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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Radiator Coolant

    Whats your guys opinions on coolant, had a chat to a pug mechanic he says the tectaloy concentrate is the best, as the ready to use coolants on the market does not pass most of the testing.

    But he also says if using the concentrate mix it with demineralised water. which wat i was thinking of doing.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    I too have been lead to belive that concentrate with distilled water and Redline Wetter water aditive is a very good combo. It works for me out on the track.- chris

    ps i think the brand though is a little less relevant?no?
    ... ptui!

  3. #3
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Nulon Longlife looks pretty good... and it doesn't contain Glycol.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Ray Bell:
    Nulon Longlife looks pretty good... and it doesn't contain Glycol.
    Just out of curiosity, why is it that there is always someone saying "no glycol" as an advantage when it's been used in cars for yonks?
    If it was "no tap water" I could understand, but according to people I've spoken to in the fluids business, the two options are glycol based & OAT and personally I've had more problems with OAT than glycol mainly due to slime growing in my header tank & restricting the water flow through the cooling system. When I pulled a big slab (size of the palm of my hand) out of my BX tank, the guy at the radiator place identified it straight up as "the shit that grows in the system if you've had OAT based coolant in it" yet I still keep hearing the anti-glycol comments being made. Tell us more. deal

    Alan S
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  5. #5
    2000+ Brad's Avatar
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    Well I know CAT use a super stong Glycol content coolant in their trucks. Apparently it leaves the inside of the cooling system 'almost-new' condition for many years.

    <small>[ 24 September 2003, 08:57 AM: Message edited by: Brad ]</small>
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  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Funny you should ask that, Alan...

    Lewin Partridge was the one who told me that glycol is a natural corrosive, and that it needed inhibitors to prevent it corroding the head.

    I was told that the inhibitors to control the glycol didn't last as long as the glycol...

    But then, a couple of years ago, I contacted Nulon about this Longlife stuff and they told me that the glycol story wasn't true anyway.

    Like you, I'd like to get to the bottom of it...

  7. #7
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Ray,

    I'll see if I can get gibgib or Chris to post the photo of what came out of my header tank that the comment was made about.
    I subsequently found that the insides of my cooling system was covered in a coating of this stuff. I think the non Glycol story passed into folklore based on some publicity blurb that Penrite was using to promote their "non Glycol" product, as this was where I kept hearing about it a few years ago.
    I know a small independent oil company rep who use a blender/industrial chemist in Sydney but who is a European with years of experience and it seems they aske the same question & were advised to go the glycol route using demineralised water. From my understanding, a lot of the problems associated with gycol in the past has been based on results from vehicles using too weak a mix & then topping up with chlorinated/fluoridated/copper stored/aluminium dioxide added town water. Drink it out of the tap it's not hard to understand why.

    Alan S
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  8. #8
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I'd go along with that... Lewin was telling the Penrite story at the time.

    I use tank water whenever possible, preferably from a concrete tank (as distinct from a metal one), but if I'm forced to use town water I seek out a filter tap to obtain it.

    When it comes to corroded heads, the strangest one I've seen is one Ivan Washington gave me... it's like it's had worms eating it out, clearcut grooving right through the water jackets!

  9. #9
    nJm
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    I must admit my radiator probably has about half a litre of tap water in it. Melbourne tap water isn't nearly as bad as other states though is it? I mean, I'd never put SA water in it (if I can't drink it how could I expect the pug to?).
    Nick
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    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  10. #10
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Sydney water was always good... never had any qualms about using Sydney water.

  11. #11
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    This is what OAT scum looks like.

    <img src="http://www.aussiefrogs.com/~greenblood/images/IMG_0108.jpg" alt=" - " />

    Alan S

    <small>[ 24 September 2003, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: Alan S ]</small>
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  12. #12
    nJm
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    Looks like something out of the Alien movies... whistle
    Nick
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    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  13. #13
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Alan S:
    This is what OAT scum looks like.

