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Old 03-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
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2013 - Discolored Coolant?

Are any of you fellow 2013 owners seeing odd-colored coolant in your Jeeps? The stuff is supposed to be purple, but in my case appears more orange than anything.

A few days ago I did my 10K oil change and was checking levels on the other reservoirs while I was under the hood, and I noticed that the coolant reservoir was a hair low. I popped the cap and took a peek inside with a flashlight, and the coolant inside appeared more orange with a hint of purple and almost looked sort of sludgy. I popped off the radiator cap and everything in there looked orange/rust colored as well. Having seen and read the sand-in-coolant thread (which I’ve posted in as well), panic ensued and I scheduled a visit to the dealer.

Long story short, no issue according to the dealer but at least it’s on record now. I dipped a piece of threaded rod into the reservoir to the bottom and wiped it off (thinking any sediment or crud would stick in the threads), and all residue on a paper towel was clean with no foreign debris and purple in color, despite the odd appearance otherwise.

Again, is anyone else seeing anything that look amiss in the coolant bottle on your ’13, or is yours pure purple???

This one sort of goes hand in hand with the thread Heater Core, No Drivers Heat and Casting Sand but really is a separate thing since there's no sand or crud involved, and it's heating like a blast furnace....

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Old 03-26-2014, 10:31 AM   #2
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See my (and other's comments) in the other thread - did you take a sample of the coolant out and place in a clear glass for color viewing?

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Old 03-26-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
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Not yet, I have to figure out a turkey baster/hose contraption to draw some out of the lower part of the reservoir....
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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I used a turkey baster initially, but then just got a cheapie coolant tester.

Checking back on the casting sand thread, I didn't post my pics there... see a different thread of mine where I did post pics of the coolant colors in my case: Antifreeze test
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:56 AM   #5
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The view into the radiator cap opening looks a lot like mine.....
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:11 AM   #6
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I did the unthinkable the other day and topped up my engine coolant with windsheild washer fluid.

Luckily I noticed right away and first thing I did was pull the overflow hose off the rad. I then pulled the tank and flushed thoroughly with water and refilled with purple coolant (OAT) (2014).

What a stupid thing to do and I learned my lesson to slow down a bit..

I was cursing the Jeep engineers for putting the tanks with same color lids so close to each other at first, then praising them for making the overflow tank so easy to get out I think this happens quite often..
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:01 PM   #7
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^^^Don't feel bad! I thought that I was adding distilled water to my battery in my Escalade, and found out that my wife had used the bottle to mix up some windshield glass cleaner. Fortunately, I noticed the foaming in the first cell. And yes, I also felt stupid, but now when we use any bottle, we mark on it, if something else is in it.
Yes, that was called a lack of communications.......

OP , to your question. Yes OAT looks orange in the bottle, but a side view will indicate purple, which it is..........
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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Read the coolant TSB on this page Heater Core, No Drivers Heat and Casting Sand
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:12 PM   #9
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Just bought a 2014 and my coolant is yellow....
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:19 PM   #10
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Somehow I suspect that Chrysler is not truthful with respect to this issue. I have both a 2013 with 4K miles and a 2014 with 3K miles. The coolant in the 2013 appears to be something between orange and purple. The 2014 coolant is absolutely purple. No sediment in either, but a definite color difference.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:39 PM   #11
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I pulled some out of my 2013, build date Feb,2013, and mine is purple!

Why some would have orange, or yellow as Fr8dawg just posted, just doesn't make any sense. They should all be OAT, and purple in color.

If I had one that wasn't purple, then I would take it back to the Dealer and ask why!!!!!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:16 AM   #12
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Last night I took a turkey baster and sucked out a half cup of coolant from the top of the overflow bottle, pics below. The coolant is a murky pink/brown that you can barely see through in this quantity. If you look at the measuring cup from the bottom while holding it up to a light you can see very fine particulate matter in the coolant.

