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Discussion Starter #1
I see that my radiator coolant is bright pink in the reservoir. I see the manual said to use only Toyota super long life coolant or a similar high quality one. My coolant is very slightly down. So if I do not want to buy the Toyota coolant or maybe it might be expensive. Don't know yet cause haven't checked it out. What brand should I buy in the future? What have others used?
 

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well mine is green. i buy the mid priced one off the shelves at a parts store. i have only had to add half a litre in 4 years
 

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If the coolant level is only slightly down I would not bother adding more. But apart from using Toyota coolant I have used Chevron Dex-Cool Extended Life (5 year, 150,000 mile protection) in my motorcycle, which has the same technical requirements as Toyota. The Chevron coolant is pink/red, is free of silicate, phosphate, nitrite, and borate which can damage coolant pumps and seals and claims to meet or exceed Japanese car manufacturer requirements.
 
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I'd stick with Toyota Coolant. Lots of places to buy it. Of all the fluids, this is the ONE that should be OEM.
OBTW, what does 'slightly down' mean?
 

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In my 4.3, the level of coolant is about 1.5 inches below the LOW line.
I topped it up only to lose it within a week, due to expansion.
Toyota should have calibrated the expantion container better.

If you are not losing any more coolant, just let it be.
 

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I would be very careful using non Toyota coolant in an effort to try to save a couple bucks. It might cost you big time down the road. I'm on my first Toyota so maybe what I'm about to say doesn't apply but I know that Honda's coolant is specifically tailored to the engine metallurgy and seals. I've hear too many horror stories of the problems people had when they tried to save a couple dollars on antifreeze as apposed to sucking it up and buying Honda coolant.


If you're going to buy from the local auto store, make absolutely sure the coolant meets Toyota's specs. If there's any question, just buy the Toyota coolant. The consequences can wind up costing you a lot more!


And I agree with Blogson. If it's only slightly down? I'd add the question, "Is it still in the 'normal' range?" Then I wouldn't worry about it.


Drive Safe,
Steve R.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I plan on leaving it alone for now and just watch it now and then. When i go in for my free oil change I will see if dealer tops it off.
 

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Don't worry about your level. If you can see coolant in the over flow bottle your good. It will go up and down in there with temp. And if you do need to top it up use SLL from Toyota. I think its 130000km before its replaced on this one? They keep changing the intervals on us.

When you go get your oil changed you can ask them to top it up a bit more but it may then over flow when it gets really hot out on a long drive.
 

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I would stick with the OEM coolant. JMO. I would check it when hot after a good long drive and keep it topped off at the full hot line. From what I have researched - if the bottle is kept air tight it will last a long time.
 

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The Toyota RAV4 Owner's Manual says that coolant used should be either Toyota Super Long Life Coolant, or "Similar high quality ethylene glycol-based non-silicate, non-amine, non-nitrite, and non-borate coolant with long-life hybrid organic acid technology." Chevron Dex-Cool coolant employs the same labeling and uses the word "carboxylate" in its technical data description, rather than "organic acid," which Toyota uses. Question is, are they actually the same. From an article by Reochem, Inc., Coolant Experts:

"OAT is an acronym for Organic Acid (Additive) Technology which describes the type of materials responsible for the corrosion protection offered by a coolant of this type. OATs are Long Life Coolants (LLC), based on minimally depleting Carboxylate Technology. This technology provides superior protection to all components of the cooling system including those exotic materials like aluminum and magnesium found in the modern day engine."

According to the article Toyota coolant and Chevron Dex-Cool would appear to be based upon the same technology. Perhaps a RAV4 owner who is a chemist could determine whether this is a correct or incorrect assumption.

Sorry that this displays with so much waste space - couldn't be compacted more, apparently du to forum formatting requirements.
 
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I totally agree, this is the one item I will stick with Toyota OEM coolant. Besides our new RAV4 (mainly for the wife), I have a 2007 GMC Yukon, if you have not already, you may want to take a look on the web about what some people posted on used Dex-Cool (not so positive); personally, I have no issue as I replace mine every 4 years regardless. Anyhow, if anyone is thinking to switch to an aftermarket coolant Dex-Cool or otherwise, be sure not to mix two brands/types by not only drain the old/OEM coolant out of the radiator, reserve tank, engine block and flush with fresh water (I would use distill water) before pouring the after market coolant in - with all that trouble, I would just go with OEM.
 

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In Canada, CanadianTire is now selling the "OEM" brand for Toyota, premixed, for $20, 1 gallon (3.78L).

I think the dealer might charge same or even less than $20 in Ottawa! So no real bargain here.

On their website, RecoChem also shows that they make the concentrated version but somehow cannot find it for sale anywhere :(
 

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CanadianTire also sells the "MotoMaster Asian Premixed Long Life Coolant" for $17. But it is pale yellow in colour.
It has a much better life than OEM Super Long Life pink coolant. 10 years/300K km/190K miles.
 

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There is no need to use Toyota OEM coolant. Any "Asian" labelled coolant is fine for aluminum. I use Zerex Premixed Asian, and it's the same pink as Toyota.
 

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I'm going to use either super tech or prestone. Honda charges 28 bucks for a gallon of 50/50 coolant (they can keep it). Not sure what my Toyota charges. I will change it (drop and fill) at 12K. Have 9400 on it now.
 

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I've used prestone and super tech long life coolant in my 2005 camry (185K before trade in) and my accord (141K now) with no issues. I'm a chemist and Honda and Toyota get the same people to make their fluids as after markets. they scare you to buy their fluids. the only one I use is Honda power steering fluid. Otherwise, it's all after market stuff and I've never had an issue.
 

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good point. the extended fluid uses sodium ethyl hexanoate as the additive. I make that where I work. 8 carbons, carboxylate or organic acid. Hope this helps.
 

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all the new fluids in the aftermarket to compete with the dealers is equivalent. they have chemists working at Castrol and the like to analyze and make similar fluids. Just cheaper than the dealer. Equipment in the lab and science is such that you can determine what is in there and at how much down to PPB's. I'm going to do a viscosity test on the WS Toyota trans fluid and the super tech low viscosity fluid for comparison. I'll post soon to let you know.
 
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