    <img src="http://www.aussiefrogs.com/~greenblood/images/IMG_0108.jpg" alt=" - " />
    So how do we know if that garbage is in an inhibitor?

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Lewin has me hooked on penrite.

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  15. #15
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Ray Bell:
    So how do we know if that garbage is in an inhibitor?[/QB][/QUOTE]

    According to my oil company mate, he reckone there are two types only; Glycol and O.A.T. which apparently stands for Organic Acid Technology(?).
    There was a guy in Brisbane many years ago who claimed a Reckitt's Blue bag in the header tank did the same job. He based it on the Blue Bag neutralising the water & hence reducing the amount of action associated with electrolysis which sounds possibly right in theory at least.
    He also claimed to have fitted a new water pump and several years later had cause to remove it to do some other job & found it to be almost as new internally. That was on a CX which could have problems with corrosion at times.
    The best internals I ever saw on any car though was on the CX 25 GTi we imported when it was 14 years old, run on Glycol as they were doing in Europe in those days and was literally shiny internally; you could have sold parts for new and that's not exagerrating, and this is why I always ask the question about Glycol in case I'm missing something, although their % of glycol to water is much higher than the stuff you buy for $3.50 a 5 litre bottle in Woolies.

    Alan S cheers!
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  16. #16
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    So there may well be different kinds of OAT? Using different formulae?

    As for the blue bag, I'd forgotten about that... I also heard about it many years ago, but more than you did apparently... CXs weren't even a dot on the horizon when I was told about it.

  17. #17
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    come on guys adelaide water not that bad,i wash in it every day,i just want to know what the green slime is growing between my toes.really,we have had huge money spent on filtration system through the state,it looks like water now,not mud.i only use ro water or distilled when mixing coolant.ive used many coolant in my years with pugs both at dealer level and my shop.the oat leaks through head gaskets and fittings,the guy told me it was just bad clearances but i flushed it out used glycol based and fixed the fault.it cost me three head strip downs at my cost using oat,never again.he then told me they changed the blend.coolant is a subject no one will agree on as there is too many experts out there all pushing a brand.know if i can just fit this hat over my two heads.

  18. #18
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Yes, it's too true...

    Commercial considerations come before factuality and honesty.

  19. #19
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Ray Bell:
    Yes, it's too true...

    Commercial considerations come before factuality and honesty.
    Haven't we been here before? My recollection from the last time I seriously looked into this is that glycol is indeed pretty corrosive, with inhibitors used to prevent it doing damage. I thought that glycol is principally an anti-freeze agent (these coolants originated in Europe back in the 1960s or thereabouts) and also increases the boiling point so it is good for the physical properties of a coolant. So I think we first got glycol in French cars (I remember the first R16s had it, and maybe some earlier ones like the R4 and R8/R10 series) with their sealed systems. These needed corrosion inhibitors and I suspect the European antifreezes were what was available, with the antifreeze part irrelevant for much of Australia.

    I think the main rules for coolants that I have read of are to use a reputable one (well-known brands) and change it meticulously according to spec. Do not mix coolants. Always dilute with tap water in preference to topping up with unknown stuff if leakage occurs (then change when you get home). I've used BP coolant with perfect results and also the Castrol inhibitor mixed with demineralised water seemed OK. I've heard so many people swear by one or another of the coolant brands that I really doubt there's much difference in performance provided you use them properly.

    They seem to have a lower surface tension than plain water - I've had the old copper head gaskets on my Renault 4CV leak slightly for 1-2 years (until the compound in the middle sludged up a bit I fear!) and hose joints etc are more prone to slight weeping. Same is true of the old "cardboard type" water pump gaskets.

    I very much doubt that Reckitt's blue would stop electrolytic corrosion that was due to the overall electrical conductivity of the coolant but if it really acted to increase pH (that is to change acidic conditions to alkaline) I suppose it might do some good. Can a small amount of Reckitt's change the acidity of a full cooling system? I've no idea but it would be easy enough to check very approximately - try it in a bucketfull of vinegar for example and use swimming pool ph measuring gear. 7 is neutral and less is bad!

