Ford Gold Vs. Orange Coolant (Compared)

Nowadays, there are so many coolants out there. And the fact that they are available in different colors makes it even more confusing for one to know which they should be using.

If you own a Ford, when it comes to choosing a coolant, you will mostly be torn between these two colors; gold and orange.

If you are a car enthusiast then you are aware that the color doesn’t matter, what’s important is the formula of the coolant. The color is often used to differentiate them as well as improve your ability to spot a leak.

Before we can start our review of the Ford Orange vs. Gold coolant, there is one thing we need to pass across. In most Ford models, when you pop the hood and look at the coolant reservoir, you will see instructions written on it.

It may read, ‘Don’t use orange or yellow coolant’. The instructions may then proceed to advise what type of coolant should be used on the car.

You need to adhere to the instructions provided by the manufacturer irrespective of your previous knowledge or experience with other coolant colors.

With that in mind, let us look at the differences between the Ford Gold and Orange Coolant.

ford gold coolant vs orange

What is the Ford Gold Coolant?

The Gold antifreeze wasn’t just formulated to work on Ford, but it is also ideal for Mercury and Lincoln vehicles. This antifreeze formula is yellow-colored and is designed to work on both diesel and gas engines as well as electric motors.

It was recommended by the Ford Motor Company after it met all the warranty requirements. It offers corrosion protection, anti-boil, and an all-year-round antifreeze.

The Ford Gold coolant can be mixed with distilled water on a ratio of 50/50 to offer boil protection to a temperature of up to 129 °C and freeze protection of -36.7 °C.

It contains a bittering agent and Ford advises against the mixture of the gold coolant with any other antifreeze color. The gold antifreeze formula is known to work exceptionally well on heavy-duty diesel trucks.

And no wonder Ford recommends its use on their cars. The Ford gold coolant promises to regulate engine temperatures for up to five years.

This is something you can’t get from other coolants. And as if that’s not enough, the gold coolant offers advanced corrosion protection.

What is the Ford Orange Coolant?

Also recommended by the Ford Motor Company, the orange coolant works on gasoline and diesel engines. It offers all-year antifreeze protection.

Unlike other coolants, the orange antifreeze is specially formulated for modern cars that feature more aluminum in their system.

The orange coolant contains carboxylates which prevent the buildup of corrosion on the engine.

Orange coolant is mostly referred to as DexCool which was introduced by General Motors when car production switched from steel and copper to aluminum.

This change started to happen in the 90s and that’s when DexCool was introduced into the market as an antifreeze that would regulate temperatures in the new engines.

Orange coolants feature a blend of organic acid technologies, known in summary as OAT. These prevent corrosion and rust buildup in the engine. Similar to gold antifreeze, Orange antifreeze can also last for up to five years.

There is a downside however you have to take note of and that is how the orange antifreeze can clog the system when it starts running low and oxygen enters the tank.

To avoid this from happening, always check your antifreeze levels and fill them up when they go low.

Regarding orange antifreeze, this is the second most popular type of coolant after the green one. It contains ethylene glycol that ensures it doesn’t freeze or boil when exposed to the temperatures in the engine as well as those on the outside.

It however does contain some additives that enable it to last longer than traditional antifreeze.

How Are They Different?

1) The first difference is the color, this is what you can use to distinguish the type of coolant that has been put in your car.

After buying a car from the dealer, you need to confirm the type of coolant that the vehicle has. The importance of this is to ensure you don’t mix the orange with the gold and vice versa.

2) The other thing is that gold coolant is formulated for certain car brands such as Ford, however orange antifreeze can be used in all cars, especially the models made after the 1990s.

How Are They Similar?


1) Do a commendable job at regulating the temperatures in your engine. The engine can get pretty hot and cold. The role of coolant is to stabilize these temperatures so that the engine can perform optimally.

Both the orange and gold coolants ensure your Ford engine’s temperature is in check at all times.

2) Formulas are designed to prevent corrosion. As the fuel is burnt, the engine does leave behind a buildup of materials left behind from combustion.

The Ford orange and gold coolants are perfect for getting rid of deposits in the engine that may corrode the parts.

3) Can last for up to 5 years. Whether you decide to go with gold or orange coolant for your Ford, you can be assured of it lasting more than 4 years.

Feel free to ask around, many Ford owners have passed the 100k mark without ever having to change the antifreeze. Some cars can even go for as much as 150,000 miles.

Even though both can serve you for that long, we recommend you formulate the habit of always checking whether the reservoir is full or empty.

Despite there being so many similarities between the Ford Gold coolant and the Orange, these two aren’t interchangeable. You simply can’t substitute one for the other.

And neither should you mix them up. The chemical composition in the orange and gold formulas is different and when you mix them, you may not get the desired result.

What’s Better about Ford Gold Coolant?

There are varying opinions about the Ford Gold coolant. There are Ford owners who love how great it is at its job. Others have a different and negative opinion about it.

As mentioned earlier, the Ford Gold coolant is ideal for keeping your engine temperatures in check. And if you often give your car the maintenance it deserves, it should serve you for the next 4 to 5 years.

By maintenance, we mean that the engine should be serviced after reaching the required mileage, and oil and coolant should be replaced and added when the levels drop.

As great as the Ford gold coolant is, we have all heard about the reputation it has on 6L engines. The gold coolant contained silicates that would go up when exposed to high heat and result in damaging the reservoir tank.

This would, later on, cause the antifreeze to leak into the manifold and if not diagnosed soon, car owners would have to deal with blown gaskets.

Nowadays, the makers of gold coolants claim that the formula is silicate-free. As you consider the Ford gold coolant, you must be aware of this complaint.

What’s Better about Ford Orange Coolant?

As mentioned earlier, orange coolants refer to DexCool-approved antifreeze brands. We have Ford to thank for that. Anyway, these types of coolants have many perks which are attributed to the ingredients found in them.

Irrespective of the brands, orange coolants contain two organic acids that are in charge of preventing corrosion. We have the 2-EHA and the sebacate. These two are organic acids that are quite stable. That is why they can last for a significantly long time.

Ford orange coolant can last for up to five years or 150,000 miles.

The above ingredients are capable of remaining to be effective even after a long time. Despite its benefits, the orange coolant also has some drawbacks. The ingredient known as inhibitor 2-EHA is a plasticizer.

It can soften plastic thus leading to gasket leakage. In matters related to protection and other features/uses of the antifreeze, the Ford Orange Coolant is the ideal antifreeze to use on your Ford.

Who Should Get Ford Gold Coolant and Why?

Even though they have various chemical compositions and formulas, these two antifreeze products are more or less the same.

There is a difference in color and the car brand each coolant is designed to work on. Moving on to the similarities, the orange and gold coolant have similar features.

The gold coolant was made to regulate temperatures in the engines of light-duty trucks and domestic cars.

It is excellent at stabilizing temperatures in cars with aluminum components. The Ford gold coolant is also great at protecting metal from corrosion and rust.

Who Should Get Ford Orange Coolant and Why?

We have to emphasize the fact that you should always follow the guidelines of your manufacturer when choosing between these two.

If they recommend the orange color coolant, continue using that on your Ford. Unlike Gold coolant which was made specifically for Ford and Lincoln car brands, orange coolant is universal.

This type should be used on all modern cars that were made in the late ’90s which have nylon and aluminum parts in the cooling system.

It is very effective at preventing corrosion buildup thanks to the presence of carboxylates.

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