Who Makes Prestone Antifreeze? (All You Need to Know)

Who Makes Prestone Antifreeze

Antifreeze is an important product for any vehicle, and there are several varieties available, with Prestone as one of the leading brands. But where does Prestone Antifreeze come from, and who makes it?

Prestone Antifreeze and other products are manufactured in Illinois, under the management of the Prestone Products Corporation. Prestone Products Corporation is under the umbrella of Honeywell International Inc., and as of 2011 came under the management of Mr. Hart’s Rank Group and the UCI-FRAM Group.

This article looks at who makes Prestone, and everything else you need to know.

Who Makes Prestone Antifreeze?

The actual producers of Prestone Antifreeze are the employees of Prestone Products Corporation, which produces not only antifreeze but several other vehicle maintenance products such as power steering fluid and brake fluid.

Prestone Products Corporation is itself a subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., which allows for a wider distribution of Prestone products through a larger market.

In 2011, Honeywell was acquired by Mr. Hart’s Rank Group, and the UCI-Fram group, giving them a voice in business decisions as well. There are very few reports as to how this affects the formulation of Prestone Antifreeze, if it does so at all.

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Where is Prestone Antifreeze Manufactured?

There are a number of locations cited for the production of Prestone antifreeze, though Illinois is cited as the location of Prestone’s main office.

There are claims of a major plant or office in both Chicago and Lake Forest Illinois.

There are also claims of a major Research and Development facility located somewhere in Connecticut. 

In addition, there are manufacturing sites and testing facilities in several locations, both on US soil and internationally, to help ensure that Prestone Antifreeze offers the best possible performance and protection for your vehicle.

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What is the History of Prestone Antifreeze?

Prestone Products have enjoyed a celebrated 95 year history, with the following highlights:

The company and the product were first created in 1927, with the advent of the automobile age. Its primary purpose was as the name suggested: to keep engines from freezing, and thus allow greater amounts of winter travel.

The company gained recognition from the US military as a superior brand for use in maintaining military vehicles during World War II.

In 1962, Prestone was a critical feature in making antifreeze part of basic year-round maintenance on new cars. It was adopted as the antifreeze of choice by all of the ‘Big Three’ United States automobile manufacturers.

Shortly after that, Prestone released a full range of car care products, designed to provide bumper-to-bumper maintenance for vehicles.

From 1972 – 1981 Prestone reformulated their antifreeze and other products to provide protection for the growing influx of foreign cars, such as the Volkswagen.

In the 1990s Prestone formulated a new environmentally safer antifreeze.

In 2001, Prestone unveiled its new iconic yellow 1-gallon jug.

In 2004, Prestone released the first ‘Universal’ Antifreeze, suitable for any car or lightweight truck.

In 2013 and 2014, Prestone rolled out 2 new formulations of antifreeze – Heavy Duty for heavy vehicles, and Cor-Guard to prevent rust and corrosion.

In 2017, Leak Seal was added to a range of products, including antifreeze.

What Is Used in the Making of Prestone Antifreeze?

The core of Prestone Antifreeze products is Ethylene Glycol, which constitutes about 80% of the makeup of all their antifreeze lines.

The remaining 20% involves the additives that set one variation of Prestone Antifreeze from another.

Recent developments of Organic Acid Technology ‘OAT’ have resulted in formulations that are registered as phosphate, silicate, and borate free, primarily their ‘DexCool’ variant for certain cars.

The exact formulation is a trade secret and depends in part on what version of Prestone antifreeze you purchase.

Do I Need to Add Water to My Antifreeze?

It is recommended that you check the label of your chosen variant of antifreeze. Some mixes come prediluted to the proper strength, whereas others come in concentrated form and require added water to reach the proper consistency.

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What Types of Prestone Antifreeze are Manufactured?

There are several variants available such as:

Prestone For All Vehicles: Comes in Platinum and Regular and Requires Water.

Prestone for Vehicle-Specific Applications: Comes in several variants, usually prediluted. These are also color-coded for more precise directions

  • Prestone for Asian Vehicles (Blue, Green, and Red)
  • Prestone For American Vehicles (Orange)
  • Prestone for European Vehicles (Teal, Pink, and Purple)

Prestone Dex-Cool: Specifically formulated for use in GM vehicles, with permission for use of the GM term Dex-Cool. Comes both Ready-To-Use and in Concentrate form.

Prestone Prime: A heavier duty antifreeze. Comes in three variants, each in both Concentrated and PreDiluted form

  • Yellow: For all Vehicles
  • Orange: Dex-Cool compatible
  • Green: For conventional engines.

Prestone Heavy Duty: Generally, comes PreDiluted.

Prestone Command:  Essentially Prestone Heavy Duty, is designed for extending the lifespan of the vehicle.

Comes in 4 variants, each with both Concentrate and PreDiluted versions.

The choices are Nitrite Free, Nitrite, and ESI Supercharged.

Prestone Low-Tox: Environmentally safe antifreeze

Prestone Waterline Antifreeze: Used for water vehicles, or vehicles that face several environments such as boats and RVs.

How Do I Know Which Prestone Antifreeze is Right for My Car?

When in doubt, Prestone for All Vehicles is a safe choice.

If you have a GM car, you may want to go with Prestone’s Dex-Cool variant for the best results.

If you have a general idea of what type of vehicle you have, you can choose one of the vehicle specific types.

If you are unsure, ask a professional mechanic for advice.

Whatever type of car you have, Prestone Antifreeze and their associated companies and partners, including the National Auto Lubricants Group, will take good care of you and your vehicle.





Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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