Dear No-Rosion Customer,
This summers record heat was a true test of the health of your vehicles cooling system.
There are many things that a properly functioning coolant can do to reduce, or entirely prevent, the possibility of overheating during hot summer months. In this newsletter, I am going to dive deeper into this topic. And I am going to answer the three questions I hear most often from customers with regard to coolants.
Did you know there is a fluid that conducts heat better than any other on this planet? It is water. No other liquid has the heat carrying capacity of water. This makes it the absolute best coolant for any engine. Anything put in it will reduce its capacity to transfer heat. This is certainly the case with antifreeze.
One of the worst characteristics of antifreeze is its poor specific heat capacity. Because of this, most locomotive engines do not contain antifreeze. Even those in Northern climates. To prevent freezing, they just keep running.
The specific heat of a liquid is a number expressed as the ratio of that substances ability to carry heat, compared to that of water. Waters specific heat is therefore 1.00. Comparatively, any glycol-based antifreeze has a specific heat of approximately 0.57. This means that it can carry roughly half as much heat as water. Unfortunately, even when diluted to 50/50 with water, its specific heat is still only around 0.83.
So you are at an immediate disadvantage by using a 50/50 mix. Which begs the question: Why run antifreeze at all?
The most obvious answer relates to the freeze protection that it provides. A 50/50 mix not only reduces the freezing point to nearly -35oF, but also increases the boiling point to 223oF. And importantly, it provides corrosion inhibitor ingredients that protect against oxidation of cooling system metals.
If you are like most, you do not need freeze protection during the summer. Which means that, by switching to straight water, the only two things you would be giving up are: (1) corrosion protection, and (2) boiling point elevation.
Both of these things are easily accomplished by other means. Remember, the boiling point of a coolant increases as it heats, expands, and pressurizes. Assuming a 15 PSI radiator cap, the boiling point of water coolant increases to over 260oF. And antique vehicles with non-pressurized systems are not designed to run with glycol-based coolant anyway. So either way, boiling point is a non-issue. And regarding the corrosion protection, it is easily provided by the addition of a robust, fully-formulated coolant additive. Namely, No-Rosion. More on that later.
The point is, there is no reason why you need antifreeze during summer months. And actually, you are quite a bit better off without it. Here are a few of the many reasons why you will benefit from running straight water coolant:
* Your engine will run considerably cooler, usually by about 7-20oF
* Most race tracks now mandate it, as glycol leaks can cause dangerous, slippery conditions
* Your cooling system will stay much cleaner, and remain free of deposits.
* You will not spew toxic, hazardous antifreeze if/when you experience a leak/overflow.
* Cooler cylinder heads allow advanced ignition timing, generating more horsepower.
* Fewer hot spots allows you can run lower cost, lower octane fuel without the risk of detonation.
* If coolant ever seeps into your crankcase, water will not gel and damage bearings, like glycol does.
Which brings me to the three questions that I hear most often from customers: (1) Which type of water is best? (2) Which antifreeze is best? (3) Which coolant additive is best?
Let us begin with WATER. There are only 3 types you should use as straight water coolant: Reverse Osmosis (RO), softened water, or tap water. RO water is some of the purest water available. If you have access to it, use it. Your second choice should be soft water. Both RO and soft water offer the benefit of being free of impurities, and being electrochemically balanced. Because they contain no hardness, there is no possibility of forming efficiency-robbing scales and deposits. Hard water scales only 1/16th of an inch thick can reduce heat transfer by up to 40%.
Do not use distilled or deionized (DI) water as straight water coolant. In these two purification processes, impurities are STRIPPED from water, creating a water molecule that is electrochemically imbalanced. Accordingly, it strips electrons from metals in your cooling system to regain electrochemical balance, causing damage. The only time you can safely use distilled or DI water is when its mixed with 50% antifreeze. The water molecules will seek, and find, electrochemical balance by compounding with glycol molecules. This prevents damage to system metals.
Now let us tackle the issue of ANTIFREEZE. If you do find it necessary to use antifreeze during the summer, or you switch back to a 50/50 mix for the winter, be sure you select the proper type. The base stocks of antifreeze are: Ethylene Glycol (EG), and Propylene Glycol (PG). These two materials are interchangeable, and can even be mixed. Usually EG is available at lower cost. But it is highly toxic, and has a sweet taste that is appealing to children and pets. The only advantage that PG has over EG is its non-toxicity. It does not perform any better, or last longer. If toxicity is important to you, go with PG. Otherwise, save yourself a few bucks and go with EG.
When it comes to the inhibitor package in various antifreeze blends, there are dramatic differences. They are NOT interchangeable, and can NOT be mixed. So beware!
