You're losing antifreeze, where is it going? It would be nice if all coolant leaks were dripping right out front where you can see them, but it's not always that easy. Some leaks might occur only when the engine is cold and then heat expansion may close them off.
Others may only leak when warm, under pressure, and may boil or evaporate before hitting the ground, so you may not see them unless you open the hood and look for tracks. On this type of leak we often add a fluorescent dye to locate.
Heater core leaks usually be spotted by steam on the windshield or as they get worse, moisture on the floorboards.
The worst type of coolant leakage is internal, such as the intake manifold, throttle body or head gaskets. Internal intake manifold leaks on V engines are notorious for taking out engine bearings, since antifreeze destroys them in a short order.
If the engine misses in the morning for a few seconds, or you see huge amounts of white smoke, you may have a head gasket leakage.
If you're having to add coolant often and can't find the leak, have an oil analysis done to make sure the coolant is not getting into the oil.
Years ago when your cooling system was low, you popped the radiator cap off and added your favorite brand of antifreeze,usually green or yellow and off you went. Now that isn't as easy as almost every car maker has come out with their own blend of antifreeze. Many of these are long life and they come in a whole rainbow of colors.
Here are some of the coolants out there now.
American Green. A light-medium green with inhibitors that include silicates and phosphates. The old standard you can purchase anywhere. Recommended replacement 2 years or 30,000 miles.
Prestone American Yellow Gold. Some think it has a green cast to it, but gold is the color of the dye. It also includes silicates and phosphates.
DexCool Orange. A long life coolant that features sebacate (an organic acid) and 2-EHA as the primary inhibitors. It's used in GM cars for original equipment.
Japanese Green. Usually a deeper green than American green, with inhibitors that include phosphates (no silicates). If it's a conventional coolant, the recommended life span is typically 2/30. It is also available in an extended life formula and the intervals go up to 5/100.
Toyota Red. A conventional Japanese coolant with phosphates but no silicates. Due to a similarity in color, it is often mistaken for Dex-Cool.
Toyota Pink and Honda Deep Green Extended Life These new extended-life Japanese coolants use phosphates for fast protection (no silicates) and a single organic acid (sebacate) and other inhibitors.
VW/Audi Pink. The version used in models sold in the U.S. is an organic acid type, primarily sebacate.
European/Ford Yellow.More of a yellow than Prestone American Yellow Gold. Its inhibitors include a relatively low dose of silicates (no phosphates), plus benzoate. Euro yellow is sold in the U.S. aftermarket as type G-05.
Chrysler Group Orange.The dye is orange, but the formula is G-05, the same as European/Ford Yellow.
Korean Blue. You also may have seen blue dye in some European cars (BMW and Volvo, among others). It is similar to European/Ford yellow.
Brown. Either a combination of two coolants mixed together by a top off, for example, orange coolant repeatedly topped up with green, gold or yellow or a coolant contaminated by sealants or other additives. When adding to your system, make sure you match what is in there already. Although you can safely flush the system and use the old standby green antifreeze, you don't want to mix them. A 50/50 mixture of whatever you use is critical for engine corrosion protection.
Good reasons to bring your Car, SUV or Light Truck to Wayne's Garage
- We warranty all our work for 24 month/36,000 mile.
- We have courtesy vehicles for your convenience
- We hand wash and vacuum your car
- Our friendly staff will always treat you with dignity and respect
- Most repairs are completed in one day
- We can perform all maintenance necessary to keep your new car warranty in effect. You are not obligated to go back to the dealer
- Our Technicians are ASE certified.
- Wayne's Garage has over 100 years of experience to maintain and repair your automobile.