What Is The Difference Between Green And Orange Antifreeze?

Is it ok to mix green and orange antifreeze

Saving the engine from overheating or freezing without an antifreeze is not possible.

This automotive liquid is vital for balancing temperature inside the engine of your vehicle. That is why it is essential to use the most appropriate kind of Antifreeze.

The thing here to understand is which type of coolant is better to use and what is the difference between the orange and green Antifreeze?

The answer to the question is there is no difference between the two. The purpose of both orange and the Antifreeze is the same- to keep the engine safe from overcooling and overheating.

They are also adequate safeguards against the deterioration of the cooling system.

Orange Vs Green Coolant

Indeed both the coolants are meant for a similar purpose. However, their ingredients and technologies are different in some ways.

The differences are discussed in detail below.

1. Ingredients

The major components found in green coolants are Silicates and Phosphates. These are the best protectors against corrosion.

The major problem that occurs with the use of phosphate is that it can be reactive against minerals in hard water, which eventually leads to scale formation.

What you need to know is that working of coolant is the best with the balanced ratio with water. Avoid the use of hard water as it can cause the formation of scales in the cooling system.

Besides these chemicals, this green-colored antifreeze comes in ethylene glycol or propylene glycol too. The use of propylene glycol is preferred by the manufacturers because it has less toxic effect than ethylene glycol.

It is also more effective in giving the engine protection against over-cooling or freezing.

The orange coolant has carboxylates in it, which inhibits the corrosion process effectively. These carboxylates work on only those metal surfaces which require protection.

This happening is contrary to phosphates and silicates in green colored coolants, which cover the complete surface of the cooling system.

The utilization of carboxylates is beneficial for modern engines in many ways.

It is protective for aluminum when the temperature is high. It is also effective in transferring the heat, which increases their life-span.

2. Technology

Technology is the worth mentioning distinction between a green coolant and orange antifreeze.

Inorganic additive technology is used by the green coolant and organic acid echnologies by the orange coolant.

Only the technologies will give you a hint as to what type of components your radiator’s liquid includes.

Inorganic addictive technology is used by a green coolant. This is a comparatively older technology.

The coolant makers make green antifreeze using this technology for the older version cars (the ones that were manufactured before 2000).

In most cars out there, radiators that are used are made of copper and steel components. And the inorganic substances do not have the element of carbon in their chemical composition.

Such kinds of engine coolants have the characteristics of anti-corrosion inclusions. They can last for almost 2 to 3 years. After this time span, the coolant needs either cleaning or replacement.

Organic acid technologies are used in the orange coolant.

This is inclusive of the chemicals which carry carbon because organic compounds contain carbon in them. This is the latest technology and is quite conducive to the engines of newer car models.

Modern cars have been shifted to nylon and aluminum from steel and copper in their cooling systems.

These additions in an orange antifreeze stop corrosion on the one hand, and on the other hand, it helps the engine to cool down.

Is It Ok To Mix Two Types Of Antifreeze Or Coolants?

The answer to the question, in a nutshell, is no.

The logical reason is that when the orange and green antifreeze are intermixed, it can result in a chemical reaction and the ultimate effect it produces is that it thickens it into a gel-like fluid.

Whereas what your engine requires is liquid rather than gel. The gel will not let the cycling process go well through the system.

Improper cooling can cause overheating of the components, which will lead to unwanted consequences.

For How Long Does An Antifreeze Last? And How Will You Know If It Is Time To Change It?

As it has already been explained comprehensively that your engine will be affected badly if it lacks proper coolant, the good news is that both the antifreeze last for quite a long time.

Tentatively green will last for about three years or 36,000 miles, and orange for five years and 150,000 miles.

Keep An Eye On The Color

It is better to keep a check on this at the time of oil change as it is the best time.

If it seems to appear rusty in color, it is a clear indicator that the element that prevents it has become ineffective. It is the right time to clean the system or adding some fresh coolant.

If the coolant appears to be milky in color, it means that there is some oil in it. This is a clear sign of leakage at some point.

It is a warning for you that your engine is being affected and the is defect is that either it is running short of lubricant or its coolant has become defective and not working well.

It is certainly a twofold risk.

Look For The Texture

Rubbing a small amount of coolant between your fingers will make you know if it is sandy and dirty. Pointing to the fact that the system requires proper cleaning and changing of antifreeze.


Q1. Can Water Replace An Antifreeze Or Coolant?

The answer to that is a straight NO.

Despite the fact that water has a high rate of heat transfer, we must keep in mind that it has a low boiling point as compared to coolants, which is why it evaporates at a faster rate.

On the other hand, the water freezes at 0-degree celsius, which is not suitable for colder regions. Last but not least, water lacks inhibitors for corrosion.

Q2. Are Coolants And Antifreeze Two Different Things?

No, let’s break this myth. Coolant and antifreeze are totally the same.

It is just that in colder regions, the manufacturers promote their product as antifreeze, and in hotter regions, the manufacturers promote their product as coolants.

Q3. How Should One Drain The Used Antifreeze/Coolant?

Here’s a highly essential thing to keep in mind about the used coolants. You should never waste it improperly, just down the drains.

The reason for that is that elements such as propylene glycol and ethylene glycol are poisonous as they contain lead from the vehicle’s engine.

So if you just drain it like that, you’re likely to pollute the environment. You can go to your nearest collection center to dispose it off.


Despite the fact that the green and orange antifreeze are divergent, the reality is that both are potent engine coolants.

The constituent components of green antifreeze are inorganic as it utilizes (IAT) Inorganic Additive Technology, while the components of orange antifreeze are organic as it uses Organic Acid Technology (OAT).

It is pertinent to mention that mixing these coolants would be an adventure that can lead you to irreparable damage. Therefore you better not indulge in making such an experiment.

The most obvious result of this mixture will be that it will turn into a gel-like thick substance that will prevent the coolant’s smooth working. The end result will be overheating.


Written by Kane Dan

Is it normal for brakes to squeak after being changed

Why Are My Brakes Squealing With New Brakes?

How does your car act up when the fuel pump is going out

Symptoms Of A Bad Or Failing Fuel Pressure Regulator