Today’s heavy-duty engines demand cooling system protection that goes beyond that offered by conventional coolants formulated for automobiles and light-duty trucks.
Higher mileage, heavier loads, and extended service intervals are the reality. Considering that historically more than 40 percent of a diesel engine’s downtime can be attributed to cooling system problems, it’s important that the coolant you select is formulated specifically for the unique requirements of heavy-duty engines.
Using antifreeze as your coolant year-round is important for several reasons. As the name suggests, antifreeze contains glycol , which provides freeze protection. Also, antifreeze provides a stable environment for gaskets and seals, which tend to shrink when using straight water as a coolant and can lead to leakage.
Common causes of coolant system downtime in heavy-duty engines include cavitation, or pitting, of wet sleeve cylinder liners, corrosion of system components, and poor heat transfer due to scale build-up. If the coolant in use has excessive inhibitor levels, phosphate and silicate drop-out can occur, leading to premature water pump failure, radiator blockage, and/or heater core problems.
There are two types of heavy-duty coolants that work overtime to help minimize these threats to equipment uptime. They both feature heavy-duty coolant technologies recommended by the original equipment manufacturer.
- Fully formulated coolant/antifreeze, pre-charged with supplemental coolant additive (SCA).
- Organic acid technology (OAT) extended-life coolant.
For years, heavy-duty operators were limited to using low silicate automotive antifreeze that required the addition of a separate SCA. Fully formulated coolant/antifreeze eliminates mixing errors, improves convenience, and saves time by simplifying maintenance.
OAT delivers cooling system protection without the use of SCA. Organic acid inhibitors provide protection from cavitation and corrosion. It will save you time and money, because it eliminates the need for SCA. It is recommended for use in all types of heavy-duty diesel, gasoline, and natural gas engines.
Your local FS energy specialist can help you determine the best type of coolant/antifreeze for your heavy-duty engines.
Tom Drew is GROWMARK’s lubricant marketing manager. His e-mail address is email@example.com.