What is the difference in the red, blue, and green coolants for your car?

  • Follow publicly
  • Follow privately
  • Unfollow
i have a 04 mustang and i want to know if there is a difference in the different coolants used ? i want to also know since toyota and lexus use red coolant can i put it in my car ...show more
Best Answer
First off they are Anti-freeze until it is mixed with water. Once mixed with water they become coolant. That's because it is the WATER that does the cooling. Anti-freeze is the chemical mixture that keeps it from (a) freezing (b) bare metals corroding.

Second there are no BLUE anti-freeze (as far as I know). The traditionally anti-freeze are green (or lime green).

Recently anti-freeze companies started changing their formula for more eco-friendliness and longer life. The newer formula is the red (actually Orange) color. They are usually called Dex-Cool.

You have to make sure that you NEVER mix the two. Anti-freeze are chemicals and they will react with each other and all the good stuff will neutralize each other.


Now that you got the generic information - here one more caveat. Many German car manufacturers use special anti-freeze formula (sometimes called G11, G12 and G13). They are pinkish but should NEVER be mixed with Dex-cool (orange). Some mooron put in put in Dex-cool (at my local quicky lube) into my G12 only Audi and within the month the coolant turned into thick sludge - even after a "flush".


Bottom line is stay with what you have. And never mix them.

Good Luck.
  • Rate
  • Comment

Other Answers (3)

Rated Highest
  • Rated Highest
  • Oldest
  • Newest
  • mr supra answered 7 years ago
    sorry, yes, and no...

    sorry about the mustang (don't take it personally, just don't like'em)

    yes there is a difference in coolant colors - Lexus and Toyota and other manufacturers may use "red" coolant... but one "red" is not the same as all the other "reds"... you should never really mix coolants back and forth... you can damage your engine because different fluids have different strengths, different lubricating chemicals, different additives, etc...
    Always stick with a well known aftermarket company (Prestone for example)... or for best results - stick with what the manufacturer uses and just keep it clean! Some of the newer cars don't have to be replaced for over 190,000 km now!!! If you drive your car hard and use it a lot in summer traffic, you may want to change it more frequently... my advise: stick with what the dealer puts in adn make sure it's always full and clean. Your car's whole cooling / heating system will thank you...oh yeah, the different colors is just a marketing thing, makes them look pretty... ha ha
    Good Luck

    • Rate
    • Comment
  • Naughtums answered 7 years ago
    The color of dye the manufacturer of the coolant uses.
    All coolants are inherently clear. Ethyl-glycol type coolant is the most commonly used. Usually it is dyed green but some vehicle manufacturers dye it different colors - Toyota uses a red dye for example. You can find aftermarket brands in a variety of colors.

    GM and Chrysler use Dex-Cool which is colored orange and chemically very different from Ethyl-Glycol coolants and should not be mixed with them.

    Volkswagon and Audi use G12 which is colored yellow-orange so it sort of looks like Dex-Cool but is chemically closer to Ethyl-Glycol. Still, G12 should NEVER be mixed with any other type of coolant!

    And the list goes on...

    What it boils down to is, color is no way to judge a coolant. Read the bottle.


    ASE certified automotive service manager
    • Rate
    • Comment
  • monolith899 answered 7 years ago
    Well some coolants are better than others not neccesarilly cool better , they might but usually they just last longer not too sure on the exact miles but the person with the green coolant would have to get his coolant system flushed before the person with the red coolant because the red coolant last longer then the green one before its time to change the coolant However you should use the coolant that your car requires I know ford has a special GOLD coolant that you should not put in any other car I think its for the one of their mustangs of their diesel trucks but it say it will damamge other cars if substituted for what the manufacturer requires.
    • Rate
    • Comment
  • Sign In 

    to add your answer

Who is following this question?

    Member Since:
    Points: Points: Level
    Total Answers:
    Points this week: