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Thread: Subject: antifreeze ... Do Not Use in cars over 10 years old

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    Subject: antifreeze ... Do Not Use in cars over 10 years old

    Larry Swanson (studepubs@aol.com) sent this out as a matter of information. Does anyone have more definitive guidance on the Extended Life Antifreeze? Trying to get additional information on this issue. . . .thanks Curt

    Off the AACA forum: Extended Life Antifreeze

    Information was just published in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club Newsletter
    concerning the use of "extended life" antifreeze in cars over 10 years old.
    In a nutshell--don't do it! Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should an "Extended
    Life" antifreeze, which utilizes Organic Additive Technology (OAT, H-OAT, or
    N-OAT) as one of its chemicals, ever be used in our cars over 10 years old.

    It attacks the gaskets and gasket cements in our cars, causing major leaks and forcing
    ultra-expensive repairs. The "Silver Ghost Association" Rolls Royce people have
    documented massive cooling system failures apparently caused by this antifreeze
    product. Antifreeze that can be used safely in our cars uses older-fashioned
    Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT) additive. You cannot tell by the color of the
    antifreeze if it's safe to use. Also, the product may be labeled "Safe for Older
    Cars"-- meaning 10 years old at most – “the over 10 years old covers most of the
    Hawkeye’s cars!!” Brands to be AVOIDED are all Prestone lines and Zerex's G-
    05 in the Gold-color container.

    Avoid any "extended-life" antifreeze. None of us wants to pull and rebuild our cars' engines.

    Acceptable brands are Peak, Peak's HD Product "Sierra," and Zerex Original Green in the
    WHITE container. If any of the OAT, H-OAT, or N-OAT products are in your car the cooling
    system should promptly be drained--radiator and block-- the system flushed thoroughly,
    and IAT antifreeze installed.
    Curt Devan
    Kirksville, MO

    Editor, Mid Missouri Chapter Newsletter "Studie News"

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    President Member 53commander's Avatar
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    Most major car brands have been using long life coolant for well over 10 years. I will agree that it could deteriorate older gaskets and parts like water pumps too. I use regular coolant in my 53 as I plan on flushing it regularly to keep everything in good shape.

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    Total baloney. My 17 year old Caddy came with extended life AF from the factory. I changed it at 100k and will change again at 200k. No problems whatsoever.

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    When I went to the web site, the post was a year and 1/2 old and no posts newer than a year old. Can't find anything else on it.

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    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Yes, Curt, that information is somewhat dated and should be updated, but not totally inaccurate: OAT-formulations were shown to possibly cause some galvanic action between dissimilar metals when cars were left in storage unused for many months. You wouldn't notice it in a daily-driver.

    Common, green, basic, old-formula ethylene-glycol antifreeze is still readily available in most markets, often priced less than newer formulas, so why not use it?

    You're sure to find it at places like Tractor Supply, Farm & Fleet, Big Blue Stores, and such. It is usually private-label. (I hope it doesn't deteriorate too fast; I bought six, 6-gallon cases of it at Menard's a couple years ago and still have four cases left! Personally, it's all I use, with a bottle of anti-rust added every other year, in my own collector cars.) BP

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    Speedster Member oldsalt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnormanh View Post
    Total baloney. My 17 year old Caddy came with extended life AF from the factory. I changed it at 100k and will change again at 200k. No problems whatsoever.
    My cad also came with the extended life crap. So I used it in a nice 70 Chevelle LS-6 believing that "nothing is too good" for a collector car.. Bad, bad mistake. Don't know if "10 years" is the absolute and 100% cut-off date, but I do know that if a guy is in doubt DON'T put that red garbage in your system. What is there to gain by using it if there is ANY doubt because it is a tried and tested and true fact that t will be injurious to early systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsalt View Post
    My cad also came with the extended life crap. So I used it in a nice 70 Chevelle LS-6 believing that "nothing is too good" for a collector car.. Bad, bad mistake. Don't know if "10 years" is the absolute and 100% cut-off date, but I do know that if a guy is in doubt DON'T put that red garbage in your system. What is there to gain by using it if there is ANY doubt because it is a tried and tested and true fact that t will be injurious to early systems.
    We used to call that red coolant which GM started using ca. 1996 'Deathcool' vs. 'Dexcool'.
    --------------------------------------

