Coolant Recommendation

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Coolant Recommendation

Post by Oldav8tor » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:13 pm

I know that IAT (Inorganic Acid Technology) coolants are best for our Model T's. Can anyone recommend a good brand that you've found to be readily available? I usually buy 50/50 mix for convenience but am not averse to mixing my own if need be.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by BobD » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:20 pm

I have had good results with this product. Can be purchased pre mixed or full strength. I mix my own with distilled water and test to get the desired freeze protection.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by SurfCityGene » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:28 pm

In the Model T you should be using the Green Conventional type antifreeze.

It offers good corrosion protection as well as freezing. Here in SoCal I dilute about 60/40 antifreeze. If you look at the price difference between the 50/50 and straight it's an easy choice. plus you can mix whatever you like. I haven't found a noticeable difference between any of the store brands. It is hard to find Prestone, Zerex or other name brands in Conventional sometimes.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:17 pm

I'm with Gene. Straight conventional green. Far cheaper than ready-mix. I think the last time I mixed some the distilled water was 55¢ a gallon.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by George N Lake Ozark » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:45 pm

I never buy Pre Mixed. I blend my own with distilled water. I find that 50/50 although works well my old rad likes to weep. Couple of years ago I went to blending 25/75 and the leakage slowed dramatically and no corrosion issues. . This season I'll try soluble oil and distilled.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Tom Hicks » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:14 pm

I have noticed that a coolant change can cause my vehicles, not just T's to start leaking. Why is that?

Also, I once bought some type of orange stuff by accident, reached for the green and got the orange. I took the orange back the guy said I did the right thing, mixing green and orange can result in precipitate that will block your radiator.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:31 pm

I have always been told, that all coolants are made at one or two plants. Most green (IAT) types are all pretty much the same, with whoever puts the label on. Use it in a T.

The other coolant types/colors are designed with different additives/formulas for aluminum engines and radiators. Plastics also, VW used plastic water pump impellers and the wrong coolant would eventually cause it to crack on the shaft and not turn.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Original Smith » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:28 pm

If your T is a brass car, I wouldn't recommend anti freeze at all. I got it on my top tank, and it etches the brass. It took me forever to polish it out.
I use straight tap water, and water soluble oil.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:49 pm

If I was using straight water I would use one of the anti-corrosion/lube type additives. Protects the block. Any decent auto parts store will have them in the same area as anti-freeze. Even using green, not all are the same. Google anti-freeze older cars and trucks.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Duey_C » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:48 pm

Is the water soluble oil the products that are mixed with water as coolant for saws and drill presses in a factory/production shop?
Last year there was a thread that mentioned water soluble oil and water but I never asked the question... I've used plain water all of my life but I've noted rust/crud once in awhile because of this. Especially the 18's dirty 23 engine with a brand new (30 years ago) round tube rad.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Erik Johnson » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:05 pm

Some of the antique car guys here in Minnesota run straight water during the touring season but put 50/50 in the cooling system for winter storage.

Instead of merely draining the water in the fall and leaving the cooling system empty, the idea is that you avoid the possibility of any remaining water in the system that might freeze and cause problems.

They drain the 50/50 in the spring and store it in bottles until the next winter.

Me personally, I run straight water and drain it in the fall and leave it empty.

My dad always ran water with water pump lube (soluble oil) in his 1927 Hupmobile and drained the system in the fall. Always straight water in the Model T.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Oldav8tor » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:38 pm

I installed a aluminum Z head on my engine. The rebuilder told me to use antifreeze or risk corrosion of the head.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Gonenorth » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:28 am

I get Conventional Green IAT at Orielly Auto. Always get the straight stuff. I mix mine stiffer than most folks at -47. Yeah, its gets cold up here. Sometimes really cold. I know some guys mix in a coolant booster of some brand or another. I prefer Amsoil Coolant Booster (mostly because I can get it wholesale). Not sure it is necessary, but it doesn't cost me much. I leave it in there all year and change it every 2-3 years. With a good radiator I have never had an over-heating issue even on the hottest days (95 degrees). No worries about freeze-ups either...even up here in the sub-arctic.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Altair » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:41 pm

In the bygone days they would use kerosene. I bought an old engine once and it smelt like kerosene and had kerosene residue in side, it never froze.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Ruxstel24 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:00 pm

altair wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:41 pm
In the bygone days they would use kerosene. I bought an old engine once and it smelt like kerosene and had kerosene residue in side, it never froze.
Wood alcohol was widely used also.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:11 pm

