Which Color Coolant Does Ford Use?

Ford vehicles, like every other car, use coolant to help keep an engine cool while preventing freezing during the cold months. However, over the years, Ford Motor Company has recommended several coolant colors that have confused Ford users about what color Ford uses.

If you’re amongst these people, the period of confusion is over. In this article, I will be answering the question what color coolant does Ford uses, as well as other questions regarding Ford coolant use.

what color coolant does ford use

Which color coolant does Ford use?

Ford vehicles use five color coolants, each specifically made for specific engines. They include fluorescent green, light yellow, dark green, orange, and dark yellow. These variants are produced by Motorcraft.

They are only what Ford Motor Company recommends because they meet the Ford engineering standards and specifications. So whether you’re asking what color coolant does Ford use in 2021, 1990, or 2024, the same answer applies. See what each color is built for.

Motorcraft Fluorescent green

The Fluorescent green Motorcraft coolant is made with inorganic acid technology, using silicates to protect Ford’s engine block from corrosion. This type of coolant is a good fit for engines made with iron because they have high inhibitors against iron rust.

Ford recommends this for cars made in 2002 or earlier because those cars have engines made with cast irons that are prone to corrosion. Whether you drive an older gasoline or diesel engine, Ford, this coolant will serve you well.

Motorcraft Gold (Light yellow)

This coolant was specially designed for Ford’s aluminum engine, the replacement for Ford’s cast iron engines. When Ford replaced their cast iron engines with aluminum engines, the Motorcraft green coolant was no longer needed. This is because the aluminum engine did not need high corrosion coolant, nor could the green coolant cool it properly.

The Motorcraft gold coolant is built with hybrid organic acid technology, which is great at extending coolant life while offering better engine protection. It was particularly recommended for Ford vehicles built between 2002-2010. Interestingly, this coolant can also be used for gasoline and diesel engines made with cast iron.

Motorcraft specialty green (dark green)

The dark green was an upgrade done by Ford and used in a few vehicles they co-produced with Mazda between 2009 and 2011. It is, however, compatible with only gasoline engines and is only available in the concentrated form.

Motorcraft Orange

The Motorcraft orange coolant also utilized organic acid technology and was used across diesel and gasoline engines. This orange is more versatile because it was used in all models in Ford’s lineup between 2011 and 2018. You should find it in both the diluted and concentrated form.

Motorcraft yellow (Dark yellow)

The Motorcraft yellow functioned exactly as the orange coolant. However, it soon replaced the orange after 2018. It was recommended because it offered better engine protection and fluid longevity than the orange coolant. The Ford yellow coolant is recommended for all Ford gasoline and diesel engines built after 2018. It is available in both concentrated and diluted form.

Which color coolant should I use for my Ford?

Since you know now that there are various colors, you should personalize the question and ask based on your engine types. This is so you know the exact coolant recommended for your vehicle. 

For example, instead of asking what color coolant does Ford use in Ford Focus, you should ask, which color coolant should I use in my Ford? Ford advises you to use the factory coolant color that came with your Ford. Alternatively, check your vehicle’s manual for the recommended coolant color.

what type of coolant does ford use

Why do Ford have different colors?

Over the years, Ford has produced different color coolants for different engine needs. Typically, with each engine innovation comes a new coolant type. It’s a way of differentiating them from each other.

Can I use other coolant types for my Ford?

Aside from Motorcraft coolants, Ford does not recommend any other coolant type for its vehicles. According to Ford, only Motorcraft met their engineering specifications and standards. Doing otherwise will be at your own risk, as Ford will not be liable for any damage incurred due to the wrong fluid usage. 

If, however, you’re experiencing leakages or you need to change your fluid but can’t find the recommended Motorcraft coolant, ensure you inquire from Ford to know your temporary alternatives. Some top-tier coolant manufacturers have produced coolants close to Ford’s recommendation.

Is it ok to mix different Ford coolants?

You should not mix different variants of Ford coolants. Ford Motor Company recommends using one coolant. Mixing them could cause engine problems that can void the company’s warranty.

Each coolant type was designed to meet specific engine needs. Therefore, mixing them might alter the efficacy of the better coolant. For example, OAT and IAT can decrease inhibiting ability when mixed. Incorrect mixing of two coolants could build up deposits that can clog or damage the radiator, leading to failure or leakages.

It’s always advisable to replace it with what came originally in your car. If Ford, however, recommends a different variant over time, do a system flush to get rid of the old one before pouring in a new coolant. Don’t mix two coolant variants.

How long does Ford coolant last?

Ford coolants can last between 24k-100k miles before the need to replenish or flush, depending on your coolant type. For example, Ford’s oldest coolant (fluorescent green), which is used for older vehicles and has high inhibitors against rust, could last for only 24k-36k miles or 2-3 years.

On the other hand, longer-lasting coolants designed for newer vehicles could last up to 5 years or 100k miles. To get the exact time you need a coolant change or flush, check your owner’s manual for Ford’s maintenance schedule.

How much coolant does a Ford need?

Every Ford model has a distinct level of coolant they can take. To know the exact quantity your engine needs, look through your owner’s manual.

Final word

If you’ve read this far, you already have the answers to the question, which color coolant does Ford use? Ford uses five different coolant colors. They include Fluorescent green, light yellow, dark green, orange, and dark yellow.

Each of these colors is built for specific engines to tackle the needs of those engines and should be used specifically for them. If you’re unsure which to use on your Ford, please consult your owner’s manual or use the Ford coolant color chart to see which is made for your specific engine.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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