Engine Coolant

my maintenance manual says to change the coolant at 105k, i bought the car used and it seems the coolant is still clean, crystal clear, should i change it anyway? maybe the previous owner already changed it because it looks brand new

My car has 110000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
It is a good idea to know when your last service was done. If you want to have your coolant checked to make sure it is good or needs changed. I would recommend having a mechanic like one from YourMechanic test the coolant on your next service appointment. for another reason like and oil change. Then you can decide to have the coolant service done or not.

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Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

ZEREX – G05® 50/50 Ready-to-Use Antifreeze / Coolant, 1 Gallon (Part No. ZXG05RU1) ZEREX G05® is the automaker approved original chemistry used in newer Ford®, Chrysler® and Mercedes-Benz® automotive and diesel engines.
PEAK Antifreeze/Coolant Asian Green 50/50 Premixed 1 Gallon

50/50 Strength, Pre-Diluted.

Prestone Antifreeze/Coolant Domestic Orange 50/50 Premixed 1 Gallon.
ShopPro Antifreeze/Coolant Universal Yellow Concentrate 1 Gallon.
Motorcraft® antifreeze/coolants meet specific Ford Motor Company engineering standards. They have been subjected to extensive in-vehicle testing in the applications for which they have been approved.
Prestone Antifreeze/Coolant European Violet 50/50 Premixed 1 Gallon.
Your car`s owner`s manual provides a wealth of information. It will tell you what type of coolant is best to use in your vehicle. If you don`t have a copy of your owner`s manual, you can most likely find the information you need online.
What colour do you need? Green coolant is the conventional coolant (Ethylene Glycol base) and is the most popularly used coolant. Red coolant typically has a base of Organic Acid Technology which is designed to be more suitable for aluminium radiators.
Prestone Antifreeze/Coolant Domestic Orange 50/50 Premixed 1 Gallon.
Prestone – Antifreeze and Coolant: 50/50 Ready To Use, Universal Platinum, 1 Gallon (Part No. AF2550)
The orange coolants are organic acid technologies (OAT). These were created for newer vehicles that had more nylon and aluminum parts in them. OAT coolants use organic acids in order to prevent corrosion.
Genuine Ford Fluid VC-13-G Yellow Concentrated Antifreeze/Coolant – 1 Gallon.
Stay Frosty High-Performance Coolant is the best coolant for high-performance cars. Why? Because it affords the same features as Race-Ready, but contains a 30 percent mix of propylene glycol to 70 percent water. Unlike ethylene glycol used in many other coolants, propylene glycol is non-toxic.
Coolant. Capacity: 3.5L V6 engine: 11.1 quarts (10.5L)
Prestone Antifreeze/Coolant Domestic Orange 50/50 Premixed 1 Gallon.
Fresh antifreeze is a clear brightly coloured liquid, usually blue, red, green, violet, yellow or orange but this will vary depending on the manufacturer`s formulation. Over time, your coolant will become dirty losing its colour and becoming darker, often an oxidized shade of brown.
Three types of antifreeze/coolant and their uses

There are three types of antifreeze available: Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT), Organic Acid Technology (OAT), and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT).

