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2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 10-21-2014
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Antifreeze/Coolant

I have a 2003 3.0L V6 5-speed automatic. It is in need of a coolant flush, but I'm confused as to what to get. Some places say "all makes/models" coolant is bad, some other places say it's fine.

I guess I'm just wondering what kind of antifreeze/coolant do you guys use?

Thanks
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Old 10-22-2014
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It's like oil...in the early days of oil synthetics, folks used to say it was bad to use synthetic on engines broke in with the conventional (sometimes called "dyno" oil). These were myths, finally ended.

If the antifreeze states "good for all makes/models", your safe. If you still have doubts, check your owners manual (if you don't have one, google "free owners manual for Ford Ranger <enter your year here>"), as there are Ford sites that you can get a free PDF owners manual, then check the recommended specification number, and compare it against the antifreeze's container.

When engines started using different alloys/metals for the heads and engine blocks, the earlier antifreeze solutions were not compatable. They could cause pitting and head leakage issues. Todays antifreeze solutions address and resolve this issue.

Most likely, you are seeing/reading old posts, or folks still spreading old myths around.

You could always go to your local Ford parts and buy their antifreeze for your truck; you'll pay a few more dollars for it, but the piece of mind you'll have may make you sleep better at night!?!
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Old 10-22-2014
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Thank you, that's all I needed to know.
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Old 10-22-2014
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In the beginning...............lol

There was silicate based coolant, often green in color
The silicates protect metal parts from corrosion for about 2 years and needed to be flush and new silicates added.

Then came OAT(organic acid technology), often red or pink, this protected metal parts for about 5 years, then flush and add new OAT solution.

These two are not compatible, but both offer the same protection, so pick one and stick with it.

Then came HOAT( hybrid organic acid technology), they added silicates to the OAT solution so it will work in any cooling system regardless of previous coolant used.
This would be the "all makes/models" version, if you believe advertisers, lol.

And just as a heads up the "color" of the coolant has gone all over the spectrum so don't rely on it to determine what you are getting

While some advertise "lifetime" coolant I call BS, point being rad hoses and water pumps don't last a lifetime, lol, so my suggestion is to change silicate base every 2 years and HOAT/OAT every 5 years.

And silicates protect aluminum and other metal parts the same or better than OAT, the advertisers often claimed different when trying to sell OAT based products but the facts and long term testing don't show that, so it is strictly a matter of choice.

If an auto maker recommends a brand, other than one they own(LOL), then by all means follow the recommendation, but it would be for other additive reasons, not metal protection.

All anti-freeze uses Ethylene Glycol but that is a toxic(and sweet) substance so some now use "animal safe" Propylene Glycol, it isn't as good for very low temps but also won't kill your dog if you leave some on the ground or in a bowl after draining.
Either Glycol lasts, basically, forever it doesn't "wear out" so never needs to be changed, but see above, rad hoses and water pumps, lol.

Last edited by RonD; 10-22-2014 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 10-23-2014
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I have found that the manufactures claim to "lifetime" fluids came out when they started offering "free maintenance" changes. Before that, they recommended the old school regiment of fluid changes (anywhere from 6 to 8K on engine oil using synthetics, and 30K on automatic transmissions, and 2 yars on coolant flushes). Now that they offer to pay the tab (for those that offer the free maintenace for 4 years as an example), they suddenly have the same fluids offering 100K (automatic transmission oil), lifetime antifreeze, and oils that can go in excess of 15K between changes. While there are oils (Amsoil boosts they can) that can go this far, I doubt Ford uses it. They stick with their brand of motorcraft; good stuff, but I would personally not leave it in (full synthetic) much beyond 8K, as per my driving habits.

I just changes the rear differential fluid in my 2000 Ranger. The owners manual states the differential fluid is good for 100K. Even with some great synthetic, I'd choose not to go much past 30K for a differential; less if it see's 4 wheeling, water exposure, or towing.
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