Written By: Corey Foy

For businesses in agriculture, construction, and transportation, keeping your fleet operational is crucial. One often-overlooked factor in maintaining optimal performance is your engine coolant. Choosing the right kind can significantly impact your bottom line, minimizing downtime and maximizing engine life. However, while color was a traditional tool used to differentiate the type of coolant, it is just a dye, and does not mean that all coolants of that color are the same. Today, we'll delve into the key differences between red (carboxylate) and green (silicate) coolant, helping you make an informed decision for your fleet. 

Green Coolant: The Traditional Choice

Also known as Inorganic Additive Coolant (IAT), has been the industry standard for decades. It uses silicate technology to form a protective layer on engine components, preventing corrosion. While effective, it has some limitations:

  • Shorter Lifespan: Typically requires replacement every 2-3 years or 30,000 miles. This translates to more frequent maintenance and downtime for your fleet.
  • Increased Wear and Tear: The protective silicate layer can break down over time, potentially leading to increased wear and tear on engine components.
  • Lower Heat Transfer Efficiency: IAT doesn't transfer heat as effectively as newer technologies. This can put a strain on your engines, especially in hot climates or during heavy workloads.
  • Increased Maintenance costs: IAT Coolants require SCA (Supplemental Coolant Additive) testing and top us to the system is being protected.

Red Coolant: The Extended Life Advantage

Also known as Organic Additive Technology (OAT), is a more recent development offering several advantages:

  • Extended Life: Boasts a lifespan of 5+ years or 150,000 miles, significantly reducing the frequency of coolant drains and fills. This translates to less downtime and lower maintenance costs for your fleet.
  • Reduced Wear and Tear: Utilizes carboxylate inhibitors that target existing corrosion without forming a layer throughout the cooling system. This minimizes the risk of buildup and promotes longer engine life.
  • Improved Heat Transfer: Offers superior heat transfer efficiency compared to green coolant. This allows your engines to operate at cooler temperatures, leading to improved performance and oil life.

The Bottom Line: A Cost-Saving Investment

While red coolant might have a higher upfront cost compared to its green counterpart, the extended life and improved engine protection translate to significant long-term savings. Here's a breakdown of the benefits:

  • Reduced Maintenance Costs: Fewer flushes mean less labor and disposal fees.
  • Extended Engine Life: Red coolant protects your engines better, leading to fewer repairs and replacements.
  • Improved Fuel Efficiency: Efficient heat transfer allows your engines to run cooler, potentially lowering fuel consumption. 

By choosing OAT coolant for your fleet, you're investing in long-term operational efficiency and cost savings. 

Remember: Consistent level checks and adherence to manufacturer recommendations are crucial for optimal engine performance, regardless of the coolant type.

If you want to browse 49 North's lineup, check out our online store here. Alternatively, if you have ever wondered if coolant could be causing engine failures, read this blog here.

Lastly, for any questions please call 1.800.463.0354 and speak to our Technical Specialist - Corey Foy or email info@49northlubricants.com.