, it is a REALLY bad idea to mix Honda coolant and aftermarket coolant. Honda will have formulated its dealers' coolant to be compatible with the super-long-life stuff the factory puts in.
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Eternal Searcher wrote in news:ht43hk$u5h$
I just did a quick search of my Honda Service News publications (something I should have done in the first place). Lo and behold, I find a juicy tidbit in the September '00 issue.
In a section called "New Honda Fluids Available Soon", there is this paragraph: "All Season Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2. This new, ultra-longlife coolant is the factory-fill in /all/ ?01 Honda models. It comes premixed and /must/ be used full strength. /Never/ add water to it. In sales applications, you?ll see it promoted as a 10- year/120,000 mile coolant, but in service applications, you?ll see it promoted as a 5-year/60,000 mile coolant. The reason for this difference is that old coolant still in the cooling system, or water left after flushing, keeps the rust inhibitors in the new type coolant from lasting the full design life specified for a Type 2 coolant."
So what the dealer sells is the same as the factory fill, but is subject to different conditions within the cooling system.
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