What Color Is Dexcool? [Described With In-Depth Explanation]

If you are one of the vehicle owners of General Motors, you might be pretty familiar with the Dexcool. An engine coolant, often known as antifreeze, helps your vehicle engine to run smoothly, allowing improved heat transfer.

But what color is Dexcool? Usually, the coolant comes orange in color and sometimes turns out red. And it’s essential to understand its color to determine its condition in the vehicle, as a sudden change in coolant color means something very wrong.

What Type of Coolant is DexCool?

General Motors introduced the Dexcool, one of the most effective antifreeze, in 1996. And since then, the coolant has established its reputation for taking decent engine care. 

The coolant comes with an improved heat transfer feature, which can be highly flexible to your vehicle’s design.

Ethylene glycol-based fluid is known to be a high-performing engine coolant. And the Dexcool is made of that.

If you search for the elements of the most common engine coolant out there, you will see the existence of ethylene glycol.

At the same time, you’ll also find the combination of the Sodium 2- ethyl hexanoate and Imidazole in a small portion, making the coolant even more effective when reducing the repair costs of the water pump, thermostat, and radiator.

What Color is Dexcool?

The color of the Dexcool is quite different from the conventional engine coolant or antifreeze. When you pour the Dexcool, you’ll discover the coolant is pink.

Having mentioned that, there is nothing to worry about when you discover the fluid is not green or blue, which you are supposed to discover in the case of the conventional engine coolant.

If you mix the Dexcool with the distilled water, the color of the antifreeze can turn pink sometimes. And in most cases, it is recommended to mix the Dexcool with the water with a 50:50 ratio.

Besides, the Dexcool often comes in red, depending on the type of coolant you buy. However, it won’t be wise to search for any orange or red coolant in the market and use it on your vehicle.

Instead, you need to follow the recommendation of your vehicle manufacturer.

Read Also: What is Dexcool?

Why Is It Important to Determine the Color of Dexcool?

If you have any car or SUV, you should use the Dexcool as an engine coolant or antifreeze to ensure optimal performance from the engine. And as you know, the Dexcool is either orange or red.

So, if you don’t find it green or blue (pink when mixed with water) in color, there will be nothing surprising as General Motors recommends using the orange or red coolant.

Then again, as you already know the original color of the Dexcool, if the color changes, you can take action to figure out the reason behind the fact. The coolant can be considered Okay and well-performing until it holds its original color.

In most cases, the coolant loses its color if it becomes contaminated. Then you must change the coolant and put the right one in your vehicle’s fluid reservoir. 

Overall, it can be said that you need to be well aware of the color of the coolant you use to monitor its condition. 

Read Also: Can Dexcool And Green Radiator Fluid Be Added Together

What Happens if You Use the Wrong Color Coolant?

You shouldn’t buy random coolant from the market and use it to protect your vehicle engine from overheating. 

Experts and manufacturers recommend using the correct coolant color for your engine type. But what happens if you do otherwise?

Reduce the Performance of the Engine

The coolant for any engine plays a decent role in ensuring smoother performance. And here, if you choose the wrong coolant, unsuitable for the engine, it is not supposed to work well to protect the engine from overheating. Thus, the wrong color coolant can cause different parts of the engine to be damaged. 

If this happens, you’ll discover a dramatic change in your car’s engine performance, which you never expect as a car owner. 

Increase Repair Cost

Another reason you should always choose the right color of engine coolant is the repairing cost of your car’s critical components will increase. 

For example, the Dexcool is not only responsible for protecting the engine from overheating. But it also plays a decent role in caring for your car’s thermostat, radiator, and water pump. 

If you do not use the Dexcool in the recommended car, you have to bear the costly repair of that component as they are prone to damage or malfunction. 

Read Also: Is It Safe Mixing Dexcool and Universal Antifreeze? (Explained)

What Is the Difference Between Dexcool and Regular Antifreeze?

