Does red radiator fluid mean anything? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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Does red radiator fluid mean anything?

I drained my radiator so I could move it out of the way and the fluid is red. Am I safe to throw in Zerex or should I do a flush? The fluid should only be a few years old so I'd rather not flush if I can save some time.



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post #2 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 05:23 AM
2jhanna
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I always flush with water till clear, even if I'm going back with the same stuff and the old was still in good condition.

If you drained it into a clean bucket you could filter it through an old shirt and pour it back in.

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post #3 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 07:23 AM
Jeepsr4me
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Pour it back in.. I use some paint filter or just about anything to keep dirt and such out.
I would not go thru the trouble of flushing just to change the color to a different one. Get the same stuff if you need some extra cause you spilled some during the drain and refill.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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The issue is that I don't know what the red fluid is. Sounds like I should flush and from now on I'll know what's in there.

A few things... I'm doing this flush without the engine running. I'm in the process of replacing the pan but I was sent a damaged pan. When I first turn the engine on I'm going to be checking for fuel leaks and a few other things in addition to the coolant. If I can't burp the coolant right away will that be okay? Is it also okay to flush and fill without starting the engine? I can top it off later if it sucks the level down.

I'm clear on flushing the radiator and the heater core, but how do flush the block? I have distilled water since my water has a bunch of rust in it.


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post #5 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 11:30 AM
2jhanna
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You keep stating, red fluid. We are assuming, red antifreeze,

Is the red fluid, trans fluid from the cooler built into the radiator?

jhanna
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2jhanna View Post
You keep stating, red fluid. We are assuming, red antifreeze,

Is the red fluid, trans fluid from the cooler built into the radiator?
No. It's oddly a very similar color to fresh ATF. It's definitely not though. I just dropped my transmission pan and the ATF there is already a brownish color (changed it last fall, but needed to drop the pan last week to seal a small leak).


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post #7 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 01:05 PM
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When I had my ford diesel, I changed to a life-time anti-freeze and it was red. I dont recall if that coolant was usable for all engine types..

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post #8 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toximus View Post
No. It's oddly a very similar color to fresh ATF. It's definitely not though. I just dropped my transmission pan and the ATF there is already a brownish color (changed it last fall, but needed to drop the pan last week to seal a small leak).
If you pulled your radiator completely out of your tj with an automatic, then you must have pulled off the trans cooler lines as well, no other way of getting the radiator out. That would explain your red fluid.

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post #9 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toximus View Post
No. It's oddly a very similar color to fresh ATF. It's definitely not though. I just dropped my transmission pan and the ATF there is already a brownish color (changed it last fall, but needed to drop the pan last week to seal a small leak).
If you pulled your radiator completely out of your tj with an automatic, then you must have pulled off the trans cooler lines as well, no other way of getting the radiator out. That would explain your red fluid.
It's red out of the petcock.


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post #10 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 03:09 PM
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Red could be rust, what type of coolant did you have in it?

You can't mix certain types so if you don't know what is in there I'd flush.
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post #11 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 03:10 PM
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Give it a sniff -- does it smell like ATF or coolant?

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post #12 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 03:22 PM
CTJUnlimited
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There is an organic HOAT coolant that is red also... If it smells like coolant, than it was one of the red mixtures.

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post #13 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 03:32 PM
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The oem coolant is supposed to be a pink/orange color.
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post #14 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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This is like coolade red. I'll call the shop that did it on Monday and see what they used. My transmission fluid is a very different viscosity so I'm quite positive it isn't mixing. I wouldn't be surprised if the shop had used some sort of lifetime mix. Either way I did a flush today.


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post #15 of 19 Old 09-23-2017, 07:52 PM
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The red is the life time stuff.. Keep it if the stuff is not cloudy... Waste of money flushing good fluid out.
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