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Early Land Cruisers All solid front axles and Land Cruiser series - 25, 40, 45, 55, 60, 62, and 80

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Old 02-20-2004, 06:28 AM   #1
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Question What color is your radiator fluid?

I was looking at the radiator of a '96 LX 450 (aka Land Cruiser) and noticed that the radiator fluid was brown, kind of like engine oil. I heard its supposed to be red, but is it red like automatic transmission fluid or another shade? Is it possible that the engine oil has gotten into the radiator and mixed with it somehow?
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Old 02-20-2004, 06:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGunna
I was looking at the radiator of a '96 LX 450 (aka Land Cruiser) and noticed that the radiator fluid was brown, kind of like engine oil. I heard its supposed to be red, but is it red like automatic transmission fluid or another shade? Is it possible that the engine oil has gotten into the radiator and mixed with it somehow?

In my truck it is red as red can be. But when it gets old it starts to turn brownish. You probably just need to flush and fill your system with new fluid.
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Old 02-20-2004, 06:54 AM   #3
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How brown is brown?? Green anti-freeze will turn brownish from rust and other deposits it picks up as it gets old. It should be flushed every few years. Not sure if red anti-freeze will do the same with age (I try not to let mine get that old).

Toyota currently recommends:
"Ethylene-glycol type coolant should be used in your Toyota vehicle, as it provides for proper corrosion protection of aluminum components, protection at lower temperatures, and it has the ability to be used year round."

...but I'm not sure what year they started using the red stuff.

You could always drain some out into a clear jar and let it sit to see if any oil separates from the water/anit-freeze.
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Old 02-20-2004, 06:58 AM   #4
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The red stuff started in '95 with Camery's and Taco's. It's the best damn coolant. But, if you swap out the old green stuff you MUST purge all of it.

I actually got that green coolant out of my 96 Honda Accord and trade up for the Toyota red. It was cooler by 10-20F even after 15,000 miles.
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:36 AM   #5
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Let me give everyone a little more background info...

I just purchased this vehicle from the dealer a day ago and was driving along when the engine oil light came on. I pulled over and noticed that there was about an 1/8" of oil on the dipstick! I put two quarts of oil and drove home. I checked the other fluids that night and noticed the radiator fluid was brownish. When I soaked a white paper towel with the radiator fluid, it was brown, very much like engine oil brown.

I've taken the car back to the dealer to have it checked out. When I showed the service writer the brown paper towel and asked him to identify the fluid, he didn't know what it was or where it came from. I told him it was from my radiator, and he then said that he recognized it and that my truck requires that type of red fluid (even though the fluid I showed him was not red). So now I'm a little skeptical what is going on with the truck and asking for your thoughts.

Thanks for the feedback… keep’em coming.
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGunna
Let me give everyone a little more background info...

I just purchased this vehicle from the dealer a day ago and was driving along when the engine oil light came on. I pulled over and noticed that there was about an 1/8" of oil on the dipstick! I put two quarts of oil and drove home. I checked the other fluids that night and noticed the radiator fluid was brownish. When I soaked a white paper towel with the radiator fluid, it was brown, very much like engine oil brown.

I've taken the car back to the dealer to have it checked out. When I showed the service writer the brown paper towel and asked him to identify the fluid, he didn't know what it was or where it came from. I told him it was from my radiator, and he then said that he recognized it and that my truck requires that type of red fluid (even though the fluid I showed him was not red). So now I'm a little skeptical what is going on with the truck and asking for your thoughts.

Thanks for the feedback… keep’em coming.
Check your local return laws. In, Oregon a vehilce or most anything can be returned whithin 72 hours. Even if the dealer has "AS IS" and no warrentee listed on the vehicle. Keep in mind that oil and coolant mixes it turns milky white with bubbles ... kinda like a dirty milk shake. I say take it back before the costs get much much bigger.

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Old 02-22-2004, 04:56 AM   #7
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Got a call from the dealer today, looks like there is a leak which has caused the oil level to be so low, even though I did not see any oil on my driveway or garage. I didn't get any details regarding exactly where it is leaking, but I should have the truck back early next week. They also said that the radiator fluid is fine, but after reading everyone's posts, I will double check it and probably get the system flushed soon.

I'll post an update when I get the truck back next week.
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Old 02-23-2004, 04:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by amusement
The red stuff started in '95 with Camery's and Taco's. It's the best damn coolant. But, if you swap out the old green stuff you MUST purge all of it.

I actually got that green coolant out of my 96 Honda Accord and trade up for the Toyota red. It was cooler by 10-20F even after 15,000 miles.
Ya, my '95 4Runner still had the green stuff, but I think they started putting the red in 4Runners in '96.
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CTB
Ya, my '95 4Runner still had the green stuff, but I think they started putting the red in 4Runners in '96.
It's one of those cases where if the 4runner was made from 1/95 to 4/95 it's green and from 5/95 and earlier it's red. My 95 was made in June and had red.
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:36 AM
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