[/quote]

Wood alcohol was widely used also.
[/quote]

Do you know what proof the wood alcohol was?
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by BobD » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:19 pm

Here you go Tom.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Ruxstel24 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:20 pm

Tom Hicks wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:11 pm
Wood alcohol was widely used also.
[/quote]

Do you know what proof the wood alcohol was?
[/quote]

I want to say 180 proof ? 90% alcohol before diluted ...IIRC


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Colin Mavins » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:23 pm

On my 1912 we always used water because the anti freeze would leak at the brass fittings and at the water pump. I have removed the water pump and used a valve lapping compound on the brass fitting to seat it better . Anti freeze would work now but force of habit and I'm an old dog I will use water ,I do use soft water only and a additive to prevent rust .


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by John l » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:36 pm

Are you guys using any cooling system conditioner with your antifreezes? Something to lower the corrosion process.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by d stroud » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:59 am

What ever mixture you use, DON'T use tap water. In many areas there are a lot of contaminates/minerals that can coat the insides of the cooling system. Use distilled water. JMHO Dave
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Humblej » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:02 am

Any green coolant properly mixed to 50/50 should be used. It provides anti freeze protection and corrosion protection, will not attack your rubber hoses, will not thicken, will not cause mineral build up, is the right thing to use. It as readily available, unreasonably priced, and the standard for automobile cooling sysyems for decades.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by dlmyers » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:13 am

I believe dehumidifier water is as good as distilled water for this and it is free.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Oldav8tor » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:20 am

I want to add to what David said.... If you mix your own coolant, Distilled water is a must. I have an acquaintance who runs a radiator shop and his pet peeve is guys who run a tap water mix.... He says they wonder why their radiator isn't working like it should and the reason is the tubes are all plugged with mineral deposits. They save pennies on the water and spend $$$ on the radiator. He also says to always run 50/50 antifreeze year around...says it's the single best thing you can do to keep your cooling system clean and healthy.

I just bought a new radiator for my Model T and you know what? Paying a couple of bucks for distilled water seems to be a pretty good investment to me. One other caution....I had a friend buy "Purified" water thinking it was distilled....it's not.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Jugster » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:21 pm

I've been told at car-club meetings that pure distilled water promotes rust and corrosion like nothing else. Is that for real or just an old wives' tale? Beats me. I've been using a 50:50 mix of green Prestone antifreeze and it works okay except that the stuff tarnishes the brass radiator like crazy. It happens that my radiator filler-neck weeps a bit and that's how the antifreeze gets at the brass. If there were an anti-freeze that didn't tarnish, I'd use it, but have never heard of such a thing. During the driving season, I just add distilled water to replace whatever evaporates. For winter storage, I'll either pour in some 100% antifreeze or drain the system entirely.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:38 pm

Has anyone tried the new "safe" antifreeze ?
PG base instead of EG. I just wonder if it is as hard on brass.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by fxlew » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:22 pm

Here's some facts.
A corrosion inhibitor is critical for protection of the cooling system including things like cylinder blocks and heads, radiators, etc.
Oil or other petroleum additives rot rubber components. They are not desirable for any automotive application.
A 50/50 mix of permanent antifreeze provides corrosion protection as well as freeze protection to - 35F without affecting heat transfer or boiling point significantly.

Because Permanent Antifreeze didn't exist in model T days is not a reason to avoid it or use anything else today.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by John Warren » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:30 pm

Distilled water as Bob has said promotes rust, it is acidic. I don't think it is wise to run it straight. Add some type of inhibitor to it. It is great for the radiator but not so good for the engine, especially if you have aluminum parts.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by SurfCityGene » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:48 am

Glad somebody tried to inform others about the use of Distilled Water. Not good stuff to use in auto cooling systems! If you talk to any of the chemical tech guys at the antifreeze mfg's they will give you all the exact reasons about the ions and stuff. When I first installed my Z head I was concerned about corrosion issues and after research I chose antifreeze mix.