Conventional inhibitors have been used very effectively in permanent antifreeze for 80 years. They consist of inorganic materials. Hence, they are called inorganic acid technology, or IAT. Included are ingredients such as silicate, phosphate, borate, etc. They very quickly form resilient, passive (i.e. protective and non-reactive) surface films on the metals inside a cooling system that protect against corrosion.
In the mid 1990s, some OEMs began using antifreeze with a completely different inhibitor package composed of organic acid technology, or OAT. Organic ingredients, known as carboxylates, fully replace silicates and phosphates in IAT. The theory is that silicates can be abrasive to water pump seals, and require antifreeze to be formulated at slightly higher pH levels. By switching to carboxylates, OEMs claimed enhanced water pump lifespan, and better protection of aluminum, which is a metal that generally does better at a somewhat lower pH.
Unfortunately there were problems. Carboxylates can form insoluble gels if/when system air in-leakage occurs. They can cause gaskets to leak. They can damage lead in some radiator solders. They do not mix well with silicates found in systems that previously contained IAT. And the protection they provide is very slow to form, requiring 5,000 miles of driving to form surface films. Considerable controversy resulted, as did many class action lawsuits.
Our firm has conducted extensive research in this area. We observed that passive surface films are continually worn away and replaced by inhibitors in the surrounding coolant. This is one of the reasons why antifreeze is not permanent. But if OAT is added to a system previously passivated by IAT, normal replacement of surface films is not simply taken over by OAT. Rather, through a process known as bridging, localized areas of film degradation occur in which neither technology is fully protecting. This causes pitting, and eventually leaks and failures.
Here is how you know whether to use IAT or OAT antifreeze. If your vehicle was built before 1996, and did NOT come with OAT as factory fill, use IAT. If your vehicle was built during or after 1996, and came with OAT as factory fill, use OAT. In either case, do not switch from one to the other. This can cause the bridging issue described above. And if your vehicle was built before the early 1960s, do not use ANY antifreeze unless absolutely necessary. Up until then, owners manuals called for straight water and an inhibitor, unless freeze protection was required.
The problem is, it has become difficult to identify whether antifreeze is IAT or OAT. In their marketing efforts, antifreeze manufacturers are less than forthright about identifying which inhibitors are in their products.
You used to be able to tell whether antifreeze was IAT or OAT by its color. Green was IAT, and orange was OAT. Not anymore. Further confusing consumers, many manufacturers have created their own colors. You will now find antifreeze in yellow, pink, fuchsia, blue, and red. No longer does color apply to a specific inhibitor technology.
There is no standard. You can not tell by the color. You often can not tell by the label. You can not tell by the base stock, as EG/PG are both available in IAT/OAT. You can not tell by the brand, as most brands now have both types. You can not even tell by the MSDS. Manufacturers do not seem to WANT you to know which is which.
Making matters worse, antifreeze labels use language such as: global, universal, all makes, all colors, and fully compatible. Manufacturers indicate that these products are compatible, and can be safely interchanged. This just isn’t true. And a new technology muddies the water even further. Hybrid organic acid technology, or HOAT, is a mix of organic AND inorganic technology. You will find this in many of the so-called universal coolants. But some IAT/OAT manufacturers advise against mixing with HOAT. So let me simplify things for you.
Whichever type your vehicle came with as factory fill, stick with it. Do not be tempted to mix or change types.
Also beware, there are now many pre-mixes of antifreeze and water that sell for almost the same price per bottle as straight antifreeze. So you get half as much antifreeze, for about the same cost - essentially doubling the amount you pay to fill your cooling system. This type of math does not exactly benefit you, the consumer.
We have done some homework, and compiled lists of IAT and OAT/HOAT brands. By no means are these lists exhaustive or fully comprehensive. But they are reasonably inclusive of brands you will find in your local parts store.
