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Thread: Engine coolant

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Engine coolant

    are there any problems with aussie pugs and their radiators? i was reading some malaysian peugeot forum and they said they use distilled water because the engine coolant their cars came with eats away at the radiator (their 306s). Is this true?

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    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pugsly:
    are there any problems with aussie pugs and their radiators? i was reading some malaysian peugeot forum and they said they use distilled water because the engine coolant their cars came with eats away at the radiator (their 306s). Is this true?
    Yes this is true, to my knowledge not as bad on the east coast, but in WA apparently big problems and the further east the less of a problem, here in Melbourne distilled water isn't nessecary although it is recomended, but most definatly never ever use plain water, always use a good quality coolant that meets manufactur specs, some people say use only geniune Peugeot coolant, not just in your 306 but all model Pugs old and new.
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  3. #3
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pugsly:
    are there any problems with aussie pugs and their radiators? i was reading some malaysian peugeot forum and they said they use distilled water because the engine coolant their cars came with eats away at the radiator (their 306s). Is this true?
    Its not really the radiator thats the problem, the alloys used in the motor will corrode very quickly if the wrong coolant is used.
    David Cavanagh

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  4. #4
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    Yes well remeber to always used a anti corrision liquid with the distilled water. Then you should have no problems what so ever.

    Nick

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  5. #5
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I'm told that glycol is as corrosive as anything you can have in your coolant. It's present in virtually all coolant mixes, too, but is mixed with an inhibitor. The story I got was that the inhibitor wears out before the glycol, so regular changing is necessary, or better still use one without the glycol in it.

    There aren't many...

    don't know how correct the story was, but worth thinking about.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! ipb205's Avatar
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    My local Natrad recommended not running any coolant at all andjust tap water with a corrosion inhibitor.
    Then my local Renault Peugeot mechanic said to run a pre mixed coolant such as Tectaloy 90+ and not to add any tap water to top it up.

    BMW, Mercedes and Alfa all sell only premixed coolants and you can void warranties if their product is not used. I have seen a Merc 124 300CE 24V head that has been run on straight water. Warranty void with huge corrosion. Head blank cost $4K to replace.
    Yes they all want to sting you for factory coolant but I would never run only water. Atleast run a corrosion inhibitor.

    I run Tectaloy 90+ as I'm in Canberra and it was -4 this morning. Not worth risking the head cracking through frozen water, however you people who live in tropical areas such as Melbourne and Sydney should be able to get away with an inhibitor only.

    Search the internet for this topic and there are conflicting ideas about how to save engines from corrosion. Take a look.

  7. #7
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Very topical subject for me at the moment!
    Yesterday, I shone a spotlight into the bottle on my cooling system on the BX 16V & found a crusty deposit in there similar to the stuff you find in old dunnys & teapots, like a calcium deposit growing on the baffle & sides of the bottle. My theory is that the previous owner who lived in Sydney & had his service done by (from what I've seen so far) some fairly questionable repairers, hence the prospect of straight tap water (or "Sydney Town Council Distilled" as it could affectionately be called ) may have found it's way into the cooling system.
    Since owning the car, I have always been bugged as to why it could go like the clappers on the open road and stay cool as a cucumber, but get fairly hot pretty quickly once you slowed down in a City area. All tests made indicated the fans & switches were OK as was the head & gasket etc so armed with this knowledge, I'll hit it with a descaler this weekend.
    As far as using straight water goes, I would be probably a bit sceptical about this as the fight is constantly against electrolysis & thia can be accelerated by any types of salts in the water. In aquaculture, town water is traditionally "acidic" whilst tank water is "alkaline" hence the recommendation to use demineralised water, based on the assumption of it being "neutral." With "Town Water" the prospect of salts (electrolysis) and acidic ph give the potential for double trouble; if one don't getcha - the other one will. I think that this is also the basis of arguments against topping up premixes with straight water, as a different ph can throw all their chemical equations out the window I have heard the argument that glycol is in itself corrosive and as I live very close to the tropics I can see no reason to have "anti-freeze" in my coolant. I normally use a straight ant-corrosive & blend with distilled water; just to play it safe

    Alan S
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  8. #8
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I've been told that ethylene glycol is a corrosive agent, and that it remains when the inhibitor has been exhausted, ready to double the problem for you.

    What anti-freeze is there that doesn't contain glycol? Or inhibitors?

  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    years ago my grandfather and father were running old VW combi campers, what's that got to do with coolant?? after all they are air cooled... Well they had both fitted 2.6 litre scorpian engines in them. The rad was mounted up front on the bull bar. In order to get the coolant upto the front they used mild steel piping. Now this stuff should have rusted away in no time at all. My old man just used the cheap (tiny 140ml?) tins of the castrol anti corrosion product available at any coles/safeway (I've never found it anywhere else). It's not an anti-freeze, but who cares, it works... Hey it's not like we live in the snow fields. In the years they had the VW's they never had problems with these long mild steel pipes rusting or corroding internaly with just a couple of little tins of this stuff in them. It's only about $5.00 at tin. And yes, scorpian motors have alloy heads.

    seeya,

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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Paul Smith's Avatar
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    Shane,

    The other problem with inhibitor/anti freeze mixes is that if they get diluted too much they can actually become acidic and be worse than nothing at all - have you ever noticed that if you have a leaky hose on an alloy part the part corrodes badly around the leak. This is the cause.

    So, not only use an inhibitor, but also top up with the correct strength.

    BTW Early Commodore V6s had such bad head corrosion problems that they had to design a special inhibitor just for them!

