Re: Coolant Color in 2003 Ford Focus
Yes, it is a confusing issue that I learned a lot about last time that
I changed mine. First, colors do not mean everything. Some long life
coolants are green. Alla re just dyes the maker adds. There are 3
types. Conventional ethylene gycol, conventional propylene glycol (low
tox) and the newer organic acid-based addtive coolants. The gylcols in
all do the main work of lowering the freezing point and raising the
boiling point but do not protect the metals from corrosion. That is the
job of the additives. The older additives are silicate-based and the
newer long life ones organic acid technology (OAT). Some feel that the
silicates can come out of solution, be abrasive and damage water pump
seals. This and longer life are the main attraction of the OAT ones.
The deal is that if you add some of the older silicate coolant to a
cooling system filled with the OAT coolant, you lower it's life to the
old one, say 2 years. I think this explains the Ford warning of mixing.
You can add the new stuff to the old but it won't increase the life of
the coolant. I would paly it safe and either flush and upgrade or
continue to use what is recommened.
If you do upgrade to the new OAT-based coolants, throughly flush the
system to get out the silicate-based stuff. . If you omly drain the
radiator and not the block, you will not get the 5 year protection. I
did this on my ZX3 which had the silicate coolant and plan on changing
it every 3-4 years. BTW, I used the new Prestone "all brands" stuff. It
is yello/green. I am familiar wit this long-life coolant, with a Toyota
(red) coolant that I thought was priced hight at $15/gal 3 years ago.
But I did not want to change to another brand. I know someone who uses
Decool in all his cars, domestic and foreign for years and has had no
I have heard that the GM Dexcool (orange) can gel up if it runs low. I
do not know if this is true of all the OAT-based coolants.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions. If you want to play it
totally safe, go to the Ford dealer and get the one you already have
in the car now. I hope that eventually, they all settle on the same
standard, like it used to be.
Bryan K. Walton wrote:
> I continue to be confused about coolant colors in today's automobiles.
> I have a 2003 Ford Focus Wagon. The owner's manual says:
> "Add Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant
> (yellow-colored), VC-7A (VC-7B in Oregon), meeting Ford
> Specification WSS-M97B51A1."
> "Do not add/mix an orange-colored, extended life coolant such
> as Motorcraft Speciality Orange Engine Coolant, VC-2 (US) or
> CXC-209 (Canada), meeting Ford specification WSS-M97B44D
> with the factory-filled coolant. Mixing Motorcraft Speciality Orange
> Engine Coolant or any orange-colored extended life product with your
> factory filled coolant can result in degraded corrosion protection."
> Now, I saw some Prestone coolant at Autozone the other day. I believe it
> was a 50/50 pre-mixed extended life coolant (in a yellow bottle).
> It said "All Makes All Models"
> The bottle said it is compatible with ANY antifreeze/coolant,
> regardless of color, and can be added to any antifreeze/coolant
> in ANY make or model of car or light duty truck on the road today.
> So, is this true? Can I really use this to top off when needed?
> remove the "REMOVE" from my email to email