Coolant - green to red? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 09-06-2012, 03:01 PM
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4th Generation Coolant - green to red?

So, I recently checked the fluids on my 98 Camry and noticed there is some debris (looks like black dirt) inside my coolant overflow reservoir.

A year and a half ago, I changed the coolant (basically just drain and refill) and put in a mix of Autozone orange coolant and Carquest green coolant (not sure what, or if, I was thinking). When I bought the car, it was filled with green coolant.

Since finding the junk in my coolant, I figured I had better do a coolant change/flush.

I've read a lot of threads on here about using Toyota red coolant, and that mixing green coolant with the red coolant can ruin the red coolant. If I do a thorough flush like the one in this thread: DIY: 2002 Camry Thermostat Inspection and Coolant Flush (GEN5)

...which says it should only leave about 11% of the old coolant remaining, will that remove enough of the old coolant so that the red coolant will work okay? Or will greater measures need to be taken to clean it out? Thanks in advance.

1998 Camry 5S-FE (2.2L 4 cyl.) 89,000 miles (about 28 MPG)
2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 4X4 6.0L Vortec V8 - 189K miles (15 MPG, woohoo!)
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#2 Old 09-06-2012, 03:31 PM
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Your gonna have to put a garden hose in the rad and blast it out. Then close it and let it run with water. Then drain and repeat with water.

Orange plus green is a huge no no. Green alone isnt the end of the world but orange will mess stuff up.

You should be running toyota red or something like Peak Global Lifetime.
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#3 Old 09-06-2012, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

The water at my house is pretty hard; is that still okay to use to clean it, or should I use distilled water?

Also, how about the coolant sold at NAPA - Pentofrost or Zerex? They both claim to be made for Asian cars. Are they comparable to Toyota antifreeze?

1998 Camry 5S-FE (2.2L 4 cyl.) 89,000 miles (about 28 MPG)
2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 4X4 6.0L Vortec V8 - 189K miles (15 MPG, woohoo!)
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#4 Old 09-06-2012, 06:01 PM
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The color of the coolant means nothing and doesn't identify the additives. Orange bottle'd Autozone is a pretty good coolant. Orange colored coolant doesn't tell us the chemistry or the PN that you used. Ditto with Green Carquest(bottle color or coolant color? PN?).

You saw the little silicate that fell out of suspension and is settling in the recovery/overflow bottle. Its no big deal. With certain coolants, the overflow bottle is a 'settling tank' for that fallout since we don't run coolant filters.

You don't need to do a garden hose flush.

You should drain your block, radiator, heater core, and rinse out your overflow bottle, refill with whatever coolant you choose to use, and repeat again in a year or so with the same coolant to make sure all the ol' stuff/mixtures/blends are gone. After draining, you should inspect the thermostat, radiator(under rad cap and both hose connections) for crud. Post pictures if you find something that worries you.

If you buy concentrated coolant, use only distilled or deionized water.
50:50 is too easy not to use, especially if you don't play(and shouldn't) with garden hoses and splice n dice flush kits.

Mixing coolants causes you to degrade the change interval to the lesser coolant. So, if you use a 5/150 coolant mixed with a 1yr/10k coolant, you just turned that 5/150 into 1/10. This is what I'll guess happened with your Autozone/Carquest blend. Change the blend out and quit worrying.

Zerex Asian and Peak Global are good choices. But, any of the "all makes all models" coolant can be used...store brand, Prestone, Peak....
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#5 Old 09-06-2012, 06:14 PM
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Thanks, deadrx7conv!

The CarQuest coolant was green-colored, and I used maybe 2-3 quarts of it; the rest was the AutoZone orange-bottled coolant. The CarQuest coolant was just standard (change every 2 years) green coolant, and my Camry has been running fine so far. I'll change it out this weekend, though.

1998 Camry 5S-FE (2.2L 4 cyl.) 89,000 miles (about 28 MPG)
2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 4X4 6.0L Vortec V8 - 189K miles (15 MPG, woohoo!)
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#6 Old 09-07-2012, 06:37 PM
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FWIW, Napa had "Zerex Asian" coolant that is formulated for these. We used it on the Camry when we replaced the radiator. It seems to work fine.

2000 Toyota Camry 5SFE Auto 178k Miles.
2003 Toyota Avalon 1MZFE Auto 99k Miles
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#7 Old 09-08-2012, 11:59 AM
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Yes, there are 3 kinds of coolant "bases" now, color is not always an indicator as to which is which.

The original coolant, after straight water of course, lol, is silicate based, this was usually green.
Silicates bond to metal parts inside the cooling system to prevent rust and corrosion.
Silicates start to break down after a few years of use so it was recommended to change coolant every 2 years, the new silicates in the new coolant stabilized the old silicates, reducing the possible "gunk" it makes.

OAT(Organic Acid Technology) coolant was developed in the late 80's early 90's, it is usually red, this does the same bonding to metal parts but lasts longer, 5 years is the recommended change period.

Problem in switching between these two bases is that neither can stabilize what the other left behind, so switching can cause "gunk" build up.
Because these bond to the metal, flushing doesn't do much except clear out most of the already floating "gunk", which is good but with nothing to stabilize the bonded silicates or OAT it will turn to "gunk" over time.

There is now a 3rd base, HOAT, Hybrid-OAT, if you are not sure of what base was used before then this is probably the best choice.
HOAT is OAT based but has silicates added to stabilize any older bonded silicates.

Just as a heads up, radiators get clogged up pretty easily when coolant bases are switched around, the radiator is basically the filter of the cooling system.
New rads are $100-$150 and easy to swap out, I would swap out the rad as an insurance policy.
And even without changing coolant bases I would swap the rad every 80-90k, that's less that $2 per 1,000 miles, oil filters cost more than that.
You change the oil filter, the air filter, even the fuel filter, don't forget the coolant filter.

Last edited by RonR; 09-08-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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#8 Old 09-08-2012, 12:42 PM
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Most coolants are probably a clone of GM Dexcool, which is a good coolant only for newer systems designed for it. If you look for sebacic acid and 2EHA on the ingredients list you'll know.

Full strength Toyota Red with 50% distilled water or pre-mixed 50%-50% Zerex Asian will do best. Use the Red initially if you flushed the system, otherwise you'll come up way less than 50%. Then in the future just drain/refill with Zerex Asian that only come pre-mixed.

If you flush I'd remove the thermostat for best results and drain from the front block drain (no need from the rear block drain IMO) along with the radiator drain.

In fact, use a new thermostat with a jiggle valve (OEM, or the $11+shipping Stant 48278, $10 Gates 33997). Double check application.

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1145694



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelwee View Post
The CarQuest coolant was green-colored, and I used maybe 2-3 quarts of it; the rest was the AutoZone orange-bottled coolant.
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#9 Old 09-09-2012, 11:32 PM
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I drained the old coolant and filled it with Zerex Asian (pink) coolant. I didn't flush it, but I ran the heater on High before flushing, drained the radiator and the block, disconnected and drained the hoses, and rinsed out the overflow bottle. I was able to drain 6-7 quarts of coolant (my drain pan holds 15 quarts, and it was almost half full when I finished). The system for my 4-cyl. engine holds 7.3 quarts. The job went pretty well (except for getting a face-full of antifreeze when I opened the block drain plug, LOL). I inspected the hoses and the thermostat, and everything looked great.

1998 Camry 5S-FE (2.2L 4 cyl.) 89,000 miles (about 28 MPG)
2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 4X4 6.0L Vortec V8 - 189K miles (15 MPG, woohoo!)
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