Coolant’s use to keep your engine at the correct temperature is well known, but did you know it has many other benefits?
Coolant serves as a carrier for additives such as pH stabilisers, anti-foaming agents, and protection agents for rubber and plastic components. It also inhibits corrosion and protects against cavitation and cylinder pitting.
Using water or the wrong type of coolant puts your engine at risk.
Diesel engines fall into three types:
Wet-cylinder diesel engines transfer a lot of vibration and movement from the pistons to the cylinder walls and this can create coolant cavitation (tiny bubbles) behind the cylinder walls. Cavitation can lead to pitting in the cylinder walls. The correct coolant can protect your engine by forming a barrier between the liner and these bubbles.
It’s also important to use a high-quality coolant to protect the metal in your engine from corrosion. It is common to find six basic metal alloys within the engine’s heat transfer system: copper, solder, brass, steel, cast iron and aluminium. All of these can corrode on contact with water, so water-based coolants need suitable corrosion additives. Without this, corrosion can cause blockages within the narrow spaces of radiators, as well as thinning and failure of pipes, and damage to water pumps, thermostats and operating valves.
Coolants come in two major types:
The main advantage of extended life coolants is that their service life is typically twice as long as double heavy duty fully formulated products, and they don’t require testing or the addition of corrosion protection additives.
Perkins® Extended Life Coolant helps you manage service costs and protect your engine.
Benefits of Perkins Extended Life Coolant include:
Because corrosion inhibitors in heavy duty coolant are used up over time, this type of coolant must be tested every six months or every oil change to check if corrosion additive needs to be added.
To make this easier, you can buy test strips to use in the field, but beware - use of the wrong strip can result in incorrect results and improper dosing. Test strips themselves also have a shelf life.
If you find your engine’s additive levels aren’t correct, they must be restored with the addition of a corrosion inhibitor which meets your engine and coolant manufacturer’s specifications.
Extended life coolants, such as Perkins® Extended Life Coolant last longer than heavy duty coolants. They do not require corrosion inhibitor testing but you do need to keep track of coolant levels to ensure they are correct.
Regardless of the type of coolant you are using, we recommend you check levels frequently, following your engine’s operation and maintenance manual
Both types of coolant will protect your engine, and testing and maintaining additive levels is not the hardest action, but why bother if you don’t have to?
Extended life coolant cuts waste which helps your pocket, the environment and you, as disposal requirements have become more stringent and costly in recent years. Disposal of used coolants can be difficult and expensive and must be done in accordance with local or national laws. It’s also easier to manage, only requiring occasional top-ups.
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