    For what it's worth, I reckon coolant is like oil - much cheaper than metal - so I'm inclined to pamper my cooling systems rather than to try any short cuts or cheap alternatives. As several contributors have noted here and on other French car forums, the job of changing out corroded heater elements on current model cars is just so terrible that money on good coolants would seem very well spent.....

    The other thing is that we'll probably never resolve this, as it is so b#@#@ difficult to get factual information that is clearly trustworthy!!!

    Cheers

    JohnW
    JohnW

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  20. #20
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    immy s16:
    Whats your guys opinions on coolant, had a chat to a pug mechanic he says the tectaloy concentrate is the best, as the ready to use coolants on the market does not pass most of the testing.

    But he also says if using the concentrate mix it with demineralised water. which wat i was thinking of doing.
    Having written too much (!) I found a link elsewhere on the Andyspares forum that has some more informed discussion than I can provide - try this.

    <a href="http://www.babcox.com/editorial/tr/tr110046.htm" target="_blank">http://www.babcox.com/editorial/tr/tr110046.htm</a>

    JohnW
    JohnW

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  21. #21
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JohnW
    <strong>.....The other thing is that we'll probably never resolve this, as it is so b#@#@ difficult to get factual information that is clearly trustworthy!
    How about this then?

    From the Chemtexcorp website
    .....It should be realized that all glycols oxidize when exposed to air and heat. When this occurs an organic acid is formed. If not properly inhibited, this fluid is very corrosive. Inhibitors are added to the glycol to act as buffers preventing low pH attack on system metals. Certain types of inhibitors also passivate the metal surfaces protecting them from corrosion. These inhibitors can be tested for activity level with a basic test called Reserve Alkalinity. This test checks the buffering capacity of the inhibitor. If complete breakdown has not occurred fresh inhibitor can be added to restore corrosion protection.

    Glycol based automotive anti-freeze is different because it is inhibited with silicates. This type of inhibitor is excellent for protection of aluminum at high temperatures and where an agitated environment is present. In a HVAC system where circulation is low and copper and steel are present, it can gel causing loss of heat transfer and system plugging. It is designed to be changed every three to four years which cannot be done in most HVAC systems.

    Besides inhibitor breakdown, biological fouling can also occur. Bacterial slime will grow by feeding on the organic carbohydrates of the glycol. Certain inhibitors also provide nutrients for bacterial growth. Once a bacterial slime starts system corrosion will increase.....
    And on another page of theirs...

    In areas of the country where freezing temperatures occur, glycols are added to water-based heat transfer fluids to provide freeze protection. The addition of glycols tend to make heat transfer fluids more corrosive than plain water. This is caused by the degradation of glycols into organic acids in the presence of oxygen and heat. Therefore, the fluid must include an inhibitor formulation to prevent corrosion by the acids. The inhibitor formulation should contain a buffering agent and metal passivators. It functions to buffer the acids as they are formed, and passivate metal surfaces to control corrosion.

    The specific term used to describe this buffering is reserve alkalinity. It is measured as the number of milliliters of N/10 hydrochloric acid needed to titrate 10 milliliters of glycol to a pH of 5.5. It indicates how resistant a fluid is to becoming acidic.

    Reserve alkalinity is important because it determines how often the system should be tested, and how the inhibitor level should be adjusted. A fluid with little or no reserve alkalinity would require constant testing and adjustment. A reserve alkalinity of 10 to 12 is adequate in most situations. An extremely high reserve alkalinity, 20 to 25, may be needed if the fluid is exposed to very high heat or if the installation is difficult to monitor.
    I'm beginning to believe that glycol is corrosive... this also looks interesting, but comes under the usual 'can we believe this commercial stuff' heading:

    <a href="http://pages.prodigy.net/jforgione/MB_WW.html" target="_blank">http://pages.prodigy.net/jforgione/MB_WW.html</a>

    There will be more stuff somewhere, I think it would be good to get some of it together on this thread.

