Choosing the correct antifreeze/coolant for your Ford F150 can be a daunting task, mainly because a wrong antifreeze can damage your engine through corrosion and cavitation.
The recommended color of antifreeze for your Ford F150 is Orange, and the only verified provider is Motorcraft.
Motorcraft offers the orange antifreeze/coolant in both pre-diluted and concentrated versions, and it is compatible with most trucks released after 2012.
This Orange antifreeze protects the engine from extreme temperatures by stopping water from freezing cold weather and boiling in the scorching heat.
Apart from acting as a temperature regulator, antifreeze also acts as a lubricant for different parts it comes in contact with and protects the engine from corrosion.
It is also worth mentioning that many drivers tend to confuse Motorcraft Orange with Dexcool (another brand); however, Dexcool should not be used in a Ford F150 as Ford does not verify it.
Some users also mix up green and orange antifreeze and ultimately get confused about which antifreeze to go with. To clear these confusions, we have laid out a detailed guide for you below.
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Recommended by Ford: Motorcraft Antifreeze/Coolants
Ford itself recommends Motorcraft Antifreeze/Coolants as they meet all engineering standards of Ford and are subjected to rigorous in-vehicle testing.
These antifreeze/coolants are now available in a pre-diluted form, and they have certain advantages over other coolants that make them an ideal choice for a Ford F150.
- There’s no chance of human error as the antifreeze is already prediluted
- It saves time as users don’t have to look for distilled water
- It provides optimum protection from corrosion, heat, and freezing
Motorcraft antifreeze/coolants also offer freeze protection up to -34 °F and heat safety up to 265 °F. It is also available in two convenient sizes: 1-gallon bottles for personal use and 55-gallon drums for shop use.
Lastly, Motorcraft antifreeze/coolants meet Ford’s warranty requirement and fit the user’s budget.
A Colorful Journey: Understanding Antifreeze Coolants
Antifreeze is available in many different colors in the market, including green, orange, yellow, purple, and red. This has led to many users differentiating antifreeze based on color, which is not the right approach.
It is essential to understand what the color entails before using it in your Ford F150 to avoid any unforeseen damage to your truck’s engine. The Ford F150 uses several antifreeze coolants.
Let’s have a closer look at this relationship.
Green Antifreeze (ethylene glycol)
Green antifreeze or ethylene glycol is perhaps the most common type of antifreeze that uses Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT). This is an older antifreeze that is known for its anti-corrosive properties.
The major downside of this antifreeze is its short life span as it needs to be changed after every two years or 48,000 miles.
Motorcraft Premium Concentrated Antifreeze/Coolant or Motorcraft Premium Prediluted Antifreeze/Coolant is recommended for models released till 2002. This Motorcraft antifreeze is fluorescent green in color and compatible with gas or diesel engines.
Orange Antifreeze (Dexcool)
Orange antifreeze or propylene glycol gained popularity after engine materials shifted to nylon and aluminum. Orange antifreeze uses Organic Additive Technology (OAT) which has a reduced amount of silicates and is more environmentally friendly.
However, it can stop offering protection against corrosion if contaminated, which is a severe downside. When orange antifreeze starts running low, oxygen can enter and block internal processes damaging essential components. Overall, orange antifreeze is a robust coolant and lasts for up to 5 years or 150,000 miles.
Motorcraft Orange Concentrated Antifreeze/Coolant or Motorcraft Orange Prediluted Antifreeze/Coolant is recommended for most models released after 2012. This Motorcraft antifreeze is orange in color, compatible with gas or diesel engines, and meets Ford’s requirements.
Yellow antifreeze is another antifreeze coolant compatible with Ford F150. This antifreeze uses Hybrid Organic Additive Technology (HOAT) which offers more resistance against corrosion while also having a longer life span.
This antifreeze combines the OAT and IAT technology to provide more excellent resistance against corrosion. Customers can use it for up to 5 years or 150,000 miles.
Motorcraft Gold Concentrated Antifreeze/Coolant or Motorcraft Gold Prediluted Antifreeze/Coolant is recommended for most models released between 2002-2012. This Motorcraft antifreeze is yellow-gold, compatible with gas or diesel engines, and meets Ford’s specifications.
Best Coolants for Ford F-Series
While Ford recommends Motorcraft Premium Antifreeze/Coolant as it meets its specifications, there are undoubtedly other coolants that you can use in your Ford F-series.
