Buy­ing the right coolant

The Family Handyman - - CAR + GARAGE -

Most DIYers buy coolant at the auto parts store where the prod­uct is la­beled “universal,” mean­ing it works in all cars. The car­mak­ers dis­agree. Over the past sev­eral years, they’ve is­sued ser­vice bul­letins warn­ing that “universal” coolants are of­ten in­com­pat­i­ble with the newer metal al­loys and gas­kets and seals used in their ve­hi­cles. The car­mak­ers aren’t say­ing that just to in­crease sales of their pro­pri­etary coolants. They’re see­ing real (and ex­pen­sive) dam­age caused by these coolants.

If you use the wrong coolant, you won’t see the dam­age for a few years. But when you do, it’ll cost you a bun­dle. So heed the man­u­fac­turer’s warn­ings and buy coolant right from the dealer. It’ll cost about $6 more per gal­lon (most ve­hi­cles only need 2 gal­lons), but the peace of mind is worth it.

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