Can You Mix Red and Green Antifreeze? (Explained)

Is engine overheating troubling you? The right way to stabilize temperature is to use antifreeze. This excellent chemical saves your engine from overheating. Once, there was only green antifreeze. Now, improvements have occurred, and we can use colored antifreeze. So, the question comes up, can you mix red and green antifreeze? 

The answer is “No.” Old automobile engines are compatible with green antifreeze. Red and other colored antifreeze are better than green antifreeze, though. However, mixing them both for a machine is not a wise decision. You’ll end up damaging the temperature system of the engine. 

Yet, you might need more info about green and red antifreeze. Without knowing the proper antifreeze to use, you can damage your engine’s heating system. And, this is why let’s have a look at the available information about antifreeze for vehicles. 

What is Antifreeze? 

Let’s start the answer by saying that antifreeze is a savior of your vehicle’s engine. It’s a liquid substance that cools down automobile engines and stabilizes extreme temperature. 

Antifreeze liquid is the key reason that your machine can remain in good shape even after several years of use. The main base of this chemical is glycol. It’s poured directly without adding water. 

Why does Antifreeze Come in Different Colors?

The color of antifreeze gives an idea of which one is suitable. Previously, green antifreeze was the only color. Now, there’re various colors, and you can open the bonnet and find out the same antifreeze to use by seeing the color. 

Green Antifreeze

Green antifreeze is primarily compatible with old engines. This chemical gives the maximum support in preventing extreme temperature. It comes with an up to 5-year endless possibility. However, for many users, five years is not sufficient. So, they switch to the newer versions of antifreeze. 

Red antifreeze

Red antifreeze happens to be a newer version evolved to provide the maximum support to your engine. It lasts long and gives more improved performances. Because of the reddish color, it’s mainly known as red antifreeze. 

It has a more effective performance than its previous versions. New vehicles have replaced old green antifreeze with red antifreeze. 

Can You Mix Red and Green Antifreeze?

Now we’ve come to the center of our discussion. 

The mixture of an organic and an inorganic chemical is not that easy. It’ll create a jelly-like substance. 

But, you shouldn’t mix both types of antifreeze and use them in your engine. 

The reason is apparent. Green one is made of inorganic additive technology. On the other hand, the red one is made of organic acid technology. There is a certain chance of corrosion. Blockage and less performance are imminent. 

If you’re worried about an explosion after mixing them, it is not necessary. It will not explode. Yet, the outcome is not satisfactory for the engine. 

Therefore, the answer is, you CAN, but you SHOULD NOT mix red and green antifreeze. This will certainly not improve engine performance. 

The Difference Between Red and Green Antifreeze 

You might’ve already found out that red and green are different in their initiation in the industry. However, we can focus on some significant differences in this section. Let’s move on to disagreements between red and green antifreeze. 


The first difference is longevity. You’ll need to change green antifreeze once every 2-3 years or 30-60 thousand miles. The range differs according to the engine’s stability and performance. 

On the other hand, red antifreeze is a new age technology that can serve the user for 5-6 years or 120-130 miles. However, you can flush out green antifreeze for up to 5 years and the red one for up to 10 years. 


Red antifreeze is made of organic acid technology. Its substance is found in nature. Green antifreeze, on the contrary, is an inorganic additive technological outcome. The inorganic chemical is not a good factor for the environment. Sustainability may face issues. 

The organic compound is always supportive of nature. As red antifreeze is made of organic acid, this’ll get a better impression on a mechanic. 


Red antifreeze offers maximum strength to the engine. It has components for cooling down the engine and making a stable result. However, the green one is comparatively lower in the stabilization perspective. 


In terms of efficiency, green antifreeze is less efficient than red antifreeze. You can’t just put anything in your engine. Suitability and compatibility are two factors impacting the engine’s efficiency. 

What Happens If I Apply To The Wrong Color Antifreeze?

If you’re asking the question, you may already have the answer. The wrong color won’t provide any correct result. There’re several consequences following the application of the wrong color antifreeze to your engine. 

The immediate result of using the wrong antifreeze is facing damage in the flow of your coolant. It’ll be halted. You’ll find a different sound coming out of the engine. Such halting will result in blockage. 

