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Old 05-10-2019, 12:53 PM
X. L. Lent is offline
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Help! Put green coolant into motor that has orange coolant


This morning I topped off my radiator with green coolant - I used about a pint with pint of distilled
water. Problem is the car has an orange colored coolant. So
far I have driven my car 20 miles to work and will have to drive 20 miles
back home tonight. After I got to work I looked up mixing orange green coolants
and found the they should not be mixed. Car is Volkswagen Golf.

1) Should I get the radiator and engine flushed out?
2) Can I drive home without any damage to the engine?

Last edited by X. L. Lent; 05-10-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:10 PM
Nava is offline
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The color is just dye; it affects the functionality of the coolant less than the dye on your underpants affects their own functionality. Whomever is saying that you shouldn't mix colors is talking out of his ass. There is nothing to worry about, just keep driving normally.

Last edited by Nava; 05-10-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:13 PM
Tired and Cranky is offline
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nm.

Last edited by Tired and Cranky; 05-10-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
The color is just dye; it affects the functionality of the coolant less than the dye on your underpants affects their own functionality. Whomever is saying that you shouldn't mix colors is talking out of his ass. There is nothing to worry about, just keep driving normally.
That is not true at all. For at least any reputable brand of coolant, the different colors represent different chemistry.

Orange and green, when mixed, make a gel.

But what's weird is that orange is typically GM's Dexcool or a compatible product. VWs use a series of standard coolants that are blue, red or purple depending on the year and what standard was in place. And not all of the VW standard coolants are mixable either.

http://www.underhoodservice.com/volk...ants-tech-tip/
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
The color is just dye; it affects the functionality of the coolant less than the dye on your underpants affects their own functionality. Whomever is saying that you shouldn't mix colors is talking out of his ass. There is nothing to worry about, just keep driving normally.
100% BAD ADVICE!

The color may be just dye, but in the US, the industry has moved to Green= Glycol-based, Red = OAT-based, Yellow= HOAT-based.

Mixing glycol and OAT or HOAT will cause damage to seals and the engine block. Check what type of antifreeze your car requires, and compare to what you used. If they are not the same, take it to a service station and have it completely flushed and refilled.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:26 PM
Rocketeer is offline
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There are different types of coolants, and the difference is not just in the dye. Mixing coolants can cause problems: https://kernersvilleautocenter.com/t...range-coolant/
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
The color is just dye; it affects the functionality of the coolant less than the dye on your underpants affects their own functionality. Whomever is saying that you shouldn't mix colors is talking out of his ass. There is nothing to worry about, just keep driving normally.
Sorry, that's just plain false.

Antifreeze is dyed to whatever color the manufacturer chooses and may help to distinguish the type of antifreeze (IAT, OAT or HOAT) or may be used to market variations of antifreeze formulas within a brand. Colour is NOT standardized across all brands and formulations.


To the OP, this information should be in your owner's manual and also printed on the cap to your coolant reservoir.

AFAIK , Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche vehicles use a low silicate OAT formulation. If you did not add the correct formula you will need a radiator and coolant system flush.

That said, you're probably fine for 20 miles but i wouldn't leave it for long.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:09 PM
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My brother used to flush out his own radiator once every year or so, right in the front yard. But that was the 1980's. I suspect now-a-days, everyone is encouraged to have it done by a pro at a shop -- not just to keep the shops in business, but because they are presumably expected to recover and properly-dispose of the old coolant, rather than letting it go into the environmental water systems.

--G!
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:24 AM
Sparky812 is offline
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Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
My brother used to flush out his own radiator once every year or so, right in the front yard. But that was the 1980's. I suspect now-a-days, everyone is encouraged to have it done by a pro at a shop -- not just to keep the shops in business, but because they are presumably expected to recover and properly-dispose of the old coolant, rather than letting it go into the environmental water systems.

--G!
Even in the 80s, this would have been a reckless thing to do. Antifreeze/coolant is extremely poisonous, especially to pets, small animals, etc.. They are attracted to it's odour and sweet taste and wil lap it up, when given the chance. Even the smallest doses can be very harmful, if not fatal.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
Yeah, I've heard that too. On the other hand, when I actually mix any coolents together, they don't gel. And when I look at the chemistry, I don't see anything that could gel:

Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
, the industry has moved to Green= Glycol-based, Red = OAT-based, Yellow= HOAT-based.
They're all glycol-base. OAT and HOAT are additives. Traditional (green) coolents had silicate and/or phosphate additives.

I am not a Chemist. Perhaps "Orange" was some other kind of coolent that is not in use now.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

According to the DEX-COOL manufacturer, "mixing a 'green' [non-OAT] coolant with DEX-COOL reduces the batch's change interval to 2 years or 30,000 miles, but will otherwise cause no damage to the engine".[28] DEX-COOL antifreeze uses two inhibitors: sebacate and 2-EHA (2-ethylhexanoic acid), the latter which works well with the hard water found in the United States, but is a plasticizer that can cause gaskets to leak.
  #11  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:30 AM
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VWs can be really fussy about their coolant. The OP didn’t say what year or specific model Golf they have, so they need either G12, G12+, or G13, and there are specific interchange rules among those three.

It does sound like someone (hopefully!) flushed it and put in Dex-Cool. The coolant overflow tank should be labeled with the appropriate type of coolant. While you’re flushing, it may be a good time to proactively replace the water pump and timing belt.
  #12  
Old 05-15-2019, 12:27 PM
HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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That story about mixing oils or coolants and having them turn to gel has been going around for decades. 1 pint in your system is nothing to worry about. From now on add the right coolant and forget about the 1 pint mistake.
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