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    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1962larksedan View Post
    We used to call that red coolant which GM started using ca. 1996 'Deathcool' vs. 'Dexcool'.
    Boy, isn't that the truth! I once bought a nice, 6-year-old S-10 extended cab for resale that cost some time and money to get it cooling properly. Once you've seen a cooling system plugged up with that stuff, you never forget it. BP

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobPalma View Post
    (I hope it doesn't deteriorate too fast; I bought six, 6-gallon cases of it at Menard's a couple years ago and still have four cases left! Personally, it's all I use, with a bottle of anti-rust added every other year, in my own collector cars.) BP
    I was simply shocked by this: When we went to pick up my grandpa's Lark after sitting in a field for almost 20 years, I got it home and popped off the radiator cap, expecting it to have drained bone dry. Nope, it was still full to the brim, and bright green. So, being the person I am, I grabbed the antifreeze tester from my workbench, and that stuff tested good! I still don't know how that was even possible. I also checked the oil, and it, too, was very close to full. I truly regretted letting that little flathead 6 go. It was quite possibly the only Studebaker motor that never had a leak!
    '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, toddler seat

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    Don't go by color. I know for a fact that Toyota uses an anti freeze that is red in color but if you look at the container it is ethylene-glycol. When GM started using Dexcool I remember that it was being recommended in all their cars except Saturn. Perhaps because Saturn at the time was the only one using aluminum heads on iron blocks & the coolant would have had an effect on the galvanic reaction between the dissimilar metals.
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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    I have started several replies to this, but hesitate to post info on this because it is an area that is in a state of change.

    The buzz word in coolant is 'Extended Life'.
    This means different things, in different industries, for different reasons.

    The 'new' truck industry (diesel engine) has changed from a SCA additive coolant (which is still available) to a different chemical mix on 'extended life' coolants.
    The newer 'extended life' coolants have a different chemical package than the older SCA additive package.
    SCA in coolant is used to prevent cylinder liner pitting in diesel engines (and it helps solve cavitation problems in gas engines as well).

    If one reads between the lines on the article, and one were to use the later HD diesel 'extended life' coolant, there might be an issue.

    But.....
    The automotive industry (truck and pascar) is changing.
    And this change is OEM driven. Particularly engine builder driven.
    Coolant chemicals and blends ARE changing, and they are changing for current vehicles.
    The older pascar market is still being served by the various coolant manufacturers, and existing coolants will do the job as demanded.

    And don't go by 'color'.
    There have been so many coolant manufacturers adding 'color' to coolants that have no meaning from brand to brand.
    There is no industry standard (SAE) about coolant color that I know of.

    My coolant of choice for Studebaker's (any and all) is:
    Prestone HD "Purple" p/n AF957 (50-50 Pre-Mix)
    AF957 Prestone HD Pre-Charge 50/50 Gallon Purple

    It has the SCA additive package already in it (which might be overkill for a gas Stude engine, but it won't hurt it).
    The water used in the 50-50 Pre-Mix is deionized filtered water, which is better than 99% of all tap water out there.

    My second choice would be the Prestone All Makes 50-50 coolant.
    The purple has more additives in it that will help to protect the metal in the engine and radiator.
    AF2100 Prestone All Makes All Models 50/50 Gallon Yellow





    So, the consumer choices are great, and some of these choices are not compatible with older cars and light duty trucks (gas powered).
    Be a smart shopper, and buy what the coolant manufacturer recommends.
    No... The sky is not falling.
    Forums and blogs get a ton of info posted that is not always correct, or complete.
    And posters need to be careful in posting about what worked in 1963 will work in 2013.
    Maybe it will... Maybe it won't.

    If someone has questions about coolant, you can contact me off the forum and I will answer any of your questions, or find the answers you need.

    Let's all be careful out there with our Stude's.
    HTIH
    Jeff
    Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 03-21-2013 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Clarification
    Jeff



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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    Jeff has given a good response to this.
    When Larry first sent this item around, I immediately challenged the ten year part of it. Many cars more than ten years old came from the factory with extended life anti-freeze. I believe that some of this new stuff should not be used in Studebakers. It is the ten year rule that I strongly disagree with. I say to use the type that the car originally came with.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    I don't know about all the extended life coolants but DexCool definitely should not be used in vehicles where it wasn't a factory fill. DexCool doesn't mix with ethylene glycol coolants and creates a mess that causes clogs. GM had many headaches with DexCool due to lack of education to the consumer not to mix solutions and even techs who weren't properly schooled in the potential problems...particularly with aluminum engines and radiators. The mix would clog and cause blown head gaskets and radiators.

