Can You Mix Red and Green Antifreeze? Complete Guide Coolant Color Issue

Mixing different types of antifreeze will definitely create problems in your engine system. So if you are thinking of asking anyone can you mix red and green antifreeze together? Or even mix other forms of antifreeze. Stop! You shouldn’t even attempt to do this. In fact, it is not an option you should consider. When you need antifreeze for your vehicle’s system either to top or carry-out maintenance, you should try as much as possible to get the recommended fluid.

Most vehicles are made with the specific antifreeze that should be used, which is the best engine coolant meant for that vehicle. Although you might able to use another form of antifreeze, this is still subject to your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. But without a doubt, mixing different antifreeze together is never an advised alternative.

Antifreeze Colors

You need to know the various types of antifreeze used for specific cars and also the coolant color meaning. This will show the appropriate antifreeze color designed for your vehicle or vehicles. Let’s review some of the types and which vehicle use which antifreeze.

Green Antifreeze

The green antifreeze uses an IAT (Inorganic Additive Technology) formula. This is amongst the oldest technology used in antifreeze manufacture. IAT antifreeze has been in existence for decades, produced for the pre-2000 generation of cars, and it has been tested to be effective against corrosion. This type of antifreeze can last for about three years. After that, you will have to flush and change the coolant to a fresh one. It is best to use this antifreeze for old manufactured vehicles.

Green Antifreeze

Red Antifreeze

Red antifreeze is manufactured with HOAT (Hybrid Organic Acid Technology). Two kinds of red antifreeze are available in the market. They are meant for Japanese, European, and Asian vehicles. You can use this type of antifreeze for Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda vehicles. Most red coolant is termed as ‘Dexcool.’ It has a lengthy lifespan of about four years. Mixing red antifreeze and water usually turns the coolant color pink.

Red Antifreeze

Yellow Antifreeze

Antifreeze manufacturers produce yellow antifreeze for Hyundai and Kai vehicles. It is manufactured with a Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT), and just like the blue antifreeze, this kind of antifreeze can also last up to five years stretch. It is best to replace it after this duration.

Yellow Antifreeze

Orange Antifreeze

Organic Acid Technology is used to produce orange antifreeze. Orange antifreeze is a new technology coolant. This antifreeze is best used for modern or recently manufactured vehicles, whose cooling systems has an aluminum radiator and other aluminum or nylon parts instead of steel. Orange antifreeze is made with anti-corrosion additives, which help prevent rust in your engine cooling system’s various components. This type of antifreeze can effectively work on VW, Saab, and GM vehicles.

Orange Antifreeze

Gold Antifreeze

This antifreeze has quite a few formulations. Its color mostly depicts yellow-orange color and can easily be mistaken for oil. The gold antifreeze is mainly produced to work for the Ford brand of vehicles; this includes your Mercury and Lincoln. Ford coolant is mostly gold. Other brands like BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, and Jaguar vehicles can also use gold antifreeze.

Gold Antifreeze

All the formulations of gold antifreeze have anti-rust additives. The manufacturers designed it to function with specific components and metal types used to manufacture the assigned vehicle.

Blue Antifreeze

There are quite different forms of blue antifreeze you can purchase to get your blue coolant. You might find ones that are dark blue or light blue, depending on the composition. The blue antifreeze shares the same technology as the red antifreeze. One form of blue antifreeze is meant for Japanese vehicles such as your Nissan, Mitsubishi, Infiniti, and Mazda. The other form goes to Subaru, Honda, and Acura vehicles. The difference between these two forms of blue antifreeze is minute.

can you mix blue and green coolant

You can use this for up to five years without having to replace or flush it out of your vehicle. If you are searching for the right antifreeze for your Japanese vehicle, this is probably the right choice.

The Differences between Red and Green Antifreeze

A significant disparity between red and green antifreeze is that red antifreeze has a longer life span than green antifreeze.

Red antifreeze is widely denoted as Dexcool, which tends to function for a more extended period than other kinds of antifreeze. The combination of OAT (Organic Acid Technology) and IAT (Inorganic Acid Technology) led to the invention of HOAT (Hybrid Organic Acid Technology), which is used in manufacturing red antifreeze.

In comparison with green antifreeze, red antifreeze is more efficient, enhancing the life span of your water pump and other cooling system components.

On the opposite side, Green antifreeze is an old type of antifreeze made for first-generation vehicle models. Due to the time of manufacture, this is not an advanced level of antifreeze technology. So its capabilities are not unique compared to modern generation antifreeze technology. Unlike the red antifreeze made from more advanced technology, HOAT, the green antifreeze is produced from an old technology called (Inorganic Acid Technology).

