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Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

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Krystal Car Part Imports
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Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Krystal Car Part Imports » March 22nd, 2018, 4:04 am

I realize that men in Trinidad knows nothing about car maintenance. Worse yet, all these women and millennial liberal boys driving around in their environmentally friendly Kia's and Nissan's knows nothing about cars nor are they interested in keeping their investment running right to 'take them from point A to B' ( a common response to justify staying ignorant and lazy when it pertains to appreciating the value of automobiles, their time and money). Consequently a great deal less is understood about engine coolant. People in this country are pouring whatever is cheap when they've run out of coolant or their mechanic has pissed it all on the floor. Budget (cheap) coolants include namely Freezeetone , Hazarie coolant, H&S ABRO, Kool temp, WASA and blue Waters. A Trinidadian will use these products and then wonder why their radiator is falling apart. Added to that, they become vexed when they have to pay $400 to repair a radiator tank or $1000 to replace it altogether.

Before we delve any further, it is not painfully obvious to many people that if one paid a fair amount of money for their car, then one should buy parts and consumbles commensurate with the value of the car. Any coolant that is less than $70 for a premixed gallon or $50 for 1 liter concentrate, or coolant with an American flag on the labelling is NO GOOD and you should not expect it to work well in your car. As the Chinese saying goes 'cheap thing no good, good thing no cheap!'. This applies to engine coolant as well.

So let's talk a little bout coolant tech. Coolants are made up of distilled water mostly, with active ingredient being ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol stops coolant from freezing in temperate climates. Additionally coolants also contain additives to protect against corrosion. It is these anti corrosive additives that make the difference as engines and cooling systems are comprised of different materials including plastic, rubber, aluminium, cast iron , brass etc. The combination of materials in your cooling system will determine what type of coolant is right for your automobile.

For Japanese and Korean cars : Nissan (blue and green) Subaru (blue) Honda (blue) Toyota (red) have no silicates or phosphates. Used to protect water pump seals from degradation caused by silicates. (It's just how Japanese roll).

European cars use fancy coolant with organic acid technology (OAT's) because historically European hard water there has magnesium and so, coolants there have been developed to be phosphate free. Coolants in this class are like BMW blue or VW Audi G11- G13 the coolants.

Common American coolants like Prestone or Havoline and Valvoline (yellow or green) has both silicates and phosphates and works well with metal radiators. Why? Because the silicates and phosphates provide protection for the lead solder used to fasten metal (brass or copper) radiators. It is important to note that, yellow or green American coolants are not the same as green Japanese coolants.

For starters if your car came with a plastic and aluminum radiator for heaven sakes DONT go installing a metal radiator made of brass and copper! Because something is made of metal does not make it stronger or better. It may be logical, but not factual as it does not factor in the engineering skill used to design the radiator. Solution? Put back a plastic radiator! Why? Because the coolants are formulated differently to protect the fastening materials used in the type of radiator.

Second, you must understand that coolant needs to be changed every year or two years. I say every year in our climate. Why? Because ethylene glycol (main ingredient in coolant to stop it from freezing) breaks down over time and forms corrosive acids. So.... Change your coolant once a year if you want your radiator and water pump to last. On replacing or renewing coolant, it is very important that you use coolant designed for YOUR car! I cannot stress this enough. If you driving a Tiida , with a plastic radiator, pay massy and buy genuine coolant. Honda and Subaru genuine coolant is easy to get and relatively inexpensive. If you can't buy genuine use one specially formulated for Asian cars like Zerex.

Third, the number one cause of catastrophic engine failure in this twin island republic is overheating! That ain't no joke because all these fancy new model car engines are very expensive (unless you own a Nissan with a QG or HR15). How does one prevent overheating? Check your radiator cap and change it once a year too! $15 to $20 for a 15lb radiator cap vs. $1500 for a Nissan head and block . Do the math!

HOSES! Gentlemen! Hoses do not last forever. They stretch with the pressure and contract and eventially wear out. If your hose looking little wider after the hose clamp. Replace the hoses and plastic flanges. Don't wait for them to burst! This is especially important for men driving turbo cars or European cars. There are some things you can do to extend the life of your hoses. 1. If your car comes with an engine cover, take it off and put it away in your garage store room. You don't need an engine cover just keeping heat in your engine bay. 2. Wash your engine periodically and use armour all or silicone spray in the engine bay as a dressing. It will keep the hoses and your electrical connectors nice and supple and not brittle or hard.plus your engine bay will look good.

I hope these few words can help someone (man, woman or millennial) save themselves the trouble of being stranded by a blown radiator or stir fried engine before their car's average life expectancy.
Last edited by Krystal Car Part Imports on March 22nd, 2018, 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Coolant; does it make a difference ? Part 1

Postby Aaron 2NR » March 22nd, 2018, 6:28 am

At Valvoline we offer an Asian specific coolant that are Oem approved and is actually the factory fill on a lot of vehicles.

