Originally Posted by Steve83
Ford has a PDF chart showing the correct coolant for each year & model since the early 90s. Click this link
, then Quick Reference Charts, then the one for Service Coolant types. For more, read this article
This should be all the info you need on the subject!
10. Other than collision, the most common cause for coolant leaks & blockages is corrosion. Corrosion is a natural effect of pure metals & alloys being exposed to water, which naturally absorbs oxygen. It is also caused by dissimilar metals (iron, steel, aluminum, etc.) being in contact with an electrolyte (water with ions), called "Galvanic action". Both of these act continually in varying degrees to eat away at most metal components exposed to the coolant. Pump impeller blades, radiator cores, heater cores, steel pipe nipples, & thermostat housings are susceptible. The results of unchecked corrosion are leaks in the affected parts (usually the thin steel & soft aluminum ones go first) & sedimentation in the radiator, blocking the lower tubes. To combat their effects, various compounds are blended with the coolant. But they don't last forever, especially when the vehicle is NOT operated (stored/abandoned). So regardless of mileage, COOLANT MUST BE CHANGED REGULARLY. And despite its intentionally-misleading name, long-life coolant must be changed on the SAME schedule, if not sooner. The "long-life" terminology only applies to its antifreeze/antiboil characteristics; its corrosion-inhibitors are consumed even faster than standard coolant, making it "short-life" coolant. Another marketing ploy is "ready-mix" coolant, which has gained much popularity over the typical concentrated (half-&-half) coolant previously available. A quick comparison of price (often higher for a gallon of ready-mix than for concentrate) shows that a vehicle requiring 2 gallons of coolant will cost more than twice as much to fill using ready-mix as with concentrate + distilled water.
There's a sucker born every minute - don't be one. Buy only normal-life concentrated coolant, and mix it yourself with distilled water.
11. If you have a leak, don't waste time or contaminate your cooling system with any "trick fixes" like cracking a raw egg or dumping pepper into the radiator. They don't usually work for long (if at all), and they cause problems later after the leaking part is replaced. Just START by replacing the leaky part, and you'll save money, time, & sweat. If you absolutely have to use a temporary fix, use Bar's Stop-Leak, which is a neutralized sawdust tablet.
12. COLOR When GM introduced its ill-fated (like so many other GM innovations) Dex-Cool coolant, it chose to distinguish its product (thankfully) by using an orange dye, instead of the common green. Both colors are intended to be detectable by UV light for tracing leaks, but Dex-Cool's formula failed for 2 reasons: 1) it contains a compound that is apparently very nutritious for certain bacteria, & 2) the tap water used at many GM factories for coolant mixing contained those bacteria. The resulting slime from the flourishing bacteria created an effective glue, which blocked up the coolant passages in the radiators & heater cores, causing mass overheating for several years. The problem has since been eliminated, but the color remained, causing more confusion. Ford went to a yellow dye (also UV-detectable) to distinguish its bittering agent (& a few other chemical changes), and now some aftermarket coolants contain other colors in an attempt to indicate compatibility with certain OE coolants. The typical result is simply MORE confusion, and the only remedy is to carefully read the labelling, since no standard has yet emerged. Ford offers a quick-reference chart for Service Coolant Usage on this page, along with several other useful PDFs. Many European brands require O.A.T. (organic acid technology) which is a red coolant. Some BMWs (including some Land Rovers) use a blue type. In most cases, common green coolant is the best, and will do everything that needs to be done in any engine, with no side-effects.