While these coolants certainly complete the job, it is suggested that you use your truck’s user manual to opt for the best coolant/antifreeze for your vehicle.
Valvoline Zerex Antifreeze/Coolant
Valvoline Zerex is one of the best antifreeze/coolants in the market using Hybrid Organic Additive Technology (HOAT) and low silicate and pH formulas.
It also uses a quality deformer system that helps protect plastic and different finishing material from any damage.
The use of a phosphate-free formula also safeguards your engine from corrosion and cavitation. Valvoline Zerex offers protection for five years/150,000 miles for light-duty vehicles and three years/300,000 miles for heavy-duty vehicles.
Another classic antifreeze/coolant available in the market is the Mishimoto Liquid Chill Synthetic Engine Coolant which comes with several exciting features.
This coolant reduces engine wear and tear by protecting against extreme temperatures. Its specialty lies in its formula, void of nitrates, phosphates, silicates, and other compounds that block radiators and prove detrimental to the engine body.
Mishimoto Antifreeze is compatible with diesel and gas engines and offers a whopping service life of 7+ years or 750,000+ miles in a heavy-duty diesel vehicle.
Star Brite Antifreeze Coolant
Star-Cool Premium Synthetic PG Engine Coolant is another incredible coolant that helps maintain optimal engine temperatures and develop the highest horsepower.
It also distinguishes itself from other coolants by sealing pinhole leaks and small cracks and using a non-toxic propylene glycol formula that protects against clogging.
It is also compatible with diesel and gas engines and comes with a prediluted version that reduces mixing errors by technicians. This coolant is an ideal choice for year-round use and offers a service life of 7+ years or 750,000+ miles for diesel engines.
OEM Antifreeze Coolant
OEM Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant is a gold-colored coolant that is compatible with Ford specifications. This coolant offers extended resistance against corrosion, overheating, and freezing caused by rust or cavitation.
It is aluminum compatible, and its phosphate-free formula contains low amounts of silicates and no amines. It has a service time of 5 years or 250,000 kilometers, and it is available in prediluted and concentrated versions.
Engine Ice Antifreeze Coolant
Advertised as ‘The #1 Powersports Coolant’, this coolant offers high superior heat reduction for most vehicles, including trucks. It provides overheating protection for up to 256 °F and freezing safety for up to -7 °F.
It helps safeguard against radiator and engine damage with its phosphate-free formula. It is also biodegradable and non-toxic, optimizing your engine’s temperatures more effectively and maximizing horsepower. It is also available in ½ gallon bottles making it convenient to use and store.
Can I use a universal coolant in my Ford F150?
It is not advisable to use a universal coolant in your Ford F150 as it is highly likely that it will not contain all the chemicals (such as nitrites and silicates) required by your vehicle. As technology has evolved, it is also improbable that one coolant/antifreeze will work on all vehicles.
What happens if I mix one or more coolants?
The answer is NO. You should never mix different coolants as all of them use different technologies. Mixing different coolants can essentially turn them into sludge, damaging your engine and other vital car parts.
What if I used the wrong coolant/antifreeze?
There can be several problems when you use the wrong coolant or antifreeze. It can result in reduced protection against corrosion which can affect the engine and cooling system component.
A wrong coolant can also hurt your engine and cylinder wall as well as the water pump. Some coolant passageways may also get blocked as a direct result of using the wrong antifreeze.
How many gallons of antifreeze is ideal?
The engine of your Ford has a capacity of 5.4 gallons, and Ford recommends using a 50/50 ratio of distilled water and antifreeze for perfect results. This means you should use 2.7 gallons of water and 2.7 gallons of antifreeze for optimal performance.
Choosing the right and most effective coolant/antifreeze for your Ford F150 series can be a demanding exercise for many drivers. However, you must select an antifreeze/coolant compatible with your Ford’s model.
The best way is to read your truck’s manual and act accordingly, especially if your Ford F150 is new and still under warranty. It is also vital that you don’t apply unauthentic hacks to increase the coolant’s effectiveness or use unofficial coolants not verified by Ford.
You must ensure your radiator is in good health and choose a reliable coolant/antifreeze to keep your Ford F150 well-maintained.
More Tips at: FordDesktops.com