Green antifreeze composition comprises inorganic additives, making it belong to the class of C11. They usually don’t last for more than two years; it is cheap to purchase. It is preferable to be used in old vehicles because green antifreeze has a thick protective layer, which helps prevent leaks and minor cracks in the car’s cooling system, whose radiators are from aluminum and alloys. In comparison, red antifreeze belongs to the G12 class, which includes the G12+ and the G12++. They last for three years+, which depends on the mixture and preparation method before it is poured.

Green coolant is less effective than the red coolant, which also has the advantage of a longer life span. As old vehicles are fading off, green antifreeze might likely go out of the market or become very scarce to get.

Green antifreeze is an old version of manufactured antifreeze used in automobile vehicles in icy areas to prevent their engine from getting to a shallow temperature. Many modifications and innovations have come into existence since then, which has led to the discovery of red antifreeze, which is better. However, the distinct difference between these two antifreeze forms is that the green antifreeze has a shorter functioning period than the red antifreeze.

The difference between red and green antifreeze is well-apart so mixing them spells disaster for your entire cooling system.

What Happens If I Apply To The Wrong Color Antifreeze?

Combining the wrong antifreeze. For instance, if you accidentally mixed orange and green coolant, it causes impairment of the car’s special additive package performance. It also causes an increase in corrosion of your vehicle’s radiator. Using the wrong antifreeze for your vehicle’s engine will cause gradual damage to your water pump, head gasket, radiator hoses, and radiator. Even clogging of your water jackets.

The wrong antifreeze causes your car’s engine to overheat, the wear on your cooling system accelerates, and finally led to engine knocking. Car owners who want their vehicle to run smoothly will pay attention to the type of antifreeze they use for their cars.

The fact is that using the wrong color antifreeze in your vehicle is not right. It is imperative to pick the right antifreeze favorable for your vehicle. If you ignorantly add any colored antifreeze and take off on the road, you may have issues after this. The protective layer of your cooling system suddenly becomes thinner and more porous, which causes a need to change it frequently.

Using the wrong antifreeze can lead to engine damage in the worst scenario, destroying your vehicle’s major engine components. It also causes a leak and loss of coolant agent. When this coolant is lost due to wrong antifreeze use, solid corroded particles will come off on the surface of your car’s cooling system and destroy the water pump by first destroying the mechanical face seals.

Why is coolant different colors and why you can’t mix them! YouTube

Fixing The Problems Caused When You Mix Wrong Antifreeze.

If you’ve accidentally mixed red and green antifreeze or other wrong antifreeze in your vehicle without knowing it was a terrible idea. When you use this wrong mixture to drive your vehicle for a while, you will struggle with a lot of problems from major engine components. You will start getting several problems or issues like a clogged water jacket, a broken hose, or a damaged water pump. Well, you need to get your mechanic to help you repair or replace damaged parts to get your vehicle back on track again. You can read our previous articles to get some automobile DIY skills that can help you get this.

If you are lucky, you catch this on-time, and the only fix requires you to flush out the wrong antifreeze and apply the right antifreeze. Then this is not a complicated process. Don’t worry. If you’ve never done this yourself before, it’s an easy process. Anyone can do this.

We will give you a guide to do this quickly.

The initial step is to open your vehicle and throw a draining pan under your vehicle. Then remove the radiator hose; that’s where the thermostat sits. Gently unscrew the hose clamp and pull the hose off, you will need the right tools box for this. A rush of antifreeze will begin as you take off the hose.

You also need to remove the thermostat to get a better flow. In some vehicles, you need to take the oil filter off to take-off the thermostat housing. Once you’ve detached your thermostat housing, take out the thermostat, and put only the housing back so you will have full flow with the hose. If you had to take your oil filter off, don’t forget to put it back.

Now you will flush your engine block, so you have to take the other radiator hose off. After detaching one end of the hose, fix a garden hose to the loose end, and turn on water flow; this will flush out your engine block.

You also have to backflush it too, so take off one of the radiator’s hose and place it back where the thermostat housing is and flush it backward.  Then fix your garden hose and the hose’s free end and then backflush it out the other way. You do it until clear water flows out, nice and clean.

Now do the same thing to the radiator, get your radiator hose and stick it to the top radiator. Get your garden hose, fix it to the other end of the hose and release water flow through the hose. After that, go to the other radiator hose that goes to the bottom and flush it also.

After flushing, you can place back your thermostat and put in a mixture of 50% coolant and 50% water in your system. Can you mix red coolant with water? Yes, you can, but make sure you do this in the right proportion. So now you know how to flush out your cooling system. Of course, it wasn’t that hard.

Final Words:

With this information, can you mix red and green antifreeze? We know anyone reading this won’t even think of it. You need to stay away from anything that would cause engine problems or other problems in your vehicle. Do your best to stick to the recommended coolant. The aim is to ensure you do things the right way to keep your vehicle running smoothly. If you are still uncertain about this, we will always be of help.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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