What Type of Coolant to Use for Your Car?

What Type of Coolant to Use for Your Car?

Radiator coolant is an important fluid in your car. You need to maintain the recommended coolant level in the radiator to keep the engine cool. Besides maintaining the recommended level of coolant in the radiator, you also need to use the right coolant type. If you use the wrong coolant type, the engine can overheat and it may lead to other engine problems. Here is some information on how to determine the right coolant to use for your car.

Different Types of Coolant

Coolant type is categorized by the inhibitor package. The primary function of the inhibitor is to protect the engine from an attack of corrosion. There are three types of coolants. Here is the list:

IAT Coolant: It is the most common type of coolant used in cars and light pickup trucks. The inhibitor package in IAT coolant is Inorganic Additive technology. It is a traditional chemical composition of antifreeze available in various colors like green, yellow or blue. IAT coolant is a low silicate-based product and it needs the addition of supplemental coolant additives to protect heavy-duty engine cylinders.

HOAT Coolant: It is a combination of two types of coolants, inorganic IAT coolant and organic OAT coolant. Like the IAT coolant, it is also low silicate-based but has nitrite technology in the inhibitor package. Unlike other coolants, HOAT coolants need an addition to the supplemental coolant additives only at the first interval of 25,000 miles. HOAT coolants are dyed orange or yellow.

NOAT Coolant: It is a coolant that uses nitrite and inorganic acids (OAT) inhibitor packages. NOAT coolants are also known as extended life coolant as they do not require the addition of supplemental coolant additives until 300,000 miles.

Can You Select the Right Coolant Type by Color?

The answer is no. Although coolants are available in various colors, the color system is not related to its type. The color dye is added for a specific reason. You need to add water and coolant in the radiator. Most antifreeze compounds (which are the main part of the coolant) are colorless. The coolant manufacturers add color to coolants so that it is easy to detect coolant leaks. There is no standardization of color and coolant type so you should never take the color system as a factor to determine the right type of coolant to use for your car.

What is the Right Method to Select Coolant for Your Car?

Car manufacturers generally have a recommended list of fluid types for their vehicles. If you are not sure about the right type of coolant to use, go to your car dealership and get information about the right coolant. Car dealerships stock OEM coolants that are perfect for your car. If you want to use aftermarket coolants, look for the recommended models on the coolant packaging. If a certain coolant has your car model mentioned in the “Recommended for” list, you can go ahead and use that coolant for your car.

Your car owner’s manual also mentions fluid types to use for your car. Read the car owner’s manual to know about the right type of coolant for your car.