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Antifreeze

I have a 2007 Honda CRV and the dealer says I must use the Honda brand antifreeze. They only sell a 50/50 mix which makes the cost $40.00 per gallon for antifreeze. According to the local parts store there is only one antifreeze factory left in the US and they now make a longlife mix with any color antifreeze. I would like to think that should work in the Honda’s also at quite a cost saving. If you flush your entire system with water and then addd the 50/50 mix you will end up with more water than antifreeze because you can’t drain the engine completely. You would normally add pure antifreeze and end up with about 50/50 mix in the entire system.

The dealer’s full of it. As long as the system is completely flushed, you can use any type of antifreeze. The dealer would certainly like you to use Honda branded antifreeze because they can make a profit on it, but you do not have to use it.

Not all coolants are created equal. You have inorganic acid, organic acid, hybrid organic acid and nitrated organic acid type coolants. Good old green coolant is inorganic acid coolant. Honda coolant is an organic acid coolant and uses organic acid salts to prevent corrosion unlike green coolant that uses silicates and phosphates to prevent corrosion. These differing chemical make-ups interact with metals and plastics found in your engine differently from one another. You should use Honda coolant to ensure you don’t have problems down the road. Your CRV probably has about a 2 gallon system, so an extra $20 for the correct coolant every 50,000 miles or so really isn’t a big deal.

I think we’ve been here before. You need to use Honda antifreeze or a Honda approved equal (maybe available at NAPA). I don’t think I paid more than $14 a gallon though at the dealer so check around. Delray Acura on line or other sources may have it a lot cheaper but you can’t just use Prestone-check your owners manual.

Not all coolants (they are no longer just antifreezes) are created equal, but more important they are not all created for the same engine conditions.

That name change to coolant means it does more than just prevent freezing. It provides lubrication and protection to vital engine parts. Since different engines have parts made of different materials, you need a coolant that will protect your engine. My engine may require different coolant.

You can use the Honda fluid or you can use a Honda approved coolant. Using one that is not approved could prove very costly in the long run or in some cases could cause serious damage in a very short time.

According to the local parts store there is only one antifreeze factory left in the US I would consider that a warning not to trust advice from them.

Don't worry about that 50-50 thing.  Just follow the instructions on the container, but make sure that container meets Honda's specifications. It does not need to be Honda brand however.

Normally I would agree that any anti-freeze will do, and I use parts store anti-freeze (the green stuff) in my '97 Honda, but in this case I suggest you stick with the Honda brand.

The same goes for transmission fluid and ESPECIALLY for differential lube if you have an AWD vehicle.

Late model Hondas are very sensitive to changes in vehicle fluids and lubricants. With the exception of motor oil, I think you’d be better off using the Honda brand stuff.

yeah, I have an '04 accord and use prestone and advanced auto antifreeze (concentrate and I dilute). I use autozone’s powersteering fluid vs. honda’s and have only used a little of the castrol trans fluid (1/2 qt) to top off when I was short the honda trans fluid. I use the castrol trans fluid in my camry (05) that says use T-IV from toyota but it’s great on castrol and no issues. I haven’t tried a full castrol change in the honda as it (the trans) went out at 42K or so (bad bearings and they changed for free). I’d say buy after market antifreeze and you’ll be fine.