Sorry to say Most tap water is better than any distilled water. Yes, modern Conventional antifreeze mixed with water is best for any car. Just be careful and use a funnel if you have a brass radiator. If you have leaks then you need to fix them maybe with a coating of Ultra Black.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by d stroud » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:36 am

Well, now I AM confused. :? :? This is getting almost as complicated as what kind of oil to use. :) :) Maybe I should use tap water one year and then distilled water the next to dissolve the mineral deposits!? ;) ;) Dave
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Gonenorth » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:40 am

Probably helps to know what is in your tap water. Some tap water has a high dissolved mineral content from lime deposits or iron, along with a bunch of other noxious stuff. If you don't know, most county health dept's have simple water test kits available for a few dollars that can help you answer that question.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by d stroud » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:51 am

We do have a lot of lime in our water here in the hills, water heaters and teapots fill up, but in the MO.River bottom, iron is king. :), LOTS of iron. All of the irrigation systems turn brown in just a few days after start up. The iron water doesn't taste very good either. :( :( Dave
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:28 am

I do not understand the reluctance to buy the pre-mixed green. Is there anything wrong with it? It costs a little more, but not much, and should last for years if it is just topped off when you change your oil. The few bucks more for pre-mix seem worth it to me since it should be "scientifically formulated" to be right for your cooling system, prevent corrosion, not add minerals, and lasts a long time.

I don't see any advantage to putting distilled water or tap water into my cooling system. I do it the easy way which costs a few bucks more, I use pre-mix green.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by James_B_NC » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:04 am

Tom Hicks wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:28 am
I do not understand the reluctance to buy the pre-mixed green. Is there anything wrong with it? It costs a little more, but not much, and should last for years if it is just topped off when you change your oil. The few bucks more for pre-mix seem worth it to me since it should be "scientifically formulated" to be right for your cooling system, prevent corrosion, not add minerals, and lasts a long time.

I don't see any advantage to putting distilled water or tap water into my cooling system. I do it the easy way which costs a few bucks more, I use pre-mix green.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by DanTreace » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:08 am

Probably the green pre-mix is fine to use. Whatever coolant don’t use only H2O! The block is iron and will rust away over time. Do add green antifreeze or soluble oil like water pump lubes if you don’t fear freezing.

My experience is fine with 50/50 mix distilled water and green antifreeze.

Just did yearly drain and flush. Drained coolant was intact and a clear green. Only tiny rust sediments you could put in a tablespoon came out.
So after flush, poured the clear green mix back in except for the last dregs as in a cup of coffee! Topped off with a tad more distilled water.

My tap water is well water, pretty good to drink but no minerals are in distilled water to harm and when green antifreeze is added all is fine.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:22 am

James_b_nc wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:04 am

People don't like to pay for water, especially if they get it for free out of a well like breathing air from the sky.
I guess it depends on what one considers free and the quality of one's well water. I have a 90' well and the water has good taste, but stains porcelain brown. Probably iron? No way I would put it in my radiator. If I did I suspect the long term costs would be high due to radiator clogging from corrosion.

If I used the full strength I would definitely use DISTILLED water, but from reading a couple of posts here I am not certain that is OK either.

Using 50/50 probably costs me an addditional $10 - $15. But I know it is right, it won't corrode, it will protect my aluminum head, and doesn't need to be replaced for years.

That free ar from the sky is usually good, but there are some areas where I wouldn't recommend it.
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by TFan » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:03 am

If you want free from the sky why not use rain water, It's free and it should not have a bunch of minerals to plug up your radiators. It may contain some acid but that would help keep the rust out of the system. Yes, No, Maybe. Jim
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:05 am

Not that I recommend it and I will use green coolant. I also mix with softened tap water.

BUT, my father used only tap water, drained for the winter....Z head, round tube radiator and 40 years. All was good till the year he passed, I didn't get to the car before it froze and cracked the head. I wasn't too concerned because the garage was heated, but the heater was malfunctioning. :cry:
Anyhow the radiator was leaking and starting to get plugged up and some sediment needed flushed out. But not what you would think after 40 years of just water. It also HAD a water pump that was leaking and I removed it.
Other than the crack, the aluminum head looked fine.

Again, I recommend coolant for the corrosion protection. The water jacket is too thin on most cars to chance any more losses of metal.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:02 pm

I have one vehicle with 50/50 green that has been running for three years with the same coolant. I top it off when I change oil. Works fine so far.

How often should coolant be changed in a Model T ?
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:10 pm

Most green coolant, recommend changing is 3 years. Depends on how clean your system is.
3-5 years is fine if the system is clean, in my opinion.


