Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Put Green Coolant in '07 Yaris..... Should I re-flush?

So I was doing my post 100k tune up which included a coolant change. Having never owned a car newer than 15+ years before, I was surprised to find crystal clear coolant (pink) pour out. Guess it didn’t need to be changed…

The general consensus on the interwebz is that you use Toyota Red/Pink… However not knowing this, I had bought Prestone Extended life (green, no silicates). By time I found out, I had no choice but to run a few gals of distilled water through and add the Prestone, as I needed to car and the dealership was closed.

Now the internet has gotten me paranoid that I have done some irreversible damage to my coolant system. I can’t seem to find any concrete info. Some people say you can only use the OEM Toyota stuff, some people say it really doesn’t matter as they are all basically the same.

Should I bite the bullet, re-flush and add Toyota coolant? Or am I good with the Prestone?

If you did a complete drain and fill, and ran 2 gallons of water through to make sure it was a complete change, I wouldn’t worry. The problem (if there would be one) would come from mixing coolants, which it sounds like you didn’t do.

I did indeed run two gallons through it before refilling, it was about 90% clear on the second flush. I did notice some residue ‘pink’ in the reservoir. I wasn’t able to bust out the hose and do a complete ‘flush’, seeing that it’s -6F right now…

I use the good old green stuff in all of my vehicles since I refuse to run Dexcool in anything that I own. It’s your call. If you flushed out the pink stuff then you should have no problems. If you want to be less paranoid then switch back to the Toyota pink/red type on your next coolant change. I have had no problems and I’ve used the green stuff for many years. I think I’ts much ado about nothing. Paranoia sells a lot of different products.

I wouldn’t go so far as to such much ado about nothing. @Woogies was concerned about what he didn’t know, and looked here for a little education. I’m sure you didn’t mean to minimize his concern, @missileman, but I did want to point that out if there was confusion on what you meant.

Nah, no harm done!

Over at the Toyota forums they flip their lids whenever they hear ‘2EHA’, which Prestone and 90% generic coolants have… Wondering if there is any merit to those concerns

Is the prestone a universal coolant? If so no worries. One description says

Prestone Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant with Cor-Guard":
For any car or light duty truck
Works with any color antifreeze/coolant
Will not void warranty

Double check your specific bottle.


I have a hard time believing any coolant will damage your system. That being said, for peace of mind, I run the factory stuff. 07 yaris here as well.

Call Prestone and ask. U.S. Product Assistance - Call 1.800.890.2075, in that description it says “most” types.

I have used dexcool in my Honda and my Nissan Pick Up when I switched them from the old style green stuff that came from the factory. I only drained the radiator and block, no flushing. Later when they were due for their second coolant changes (both are 97), I switched to the new greenish/yellow universal long life coolants, again, no flush, just drain the radiator and block.

When my 02 Saturn was due for its first change, I switched from the dexcool to the universal long life also, just a complete drain and refill. Never had any of them overheat or clog up.

I would not flush, but if I did, it would only be like you did with a couple of gallons of distilled water, never with a garden hose and never, never with any flush chemicals. I think you can rest easy. BTW, Honda 290k when I traded it, Saturn 275k when I sold it and still have the Nissan w/195k. Went 7 years between 2nd and third coolant change on the Nissan, 6 years on the Saturn. Timing belt changes led to more frequent changes on the Honda.

On my personal vehicles, I’ve always used the factory type of coolant, though I didn’t always buy it from the dealer. For example, on my 1994 Tercel, I just use generic green.

At work, we stock universal green, Dexcool, and Ford gold. However, we only recently started stocking Ford gold. But in the past, I used the generic green, because that’s all we had, in addition to the Dexcool. Many of those Ford trucks have run several years with the “wrong” coolant, and there have apparently been no consequences

That said, now that we stock Ford gold, I use it.

We have a few Toyotas and Hondas in our fleet, as well. But if it comes time to do a coolant service, I’ll use the generic green and sleep well at night :tongue:

The following links provide decent primers on coolants. I recommend opening the sublinks in the second link. It goes into good detail about how the additives actually work.
Personally, I believe the correct type should always be used. Using other than the correct coolant could compromise corrosion protection.

You are right of course jtsanders and I didn’t mean to minimize the OP’s concern. It’s just that I have a lot of experience with engine coolant and the insides of a Toyota engine are no different than the insides of any other vehicle on the market. Those Toyota bloggers may want to think differently but they are wrong when it comes right down to reality.

Understood. I’m only posting my own feelings on the issue along with some technical information to hopefully help.

You did an excellent job, you did all the right things and you used the best - extended protection Prestone (no silicates) and distilled water. The extended-life antifreezes (AF) (silicate-free) of today have finally achieved near-perfection. I say that because I had a 2008 Yaris (best car I ever owned) and I waited about 6 years to change the pink factory AF. The AF in it also drained out clear. And I saw zero corrosion in the radiator and thermostat housing. Or maybe it’s because virtually everything the AF touches in the cooling systems of today’s car engines is aluminum and plastic - no lead/tin solder, brass radiator tubes and steel engine blocks, which equate to a volatile concoction of metallic soup. I also flushed the Yaris engine out several times with distilled water and refilled with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and 5-year extended protection Prestone. You went longer than I did before changing your AF - and it was still clear. Wow. Don’t even drain the Prestone out. It’s the best - just as the Toyota AF is. This leaves me wondering though: How long can the original AF remain in the cooling system without any harmful effects.

I wouldn’t lose any sleep over this. In my 20+ year old Corolla I’ve always used plain-old Prestone which I mix with faucet water, and never had a problem. Same w/my 40 year old truck. Again, never a problem. Well, I’ve had to replace a radiator once, and several thermostats, but that’s to be expected over the course of 60+ car-years. hmmm … but all that applies to older cars, with cooling systems designs of that older era. Were I in the same position as the OP with a new Yaris and newer cooling system design I’d probably take a visit to a Toyota dealership service dept at a convenient time and ask what they’d suggest. If they say not to use Prestone, then don’t. Drain that out, flush the cooling system, and use their Toyota OEM coolant instead. Probably not necessary, but that’s what I’d do anyway.

How long can the original AF remain in the cooling system without any harmful effects.

Going on 14 years now I think. Before I get blasted, I was told by my father it was changed just before I bought the car. 3 years ago (I bought it from my parents). But to be honest, mom can’t remember it being done and I know I haven’t done it. I do know it is getting a thermostat, water pump and probably a distilled water flush as soon as it warm up a little outside. As for harmful effects we will see when the work gets done.

Why carmakers can’t standardize on antifreeze baffles me. It performs the identical function in all cars, all cars have very similar materials in place, the pressures and temperatures are pretty much identical, yet we’ve devolved into this mess of many options. Just looking at the Ford antifreeze table gives me a headache:

To GeorgeSanJose: You are advising Woogies to consider draining the fresh Prestone he just installed, should Toyota recommend so. Prestone has been around for many, many decades (since 1927) and they are still in business - and flourishing globally. Prestone states on their product that in many words of reassurance - that it is safe: “For any car or light-duty truck. Works with any color antifreeze. Will not void warranty. Up to 5 years or 150,000 miles of protection”. Check their web site.