The most visible difference is in color. But what more? Why do certain vehicles need Dexcool, and others need regular antifreeze? There are some differences between the Dexcool and regular antifreeze, except for color. 


The Dexcool is way more effective when it comes to long-lasting corrosion protection compared to regular antifreeze. You will find more resist-freezing capability in the case of the Dexcool. 

On the other hand, regular antifreeze can be up to the mark when it comes to reducing engine heat. 


The Dexcool and the regular antifreeze are made with different ingredients. We see ethylene glycol and sodium 2- ethyl hexanoate; imidazole makes the Dexcool. 

On the other hand, most regular antifreeze is made of methanol and ethylene glycol.

Besides, regular antifreeze is more often like inorganic additives. On the contrary, Organic acid technology (OAT) produces the Dexcool. But both types of coolants are efficient, based on the engine. 

Changing Intervals

If we compare the regular antifreeze with the Dexcool in the case of the service life, the Dexcool is supposed to last longer than the regular antifreeze. 

You are supposed to get the service life of around 5 years of the Dexcool. The period reduces to 3 years in terms of the regular antifreeze. 

Read Also: Can You Mix Prestone Antifreeze With Dexcool? [Compatibility]

How to Check the Color of the Dexcool?

As a smart owner of automobiles, you need to be quite up to the mark when it comes to checking the color of the coolant. 

And you do need to do that consistently because by determining the color of the coolant or antifreeze, Dexcool, in this case, you need to have a compact idea of the engine’s condition. 

Step 1: Open the Hood of Your Car and Locate the Radiator

Make sure your car’s engine is turned on. Open up the hood of your SUV or passenger car and locate the radiator in the engine compartment of your vehicle. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, the location of the radiator might vary.

Step 2: Remove the Radiator Cap

Now you need to remove the radiator cap to look inside to inspect the color of the Dexcool visually. If the coolant is contaminated and turns dark, you can notice that by looking at the inside part of the radiator cap.

Step 3: Locate the Coolant Reservoir

You can also check the color of the Dexcool by locating the coolant reservoir and looking inside the pool after removing the cap. Well, the coolant is supposed to be orange in color if you are using Dexcool. 

You can also use the turkey baster to catch up some oil and put it in the plastic to better inspect the coolant color. Check this video to inspect the color of the antifreeze.

Frequently Asked Questions

We spent enough time on the internet to find people’s queries related to Dexcool engine coolant. And from a bunch of questions, we’ve picked some of them to answer here.

How often should you change Dexcool?

The Dex cool usually lasts an extended period. You should change the Dex-Cool every 5 years or 1,00,000 of driving your car. However, if the coolant becomes bad early, you should change it ASAP.

Is green coolant better than orange?

Depending on the type of vehicle and engine you own, the use of the coolant will vary. The green and orange coolants are pretty up to the mark in ensuring the engine’s impressive performance.

What color is Dex-Cool 50/50?

The color of the Dex-Cool 50/50 is usually orange, sometimes red, which is silicate and phosphate free. But when you add distilled water with the coolant, the original color of the coolant (orange) turns pink. 

Can you add water to Dex coolant?

Yes, you can add water to the Dex Coolant. According to the manufacturer, you can check distilled water by following the proper ratio, which is 50:50, to the Dex-cool. Adding water won’t create any trouble in the functionality of the coolant. 

Is Dex cool compatible with other coolants?

Yes, the Dex cool can be compatible with the other coolants made with ethylene glycol-based coolants. Other than that, adding any other coolant to the Dex-Cool is not recommended, as this will reduce the effectiveness of Dexcool. 

Final Words

Now you have a precise answer to What color is Dexcool? Always choose the right type of coolant or antifreeze in your vehicle’s engine. 

And whenever the coolant needs to change, do that as soon as you can. Follow the guidelines of your vehicle’s manufacturer as well.

Read Also: Can You Mix Green and Yellow Antifreeze? (Don’t Do It)

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