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by fxlew » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:08 pm

Here's some facts.
A corrosion inhibitor is critical for protection of the cooling system including things like cylinder blocks and heads, radiators, etc.
Oil or other petroleum additives rot rubber components. They are not desirable for any automotive application.
A 50/50 mix of permanent antifreeze provides corrosion protection as well as freeze protection to - 35F without affecting heat transfer or boiling point significantly.

Because Permanent Antifreeze didn't exist in model T days is not a reason to avoid it or use anything else today.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by adave » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:03 pm

There was quite a discussion about this a few years ago...came down to the quality of your tap water...not all water is as "pure' as the other person's...brown porcelain, green porcelain, mineral deposits around those faucets that leak "just a wee bit"., etc.

So far, nothing as been said about the anti-freeze solution becoming acidic over the years. some suggested testing for Ph every year and changing solution when it became corrosive.

Sure, sediment builds up in the best water supplies...for those who are curious and have indoor toilets, take the lid off the water tank for the toilet and observe the accumulated sediment.....and remember the Doctor's advice to drink X number of glasses of water daily. A wonder some of us live as long as we have.

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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Craig Correll » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:59 pm

This is slightly off topic, but relevant -- Regarding green coolant (whatever the brand may be) tarnishing brass radiators..... that's a fact. The best partial solution for the problem that I've found has been a 2" O-ring in the filler neck. Screw the cap in tight against the O-ring and the thermo-barf cooling system doesn't leak....... THERE. You still have to be very careful when topping up or checking the water level, because any drips will still tarnish the brass. So always use a rag to catch any drips.
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HaroldRJr
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by HaroldRJr » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:45 pm

My thoughts here for what little they might be worth, but I really think there's some serious "over-thinking" going on here:

Isn't strange, how folks will buy a new $40K, or $50K pickup truck, and never really question what kind of anti-freeze is in the radiator? In fact, I really think most people will drive that same new vehicle until the factory warrantee runs out, and probably never have questioned their anti-freeze at all. And to top it off, that same vehicle is then purchased off of a used car lot,....oops! Sorry,....."previously owned" lot, and that F-150 goes a few more years with no more consideration by the new owner about the cooling system, except maybe to suck a bit of coolent into the cheapy NAPA anti-freeze tester to make sure you're good for "X" amount "below zero",....or, easier yet, just ask the guys at Jiffy-Lube to make sure your anti-freeze is "sufficient"! But in the Model T,....OH MY GOSH!! Worry about "PH", acid, corrosion protection, mineral deposits, use nothing but distilled water, or maybe no distilled water at all,....etc, etc, etc. Sheesh,.....!

I use 50/50 Prestone and tap water, change it out at least every five years or so, and have done so ever since my first Model A in high school in the '50's, and have never had any problems. I guess I'd say that fortunately, I've never lived anywhere where porcelain bathroom fixtures get stained brown, or else I would then avoid using such tap water. Other than that, I guess I can think of a lot more to worry about,.....harold


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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Tom Hicks » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:39 am

HaroldRJr wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:45 pm
My thoughts here for what little they might be worth, but I really think there's some serious "over-thinking" going on here:

Isn't strange, how folks will buy a new $40K, or $50K pickup truck, and never really question what kind of anti-freeze is in the radiator? In fact, I really think most people will drive that same new vehicle until the factory warrantee runs out, and probably never have questioned their anti-freeze at all.
I like the way you think, but
On a new Ford Truck I can only find "Inspect engine cooling system and hoses." in the maintenance schedule for the first 150,000 miles.
http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_ ... rdmg1e.pdf

A T is different, first there is no warranty, you are responsible. Second, a T does not have a closed system so it slowly loses fluid which has to be replaced, and the fluid that remains has been exposed to outside air. Then, you have to think about all the different recommendations from what owners did back in the day. We are using modern fluids on a 100-year-old system.

I just pay a few bucks more, use 50/50, and drive on. But, from reading this thread maybe I should rethink that and change the coolant every 3 to 5 years.

I appreciate the poster for starting this thought provoking thread. But I agree there might be some over thinking here, just a thought.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.

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Oldav8tor
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Re: Coolant Recommendation

Post by Oldav8tor » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:43 am

The type of coolant notwithstanding... How do you know when to replace the coolant and flush the radiator? If your coolant appears discolored and has crud in it that might be a good sign a flush is in order. The other thing you should do is use a hydrometer to check the freezing and boiling point of the mixture. The coolant should show a freezing point of -34°F or lower and boiling point of 265°F or greater. Higher FP's or lower BP's indicate it's time to change the coolant.
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