Available locally

Asian red
Asian blue
G05
G48
Heavy duty in concentrate and ready to use

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Re: Coolant; does it make a difference ? Part 1

Postby Krystal Car Part Imports » March 22nd, 2018, 8:40 am

Aaron 2NR wrote:At Valvoline we offer an Asian specific coolant that are Oem approved and is actually the factory fill on a lot of vehicles.

Available locally

Asian red
Asian blue
G05
G48
Heavy duty in concentrate and ready to use
Excellent. Price per gallon?

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Aaron 2NR » March 22nd, 2018, 8:43 am

We only wholesale from our facility but retail on the outside is around $105-$115 for the asian red at shops nationwide...

If you would like wholesale information you can give the office a call at 223adon

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby jl6106 » March 22nd, 2018, 10:40 am

Great info and much appreciated.

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Big Z » March 22nd, 2018, 9:04 pm

Good read for a change. Tuner isn't what it used to be.

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby *KRONIK* » March 22nd, 2018, 9:59 pm

Good info

The only point i disagree on is the frequency of the coolant changes and this is just based on personal experience.

For example: with my rav4 the interval is at 100,000km for the first and at every 50,000km after.
That seems to work as long as you use only the oem fluid only.
The cap and resevoir are seperate on this vehicle so the radiator internals are not visible.
But at the 100,000kms coolant change, the fluid looked just the same as the new one.

Same with our grand vitara
After 12 years and 150,000kms
Its only had 50,000km interval coolant changes and still runnin the original plastic radiator.
Inside the radiator like new still.
No scale, or rust.
Same with the swift.
Sold with 140,000kms and radiator internals were like new.
OEM coolant at all changes.

All the vehicles had new caps fillted at 100,000kms.
None of them had any leaks at the water pump either.

Thats just my $0.02

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Kronik » March 22nd, 2018, 10:22 pm

Which coolant is recommend for Mitsubishi? I using zerex in my corolla, but not sure which one best for my lancer, which has an aluminium radiator btw

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby skylinechild » March 23rd, 2018, 12:24 pm

good info trini persons dont look at temp gauges until its too late.

1. good point on the ethylene glycol - most persons dont know it breaks down over time and needs to be replaced.

1b. again good point on silicates and phosphates...

the coolant of yester year had silicates and phosphates in it... why??

cause it coats the interior of the radiator and engine to inhibit the galvanic reaction -see below - (rusting from taking place) and allowing the coolant to do its work

downside is - while doing its thing it breaks down and forms acids..... which in turn eat away at your radiator and then you get the infamous pin hole leak or if youre really unlucky you'll blow out the radiator ( or head gasket if you have a metal radiator)

so it works but for a short time - AND then turns against you and you NEEED to replace it.

think of it like this - ever unscrew your rad cap and wonder what that brown crud muddy stuff on it is ??
where did it come from ????

that brown muddy stuff is the break down of the radiator internals as well as your water pump and accumulation of stuff from ur radiator.

trini mechs are in the habit of - if it aint broke - dont fix it -
and well you dont replace coolant regularly.... and well....you pay the price later on.... your mech says head and block...( sound familiar )


2. why dont change from plastic to metal.??

Yes radiators tend to fail when youre using a radiator thats made from two dis-similar metals - brass / copper.
theres something called galvanic reaction / or corrosion. -we call it rusting - not to be confused with scaling or pitting

simply put - it is an electro chemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially when it is in electrical contact with another, in the presence of an electrolyte. the electrolyte in this case will be the coolant.

yes using the incorrect coolant causes it .

YES your head and block will also play a part in this corrosion equation as your head and block of yester-year cars are made from dis similar metals - aluminum head cast iron block as opposed to a modern day car with an all aluminum head and block.


cars of yester year - their coolant are made with silicates and phosphates and they DO recommend to changing it every two years but most dont..... and then we have the infamous mechanic " head and block" syndrome when the engine fails
( buy a head and block)


so to get around the problem -
you can either -put back a plastic radiator OR use a radiator thats made from ONE metal - ie aluminum !!

again be sure to use the recommended coolant for your engine and radiator.!!!

scaling and pitting also occurs from when you use the incorrect coolant on your radiator
- typically common on aluminum radiators.

coolant thats made with silicates / phosphates that are used in a engine with aluminum head and block and a aluminum radiator = trouble.
do this only if you want to buy a new engine ( head and block)


NOTE ON PLASTIC RADIATORS
plastic radiators ARE designed to fail in the event of a over heat condition.
they expansion tanks at the side or top rupture. it does this to allow venting of excessive pressure to avoid the damage to the head & possibly block ( due to warping) and head gasket.

so if you want to ensure it doesnt blow
replace coolant with the correct thing and service your radiator accordingly.
Plastic radiators are usually single core.
the reason why they are so large is to get the MAXIMUM amount of surface coverage to dissipate the maximum amount of heat possible.


