Are you aware that not all antifreeze is alike? If not, you need to check your owner’s manual for the specific type of antifreeze your vehicle uses. It’s important for you to use the proper type, because mixing different types of antifreeze can result in sludge due within the cooling system. The sludge can cause clogged cooling system channels, radiators, and heater cores. Once antifreeze types are mixed, if the coolant isn’t drained, flushed and replaced, the water pump can potentially overheat and fail. If the engine is overheated, there’s also the chance that the head gaskets may fail and cylinder heads may be warped. Some automobile manufacturers warn of the potential for an engine fire, due to mixing antifreeze types or even adding water.  If you have mixed antifreeze, schedule a flush and change with Fifth Gear Automotive, or bring your car to our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX.

While some formulas claim to be compatible with other antifreeze formulas, the safest action is to exclusively use the manufacturer’s recommended formula. If you have questions, contact Fifth Gear Automotive auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX today.

The Cooling System

Water-cooled engines use radiator cooling fans, pressure cap and reserve tank, radiator, water pump, thermostat, freeze plug(s), heater core, hoses, and the passageways within the engine to remove excessive heat. The water pump drives the coolant through the system to the radiator where the heat is dissipated to the air entering through the grill on the front of the car. This is why bent radiator fins and heavy bug spatter on the grill can cause overheating. Our ASE certified mechanics can take care of it for you in our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX.

If You Have Mixed Antifreeze Types

If you have already mixed OAT based formulas such as DEX-Cool with a traditional IAT formula of antifreeze, the cooling system should be professionally drained and flushed as soon as possible. Delaying the flush can result in a higher build up of sludge in the cooling system. Contact Fifth Gear Automotive today, to schedule professional service in our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX.

The Difference Between Antifreeze Types

The traditional antifreeze manufactured for vehicles is made with ethylene glycol and Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) corrosion inhibitors. However, the newer technology of Organic Acid Technology (OAT) and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) were introduced in the 1990′s for use in vehicles with aluminum radiators and components. OAT and HOAT technology are considered extended life antifreeze with a 5 year or 150,000 mile lifespan. You can rely on Fifth Gear Automotive to provide the automotive service you need. Contact us today or bring your car by our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX for reliable services.

What the Color Means

The dye used to color antifreeze is chosen by the manufacturer and may or may not help to distinguish the type of antifreeze (IAT, OAT or HOAT). Different color dyes may also be used to distinguish a brands variations of antifreeze formulas.

Most automotive engines are considered water-cooled,  although the “water” is typically a mixture of antifreeze and specialized water. In the automotive industry, the antifreeze and water mixture is typically referred to as engine coolant.

Antifreeze was developed due to deficiencies in using water only, as a means of providing heat transfer. The use of the proper antifreeze is important in preventing a frozen and potentially cracked engine block, and in preventing the coolant inside the engine from boiling with resulting potential damage. Furthermore, the use of water alone would result in corrosion. If you have concerns with your antifreeze or your vehicle’s cooling system, contact Fifth Gear Automotive, or bring your vehicle by our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX.

With the correct type and proper amount of antifreeze, a wide temperature range can be tolerated by the engine coolant. If you are unsure what to use in your vehicle, and do not have an owners manual, contact your nearby dealership, or call our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX.

Organic Acid Technology

Most modern vehicles utilize organic acid technology (OAT) antifreeze, such as DEX-COOL, or with a hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) formulation, such as Zerex G-05. Both have an extended service life of five years or 150,000 miles.

The Controversy

There are differences in opinion regarding the mixing of antifreeze types.  The proper answer depends on your vehicle’s manufacturer. Reading the recommendation in your vehicle’s owner’s manual is essential; because the truth is that some vehicles sternly warn against adding water or any type of antifreeze other than the recommended type.

In fact, some vehicle manufacturers even warn that adding water or any other type of antifreeze. They state that mixing either will cause false temperature readings that appear normal, when in fact the engine is grossly overheated. In addition, some manufacturers warn an engine fire can result from the use of any liquid other than the recommended antifreeze. Replacing an engine and endangering your life isn’t worth the risk. Always use the recommended antifreeze. If you require maintenance or service of your vehicle, contact a Fifth Gear Automotive mechanic in our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX.

Changing the Antifreeze

Antifreeze has a limited lifespan at which point it begins to degrade. In the case of traditional, or IAT antifreeze, it’s the corrosion inhibitors, which wear out, and allow rust or corrosion to form on metal parts. Antifreeze that is brown or rust in color indicates the inhibitors are depleted, and the fluid should be changed. However, do not wait until this occurs. Vehicles which use a traditional IAT antifreeze, typically recommend changing the fluid every 30,000 miles or 2 years, whichever comes first. Newer cars with OAT or HOAT antifreeze as previously stated, typically recommend every 150,000 miles. Provide antifreeze changes as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. You can find the recommendation for your car in your owner’s manual. Our ASE certified mechanics will be glad to provide the service for you in our auto repair shops in Highland Village, TX.