    It seems after decades of people using coolants that are usually clearly marked that they're compatible with other coolants they stopped reading the warnings when DexCool was marketed or simply assumed compatibility and purchased and added less expensive ethylene glycol based coolants rather than DexCool.

    For our older engines I'd stick with the tried and true ethylene glycol and leave the extended life coolants to cars which came with them originally.
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    I'll say in all fairness that the modern 'Dexcool' types of antifreeze seem to be doing much better, I very rarely hear about ruined cooling systems in ca. 2004 up vehicles from any manufacturer.........and, the older cars/trucks also seem 'happier', even with the newer juice.
    --------------------------------------

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    I used to fill 55 gallon barrels with antifreeze at an auto parts store about 25 years ago. When we received the barrels we used a stencil and painted "permanent antifreeze" on the top of it before filling them. My boss told me that antifreeze does not break down with age. The reason you change it is due to rust that occurs inside an iron block engine and that a lot of the time people add water to a low system and have dilluted it too much.

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    I appreciate this thread and all who have commented. Personally, I had no clue that antifreeze had changed. Guess I am one of those who never read the labels. i just kept using Prestone after its color changed from green to yellow, and I have avoided the premixed version. Why pay for water? i thought it was just a marketing ploy to make more money or the manufacturer responding to people too lazy to mix their own! Thanks Rich for pointing out that there is a valid reason for buying premixed antifreeze, although considering the cost, I think I will continue using my well water or switch to the distilled water that I use in the coffee maker. I don't remember ever seeing the Prestone "purple" on the shelves, but this is probably because I wasn't looking for it. I always just grabbed the familiar yellow Prestone jug. Maybe, too, I have avoided the curse because it is frozen here most of the year (only half kidding). I probably also would not have changed oils if it were not for comments on this forum that warned about the changes being made to automotive oils. I would have just continued using the same brand that I had used since I was a teenager in the 60s and that my Dad had used before me. It is easy to go with a known product when it (seemingly) has never caused a problem and you do not know that the product is evolving into something different.

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    President Member 63 R2 Hawk's Avatar
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    I have been using Dexcool in my 10 year old GMC Duramax truck without any issues whatsoever. The few times I've had to add coolant, I always use Dex, which was the factory coolant-never anything else-for the reasons stated in several replies here. I always mix my own 50/50 with DISTILLED water. Never use deionized water to mix with coolant, DI water is always looking for ions and will grab them from any copper or alu in the system, it is also electrically conductive which will cause galvanic reactions with dissimilar metals in cooling systems. You can Google the subject for more info than I can provide. Old school Prestone/distilled water mix goes in my Studebaker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 63 R2 Hawk View Post
    I have been using Dexcool in my 10 year old GMC Duramax truck without any issues whatsoever. The few times I've had to add coolant, I always use Dex, which was the factory coolant-never anything else-for the reasons stated in several replies here. I always mix my own 50/50 with DISTILLED water. Never use deionized water to mix with coolant, DI water is always looking for ions and will grab them from any copper or alu in the system, it is also electrically conductive which will cause galvanic reactions with dissimilar metals in cooling systems. You can Google the subject for more info than I can provide. Old school Prestone/distilled water mix goes in my Studebaker.
    Jeff R. sent me to the Prestone site with all the info on their Antifreeze products. I was surprised to see that they specifically said to use tap water.

    My newer cars have Dexcool in them and I continue to fill them with Prestone Dexcool as well as use it in my 83 Avanti because the engine is awash in Aluminum; heads, radiator and water pump.

    My 383 that's going into my 74 will probably also get the same. It has cast iron heads but aluminum radiator and water pump so I'll probably just use Dexcool in all of them. Keeps it simple unless I go to Evans Coolant in the 74. I'm considering it.

    My Silverado in 13 y.o. with 130,000 miles and the Impala is 5 y.o. with 103,000 miles and they have both survived with Dexcool so I plan to just keep on, keeping on with it.

    Bob
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