For a car to continue functioning properly, regular maintenance is essential. If you wish to adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule, knowing what kind of coolant to use is crucial. Understanding how VW G12 coolant differs from other types is crucial for this reason.
The fundamentals of Volkswagen G12 coolant are covered in this guide. We also indicate whether you must use this type or if you have a choice of another kind. Finally, we’ll discuss how to select the proper coolant for your car.
A car’s engine needs coolant or antifreeze to stay cool. Coolants are divided into multiple categories, each with a unique set of additives and qualities. All of the antifreeze you see in stores are made of ethylene glycol and water. But that’s about where the similarities end.
Keep reading to find out how coolants differ from one another, in addition to color and price. We’ll further explain whether it’s feasible to combine different coolants and also help you choose the best antifreeze for your vehicle.
- Engine Cooling System
- Function And Types Of Coolant
- Volkswagen Coolant
- G11 Coolant
- G12 Coolant
- G13 Coolant
- Coolant Mixing
- Choosing The Right Coolant
- Final Conclusion
Engine Cooling System
In order to prevent engine damage, a car engine must be continuously cooled off while it is running. The cooling system works by circulating coolant continuously through channels in the engine block.
The cylinder block is pushed through with coolant that is propelled by a water pump (unless you’re experiencing the symptoms of a bad water pump). These passages allow the solution to move through while absorbing heat from the engine.
This hot fluid exits the engine and exits to the radiator, where it is cooled by the airflow that enters through the radiator grill. The fluid will cool as it travels through the radiator and then return to the engine to absorb additional heat and carry it away.
Between the engine and radiator, there is a thermostat. The thermostat controls what happens to the liquid based on temperature. When the fluid temperature falls below a specific point, the radiator is not used. Instead, the solution is sent back to the engine block.
Until the coolant reaches a particular temperature and the thermostat’s valve opens, the coolant will circulate before passing through the radiator once again for cooling. The extremely high engine temperature makes it simple for the coolant to achieve its boiling point.
The system, nevertheless, is under pressure to stop this from happening. The coolant has a much harder time reaching its boiling point while the system is under strain. But occasionally, pressure builds up and needs to be released in order to prevent the hose or gasket from deflating.
By accumulating it in the reserve tank or coolant overflow tank, the radiator cap releases extra pressure and fluid. The liquid in the storage tank is transferred back to the cooling system for recirculation after it has cooled to an acceptable degree.
Engine Cooling System (And G12 Coolant): Radiator Fan
For the radiator to be efficiently cooled, there must be a continuous flow of air through its center. This happens automatically when the car is moving. But when it is stopped, an airflow aid is used. The engine may power the fan, but unless the engine is running hard, the fan may not always be required as it wastes fuel in the process.
Some cars contain a viscous coupling to help overcome this. A fluid clutch operated by a temperature-sensitive valve that decouples the fan until the coolant temperature reaches a predetermined level. A temperature sensor also turns on and off the electric fan in other autos. In other words, the radiator fan is not working in this case.
The radiator is sealed off by a car thermostat, which is often installed above the pump. This is to allow the engine to warm up rapidly. A chamber containing wax controls a valve on the thermostat.
The wax melts as the engine heats up, expands, and pushes the valve open, allowing coolant to flow through. The valve closes once the engine has stopped and cooled. Since water expands when it freezes, if the water in an engine freezes, the block or radiator may be damaged.
As a result, ethylene glycol, an antifreeze, is typically added (if you’re unsure about the process, head over to our write-up on how to put coolant in your car) to water to reduce its freezing point to a safe level. The antifreeze shouldn’t be drained every summer as it often lasts for two to three years.
Before moving on, if you’re curious, make sure you check out our other coolant-related explainers. We’ve previously discussed what a coolant leak entails, the issue of losing coolant but there’s no leak, the consequences of low coolant levels, and what causes a coolant leak, as well as the symptoms of low coolant.
Engine coolant, also known as antifreeze is typically not given much thought by drivers. It falls under the “check fluids” service along with the oil change.
Nevertheless, engine coolant accomplishes three crucial tasks: it prevents rust and corrosion all year round, reduces the freezing point of the cooling system in winter, and raises the boiling point of the cooling system in summer.
The wrong coolant should not be topped off or refilled in your car’s cooling system, as it could lead to needing expensive repairs. Older cars’ engine cooling systems were primarily made of brass, rubber, and cast iron. Hence, all of the engine coolants were essentially the same at the time.
