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Q8Oils protect the engine cooling system

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Research has indicated that up to 60% of all engine failures are related to the engine cooling system yet it is probably the most neglected component of many vehicles.

The majority of drivers only check the level of the coolant on the odd occasion and top it up with water if required. Those who do change the coolant themselves often opt for the cheapest coolant available and use it at the lowest possible concentration.

To appreciate the significance of engine coolants we need to understand their functions in the engine cooling system:

  • They need to be effective heat exchange fluids.
  • Coolants have to provide corrosion protection.
  • They should protect against freezing.
  • Engine coolants must prevent boiling.

The ideal engine coolant is a mixture of pure water and a high-quality coolant concentrate from a reputable supplier such as Q8Oils, a major force in the oil industry. The recommended concentration is 50% coolant concentrate and 50% water. Water is added since it is an effective heat transfer medium. An effective coolant concentrate is a blend of ethylene glycol plus rust and corrosion inhibitors, lubricity agents and foam inhibitors.

Dyes are also added in minute quantities to indicate the presence of the concentrate in the cooling system. While these additives make up only a small fraction of the overall coolant, they are most instrumental in differentiating one coolant from another.

Traditional coolants (based on inorganic chemistry) provide protection against rust and corrosion by forming a protective layer on metal surfaces inside the engine that is in contact with the coolant (see Figure 1 below). While this layer provides protection, it continuously consumes active ingredients (corrosion inhibitors) from the coolant to build and retain the protective layer. For this reason the maximum service interval for traditional coolants is two years when mixed 50% with water.

Another disadvantage of traditional coolants is that the protective layer may restrict the heat flow from the metal surfaces into the coolant.

In contrast to traditional coolants, organic acid based coolants provide protection only where it is needed, i.e. where the corrosion takes place (Figure 2). As such it is targeted protection. It will effectively stop corrosion from progressing, but at the same time corrosion inhibitor consumption is minimal and most of the surfaces in contact with the coolant remain unaffected. This results in:

  • Unrestricted heat transfer across the metal/liquid interface.
  • Extended coolant service life; hence the term Long Life (LL) coolant.

High quality engine coolants based on organic acid technology (OAT) may be used for periods up to five years when the concentrate is mixed 50/50 with water.

OAT long life engine coolants must not be mixed with traditional coolants since they incorporate different inhibitor chemistries. If mixing occurs, it is best to have the entire system flushed. This is the only way to be sure that the system is clean and not at risk. Although the preferred dilution ratio for coolants (traditional and OAT) is 50% coolant concentrate and 50% water, they are sometimes used at lower treat rates of the concentrate. In such instances the service intervals mentioned above should be reduced accordingly.

The coolant concentrate, however, should not be used at mixing ratios of less than 30%. Hard water is a severe problem in many parts of South Africa and reduces the performance of coolants, traditional coolants in particular. To assist vehicle operators with this problem, coolant manufacturers market pre-diluted coolants mixed 50/50 with water. This also ensures that the correct ratio of concentrate and water is always being used.

 

Engine coolants can be dyed any colour, but traditional coolants are generally green in colour. Long life coolants are usually dyed red. The aftermarket is loaded with high and low-quality coolants in all colours of the rainbow. Colour is therefore not a good indicator of the type and quality of a coolant. The best practice is to know the exact coolant requirements of for your vehicle and source it from a reputable supplier such as Q8Oils, a trusted supplier of high quality engine coolants.

Q8 CoolPro LL engine coolants provide the best possible protection for 4×4’s in harsh off-road conditions. It is available as a concentrate and a ready-to-use 50/50 premix. For further information, Q8Oils’ experts are at your disposal and ready to provide you with advice and answer any questions you may have.

To find out more about Q8Oils and how they can protect and extend the life of your engine coolant system, simply fill in your details on the enquiry form below and they will get back to you with regard to pricing, availability and the correct coolants for your particular vehicle. Alternatively, contact Q8Oils on 011 462 1829.

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