NOTE ON METAL RADIATORS
metal radiators are designed to cool more effectively than plastic
metal conducts heat better than plastic
in addition you can have a dual core radiator (-for better cooling ) as opposed to a single core.

a radiator with more cores simply allows for additional surface area for coolant to flow through and for air to conduct heat from the fins.


keep in mind i not going to start an argument about single core vs dual core vs tri core
vs fin design vs fin thickness vs material used vs fin density thickness ( fins per inch)

well designed and built radiators that are single core CAN cool better than dual core or even 3 core radiators.
however poorly designed ones.....well.......


draw back to metal radiators is that unlike the plastic version which blows out in the event of an over heat the metal ones dont.

they send all that heat and pressure back to the engine block which blows out the head gasket and warps the head - and block.


3.lastly why use armor all in hoses and electrical harnesses ??
is armor all safe for engine use ??
armor all is designed for a specific use and protects against UV.
it doesnt protect against heat. - at least the amount of heat generated by an engine.
the heat generated by an engine far exceeds armor all intended use.

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Jerry84 » March 30th, 2018, 8:26 am

So what coolant would/can be recommend for a vehicle fitted with an aluminum radiator?

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby *KRONIK* » March 30th, 2018, 8:36 am

OEM or zerex

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby skylinechild » March 30th, 2018, 12:13 pm

Jerry84 wrote:So what coolant would/can be recommend for a vehicle fitted with an aluminum radiator?

*KRONIK* wrote:OEM or zerex



what that guy said.

if you car has a aluminum head and block and you upgraded to an aluminum radiator you can use OEM or zerex
as the OEM coolant is formulated to work with aluminum and not against it.

if you car is an older car from yester year gone by and you upgraded ur radiator to an aluminum one... then use zerex.

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby cryotec » April 3rd, 2018, 11:20 am

thoughts on drain and refill vs flush?

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby skylinechild » April 3rd, 2018, 3:55 pm

cryotec wrote:thoughts on drain and refill vs flush?


for a radiator... its essentially the SAME thing..

drain refill / flush its the same.

when you pull out the lower radiator hose from the radiator it drains the radiator as well as the engine block......

some ppl remove the two hoses - just undo the hose clip and unclamp it from the radiator to allow air to displace the coolant.

for whatever trapped coolant there is by the thermostat some just unbolt the thermostat...in some nissans its just two 10 mm bolts or so....and the thermostat housing comes up and out...

before doing any of the above its recommended to turn the ac to off and slide the temp setting to HOT.
this opens the valve by the heater core in the HVAC unit to allow coolant to pass thru the heater core..... so in other words... when youre ready to drain... youre ALSO draining the heater core as well.


similarly when you ready to refil the system youre also filling up the heater core with fresh coolant as well.

only thing to worry about is to get all the air bubbles out. NIssans are notorious for allowing air bubbles into the cooling system

air bubbles are bad cause they allow a temp difference to exist and can cause your car to over heat and fans not to cycle on / off properly

you can do this either two ways

.1 some cars - like nissans you can slacken the thermostat housing bolt till you see coolant reaches up there. then re tighten an fill the rest.

OR

2. use a spill free funnel to bleed the air out of the system (i did it this way )

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Musical Doc » April 12th, 2018, 1:37 pm

So I have heard and also seeing in skylinechild's post that plastic radiators ARE designed to fail in the event of a over heat condition. My question is what causes the overheat condition that makes the radiator fail? How I see it is that the plastic radiator fails which leads to the overheating. That was my logic for buying a metal radiator when my plastic one failed. An explanation would be appreciated.

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Sundar » April 16th, 2018, 8:28 am

Musical Doc wrote:So I have heard and also seeing in skylinechild's post that plastic radiators ARE designed to fail in the event of a over heat condition. My question is what causes the overheat condition that makes the radiator fail? How I see it is that the plastic radiator fails which leads to the overheating. That was my logic for buying a metal radiator when my plastic one failed. An explanation would be appreciated.

Incorrect coolant used causing the water pump to become worn and can't circulate the coolant as fast as needed. Fan failure. Radiator cap failed to vent excessive pressure. I could be wrong. Tuners?

