What is the recommended type of antifreeze for a 2008 Toyota Tacoma, 4 cyl. Can modern antifreezes be mixed, i.e. greens reds yellows???

No. Don’t mix the colors. Toyota uses the red stuff, 5 year. The orange is GM. Green is the old 2 year. Stick with the red.

Toyota Long-Life coolant, reddish in color, available economically at any Toyota dealer nationwide. There are also a few aftermarket options available, but use only those specifically designed for use in Toyota. Do not use universal “mix with any color” coolants. Stick with the proper stuff.

I agree. The stuff actually works and does last well. Don’t change in midstream. It isn’t worth the agravation. Not only don’t mix colors but specially get Toyota antifreeze for it.

The long life universal antifreezes can be used in your Toyota and they will mix with other types/colors, but even though they will mix, it is not recommended.

If you mix different types you end up with less protection than if you stick with one type. Your protection level at best will be no better than the worse type in the mix if you are mixing approximately the same amounts. A little residual antifreeze of one type left over in a system will not significantly reduce the effectiveness of the new antifreeze.

If you drain the whole system, the block, heater and radiator, you can refill with a universal antifreeze with no ill affects, but then, as pointed out, the Toyota brand antifreeze is really competitively priced. But if you live 50 miles away from the nearest dealer and want to use a universal antifreeze that you can get locally, it won’t do any harm.

If you do change, I would caution against any type of flushing. A 2008 vehicle will not have issues associated with neglected systems, there is no good reason to flush, not even with a garden hose. Just drain everything you can by opening the heater valve, opening the radiator drain and the block drain and maybe disconnecting the lower radiator hose at the radiator. Then close every thing back up except the heater valve, use a premix or mix your own with distilled water in a separate container and refill the system. Open the bleed valve till the air is gone and close it, top off and you are good to go for 5 more years.

Do not mix, there are incompatibilities. Just don’t.

Yes. You mix any antifreeze with another. You just have to maintain the cooling system according to the service life of the lesser antifreeze. There are three types of anifreeze. Traditional, OAT, and HOAT. And all three use the same basic corrosion inhibitors with some slight differences.

You can read about it here.

The reason they’ve come out with the universal antifreeze is, the military required it to maintain the newer and older vehicles in their arsenal.


In all my Toyota’s I have always used the Toyota long life or super long life from the dealer. I figure the price difference isn’t that bad for something you only change every 3years or so. Just be careful the long life comes undiluted and the super long life comes 50/50 pre- mixed.

I got really tired of messing around with different coolants. All of my vehicles now get a steady diet of the “universal” type (yellow). On the couple of occasions that I’ve just acquired a car, haven’t taken care of its cooling system yet, and it needs a little I don’t hesitate to dump the yellow in with whatever else is there.

But I also don’t neglect a cooling system, nor do I care about the “long life” notion. I’m still comfortable with a 2yr/25K service interval. I don’t think that’s too weird.

Wow cig, I guess that you would be really uncomfortable with this new Subaru super coolant they claim is good for 11 years.

@keith, indeed I would not be comfortable with it. I don’t really want any fluid in my car for 11 years. So even if I bought a Subie, I’d not follow that recommendation.

Now, admittedly, using the yellow universal I am not overly religious about a 2yr change. That stuff is supposed to be “long life” (5ys I think). But the fact is that all of my cars are old and used and relatively high mileage. So there’s no chance I’m making it 11 years - or usually even 5 without having to drain the coolant for some reason! Radiators, water pumps, timing belt changes…whatever… And I’ve only brought myself to re-using my old coolant ONCE. But that’s because I had only just put it in there and found a second leak after replacing a radiator. So I figured with about 2 miles and 5 minutes on coolant I’d reuse it!

Edit: I should disclose that I do leave my blinker fluid in for the life of the car despite the warnings of various mechanics over the year. The blinker fluid in my Escort has almost 350K and 17yrs on it. :wink:

Ford used to tell owners they had 10 year coolant; unfortunately most of their radiators failed before that time.

Use Toyota specific.

For the record, I’m not either but that is what the owners manual says for my new Subaru. I have gone 7 years with the orange universal in my Nissan with no ill effects, just forgot as I wasn’t driving it very much at the time. Other than that 5 years is no problem.

Not sure I’m comfortable with those 10k oil changes with 0w20 synthetic that my daughters new Camry recommends. The Subie calls for 0w20 synthetic every 7500 miles, that I can live with, I think. I’ve done 7500 intervals with 10w30 synthetic with no ill effects.

In my mind the problem with those ill-effects is that they are often not immediate. Not changing oil or coolant in a timely way generally doesn’t have sudden, catastrophic effects (though it can). Rather a lot of the corrosion and sludge and wear or whatever happen invisibly and over time. I’ve pried myself up to being comfortable with the 5K mile oil change, even though two of my vehicles specify 7500. I just can’t bring myself to go that long!

I change my blinker fluid every year, @cigroller but I suppose I should read the fine print for dumping my dexcool and using peak global lifetime, ie lifetime, it crapped out, warranty ie that is the lifetime.

@keith Nothing wrong with the 0W20 synthetic. It’s those 10,000 mile intervals that are way too long in my opnion. I would go 5000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.

I’m one that believes that mixing different types of antifreezes is asking for trouble. And many who do find the trouble.

Google “how do automotive antifreezes work”. You’ll discover that different antifreezes use different approaches to corrosion inhibition. And it’s a dangerous assumption to assume they’re compatible. To save what, $3 ??? It’s “penny wise and pound foolish”.

Toyota antifreeze isn’t that expensive. Consider it very, very cheap insurance.

Remember, Keith, that on my 2002 Sienna with mostly highway driving outside the snow zone, I had the Mobil-1 EP tested at around 8800 miles, and it still had use left, which would have put me over the 10,000 miles.

There is no problem, IMO, with changing it early just because you want to. But, for those who really want to know send a sample to Blackstone and find out. I did, and now change my EP once a year, which runs around the 8000 miles, since I drive much less in rural Mexico than with lots of cross country trips in the USA.

I typically drain and refill the coolant in my machines every two or three years, using the premixed universal (yellow/green) coolant. However, I don’t recommend the same for anyone else unless you have the system completely flushed and the vehicle is no longer under warranty (factory or extended).