COLD WEATHER COOLANT TIPS
With wintertime temperatures approaching, now is the time to ensure that your diesel engine coolant/antifreeze is up to the task and staying in its liquid form. Everyone has a hydrometer or refractometer, and they’re easy to use. The question now is,”What goes in there if you need to add coolant?” There are a number of coolants available for heavy-duty diesel engine applications on the market today. What sets them apart from your average “Yellow Jug” is the presence of “Supplemental Coolant Additives” or SCA’s. These SCA’s are either Borate/Nitrate or Phosphate/Molybdate based chemical additions to the basic coolant. These two types of SCA’s are not compatible with each other, and this is the main reason that you should match the type of antifreeze when “topping off”. These SCA’s do two things: 1. They lower the surface tension of the coolant. This is intended to decrease the likelihood that small bubbles will form near the surface of the cylinder liners causing cavitation erosion. 2. The mixture continually tries to adhere to the surface of anything it comes in contact with. This also reduces the chances that cavitation erosion can happen and it protects the rest of the cooling system from corrosion.
Engine Pro Technical Committee
with special thanks to Reliance Power Parts