I'm sort of amazed that there is "no issue" as the dealer states, I've never had murky coolant in a new vehicle. No doubt they popped the cap on the reservoir and radiator and didn't see anything so end of story.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:32 PM   #13
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I've got a early build 2013. Production date July 27 2012. Coolant is definitely purple. I suspect anyone with discoloured coolant had it topped up with the wrong type somewhere.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strokerswild View Post
Last night I took a turkey baster and sucked out a half cup of coolant from the top of the overflow bottle, pics below. The coolant is a murky pink/brown that you can barely see through in this quantity. If you look at the measuring cup from the bottom while holding it up to a light you can see very fine particulate matter in the coolant.

I'm sort of amazed that there is "no issue" as the dealer states, I've never had murky coolant in a new vehicle. No doubt they popped the cap on the reservoir and radiator and didn't see anything so end of story.
I'm very new to coolant issues - but that doesn't look good to me. As I understand 'murky' is always a bad sign with coolant. If mine looked murky like that, I would be taking it to another dealer for another opinion.

Is the paper under the measuring cup white? The reason I put a white sheet of copier paper under my glass when I took the pic was to give a reference point. I'm guessing it is white and you've taken the photo with a cell phone under incandescent light bulb - if this guess is right, it's difficult to make a judgement about your pic because it has a yellow color overall.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:55 PM   #15
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I've got a early build 2013. Production date July 27 2012. Coolant is definitely purple. I suspect anyone with discoloured coolant had it topped up with the wrong type somewhere.
You might be right - my Jeep has been in the hands of others exactly two times before I documented my red-pink coolant:

1.) before delivery (there was a theory about dealer prep topping off with the wrong coolant)
2.) first free oil change

Both were by the same dealer (distinct from the dealer in town that looked at my pink recently and told me 'it changes color with heat').

It seems to me that being topped up with the wrong type would produce problems right away, not 'color change that dealer is fine with ignoring'.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #16
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The paper under the measuring cup is white. Overhead light is actually a CFL, but I'm sure the yellowish hue is because I didn't want the flash to go off. I wish it were sunny out so I could get some better pics outdoors.

But, yeah, I'm thinking a second opinion is in order here. I would think that coolant should be transparent for the most part.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:05 PM   #17
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Same Here on Color Change

2013 JKUR here -- coolant looked purple when delivered from the dealer and now after a year and 10K miles it definitely has a redish/orange tint. Mine is pretty clear (not murky), but the color ain't what it was when new. No one has touched the coolant system but me and the only thing that has been added was distilled water to top off the coolant recovery tank. As many of you have experience, my Jeep had that gurgling sound from the heater core area (probably had some air in the system from the factory) when new, but after a couple of months and some good up/down heat cycles, all the air worked itself out and the coolant recovery tank went from full to fill. Thus the distilled water top off.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:59 PM   #18
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2013 JKUR here -- coolant looked purple when delivered from the dealer and now after a year and 10K miles it definitely has a redish/orange tint. Mine is pretty clear (not murky), but the color ain't what it was when new. No one has touched the coolant system but me and the only thing that has been added was distilled water to top off the coolant recovery tank. As many of you have experience, my Jeep had that gurgling sound from the heater core area (probably had some air in the system from the factory) when new, but after a couple of months and some good up/down heat cycles, all the air worked itself out and the coolant recovery tank went from full to fill. Thus the distilled water top off.
Seems to be a common theme. My 2013 is exactly the same, orange/purple mix. Odds say the numerous dealers all over the USA wouldn't be topping off tanks with wrong fluid. If anyone gets a dealer to confirm a problem, it would be nice to know.
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:18 PM   #19
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A chemical reaction with solder used by certain mfgs of the heater core and oil cooler sounds possible. In which case a flush and refill won't work, and is probably why they are replacing radiators, heater cores, oil coolers, etc. I wonder if a different coolant after a complete flush would work? If they caught it before things started plugging up? I'm just thinking out loud again.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:43 PM   #20
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A chemical reaction with solder used by certain mfgs of the heater core and oil cooler sounds possible. In which case a flush and refill won't work, and is probably why they are replacing radiators, heater cores, oil coolers, etc. I wonder if a different coolant after a complete flush would work? If they caught it before things started plugging up? I'm just thinking out loud again.
I thought (from Allpar.com section on Pentastar) they kept detailed records of all components - would think think that if it is a chemical reaction to certain supplier that they could be proactive about it - at least once the color change shows up and before it does expensive damage to the engine.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Strokerswild View Post
Last night I took a turkey baster and sucked out a half cup of coolant from the top of the overflow bottle, pics below. The coolant is a murky pink/brown that you can barely see through in this quantity. If you look at the measuring cup from the bottom while holding it up to a light you can see very fine particulate matter in the coolant.