Modern automotive cooling systems contain components made of steel, magnesium, aluminum, nylon, silicon, copper, and silicon alloys. Your car’s cooling system needs can now differ depending on the year, make, model, engine, and even the country where it was built.
Car owners must understand which sort of engine coolant is best for their vehicle given the variety of variables at play.
G12 Coolant: Antifreeze Types
Finding the appropriate coolant for your car is necessary when it’s time to top off or do a full system flush. Especially, if you’re always concerned about what coolant does my car need. The use of a common coolant by all manufacturers would be convenient, however, this is not the case.
Automobile manufacturers often employ one of three types of coolant: Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT), Organic Acid Technology (OAT), and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT).
Older vehicles typically employ IAT. It is substantially inferior to modern formulae and must be replaced every two years or 24,000 miles. OAT is one of those more modern formulas. Cars using this formula, typically need a change after five years or 50,000 miles.
Finally, unless otherwise mentioned, HOAT is an advanced derivation of OAT and requires the same time change interval. Visit your dealership to ensure you’re getting the appropriate coolant for the task. They will sell the proper coolant for your particular make and model.
The coolant is frequently labeled specifically for the vehicle you’re planning to use it in. The majority of modern coolant jugs are pre-diluted, so keep that in mind when using them. In the past, coolant was always sold as pure coolant, and you had to re-mix it with water.
Although the pre-diluted product is obviously more convenient, you wind up spending far more for less coolant. Auto parts shops will sell a variety of aftermarket coolant brands in addition to the OE options.
Companies like Prestone, Pentafrost, Peak, and others provide variations that they claim are effective for particular brands or nations in general. The majority of the time, these aftermarket choices are less expensive than OE, but it’s always recommended to use actual OE coolant made specifically for your automobile.
The only coolants that should be used in a Volkswagen are G11, G12, or G13 anti-phosphate, anti-amine, and anti-phosphorous coolants. Make sure you choose the coolant depending on whatever the owner’s handbook recommends. Additionally, check your expansion tank for the sort of recombined coolant.
Never use regular store-bought coolant in your Volkswagen, particularly if it contains ethylene glycol because it will interfere with the system. Low-quality coolant will cause your VW’s coolant system to malfunction.
Furthermore, components of the cooling system made of rubber, plastic, and metal might become corroded by poor quality coolant.
Bulging coolant lines and white calcified residue emerging from under the hose clamps will serve as visual indicators of this. The harm occurring internally won’t be visible to you. In the radiator core, deposits will begin to accumulate and hinder the flow of coolant. This will ultimately result in severe mechanical issues.
Engine coolant consists of either propylene glycol or ethylene glycol, along with its own additives. VW antifreeze formulas can be divided into three categories: G11, G12, and G13. Each of these has distinctive qualities and is put to use in various contexts.
The owner’s handbook should always be consulted while changing the engine coolant. It typically needs to be changed every 3 to 4 years. The longer engine coolant is used in an engine, the more it degrades, weakens, and gets dirty.
The engine will be more susceptible to overheating due to this type of corrosive and inadequate coolant. This will shorten the engine’s lifespan.
We strongly advise cleansing and replacing your Volkswagen or Audi’s coolant every 40,000–50,000 miles, or every 3–4 years, whichever comes first, for optimum performance and protection.
G11 is composed of an inorganic silicate base and traditional inorganic additions. It is either blue or green in color and has a boiling point of 221 °F. Although G11 coolant has a low heat transfer quality, certain vehicles up to 2016 may still use it. G11 coolant is typically used in automobiles built before 1996.
G11 was developed utilizing silicate, which provides a protective layer over the inner surface of the system regardless of the presence of corrosion zones. It also contains a modest number of inorganic additions, including phosphate and nitrates.
Three years is typically the service life of this coolant. But as it is utilized, the protective qualities start to lose their effectiveness. Additionally, heat transfer is reduced because this coolant cannot withstand temperatures exceeding 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although the G11 coolant class prevents further corrosion from occurring, it has low stability, poor heat transmission, and brief service life. The G11 coolant can harm the cooling system components when it is worn out because it becomes abrasive.
Due to the lack of protection, G11 isn’t useful for a car with an aluminum radiator or block, unlike G12 coolant. Because the metal cannot be sufficiently protected from high temperatures by the chemicals in G11.
Also, using budget brands is another thing you should avoid. These brands have a history of labeling the level of protection supplied incorrectly.
