Are you looking for alternatives to Motorcraft coolant to use in your Ford? Should you use OEM-approved products or go with equivalent options?
Usually, Ford recommends using OEM fluids from Motorcraft. The Motorcraft orange is specified for Ford’s vehicles with engine coolant specification WSS-M97B44-D2/D, and the premium gold is for WSS-M97B51-A1.
However, they are not the only pick for you as there are many substitutes on the market such as Valvoline, Zerex, Preston, etc.
Let’s get started!
Motorcraft Orange Coolant Equivalent
Valvoline Multi-Vehicle 50/50 Prediluted Coolant
Quick Fact About Motorcraft Orange Coolant
Motorcraft orange coolant is specified for Ford spec WSS-M97B44-D2/D. However, the orange-colored antifreeze has been discontinued and replaced by the yellow coolant and it is okay to use it in place of orange antifreeze. Let’s now analyze the details of some alternatives to Motorcraft Orange Coolant.
Motorcraft Yellow Concentrated Coolant: OEM- approved
The product was first introduced in 2018. It was designed to provide better performance than its predecessor, especially in freezing temperatures. Also, it is pretty straightforward to transition from the orange to the new yellow because it is backward compatible. It means you can use it in Ford cars from 2011 to recent model years.
The Motorcraft yellow coolant comes with a range of great features and benefits.
- Protection interval up to 200,000 miles or ten years
- Offers improved deposit resistance
- Provides immediate corrosion protection
- Provides year-round anti-boil and antifreeze protection
So are there any downsides about this product that make Ford’s owners look for substitutes?
In my experience, one of the downsides about this yellow antifreeze is that it does not automatically change the protection interval rate to 10 years or 200,000 miles in the old vehicle. For example, some Ford cars require to replace coolant every 50,000 miles after the first change. But, their product claims that it has a protection period of 200,000 miles. And drivers need to stick to the original changing interval, which is 50,000 miles.
One more thing about the product is that it is quite expensive. Usually, OEM products are more pricey than alternatives or aftermarket. This is the main reason that makes people go for substitute options.
Zerex DEX-COOL Organic Acid Technology
Even though this orange-color antifreeze coolant is automaker approved for use in GM vehicles, it is also a good alternative for Motorcraft orange coolants. When looking at the Valvoline Zerex DEX-COOL datasheet, the fluid can meet Ford WSS-M97B44-D2 requirement. Valvoline claims that DEX-COOL Organic Acid Technology Antifreeze offers the following benefits:
- Incorporates state-of-art organic acid technology in an ethylene glycol base for the protection of all cooling system metals, including aluminum
- You can mix the DEX-COOL Organic Acid Technology Antifreeze with any DEX-COOL® product
- Protects modern engines from winter freezing and summer boiling
- The product covers a wide application range
- Patented carboxylate formulation provides a service life of up to 5 years or 150,000 miles
- The formula is phosphates and silicates-free that prevents deposits
Comparing the benefits with the advantages of Motorcraft orange coolant, I can see the similarities, including the excellent protection in boiling and freezing conditions and protection against corrosion. Also, both come with a formula that prevents deposits. However, you will spend less on purchasing the Zerex antifreeze compared to the Motorcraft OEM coolant.
So, should you hit the add to cart button and buy on Amazon?
Many car owners complain about The DEX-COOL coolant’s short service life. You will only get a changing interval of 150,000 miles, which is 50,000 miles lesser than what the OEM MotorCraft offers. But, recall what I said, Ford requires to change antifreeze every 50,000 miles. So, it’s fine for Ford.
Moreover, this lubricant is much cheaper than the OEM product, so it is completely a good choice for your Ford spec WSS-M97B44-D2.
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Valvoline Multi-Vehicle 50/50 Prediluted
MaxLife Valvoline Multi-Vehicle antifreeze is compatible with a wide range of vehicle makes and coolants on the market, so it comes in handy if you need to add coolant in an emergency. What makes this Valvoline product an alternative for Motorcraft orange coolant? According to the MaxLife Valvoline Multi-Vehicle antifreeze information sheet, the product has many encouraging features and benefits.
- Contains an additive called Alugard Plus, which helps to protect against corrosion
- Helps lubricate the gaskets and engine seal
- Protects against hot weather boil-overs and cold weather freeze-ups
- Works with all car makes, models, and mileages
- Is compatible with any color antifreeze
Like others mentioned so far, including Motorcraft orange coolant, the Valvoline product also protects against freezing and boiling. Also, both can hold for a longer time, so you don’t have to replace them too often. More than that, if you are on a budget, the Valvoline antifreeze comes at a lower price than the OEM product.
