Coolant Confusion

With so many different coolants out there, it’s important to know what’s safe to put in where and when. Lift the bonnet of a new vehicle and you’re likely to see a yellow coolant in the overflow bottle and an interesting label on it. In pictorial language it might say Do not use orange coolant; yellow coolant is okay or something similar.

Might sound pretty straightforward but it isn’t. Lift the bonnet of another make and you’ll see that same label, but the system might contain orange coolant.

The basic answers to what coolant to use where and when are pretty simple but when you go past that you’re getting into some pretty complex territory. And you have to know what coolant you’re dealing with to be sure you’re not doing any harm.

The colour of the coolant dye really is somewhat meaningless except in helping help you spot a leak and that’s about it. But with these seemingly contradictory warning labels you really need a basic understanding of what’s been happening with coolant formulations and colourings.

You may or not know that most coolant is made up of ethylene glycol, water and/or solvents to keep rust/corrosion inhibitors in solution and the remainders are inhibitors. The inhibitors make a huge difference and they’re what all its all about as there are circumstances where an unfavorable mixture can cause an increase in corrosion.

Inhibitors can work well in hard water and be more effective at lower pH levels (when the coolant moves from the alkaline end toward the acid side) particularly for cast iron. When there’s a low coolant level in the coolant passages the exposed cast iron rusts and that rust is washed away later by flowing coolant, and is deposited in the radiators etc.

Maintaining your cooling system is vital to keeping your generator in optimum condition and longevity of your asset. If you have experienced radiator leaks, hoses being replaced due to becoming hard or brittle and or core plugs corroding from the inside out, then check with your current service provider, if you have one, on when your coolant was last changed or call us. Coolant replacement is a vital part of any generator maintenance program with some older engines requiring it to be replaced every 2/3 years. Always ensure you know how your old coolant is being managed to ensure it has being disposed of in an environmentally safe and compliant manner.

2019-06-20T07:15:42+01:00June 20th, 2019|