I'm sort of amazed that there is "no issue" as the dealer states, I've never had murky coolant in a new vehicle. No doubt they popped the cap on the reservoir and radiator and didn't see anything so end of story.
That is definitely the wrong coolant in your 2013!
It should be purple OAT, without the particulate matter.......
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:43 AM   #22
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I thought (from Allpar.com section on Pentastar) they kept detailed records of all components - would think think that if it is a chemical reaction to certain supplier that they could be proactive about it - at least once the color change shows up and before it does expensive damage to the engine.
You'd think that would be the case, who knows for sure. The chemical reaction makes sense though. Much like the problem with the ticking head, only a handful of people know the whole story, and no one is telling it.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:14 AM   #23
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That is definitely the wrong coolant in your 2013!
It should be purple OAT, without the particulate matter.......
Ah, but look at the color of the "shadow" in my second pic - purple.

There's no doubt it was purple at one time (and still is to a degree), but has turned orange-ish and cloudy for the most part for some reason....
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:48 AM   #24
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Ah, but look at the color of the "shadow" in my second pic - purple.

There's no doubt it was purple at one time (and still is to a degree), but has turned orange-ish and cloudy for the most part for some reason....
This is where the overall color tone makes things difficult (if you really dig through unrelated posts I've done in the past, you'll see some experiments I've done re. photographing my Jeep to get an accurate representation in a pic of Dozer - for reference my best luck has been with Nikon D100 on an overcast day with manual whitebalance and a 18% graycard in the shot). On my screen the shadow in your second pic looks like the red/pink shade - pretty similar to my current coolant color when shown in a clear glass.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #25
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After sitting overnight, it was evident that there is sediment in the coolant that I had in my measuring cup. A thin layer of crud on the bottom, with relatively clear pink coolant on top. Something's not right, and I think I'm a member of the Sand-In-Coolant Club.

So this morning I took the coolant in the cup shown above, added some more out of the puke tank to make up a full cup, and dumped it an a small mason jar. Once it settles down again I'll post a pic.

The salesman that sold me my Jeep called me last night to check to see if things were handled to my satisfaction. I told him "not exactly" and to expect some pictures.....and we can start this all over again.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:37 AM   #26
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Heater Core, No Drivers Heat and Casting Sand

GO to the bottom of the page and read the report I received from a coolant expert.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:19 PM   #27
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Heater Core, No Drivers Heat and Casting Sand

GO to the bottom of the page and read the report I received from a coolant expert.
Unless I've misread what you posted, that report appears to be discussing a 2012 (not 2013+) and recommends switching from the HOAT that was factory filled in MY2012s to the new 2013+ purple formulation of OAT. If I'm reading that correctly, I'm not sure what we should take from that to understand what we are seeing in MY2013s.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:30 PM   #28
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Ah, but look at the color of the "shadow" in my second pic - purple.

There's no doubt it was purple at one time (and still is to a degree), but has turned orange-ish and cloudy for the most part for some reason....
Maybe this sediment, particular matter is causing the change in color.

My Wrangler is now about 13 months old, with 6300 miles on it. But I just went and took another look at mine from the side and it is still purple, as it was, when I pulled some out a while ago, with a baster.

How old, and how many miles on yours?
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:58 PM   #29
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My thought on this is that Chrysler got some bad antifreeze. I am intending to watch for sediment, but probably will just opt for a coolant flush and refill. Even if I have to pay for it.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:24 PM   #30
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Mine has just over 10K miles. I pulled a little more out this morning, and this is the result after settling all day:
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