G12 coolant comes in a variety of forms, but most of them are pink or red in color. These formulations are based on ethylene glycol and carboxylate chemicals because silicates are not present in them.
The anti-corrosion properties, however, are only selectively effective in areas where corrosion is already present due to the newer formulation. G12, G12+ (Pink), and G12++ (Purple) are the three different types of G12 coolants.
Ethylene glycol and carboxylate are combined to form the crimson or pink G12 coolant. It operates at temperatures between 90 and 110 degrees in high-performance engines. G12 coolant has 4 to 5 years of service life.
G12 and G12+ coolants are both members of the organic “long life” coolant class, are used in cars built after 1996, and contain ethylene glycol. However, only G12+ employs a hybrid production method that combines silicate and carboxylate technology.
The G12++ coolant debuted in 2008. This coolant also contains a minor amount of mineral additives because organic and inorganic chemicals were combined. With this combination, it was possible to execute a preventive operation as well as reduce corrosion when it already existed, which was G12’s fundamental flaw.
You must combine and dilute G12 with the proper quantity of distilled water because it is typically sold as a concentrate. The label usually contains this ratio. Additionally, G12+ antifreeze is available, but it is essentially the same. Even though it is red, this coolant is claimed to be better for the environment.
A significant drawback of G12 coolant is that it doesn’t start working until corrosion has started. This action delays the formation of a protective layer and its quick shedding due to vibrations and temperature fluctuations. However, it nevertheless allows for better heat transfer and a longer use period.
The G13 is the most recent coolant class that has been produced since 2012 due to rising environmental regulations. This coolant offers the best cooling and antifreeze properties due to its high boiling point of 347° F and low freezing point of -92 ° F.
Volkswagen cars built after 2008 can utilize G13 coolant, which is appropriate wherever G11 or G12 are used. G13 coolant is a hybrid that contains the ideal balance of silicate and organic ingredients. The useful life of this coolant is 5 years.
G13 has the same great cooling and antifreeze performance as the G12++ and is a purple/violet color. The primary distinction is that it is produced using glycerin rather than glycol.
Glycerin has a substantially lower environmental impact than glycol. While the other is made from mineral oil, the first is a byproduct of the manufacture of biodiesel. According to estimates, the production of G13 results in 11% fewer CO2 emissions than antifreeze containing glycol.
For further healing aluminum protection, G13 has certain silicate additions. This is unlike certain earlier standards that make advantage of OAT technology (Organic Acid Technology).
Due to their silicate additions the long-term use of G13 is perfect for all modern radiators, especially those made of aluminum, cast iron, and magnesium alloys.
The most frequently asked question, regardless of whether you’re instructed to use VW G12 coolant or another kind, is “Can two types of antifreeze be mixed together?” Or, “can you mix coolant colors together“, as well as “can you mix antifreeze together“. This might be feasible in some circumstances.
But several things need to be taken into account. You must comprehend the composition and function of each antifreeze type in order to decide what may and cannot be blended.
The color distinction between coolants is the most noticeable, but it is just aesthetic. The difference in composition is what matters most. Ethylene glycol is combined with an inorganic base in G11. Any substance that works with this base can be combined with it.
Propylene glycol base is a component of G13. Because of its intended increased environmental safety, it doesn’t mix as well with several other substances. It would be better to keep G13 antifreeze from being mixed.
Always make the decision to utilize the recommended products for your car. If you do need to mix a little bit of coolant, though, here are a few pointers.
- Do not mix G11 with G12.
- In some cases, G11 could be mixed with G12+ or G13.
- G12 shouldn’t be mixed with G12 +.
Avoid mixing the coolant unless you are absolutely certain that it is safe for your car. You run the risk of harming the cooling system and radiator by deviating from the manufacturer’s recommendations. The worst that can happen is that you break the water pump or engine.
G12 Coolant: Choosing The Best Coolant
Following the manufacturer’s instructions is always preferable, whether you’re using VW G12 coolant or something else. These can be found in the owner’s manual or by contacting your nearby dealership’s service department.
Additionally, there’s a probability that the reservoir tank, where you’ll add antifreeze, will have the type of coolant specified there. If your radiator is made of copper or brass and your block is made of cast iron, you should choose G11 coolant. G12 and G12 + coolant are used on more modern vehicles with aluminum radiators.
