Coolant was invented to cool down engines and keep them from overheating. It’s important to use the correct kind of coolant in your engine to prevent damage, so it’s important to know if you can mix different brands of coolant together.
Most carmakers have their own brand of coolant, and you’re not supposed to mix other types of coolant with them. Some carmakers do allow you to use a different brand of coolant as long as it’s the same type (ethylene glycol or propylene glycol), but you should always check your owner’s manual to be sure.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not you can mix coolant brands, what types of coolant are out there, and how to make an informed decision that is the right kind for your car.
Can You Mix Different Brands of Coolant?
Although it’s not recommended, you can technically mix different brands of coolant as long as they share the same chemical properties. You should particularly avoid mixing coolants of different colors as this can result in severe damage to your car’s cooling system. In any case, it’s always best to consult your car’s owner manual or a professional mechanic before mixing coolant brands.
If you are in a pinch and have no other option, then providing that the coolants have the same chemical make up then it is possible. However, doing so may not provide your engine with the best protection, and it could also lead to corrosion and improper cooling.
Also Read: Can You Put Water Instead of Coolant
Mixing different brands of green coolant
In older cars, the majority of the time, green coolant was used since these vehicles had steel and copper in their cooling system. Green coolant is applied in these old cars to protect the car from corrosion and rust and follows Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT).
Phosphate, silicone, and propylene or ethylene glycol are some of the components in green coolants. You might be able to combine different brands of green coolant as long as they contain the same chemical components. If you combine various kinds of green coolant with diverse chemicals in the components, the combined liquid will begin to overheat your car engine.
Mixing different brands of pink coolant
Pink coolant follows Organic Acid Technology (OAT), but is made mostly with new car models in mind. Some car owners prefer to use this type of coolant because it’s less harmful to the environment. It’s an expensive kind of coolant that is utilized to protect a vehicle engine from corrosion and rust.
It contains potassium hydroxide, ethylene glycol, sebacic acid, diethylene glycol, and water as its basic components. Many different brands of pink coolant with comparable components can be combined without damaging the vehicle’s cooling system.
Mixing different brands of red coolant
Red coolant has a short life span of two years and also follows Organic Acid Technology (OAT). It’s created by combining ethylene glycol, hydrated inorganic salt, diethylene glycol, organic acid salt, and water.
Different brands of red coolant with the same components may be mixed together. It most probably won’t cause any problems with your car’s engine and is mainly used in aluminum radiators.
What Coolant Should Not Be Mixed?
As a general rule, any coolant that does not share the same chemical properties is not the same type and color, should not be mixed. For example, mixing two different types of coolant could result in the coolant not being able to properly protect your engine. In some cases, mixing coolants can also cause corrosion and other problems and even further damage to your engine. So, it is important to only use the correct coolant for your car and not to mix various types and kinds.
The reason it is not recommended to mix different brands of coolant is due to the different additives that are put into each brand. These additives are what give each coolant its coloring and can also help with corrosion protection, heat transfer, and pH levels.
Things to Know Before Mixing Two Different Brands or Types of Coolant
The following are some important guidelines and tips you should be aware of before mixing two different brands or types of coolant:
Model of car
Make sure that the coolants you are considering mixing are compatible with your car’s make and model. Different models of cars have different cooling system requirements, so it’s important to use the coolant that is specifically designed for your car.
The chemical components
Next, make sure that the coolant you are mixing shares the same chemical properties. This is important because if the chemicals are not compatible, they could react in a way that is harmful to your car’s engine. Such as coagulating and clogging up the system.
In a worst-case scenario, the coolant may have an inverse effect on the intention and become corrosive or become ineffective at cooling or stopping the liquid from freezing.
An easy way to recognize if two different brands of coolant can be mixed is by their color. If the coolants are different colors, then it’s best not to mix them as this can lead to severe damage to your car’s cooling system.
Another important check is the lifespan of each coolant. If one coolant has a longer lifespan than the other, then it’s best not to mix them as this can shorten the lifespan of the coolant with a longer lifespan.
Only if all of the above conditions are met, should you even consider mixing two different brands of coolant. Even then, it’s best to consult your car’s owner manual or a professional mechanic before doing so.
What if You Mix the Wrong Engine Coolant – What Do You Do?
If somehow you end up mixing the wrong engine coolant, firstly identify if the composition of the coolant is compatible. If not, then quickly flush out the system and replace it with the correct coolant.
Flushing is the best thing to do and make sure you do the entire cooling system and start over with the right coolant. Failing to do so could lead to serious damage to your engine.
You can do this by yourself, or you can take it to a mechanic. Either way, it’s important to get the correct coolant in your car as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
So, can you mix coolant brands? In short, it is not recommended to mix different types or brands of coolant as this can lead to problems with your car’s engine. If you do mix coolants, make sure they are compatible and have the same chemical properties. Even then, it’s best to consult your car’s owner manual or a professional mechanic before doing so.
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