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Can You Mix Different Color Antifreeze? (Explained)

Antifreeze (ethylene glycol), also known as coolant when combined with water, is a liquid that is added to your car's engine to help regulate the temperature and prevent overheating.


It is an essential component in the proper functioning of your vehicle, and it is important to understand the different types of antifreeze. In this article, we also also answer the question of can you mix different color antifreeze together.


Table of Contents:


mechanic pouring green coolant into a car

Why Are There Different Coolant Colors?

Antifreeze comes in a variety of different colors, and the reason for this is that different manufacturers use different types of coolant. The color of the antifreeze is used to indicate the type of coolant and the type of vehicle it is intended for.


Does It Matter What Color Antifreeze You Use?

Yes, it does matter what color antifreeze you use. Different types of coolant are formulated to work with specific types of engines and vehicles, so using the wrong type of coolant can cause damage to your engine. It is important to use the correct color antifreeze for your vehicle.


What Coolant Colors Are There?

Below is a table with the colors of coolant and antifreeze, their vehicle applications and the type of coolant and corrosion inhibitors they use.

Type

Corrosion Inhibitor

Vehicle Application

Coolant Color

​IAT (Inorganic Additive Technology)

Silicates

Older Vehicles

Green

OAT (Organic Acid Technology)

Organic Acids

GM, Saab, VW

Orange / Red

HOAT (Hybrid OAT)

Silicates & Organic Acids

Ford, Chrysler & other European vehicles

Yellow

HOAT (Hybrid OAT, Phosphate-free)

NAP Free

BMW, Volvo, Tesla, Mini, others

Turquoise

Si-OAT (Silicated HOAT)

Silicates & Organic Acids

​Mercedes-Benz, Audi, VW, Porsche, others

Purple

P-HOAT (Phosphated HOAT)

Phosphates & Organic Acids

Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, KIA & other Asian vehicles

Pink / Blue


Can You Mix Different Antifreeze Colors?

It is not recommended to mix different antifreeze colors as it can cause damage to your engine. The different types of coolant are formulated to work with specific types of engines and vehicles, and mixing them can lead to chemical reactions that can cause damage.


Can You Mix Same Color Coolants?

It is generally safe to mix same color coolants, but it is always best to check the owner's manual or consult with a mechanic to make sure it is safe to do so.


What Happens if You Mix Two Different Colored Antifreeze?

Mixing two different colored antifreeze can cause damage to your engine. Different coolant and antifreeze use various types of additives, using these in an engine not designed for those types of additives can cause damage.


Mixing them together can cause problems with the cooling system.


What Color Is Universal Antifreeze?