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I have a 2006 Volvo XC90 that is low on coolant, and I want to change it. Since the coolant is low anyway, I will flush it, but I'm wondering what type of coolant to get.

The manual, of course, recommends only Volvo OEM coolant ($$$). I don't feel this is good value and I don't want to reward Volvo for vendor lock in, so I want to take my chances with an aftermarket coolant.

There are several different types of coolant available, such as IAT, OAT and HOAT. I can't tell which of these the OEM Volvo coolant would fall under. Is any of these types going to perform notably better or worse? Do any of them have more or less chance of damaging the engine, beyond the supposed risk from not using the OEM coolant?

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A type of antifreeze called "Global-Type" would be my recommendation. It's made under several different brands like Prestone Yellow All Makes, All Models, TurboPower Global (RecoChem), Peak Global and Prestone Celsius.

Some people say that you should only trust the manufacturer when it comes to coolant antifreeze. What they fail to remember is that these automakers don't make the antifreeze in their vehicles, they buy it from companies like Prestone, Recochem, Zerex, Peak, Pentosin and RecoChem. You know, the companies that actually MAKE coolant antifreeze.

If Volvo says one thing about coolant antifreeze and Prestone says another, I would take Prestone's word over Volvo's seven days a week and twice on Sundays if it's about the chemical properties of coolant antifreeze. Nobody knows more about coolant antifreeze than Prestone (or any other company that actually MAKES the stuff).

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