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The truth is, color is not a reliable predictor for what type of coolant you have. For example, OAT coolants are usually orange, yellow, red or purple. HOAT coolants are orange and yellow for the most part.
Engine coolant, also known as antifreeze, is mixed with water to keep the radiator from freezing in extreme cold and overheating in extreme heat. There are many different types of coolant, so it’s important to know what variety is right for your car or truck.
Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) Coolant was pretty much the original type of coolant and is still used in older vehicles. It lasts around 30,000 miles before it turns too acidic and needs to be changed. Organic Acid Technology (OAT) Coolant uses additives to increase its lifespan significantly — up to around 150,000 miles.
If you have a green coolant, you have Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) coolant. This type of coolant is the original type of coolant on the market. This means that if you drive an older model car, it likely still uses green antifreeze. This type of coolant is sometimes referred to as conventional low-silicate coolant.
Which type of antifreeze your particular model uses should be listed on the expansion tank (G13 or G12) and in your owner’s manual. Also note the color, which will be either pink or purple. Always use the same antifreeze when topping off, or flush your coolant system completely before switching.
You have to fill the coolant up where the black plastic top meets the white plastic part of the expansion tank. Some is likely to flow out of the overflow if you are in extremely hot weather. I was once stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in 34c weather, with A/C on full blast, the coolant temperature reached 98c (but never went any higher).
A typical engine coolant radiator used in an automobileRadiators are heat exchangers used for cooling internal combustion engines, mainly in automobiles but also in piston-engined aircraft, railway locomotives, motorcycles, stationary generating plant or any similar use of such an engine. Internal combustion engines are often cooled by circulating a liquid called engine coolant through the engine block, where it is heated, then through a radiator where it loses heat to the atmosphere, and then returned to the engine. Engine coolant is usually water-based, but may also be oil. It is common to employ a water pump to force the engine coolant to circulate, and also for an axial fan to force air through the radiator.
right A heater core is a radiator-like device used in heating the cabin of a vehicle. Hot coolant from the vehicle's engine is passed through a winding tube of the core, a heat exchanger between coolant and cabin air. Fins attached to the core tubes serve to increase surface for heat transfer to air that is forced past them, by a fan, thereby heating the passenger compartment.
"Topping up" the antifreeze solution in a car's cooling system is a routine maintenance item for most modern cars. An antifreeze is an additive which lowers the freezing point of a water-based liquid and increases its boiling point. An antifreeze mixture is used to achieve freezing-point depression for cold environments and also achieves boiling-point elevation ("anti-boil") to allow higher coolant temperature. Freezing and boiling points are colligative properties of a solution, which depend on the concentration of the dissolved substance. Because water has good properties as a coolant, water plus antifreeze is used in internal combustion engines and other heat transfer applications, such as HVAC chillers and solar water heaters. The purpose of antifreeze is to prevent a rigid enclosure from bursting due to expansion when water freezes. Commercially, both the additive (pure concentrate) and the mixture (diluted solution) are called antifreeze, depending on the context. Careful selection of an antifreeze can enable a wide temperature range in which the mixture remains in the liquid phase, which is critical to efficient heat transfer and the proper functioning of heat exchangers.