Antifreeze experts-this thread's for you

My vehicle requires antifreeze which meets Ford spec ESE-M97B44-A. I have two unopened gallons of Prestone antifreeze (yellow jug) which do not have any compliance specs on the label. I’ve Googled the above number, and found statements about yellow and green coolants. The stuff I’ve got is yellow-green, but not St. Patty’s day green.

Is my older stuff compatible, or not?


Have you tried Prestone’s website?

If the website fails, Prestone may have a technical support/advice number.

It would appear to me – and my Google-fu – that the green stuff is the original formulation, and the yellow stuff is the extended life formulation. The spec you quoted seems to be for the original formulation. So, at a minimal your coolant must meet the older formulation. The newer stuff is better, however those benefits (life, corrosion protection) are not available if you mix with older formulation.

Did you find your answer?
This was on the prestoneFAQ page
. What automobile industry specifications do your antifreezes meet or exceed?
A. Prestone® Antifreeze/Coolant meets or exceeds the performance requirements of the following specifications:

* ASTM D3306
* SAE J1034
* GM 1825M
* Ford ESE M97B44-A
* Chrysler MS7170
* General Services Administration CID A-A-52624

Prestone® Extended Life 5/150 Antifreeze/Coolant meets or exceeds the following industry standards and specifications:

* GM 6277M
* Ford WSS-M97B44-D

When tested in ASTM D 1384, D 4340, D 2570, and D 2809, Prestone® Extended Life 5/150 Antifreeze/Coolant will meet the chemical, physical property characteristics and performance requirements of the following standards and specifications:

* GM 1825M
* GM 1899
* Ford WSE-M97B44-A
* Ford ESE-M97B44-B
* DaimlerChrysler MS 7170 and MS 9769
* General Services Administration A-A-52624
* ASTM D 3306
* SAE J 1034
* ASTM D 4985

If the antifreeze in question does not have any claim to be extended-life, it almost certainly is conventional (IAT) which would make it the right stuff. Color is only helpful within a given brand, from brand to brand there are no standards or universal conventions about what color dye they use.

Ford ESE M97B44-A?
Ford ESE-M97B44-B?
Ford WSE-M97B44-A?
Ford WSS-M97B44-D?

Eeny-meeny-miney-mo. Pick a coolant by the toe. What happened in the coolant industry to have such goofy designations? It’s so simple with motor oil - if the manufacturer says to use grade SG or better, it’s easy to understand that you need to use SG, SH, SI, SJ, and so on. and that coding applies to pretty much any engine on the continent, regardless of who made it, and any brand of oil.

But for coolant, what’s going on with ESE, WSE, etc and the -whatever letters, and a different spec per manufacturer? How did we get a simple and coherent standard for oil, while coolant is a no-man’s land with dozens of different specs?

Those designations don’t reflect the coolant industry, they reflect how Ford likes to label things. Those are strictly Ford numbers. GM has its own designations for specs, as do most car makers. Collect them all and win a prize. :smiley:

Nowadays there are three basic types of coolant for passenger cars. They are IAT (inorganic acid technology - “conventional”), OAT (organic acid technology - Dexcool type), and HOAT (hybrid organic acid technology - “European” type).

Oil is not as simple as just the API grades you’ve related. There are also ratings by ILSAC, ACEA, SAE, etc. In a nutshell, new technology and new designs in engines have required new technology and formulation in oil and coolant, so it’s all more complicated than it was decades ago.

Thanks. I was attempting to go by the information on Prestone’s website, but of course they aren’t showing the same jug I bought a few years ago, and further muddy the overflow tank with ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ for a product that’s really kinda both.

Of course, it would be way too easy to put a given ‘color’ of antifreeze in a like colored jug, right?

I prefer to use the military spec when I’m comparing automotive chemicals. They don’t screw around. If it doesn’t meet the criteria it won’t have the same spec.