You can do this to your sweetheart or daughter! But isn't coolant just supposed to be green? Not so. But is all the coolant - apart from the waterless one we recently mentioned - the same? Mwah. Kind of.
We received a few interesting responses to the text about waterless coolant. We're going back a step. To ordinary. And antifreeze.
One coolant is not the other
Coolant protects the engine block against scale deposits, corrosion, foaming, overheating and: freezing. It is demineralized (completely salt-free and lime-free) water with additives (additives). It ensures that an engine does not overheat, it prevents freezing of the coolant and protects the engine block, the water pump and the radiator against corrosion.
In short: it is indispensable. But there are different types, in different colors. The range of different coolants has grown historically. Over the years, the requirements that were imposed on it and the 'upgrades' that were required for that were extra protective and cleaning additives.
The three 'basic' types
There are actually three types of coolant: G11, G12 and G13. Each 'type' has its own color. The 'G-designation' was once devised by Volkswagen, a company that has long been a leader when it comes to coolants. There are brands that give their own 'smell' to the same stuff by using their own name.
When coolant was still green. Or blue
G11 is the oldest type of coolant of the mentioned types. G11 is usually blue (sometimes green) and contains silicates. Silicates are salts. As a result, the stuff is only suitable for cast iron engine blocks. If you use it in engine blocks with aluminum heads / water pumps / radiator parts, it is corrosive. Something true for example Triumph Stag drivers have paid their tuition fees.
Red or yellow
G12 came later when aluminum motors / heads became common. This liquid is red, sometimes yellow. In contrast to G11, G12 is based on Organic Acid - Organic Acids Technology (OAT). This means, among other things, that G12 does not contain silicates, so that it is not harmful to aluminum parts. In addition, G12 contains improved additives that protect the cooling system. In 2005 G12 got an update: G12 +. The improvement came from a package of better-balanced additives. G12 + is purple or colorless and is also called universal coolant. The stuff can be mixed well with other coolants, an action that is usually not recommended. And then there is also an upgraded G12 +, the G12 ++ which is also called G13 for convenience.
The prices of coolant
The prices range from 'almost nothing' at retailers such as the Action to amounts around € 20 for five liters at the specialist trade. There may be quality differences in the additions. They are also for sale at gas stations. But the price is usually significantly higher there.
And that pink stuff?
That was meant for a classic Volvo. Volvo has made its own coolant with a yellow color. The alternative that is offered for this is Glysantin G30. Xtra Antifreeze G30® is based on ethylene glycol that must be diluted with water before use. Xtra Antifreeze G30® contains a corrosion inhibitor package based on organic acid salts. The pink product is widely applicable. It is actually comparable to G12.
Then it is time to keep an eye on the coolant