  22. #22
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Don't miss this bit "It should be realized that all glycols oxidize when exposed to air and heat." Where's the air coming from inside a sealed cooling system?

    The other point that has no scientific basis but is applicable in practical reality is the fact that as the majority of coolants/anti-freeze/anti corrosives contain Glycol then surely it must be admitted that if they were bad in themselves, the motor industry would have searched out an alternative years ago and whoever discovered it would have been trumpeting the harm glycols cause and the advantages of the new stuff; the fact they haven't speaks for itself.
    The crux of this article is based on the alkalinity of the coolant mix and someone on the Andyspares board claims that pommy tap water is alkaline. I've asked how it could be but so far without response. The reason being that aquarium fish are far more susceptable to ph that any motor car & every book on the subject I've ever read plus my own experiences in several regions has shown Town water to be acidic. He claims that it's due to lime but again alkalinity is balanced in water by using bi-carb of soda so he may/may not be right; I'm not there to do the test so I can't comment.
    Whilst "Always dilute with tap water in preference to topping up with unknown stuff" is fair enough in an emergency, why not use distilled or demineralised water and save the unnecessary drain out? Otherwise in reality, anything will do if you're going to drain, flush & refill with fresh coolant.
    The point that hasn't been clearly addressed on ths subject though is, are we talking about Coolants Anti-corrosives or Anti -Freeze solutions?
    I still think that the practical solution is to be guided by the car & major fluids manufacturers rather than an academic exercise into all the theories of what should & shouldn't work or promotion of products which as yet haven't been proven to be effective in the long term (as many of the modern day products have) or you can end up heading into Elvis is alive and working as a jakeroo on a cattle property in the Territory kind of theories.

    Alan S cheers!
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  23. #23
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    In a conventional cooling system you get plenty of air exposure, Alan...

    A sealed system sees only the expelled and reingested coolant exposed, but there's still exposure to air. And if there's any blowby it's bad news.

    Of course, you are right that the issue should be coolants rather than anti-freeze, but despite our moderate climate there are still people who need the latter. Myself included... it's down to minus five here for most nights a couple of months a year, and I work in areas where it's even colder.

    But for many the need for anti-freeze is so slight that it's a wonder that glycol is promoted at all.

    Anyway, there is abundant notation on a plethora of websites that glycol is indeed corrosive. I'm satisfied that it's so, and that there is a need to ensure that anything you use as a coolant that contains it must be nicely inhibited.

    There are also discussions on the net about which types of inhibitors are best. I'm no chemist, so I'd appreciate it if someone with some knowledge in this area explains things a bit for me...

  24. #24
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    I'm glad to stand corrected on the amount of information around - thanks for that! The glycol information is roughly what I seemed to remember reading once. Given our variable climate, it would be hard for a manufacturer to use different coolants for cars sold in different areas, i.e. only using glycol-based coolant in areas where freezing is a problem. You can imagine the warranty claims from people who moved from Brisbane to Canberra and freezing a radiator!!

    Re Pommy tap water: there can't be a single description as some of it comes from limestone aquifers and may well be slightly alkaline, whilst other sources are surface runoff in high rainfall areas, which may well be slightly acidic. Never generalise with respect to public water supplies - they are extremely variable in Australia. I'd treat them all by avoiding them in coolants and I agree with Alan re using demineralised water.

    What I'd really like to know is whether some of the well known brands do have problems or not. Have any relevant and systematic trials been carried out to anyone's knowledge?

    JohnW
    JohnW

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  25. #25
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    Not adding anything to the discussion, but I agree with John; I simply make sure that I change the coolant regularly. I use Tectaloy 'Xtra Cool' concentrate and 'distilled' (deionised) water. The only issue I've had is that near the end of the service period, glycol coolants sometimes get threads of a gel-like substance forming in it that must cause reduced flow and possibly sludge buildup. Timely thread, because I was considering using a non-glycol based coolant after I replace the head, but I may not now.

    Cheers

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

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