IAT ANTIFREEZE BRANDS*
Arctic Blend Universal
Arctic Blend HD Fully Formulated
Autozone Conventional Green
BP Lubricants Castrol Heavy Duty
Castrol Automotive Antifreeze
Citgo Antifreeze and Coolant
Detroit Diesel PowerCool
Exxon Mobil Heavy Duty
Fleetguard Fleetcool Recycled Coolant
Fleetguard Universal Low Silicate
Fleetguard Universal Recycled Coolant
Mobil Permazone Antifreeze & Coolant
Old World Industries (Peak) Antifreeze (aka Original Green)
Old World Industries (Peak) Fleet Charge
Old World Industries (Peak) Ready Use 50/50 Prediluted
Old World Industries Fleet Charge Fully Formulated
Old World Industries Power Cool
Old World Industries (Sierra)
O’Reilly Antifreeze & Coolant
Prestone Heavy Duty
Recochem STP Heavy Duty
Recochem Turbopower Heavy Duty Diesel
Shell Fully Formulated Phosphate Free
Shell Shellzone Low Silicate
Sinclair Conventional Green Prediluted 50/50 Antifreeze
Valvoline Zerex Original Green Antifreeze/Coolant
OAT/HOAT ANTIFREEZE BRANDS*
Arctic Blend G-Plus
BP Lubricants Castrol Heavy Duty Extended Life
Chevron Texaco Delo Extended Life
Chevron Texaco Extended Life - Nitrite Free
Chevron Texaco DELO Extended Life - Nitrite Free
DaimlerChrysler / Mopar 2003
Detroit Diesel PowerCool Plus
ExxonMobil Delvac Extended Life
Fleetguard ES Compleat
Fleetguard Fleetcool EX
Ford Motorcraft Premium Gold
Old World Industries (Peak) Advance
Old World Industries (Peak) CF-EXL Extended Life Coolant
Old World Industries (Peak) Global Lifetime
Old World Industries (Peak) Long Life
Old World Industries (Peak) Full Force
Old World Industries Final Charge Global Extended Life Coolant
Old World Industries (Peak) Fleet Charge
Old World Industries (Peak) All Weather
Old World Industries Power Cool Plus
Prestone Extended Life
Recochem STP Diesel Extended Life
Shell HD Premium
Shell HD Premium N
Shell Rotella Extended Life
Shell Rotella Ultra ELC
Texaco Havoline DEX-COOL
Texaco Havoline Extended Life
Valvoline Zerex DEX-COOL
Valvoline Zerex Extreme Life 5/150
Valvoline Zerex Extended Life
Valvoline Zerex Extended Life Extreme 3/300
Valvoline Zerex G-05
Valvoline Zerex G-30
Valvoline Zerex Asian Vehicle Antifreeze/Coolant
*All brands, product names, and trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Last, but certainly not least, COOLANT ADDITIVES. Just like antifreezes, not all additives are created equal!
As a No-Rosion customer, you are probably already familiar with the benefits of our No-Rosion and HyperKuhl products. What you may not know is that we constantly test the performance of every other coolant additive on the market. We do this to be certain that our products remain the most competitive. If you would ever like to see how another product stacks up, just let me know and I will forward the results to you.
In ASTM tests, No-Rosion and HyperKuhl outperform every product. And they are the ONLY coolant additives that pass every ASTM test in straight water coolant. This is significant. It allows you to derive all the benefits of straight water coolant, and still have 100% corrosion protection. In other words, the best of both worlds.
As previously identified, RO and softened water are the most optimal to use in a cooling system. But not everyone has access to these water types. Especially if you are out on tour, out at a race track, or only have access to rural well water. No problem. Both No-Rosion and HyperKuhl contain dispersants that allow tap water of marginal quality to be safely used, without the risk of deposit or scale formation.
How do you know whether to use No-Rosion or HyperKuhl? Two ways, actually.
First, does your cooling system operate at less than 7 PSI pressure? If so, there is a possibility that HyperKuhl may foam in your system. So the answer is simple. You should use No-Rosion.
Second, does your cooling system overheat, or do you have a high performance, high compression engine that requires additional cooling? If so, use HyperKuhl. If not, save yourself a few bucks and use No-Rosion.
Both products contain the same corrosion inhibitor ingredients. The only difference is that HyperKuhl contains surfactants that reduce the surface tension of coolant. This allows it to transfer heat more effectively from engine cylinder heads to the coolant, and from the coolant to the outside environment via the radiator. The result is a net temperature reduction in the cylinder heads, as well as in the stabilized coolant temperature.
No-Rosion and HyperKuhl are both fully compatible with EG and PG, as well as IAT, OAT, and HOAT.
I should also mention our No-Rosion Lubrication System Passivator. It is the only product we offer that is not related to coolant. We do not even manufacture it ourselves. Through a special relationship with a significant petroleum company for whom we manufacture a private label coolant additive, we make this product available to you. It is incredibly effective at preventing start-up damage. Especially after your engine has not run in a long time. Consider adding a bottle to engine oil before putting your vehicle away for storage.
As I always do in this semi-annual newsletter, I will remind you that the corrosion and overheating protection provided by our products is slowly depleted over time. So in order to maintain your system properly, you will need to add another bottle every year. An order form is enclosed. You can also order online by visiting our secure, encrypted web site: www.NoRosion.com. Or call 847-477-9262 to order by phone.
Thank you for being a customer. We appreciate your business, and look forward to continuing to be of service.
Applied Chemical Specialties, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Applied Chemical Specialties, Inc.