A 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water is the standard recommendation for most applications because it provides the best all-round cooling protection and performance for most applications. Premixed antifreeze is 50/50 and takes the guesswork out of correctly mixing antifreeze and water.
Most people think of antifreeze or coolant as green. For years many antifreeze/coolants were green in color but now many coolants come in a variety of colors. Antifreeze or coolant can be yellow, pink or red, blue, and green. The color of the antifreeze/coolant is really based on the formula.
An average engine holds about 3 quarts (2 liters) of coolant, but this amount may vary depending on the vehicle`s make, model, and type. For example, some Toyota models use only 1.5 quarts (1.5 liters), while others require 3 quarts (3 liters).
There are essentially three basic types of coolants: Traditional North American “green” antifreeze, the original “universal” formula that everybody used until the introduction of today`s extended-life coolants.
The bulletin only address mixing yellow colored coolant with green or orange and makes no mention of mixing with the gold. Important: Do not use Motorcraft® Yellow Antifreeze/Coolant to service Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles factory-filled with any other Motorcraft® antifreeze/coolant.
What Coolant Does Your Car Need? Different vehicles require different coolants. There are varieties for every type of vehicle, from diesel engines to American, Asian and European vehicles. Each one is specifically formulated to keep its designated engine type running in extreme temperatures.
3.5. This 3.5 L; 214.7 cu in (3,518 cc) engine was a version of the 3.3 but with a larger bore of 96 mm (3.78 in) and the important addition of overhead cams. The 3.5L version has an intake arrangement with two separate manifolds and throttle bodies connected with a crossover valve.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

No coolant in the reservoir. Seen low coolant message. I added 2 quarts of 50/50 coolant. Still getting the message. How much coolant doe it need?
ANSWER : Hi there. For the coolant light to go out, you would need to have the coolant between the low line and the full line for the light to go out. If the coolant is low and keeps on being low, then look for any signs of coolant leaks. You may have to use a coolant pressure tester to pressurize the reservoir to allow the leak to be found.

If you need further assistance with the coolant being low and the warning light being on, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Read Full Q/A … : Engine Coolant

My engine coolant light is coming on and after hitting a pot hole my thermostat light pops on, and after a few miles car run hot
ANSWER : Hi there. It is quite possible that you may have damaged the radiator when hitting the pot hole. Although there are protective shields located under the radiator itself, they are typically very thin and made of plastic in most cases. Sometimes the quick impact can cause cracking along the base of the radiator. When this happens, coolant will leak rather quickly. I would recommend two things, first, stop driving the vehicle until this issue is repaired. Second, contact a professional mobile mechanic to complete a coolant leak inspection so they can pinpoint precisely what is causing the leak and what repairs will be needed. This will allow you to have an accurate estimate for repairs.

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My coolant reservoir is empty and coolant is splattered over my engine
ANSWER : Driving a car with "zero" coolant will destroy the engine within minutes. Even after a coolant leak, though, you have some coolant in the engine and water can sometimes be added to enable one to drive a "short" distance as long as you observe the temperature gauge on the instrument panel and do NOT operate the car, even momentarily, in the RED (overheated) danger zone. But, the problem is because we do not know the nature and extent of the coolant leak that you have, once you add water (or anti-freeze) it is hard to predict if it will leak out quickly, thus quickly leading to an overheating situation once you depart, and possibly leaving you stuck between home and a service facility. When the car is stone cold (if you open cap when engine is hot you will be severely burned), you could try removing the radiator cap, adding water, re-installing the cap tightly and see if the car will idle for 10 minutes without overheating and without coolant leaking out. If the car seems "stable", you could "try" to make it to a shop.

As far as what’s wrong, you have a leak, the origin of which is usually obvious once a mechanic makes just a visual inspection. There are so many places a cooling system can leak: radiator cap, water pump, radiator, hoses, and so forth. All of those are easy to deal with though and so you needn’t worry. It will be least risky (in terms of potentially overheating the engine), and also much less expensive, if you have a certified mobile professional come right to your door and resolve this for you. If you desire, do follow-up with YourMechanic and request a cooling system leak diagnostic during which the Mechanic will let you know exactly what the story is. If I can be of further service, or you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Read Full Q/A … : Engine Coolant

Check engine light on, engine knocking, loss of power, and coolant leaking.
ANSWER : Hi there. Grab a flashlight and look under the vehicle for where the coolant leak is coming from. Either there is a gasket, hose, or freeze plug that is leaking causing the coolant to leak or the engine has cracked. The knocking noise is from the engine getting too hot and causing a detonation sound. If there is a crack in the block, then it could be from a piston rod that broke off. The loss of power is when the engine had not enough coolant to operate properly and caused the engine to overheat and not burn the fuel properly. If you need further assistance with your engine having a coolant leak, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Read Full Q/A … : Engine Coolant

Can front wheel drive car engine power rear wheel drive
ANSWER : Anything is possible with enough engineering. The changes you are looking at would take major structural changes and would definitely not be an easy job. You could possibly consult a manufacturing engineer to get more details on how this could actually be carried out and whether it would be feasible.