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby ADONI » April 16th, 2018, 10:16 am

I think by the plastic radiator design to fail, is a preemptive warning to you, knowing something is wrong with the cooling of your vehicle. Now there is also the possibility that plastic has a lifespan, before it breaks down and become brittle. Like in my case last year, where the fan bolts on the radiator, developed a hair line crack.
I went back with plastic, cause it looks neater/original that the metal one. Also, when I was changing mine, I saw a guy with a metal one, that developed a leak and had to get it repaired.

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Musical Doc » April 16th, 2018, 3:57 pm

So when a plastic radiator fails, we should keep in mind that it may not be a simple change radiator and problem solved. We should make checks to see if there was any problem which may have caused the failure. But in reality, how many of us actually do that check? When my radiator had failed I just went an bought a metal one and changed it. I didn't even think once about there may be another problem. Good info to keep in mind for next time.

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby skylinechild » April 16th, 2018, 11:43 pm

Musical Doc wrote:So I have heard and also seeing in skylinechild's post that plastic radiators ARE designed to fail in the event of a over heat condition. My question is what causes the overheat condition that makes the radiator fail? How I see it is that the plastic radiator fails which leads to the overheating. That was my logic for buying a metal radiator when my plastic one failed. An explanation would be appreciated.



good questions.

1 yes plastic radiators are designed to fail in case of an over heat condition.
they designed to blow out to vent the excessive heat and pressure that build up.

so your question is - what causes an over heat condition that causes the radiator to fail?

keep in mind an over heat condition is simply defined as an unwanted build up of temp and pressure.

an over heat condition can be caused by -but not limited to

1. fan failure - failure of cooling fans to turn on - coolant gets too hot and well....blown radiator.
fan failure could be due to another electrical issue like a bad temp sensor or as simple as a bad fan relay in the relay box. ( nissan IPDM relay issue anyone )

2. not enough coolant in system - simple and straight fwd- run it dry and see what happens.

3. mechanical failure - ie water pump / thermostat fairly straight fwd.

4. hose failure - hose gets a leak...coolant that has a high temp and pressure escapes... not enough coolant in system...and well.... failure.

5. incorrect / spent coolant....- fairly straight fwd - coolant that is incorrect for your car or coolant that has lost its cooling properties.

6. age of radiator - face it its plastic not adamantium - its only soo much heating and cooling cycles plastic can go through before it gets brittle and breaks & will need to be replaced.


ADONI wrote:I think by the plastic radiator design to fail, is a preemptive warning to you, knowing something is wrong with the cooling of your vehicle. Now there is also the possibility that plastic has a lifespan, before it breaks down and become brittle. Like in my case last year, where the fan bolts on the radiator, developed a hair line crack.
I went back with plastic, cause it looks neater/original that the metal one. Also, when I was changing mine, I saw a guy with a metal one, that developed a leak and had to get it repaired.



correct on preemptive warning. and also correct on plastic has a lifespan. theres only soo much heating and cooling cycles plastic can go through before it gets brittle and breaks. the same holds true for rubber hoses.

some manufacturer recommend every 2 yrs you replace coolant and thermostat and every 4 yrs you replace coolant thermostat and water pump along with hoses.

the serpentine belt is replaced every 3 yrs or 100,000 kms or so.

the bolts that hold the fan in place is a typical issue with plastic radiators - develop hair line cracks and well the fan doesnt fit directly on the radiator and over time may cause damage to the radiator or fan... or both.

if you take a look on the newer cars you'll see all around the radiator and stuff they have Styrofoam inserts

the inserts do two things
1. help channel the air through the radiator
2. help hold the radiator in place sturdy to prevent any excessive movement
which could otherwise cause the radiator to flex- transfer that flex onto the fans bolting points and well....the hair line crack.

in your case Adoni i would have taken it one step further and inspected the rubber grommet bushings that the radiator sits into.
if those bushings are bad or worn out the will cause the radiator the flex and move slightly and well since the fans are usually bolted to the radiator thats the anchor point and will bear stresses....and well.... over time.. you get the hair line crack.... as i said.... its only soo much heat plastic can take.


Metal Radiators also develop leaks... face it welders are not 100 % perfect.

i have yet to see a local radiator shop do an x-ray on a welded / brazed radiator to verify the integrity of the weld / braze so it will happen from time to time they get it wrong....

metal expands when heated and if you add pressure of a hot liquid the liquid will target the weakest point of the radiator - usually the weld / braze... and leak from there.

some metal radiators are just poorly built and instead of fixing just go with another metal one.
how much cars have to seen with radiators with weld spots in different locations looking like brass spots all over ???

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Musical Doc » April 17th, 2018, 8:01 am

Thanks for the explanation guys. Great stuff!

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Re: Coolant, Radiators and cooling system. Part 1

Postby Sundar » April 20th, 2018, 10:39 am

Mods sticky?

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