Despite the advantages, I don’t see myself rushing out to grab a bottle of Valvoline’s MaxLife Multi-Vehicle coolant. Why? It is an antifreeze manufactured to perform on a range of vehicles with different OEM needs. It means the product can cause loss of warranty coverage and uncertainty of compatibility.
Besides, this product is a prediluted coolant. This means you don’t have to mix with distilled water. But you need to buy more quantity than concentrated products.
What To Do Next?
If you ask me which coolant to go for, I would recommend the Motorcraft Yellow Coolant/ antifreeze. It is an OEM antifreeze that won’t put your vehicle at risk and void your warranty. However, if you are looking to switch to a cheaper alternative, stick to Zerex Dex Cool!
Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant Equivalent
Prestone Original AF2000/C
Motorcraft Premium Gold: OEM-approved product
Motorcraft Premium Gold engine coolant is approved to Ford spec WSS-M97B51-A1. The OEM antifreeze came after the Motorcraft green coolant and was used in most Ford models from 2001 to 2011. It is a hybrid organic acid technology coolant designed to provide better protection for aluminum blocks. The gold coolant is yellow-colored and can also operate under higher pressures.
Besides, it is a versatile OEM product that is cast-iron-engine compatible. It means, if your vehicle runs on the old green inorganic coolant, you can use the Motorcraft premium Gold antifreeze. The product also comes in two options, including concentrated and prediluted. Some of its benefits include:
- Used in different engines, including diesel and gasoline
- Protects your engine in temperatures as high as 256℉ and as low as -34℉
- Provides corrosion protection
- Offers 100,000 miles initial service life and 50,000 miles after
Despite the effectiveness of the coolant, I found that it is not backward and forward compatible. It means you can’t use it for Ford vehicles before 2001 and after the 2011 model year. Besides, it offers a shorter changing interval than recent Motorcraft antifreeze like the yellow coolant that provides up to 200,000 miles of initial service life.
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According to the Valvoline ZEREX G-05 Antifreeze information sheet, Zerex G-05 is an approved formula for Ford Specification WSS-M97B51-A1. It means you can’t go wrong going for a bottle of this product as a Motorcraft gold coolant equivalent.
The antifreeze is a fully formulated, ethylene glycol-based fluid. Also, it contains nitrite that helps to protect diesel engine cylinder liners from cavitation.
Compared with the OEM coolant, both provide year-round antifreeze, anti-boil, and corrosion protection. However, Zerex G-05 provides more protection with five years or 150,000 miles changing intervals while the Motorcraft coolant offers protection for 100,000 miles.
The equivalent antifreeze brings the following benefits:
- Contains deposit control additives to protect your engine from hard water deposits and scale.
- Comes with phosphate-free, reduced pH, and lower-silicate technology to protect all cooling system metals from corrosion.
- The available high-quality defoamer system won’t cause damage to your original vehicle finishes, plastics, and hoses.
- Compatible with many brands of coolants commonly available
So, should you stop at the next shop and buy this antifreeze?
Well, you can, but I found that the changing interval it provides varies with application. You will get three years of protection in heavy-duty applications and five years in light-duty applications. Also, it is a bit more expensive than the OEM fluid.
Prestone Original AF2000/C
The Prestone coolant is compatible with use in all automobiles and light-duty trucks. It is formulated free of nitrate, silicates, borate, and phosphate to protect all cooling system metals from corrosion, including thin, lightweight aluminum. Also, it is available in both 50/50 pre-diluted and concentrated formulas.
Comparing the OEM with this product, both protect against temperature extremes, rust and corrosion. However, the Prestone Original AF2000/C Antifreeze works for all makes and models, while the OEM coolant is specific to Ford specification WSS-M97B51-A1.
Some of its benefits are:
- A high degree of performance durability
- Works with any color antifreeze
- Provides 150,000 mil or five years of maximum protection
- When used for topping off, the yellow color will not change the current antifreeze color
- Compatible for use in all light-duty trucks and automobiles
Even though the Prestone antifreeze comes with features and benefits that look enticing, I am not totally impressed. Why? It is an all-vehicle coolant. This means using it may come with some risk. For example, if your car is under warranty and requires Motorcraft premium gold antifreeze, but you use the Prestone Original AF2000/C, it may void your warranty. Besides, it is pricey when compared to the OEM product.
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What to Do Next?
Going with OEM products should be the first thing when looking for antifreeze for your car. Especially when you are in the case of Motorcraft premium gold engine coolant. It is perfectly safe and cheaper than equivalent options.
However, in case you want an alternative, go for Zerex G-05. The product features all those things that can meet your Ford spec WSS-M97B51-A1, and you’ll be on the safe side!Check Price at Amazon