Read Full Q/A … : Engine Coolant

My coolant reservoir is empty and coolant is splattered over my engine
ANSWER : Driving a car with "zero" coolant will destroy the engine within minutes. Even after a coolant leak, though, you have some coolant in the engine and water can sometimes be added to enable one to drive a "short" distance as long as you observe the temperature gauge on the instrument panel and do NOT operate the car, even momentarily, in the RED (overheated) danger zone. But, the problem is because we do not know the nature and extent of the coolant leak that you have, once you add water (or anti-freeze) it is hard to predict if it will leak out quickly, thus quickly leading to an overheating situation once you depart, and possibly leaving you stuck between home and a service facility. When the car is stone cold (if you open cap when engine is hot you will be severely burned), you could try removing the radiator cap, adding water, re-installing the cap tightly and see if the car will idle for 10 minutes without overheating and without coolant leaking out. If the car seems "stable", you could "try" to make it to a shop.

As far as what’s wrong, you have a leak, the origin of which is usually obvious once a mechanic makes just a visual inspection. There are so many places a cooling system can leak: radiator cap, water pump, radiator, hoses, and so forth. All of those are easy to deal with though and so you needn’t worry. It will be least risky (in terms of potentially overheating the engine), and also much less expensive, if you have a certified mobile professional come right to your door and resolve this for you. If you desire, do follow-up with YourMechanic and request a cooling system leak diagnostic during which the Mechanic will let you know exactly what the story is. If I can be of further service, or you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Read Full Q/A … : Engine Coolant

Car ran out of engine coolant
ANSWER : It may be possible that you have a bad coolant leak. It is also possible that the technician looked at the coolant overflow but didn’t open the radiator cap. Engine damage could have been caused by the overheating, but you could be fine. I would first refill the cooling system with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water.

You will need to start the engine and allow it to get to operating temperature so that the thermostat will open. Once it is full, check for leaks. If you are leaking the entire system worth of coolant within a few days, it should be easy to find. The most common failure from overheating is a blown head gasket.

You may notice that the oil looks milky, or the exhaust has a lot of steam, or excess pressure in the cooling system may produce bubbles in the reservoir. The best way to make sure you have no engine damage is to have a certified technician test your cooling system and check your engine for damage. I am guessing that you are in Australia, by the car you drive. YourMechanic is currently based only in the United States, so unfortunately, we can’t come to you to check your vehicle. I would go ahead and add extra coolant to test how it runs. If the engine is running rough, I would take the car straight to a local mechanic to verify whether or not it is safe to drive.

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Possible coolant in my oil but no oil in the coolant. Use about 1 l of coolant per 100km.
ANSWER : Check the transmission fluid. If all testing eliminates the head gasket, cracked cylinder head, etc, it may be a cracked radiator.Transmission fluid is sent forward to the radiator to be cooled. Ir runs into what is typically called the "side tanks" of the radiator. So the transmission fluid and coolant are both flowing through the radiator and kept apart just as the engine oil and coolant are kept apart in the engine by the head gasket, coolant and oil passages, etc. If the tank in the radiator is cracked internally, transmission fluid may actually be forced into the coolant as transmission fluid is under higher pressure than the coolant. Short of a cracked head gasket, cylinder head, or engine block, it’s really the only other source of any type of oil getting into the coolant unless the vehicle is equipped with an engine oil cooler as well.

Read Full Q/A … : Engine Coolant