    Paul
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  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    For the first 10 years of its life I used rain water plus Castrol inhibitor in my 504 Diesel, then for 8 years used BP Pre-mixed Coolant on the advice of a Peugeot dealer when rain water was no longer available to me. After 18 years it developed corrosion in the alloy head near an exhaust valve. The radiator has not been touched. It's impossible to say whether the corrosion would have been enhanced or reduced had I not changed coolants, but I am going back to using distilled water and Castrol inhibitor.
    Stephen
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  12. #12
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Here'a another one to think about.
    I was looking at a bottle of premix I think Castrol and it claims it increases the boiling point & reduces "cavitation" which in boating is air forming around an impellor hence the water ceases to become a driving force. Didn't mention if it was good for dandruff or a sore throat so are these claims for real or are we being taken for suckers??

    Alan S
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  13. #13
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Ok it seems everyone there own opinion which is probably good to go with what you know.
    At work we use a coolant made by a company called Super Roo, there a wholesale supplier and not available retail. I use because there the only company I've seen who list all the manufactuers whos standards they comply with and Peugeot and Renault are on the list.
    The first 505 I had, a 1981 GR auto, had been seviced by us and I bought it at 240,000 km and at 380,000 km it cracked its head between the two valve on no 2 cylinder, knowing how these suffer badly from corrosion I sent the head out to be checked and the head company and myself couldn't beleive that there was not a hint of corrosion, not even a spec, they didn't beleive t had done 380,000 km, I kept telling them it has, I know because its my car.

    David.

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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    The glycol is only there to lower the boiling point. The most important factor in a bi metal engine is the pH value. I think from memory Al+Fe needs 8.5 to 10. Corrosion is still going to happen. You're just slowing it down by getting the pH value right.

    '92 205 Mi16
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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Don't forget if you have a copper radiator, you now have three metals, Cu+Al+Fe. As Cu is even further apart from Al than Fe on the galvanic scale, you're just asking for problems with Al corrosion. For some reason, my Mi16 has a Cu radiator. Most have Al with plastic side tanks. Whilst it's easy to repair, I need to keep a keen eye on the pH levels.

    '92 205 Mi16
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  16. #16
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DoubleChevron:
    ...In order to get the coolant upto the front they used mild steel piping. Now this stuff should have rusted away in no time at all.

    not so... this is the reverse of what is happening, the galvanic corrosion is running in the opposite direct, from the alloy to the steel.

    My old man just used the cheap (tiny 140ml?) tins of the castrol anti corrosion product available at any coles/safeway (I've never found it anywhere else.
    I've also used this stuff for years, but it's also glycol, isn't it? And this is my question... what isn't?

    The Castrol inhibitor in the little cans is available in Woolworths and Franklins grocery stores, and at many spare parts shops and service stations.

  17. #17
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    PeterT,

    I was concerned when my new radiator arrived in a box
    Brass end tanks
    Copper fins
    I will be using a all aluminium one in the future
    I use tectalloy 50\50 in my car

    Murat

  18. #18
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    It's interesting to note how little corrosion occured in 203 and 403 alloy heads, with their copper radiators and primitive coolant. There seems to have been a drop in quality of the alloys later on, because 404/504/505 head corrode quite badly in comparison, if anti-corrosive isn't used.

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  19. #19
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Knew a guy years ago who used to put "Reckit's Blue" in his radiator water, no ant-corrosive, just dip a blue bag in it & vowed that when ho took his water pump out of his CX after quite a few years that almost no corrosion existed.
    Anybody else heard this one? he reckoned that the blue bag as with when used to brighten washing, helped to balance the ph of the water. He also reckoned that an Industrial Chemist gave him the clue.


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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Makes sense if you're not worried about sub zero conditions.

    '92 205 Mi16
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  21. #21
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    And as a bonus, you'd have a driveway "whiter than white"

    Alan S
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  22. #22
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    One more hint...I've read that a product from the US called Redline Water Wetter added to your coolant can reduce running temps by up to 15 degrees C. Apparently works by increasing heat transfer between components by making the water 'wet' the metal surfaces - like a garden wetter, I suppose. One mag (European Car, US) swears by it. I haven't tried it yet, though.

    Cheers

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  23. #23
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. From 1966 to about 1977 my 4CV Renault used rainwater, then it sat for 12 years, undrained. No corrosion of the head (well, very little). The alloy pipes at the water pump corroded badly under the hoses. Since then, I used Castrol inhibitor with distilled water, more recently BP coolant. No problems.

    My R8 has had BP coolant, then Castrol inhibitor, then BP coolant from 1973 to the present. I've never had a corrosion problem.

    Our Peugeot 306 corroded two heater radiators in 3 years (dealer servicing)!!!!

    I suspect it doesn't matter too much what reputable inhibitor you use, providing you change it when the instructions say. I'm sure that they do become aggressive with time, more so than ordinary distilled water, and that changing to spec. is the key.

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Stuey:
    One more hint...I've read that a product from the US called Redline Water Wetter added to your coolant can reduce running temps by up to 15 degrees C. Apparently works by increasing heat transfer between components by making the water 'wet' the metal surfaces - like a garden wetter, I suppose. One mag (European Car, US) swears by it. I haven't tried it yet, though.

    Cheers

    Stuey
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  24. #24
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Actually, I think I've heard the Reckitts Blue story too.. but a long long time ago... so long ago I probably had Simcas.

    Oooh... didn't mean to let that out!

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger!
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    just to keep things going have you heard about stray current leakage into cooling systems ( not the sort on your fuit bun ).nasty thing with big results.i use distilled water and pennzoil coolant, pulled engines apart years later,like new inside.just change often.

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