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Replacing Antifreeze

10-11-2004, 03:17 PM
I need to change the antifreeze on my 2003 Camry for the first time. Is this as simple as draining the current antifreeze via spigot (including catch basin) and refilling with the appropriate mixture? My old Honda had a more elaborate setup including relief valves and a procedure for cycling the temperature (to open and close the thermostat) to make sure there were no air pockets. Haynes doesn't make a manual for the 2003 Camry, so I want to make sure I'm not missing something. Any suggestions or opinions are welcome.

Brian R.
10-12-2004, 01:02 AM
Yes, it should be that simple. After you fill it, start the engine with the heater on and the radiator open. Maintain the antifreeze level in the radiator until the radiator fan has come on three times, close the radiator cap and fill the overflow tank to the full level. If there is a higher fill point than the radiator cap, use the other fill point instead.

10-13-2004, 10:42 AM
Brian - many thanks for your help. Greatly appreciated!

10-13-2004, 11:18 PM
it is that EZ but if you can use toyota red,dont use the green if you can

Brian R.
10-14-2004, 01:22 AM
You're welcome

10-20-2004, 08:51 PM
I used the Toyota red last time I changed my antifreeze, but only because I happened to be at the dealer. What does the red offer that the green doesn't?

10-21-2004, 12:00 AM
its not as carousive (spelling?)
it doesnt eat up the motor as fast

Brian R.
10-21-2004, 01:34 AM
The only difference I know of between the two types of antifreeze is the green is mostly ethylene glycol and is poisonous. Dogs love it and will die if they drink too much. The red antifreeze is made of mostly propylene glycol and is non-toxic. They are different colors so you don't inadvertently mix them.

Both have corrosion inhibitors so they should both be safe for your engine. The green is not safe to spill unless you wash it away with a hose so that no animal can drink it.

In either case, make sure you use distilled or deionized water to compound the coolant mixture.

10-21-2004, 11:06 AM
How big of a deal is it if you DIDN'T use distilled water?

Brian R.
10-21-2004, 12:39 PM
Not sure, but probably just kills the corrosion resistance of the antifreeze sooner. It isn't fatal.

10-22-2004, 11:28 PM
Is it ok to use the red anti-freeze in ANY car such as Subaru?

Brian R.
10-23-2004, 12:59 AM
I doubt there is very much difference between the red and green, but I don't know for sure.

10-23-2004, 12:49 PM
Some good info. Bottom line use Toyota (OEM) red to protect metal and seals. Use de-mineralised or distilled water. Minerals dissolve into scale that clings to metal and clogs radiator passages.
There are currently five main types of antifreeze. In all cases the 'anti-freeze' properties last the life of the coolant - it is the various additives that deteriorate with time. These additives include anti-foaming agents, surfactants (to improve the 'wetting' of the coolant and hence give better heat transfer) and anti-corrosion additives.

1. Ethylene Glycol - this is the traditional stuff, used since the 1950's. It uses silicates to stop corrosion by passivating the metal surface. This type of anti-freeze is suitable for most European cars, but not Japanese cars. Japanese manufacturers normally recommend a low- or no-silicate formulation due to the nature of the seal materials that they use (see below).
Typical service life of 2-4 years.

2. Ethylene Glycol: Low or no-silicate formulation. This is specified by most Japanese cars. OEM Nissan, Toyota 'red' etc. antifreezes use phosphates rather than silicates to inhibit corrosion. Silicates are abrasive and the use of high silicate antifreezes in Japanese cars may result in premature failure of seal materials.
Typical service life of 2-4 years.

3. Mono Propylene Glycol - this still uses silicates and is claimed to last 4 years. Mono Propylene Glycol does not conduct heat as well as Ethylene Glycol and currently carries NO recommendation from any major car manufacturer- and some actually caution against it. The main claim to fame for Mono Propylene Glycol is that its less toxic than Ethylene Glycol.
Typical service life of 2-4 years.

4. Organic Acid Technology (OAT) - e.g. GM 'DexCool'. Introduced in 1995, this is a recyclable and biodegradable antifreeze which is based on organic acids and is silicate- and phosphate-free. However, due to the nature of the chemicals used, it can attack certain seal and gasket materials and therefore should only be used in vehicles for which it is factory specified.
OAT antifreeze MUST NOT be mixed with the types listed above - if you wish to switch to OAT type then the cooling system must first be chemically flushed.
The claimed service life of the corrosion inhibitor package is about 5 years, or 100-150,000 miles.

5. Ethylene Glycol-based 'Hybrid Organic Acid Technology' (HOAT). Uses Ethylene Glycol, but with OAT-based corrosion inhibitors and some added silicates; most usually BASF's "Glysantin" additive package is used (also known as 'G-05'). HOAT is less agressive than straight OAT anti-freeze and has better cavitation resistance. Halfords 'Advanced Antifreeze' is an HOAT formulation. Again, best to thoroughly flush your system if switching to it.
Lasts 4-5 years.

The bottom line is to refill your engine with what the factory supplied and do a flush-and-refill every 4 years maximum. If you have a Japanese car, stick to the maker's brand since non-OEM coolants may contain higher levels of potentially damaging silicates.

If mixing your coolant from a 'concentrate' then use demineralised or distilled water. Tap water often has a lot of dissolved minerals in it which can leave scale deposits inside the engine's coolant passages.

Black Ex Coupe
10-23-2004, 03:39 PM
my question is where do i get de-mineralised or distilled water?

10-24-2004, 03:23 PM
Most etc sell distilled water. Usually in gallon jugs like milk. Most people buy it for their steam irons so they don't scale up and discolor clothing when ironing. You also use it to refill non-sealed car battery cells.

Black Ex Coupe
10-25-2004, 10:40 PM
Most etc sell distilled water. Usually in gallon jugs like milk. Most people buy it for their steam irons so they don't scale up and discolor clothing when ironing. You also use it to refill non-sealed car battery cells.

alright...thanks a lot i've been wondering where to get it.

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