When your engine is facing any blockage in the heating system, what can be the possible consequence?

Yes, it’ll overheat. Engine overheating will reduce engine performance drastically. 

Secondly, the engine won’t perform efficiently through radiators, water jackets, and heater core. When the radiator faces issues, the engine’s health will fall drastically.

Thirdly and most importantly, the engine’s water pump won’t operate anymore. Failure to pump is not a good sign for the machine. 

As you identified several dire consequences due to the wrong color of antifreeze, do you still think it’s a good idea? Of course not! 

So, next time before thinking about mixing the red and green antifreeze, remember that it’ll bring only suffering to your engine. 

What To Do If I Have Used A Mixture Of Red And Green Antifreeze?

The mixture is lousy advice. You can’t risk your engine by using such a mixture. However, if you’ve already used a combination and the engine is running, there is hope to save from repair costs. 

It’ll be possible to prevent significant repair of your heating system by using a mixture of red and green antifreeze. 

All you need is to flush out the entire antifreeze from the system. When you’re flushing them out, you must have the correct antifreeze near your hand. 

After complete flushing out, apply the right one. It helps to boost your engine’s performance as per requirement. 

Fix the Problems Caused By Mixing Different Antifreeze

Are you facing problems caused by mixing different antifreeze? If the engine is still running, we insist you take steps to avoid more severe problems. 

Detecting the problem

The solution to any problem begins with detection. Thereby, it would help if you run a diagnosis. If you’re lucky enough, you can detect which parts of your engine got damaged. 

In many cases, water pump issues and radiator blockages are identified in the primary state. 


You’ve to clean the entire pumping process or show it to an expert. For fixing issues of radiators caused by mixing different antifreeze, use the method of disassembling-cleansing-closing. Clogging will go away, and you can further use the engine at its best. 

How To Flush Out The Wrong Antifreeze Mixture From Your Vehicle

You may face questions on flushing out the wrong mixture of antifreeze correctly. Steps are simple and valuable. Follow the instructions below to get the process done. 

Step 1: Identify and remove the radiator cap

Find your engine’s radiator cap. It is generally an easy to open lid. Please remove it. 

Step 2: Drain out all the wrong mixture of antifreeze 

When you remove the cap, the antifreeze will come out of the system. Collect them for putting away. Now, please wait for a while till it drains out all the antifreeze. 

Step 3: Water pouring and engine starting 

This time, you have to pour distilled water into the system. Make it complete and start the engine. Do not turn off the machine for 10 to 15 minutes. It will flush out the wrong antifreeze mixture totally from the system. 

Things to Consider While Using An Antifreeze

There are several ways to consider while using an antifreeze. 

  • The first thing is to know about the correct one. You’ve to read the manual that came with the engine to identify which antifreeze is the best for it. A good antifreeze will have the best heat transferring feature. 
  • Also, it should be safe to use with hard water. A mixture of water is not advised. However, coolant or antifreeze should be safe with water. 
  • You can also consider taking advice from a mechanic before purchasing an antifreeze for your vehicle. The practical inspection is always the best approach to keep your engine healthy and safe. 


Which one is better, antifreeze?

It depends on your vehicle. For the latest vehicle engine, the red one is a better antifreeze. 

What should I do when I already have mixed two different colors of antifreeze? 

Run a diagnosis immediately. And flush out the wrong mixture as soon as possible. 

Can the mixture affect my radiator?

Yes. You need to seek advice from your mechanic to fix the issue. 

How can I know that my vehicle needs new antifreeze?

If you don’t have enough antifreeze in the vehicle, the temperature gauge will show a rise. Low coolant will give a signal, and you’ll have to use new antifreeze. 

How often should I change antifreeze?

It depends on what type of antifreeze you’re using. If it’s green antifreeze, you must change it in 5 years. When your vehicle is using red antifreeze, you should change it once every 10 years.


So, can you mix red and green antifreeze? The answer is a total NO. You can’t mix red and green antifreeze as they’ll do nothing but harm to your engine. You should always avoid such thinking and use the most compatible antifreeze for the engine. 

Antifreeze saves your engine from overheating. So, check your machine and heating system always for the right antifreeze. It’ll be the key to get a healthy and perfect automobile engine. 

Happy Driving!

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