You can also choose between fully concentrated coolant or pre-mixed in addition to buying the proper kind. Concentrated coolant is the most cost-effective option unless you’re in a pressing hurry. Simply combine it with the right amount of distilled water to obtain more product for your money.
Additionally, you can create the ideal mixture for your automobile by mixing the coolant yourself. In a chilly region, you might require a more concentrated formula, whereas, in a hot area, you might need less. For more references, check out our guide on whether can you put water in the coolant tank.
Pick a brand that has received positive ratings as you compare different options. Even if you have to spend a bit more for a better brand, it is advised to do so. The preservation of your car’s cooling system and the engine is worth the extra money.
Further, be careful to consider the shelf life while choosing coolant. The coolant must be properly stored if you intend to keep it in storage to maintain its quality. When using it, rotate the coolant in your shed so that the older product is utilized before the fresh one.
G12 Coolant: Conclusion
Ask a professional for advice if you’re ever unsure about the type of coolant you ought to be using.
When replacing the coolant, pay particular attention to the vehicle’s technical specifications. The owner’s manual for your vehicle should have helpful details. Completely draining the old coolant is necessary before adding the new coolant (and figuring out how to put antifreeze in your car).
It must then be topped off while being periodically checked. If the coolant has changed color, there is an issue because its protective qualities are eroding. Engine coolant, however, is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution. For this reason, we suggest checking the engine coolant tank or the manual.
G11 coolant is used in early Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from the model years 1980 to 1996. G12 and G12+ are used in cars from 1996 to 2008, while G12++ and G13 coolants can be used in vehicles produced from 2008 onward.
You must be cautious when mixing engine coolant. The use of G12 coolant is prevalent in Volkswagen and Audi engines and it shouldn’t be mixed with any other type. If you don’t have any more G12 coolant to add, flush the coolant tank out and fill it with any extra coolant you might have on hand.
G12 coolant costs more than G11 coolant, but there’s a good reason for it. Use the recommended coolant according to the handbook to avoid damaging your engine. Because despite appearing to be acceptable at first, the coolant may degrade more quickly than expected.
Use coolant of the same color as what is currently in the tank when topping off the coolant tank. Unless the coolant reservoir tank is empty. Moreover, make sure that you’re diligent about the cost of a coolant flush, as well as being wary of what happens if you overfill the coolant.
FAQs On G12 Coolant
What Kind Of Coolant Do I Need
The owner’s manual of your car will explain the optimal sort of coolant to use for your car. The information you require can probably be found online if you don’t have a copy of your owner’s handbook. The formulae recommended by your dealer and in your owner handbook are presumably original equipment manufacturer (OEM) approved, but you may also be able to find aftermarket versions.
What Is Coolant Made Of
A type of glycol and water are often blended 50/50 to create coolant, also known as antifreeze. The antifreeze component of the mixture, represented by the glycol, ensures that the fluid won’t freeze during severe winter weather. In extremely hot temperatures, glycol also keeps the coolant from boiling. Under all climatic extremes and driving circumstances, it maintains consistent engine temperatures.
What Kind Of Antifreeze Is Pink
Phosphated HOAT (P-HOAT) coolant comes in pink or blue color. In order to stop corrosion, phosphated HOAT also employs organic acids. Models from automakers including Hyundai, KIA, and Honda use this coolant.
What Type Of Coolant Does Audi Use
Never use anything other than OEM-approved G11, G12+, G12++, or G13 coolant antifreeze in your Audi. Use only coolant made specifically for an Audi cooling system; do not use normal store-bought coolant. An undesirable reaction occurs in the cooling system of an Audi if an inferior coolant is used.
What Coolant To Use For VW Golf
The only coolants that should be used in a Volkswagen Golf are G11, G12 or G13 authorized anti-phosphate, anti-amine, and anti-phosphorous coolants. Select the right option depending on whatever the owner’s handbook recommends. Additionally, check your expansion tank for the type of recombined coolant.
What Color Is G13 Coolant
The G13 is a purple/violet color and offers the same excellent cooling and antifreeze performance as the G12++. The hybrid G13 coolant has the perfect ratio of silicate and organic components. This coolant’s shelf life is five years. The main difference is that glycerin, not glycol, is used to manufacture it.
Why Is My Coolant Pink
While red, yellow, blue, and orange are the most typical coolant/antifreeze colors, you may also see purple, pink, and turquoise. Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) phosphate coolant, for example, may be linked to certain colors. However, the color need not be related to the fluid’s chemical composition.
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