Question About Coolant

I drive a 2003 jeep liberty with 138,000 miles on it.

Yesterday I checked my oil and thought the coolant level looked low. Today, I checked the coolant again when the engine was fully cooled and noticed that it definitely IS low - a good 3/4 inch below the “COOL FILL” line. I last had the cooling system flushed in January 2014.

Obviously I need to top off the coolant tank, but I want to be sure I get the right stuff. The fluid in the tank has an orange color. Is this DEXCOOL coolant? For some reason, I thought DEXCOOL was only used in GM cars. What kind of coolant should I buy?

Thanks for the help.

Best bet is to find your receipt, and see if it specified, or call the shop. Maybe if you take it into the shop for an oil change they will top it off for free.

Mopar 5 year coolant is orange but find out what coolant was put in during the last replacement.

All you need to do is purchase a coolant/antifreeze that states that it can be used in any make/model/year of vehicle.

You can thank the military for these universal coolants/antifreeze.


I’d use water to top the system off and look for a sign of leakage. Use UV sensitive dye if need be. 3/4" in a year-and-a-half isn’t much, but if you DO have a leak it’s better to find out now.

Then, I’d drain the system, flush with hose water (capture the output and dispose of it properly… at the transfer station), and refill the system with the manufacturer recommended coolant. Be sure you do the heater core too. Even though it’s only been 1-1/2 years, you don’t want to chance mixing incompatible coolants.

I commend you for monitoring your fluids. If more people did, we’d hear far fewer horror stories.

If it’s been 20 months since the coolant was serviced or checked and it’s only 3/4 of an inch below the full line I doubt there’s a leak anywhere. Normally I would recommend you top it off with a 50/50 mixture of clean water and Mopar-approved coolant, but for such a small amount I would be fine using just clean water.

I agree with asemaster 100%, that little bit is not worth buying a gallon of antifreeze for.

On that point I wholeheartedly agree. I’d suggest distilled water, even though the amount is tiny. Distilled water is less than a dollar a gallon at the grocery store. It’s probably overkill, but I’ve been guilty of that before and lived. {;-D

Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful replies. After considering the matter, I decided to buy a jug of distilled water and top off the system. I only needed to add about 8 ounces. I figured that at that small of an amount, I was safe with just water.

Anybody else use condensate from a dehumidifier instead of distilled?
I filter it through some cheesecloth into a 5 gal plastic jug.

That condensate probably has some mold/etc, but the high engine temps would sterilize it.

That seems like an awful lot of work to save one dollar.
Besides, condensate does not leave the minerals and contaminants behind like distilling does. It’s no better than tap water.

“no better than tap water”

A bit of exaggeration, IMHO.

The mineral content isn’t zero, but it’s far lower than the tap water here.
I use it in a pan on the wood stove and it leaves almost no residue.
15 gallons last the whole winter.
Works good in the steam iron too. Water plants, etc.

I have to empty the dehumidifier every 2-3 days in the summer anyway, so it’s not much extra effort.

Besides, condensate does not leave the minerals and contaminants behind like distilling does.

And where would those minerals come from?
I use condensate from my central air.

“And where would those minerals come from?”

From the fine dust in the air?
Gets trapped on the evaporator and “washed” off by the condensate.
The air filter catches a lot of it.

Condensate from a dehumidifier is essentially distiller water. And I think some, not all, tap water is fine. Our tap water has low mineral content. If you can find the data on line at your municipal water service web site, you might find your tap water is low enough in dissolved salts too. Ground water would not be acceptable, but treated water from rivers could be acceptable. Again, the tap water has to be treated to acceptable maximum levels of dissolved salts.

Our tapwater is hard as a rock


"And where would those minerals come from?"

From the fine dust in the air?

No, dust is insoluble, and the water looks absolutely clear.

Condensate is not the same as distilled water. The air carries dust and contaminates, and when the boundary of air against a cooler surface cools and loses its ability to carry moisture, it deposits it along with whatever is in the ambient air, on the surface, forming condensate. Ambient air carries heavier-than-air contaminants, as anybody with hay fever will testify. Distilling is the process of vaporizing and condensing water in a closed system that leaves the heavier than air contaminants behind, condensing only pure water.

I probably overstated by comparing condensate with tap water, as ambient air does not typically contain minerals and tap water does, but anything and everything that can be carried in ambient air is contained in condensate, but not in distilled water. Note that the high incidence of lung diseases in those who have worked in the mining industry, as well as the dangers of inhaling toxins from welding things like zinc (galvanized metals), are clear evidence that under the right circumstances ambient air CAN carry minerals… and condensate created from such air WOULD include minerals.

Bottom line: condensate is not the same as distillate, and distillate is much freer of contaminants.

Yeah ours is very hard too. Water softener is about at max and I spend more cleaning the coffee pot than the dang Keurig cost.