‘Colour blind’ glycol management is easier and more reliable
Select and mix right – and don’t rely on the colours. This is the main advice when it comes to glycol products – the products that protect the cooling system against freezing and rust, but also provide necessary lubrication. Read more about how to make glycol management easier and more reliable – all year round!
A FLUID WITH MANY ROLES
In Scandinavia we may tend to think primarily of antifreeze protection when we talk about glycol products, but rust protection is just as important as the glycol helps to reduce corrosion on the water pump and mechanical seals. It also keeps the system clean and reduces deposits. And last but not least, the glycol helps the system to cool better and raises the boiling point of the coolant.
FOLLOW THE ENGINE MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS
There is one rule above all when it comes to choosing a glycol product: follow the engine manufacturer’s instructions. There is a wide variety of glycol products available, and standardisation has not come as far as it has with many other oil products.
COLOURS CAN BE DECEIVING
There are glycol products in all colours of the rainbow, but making your choice based on colour can be a costly mistake. Because there are no universal standards, the colour of a glycol product is never a guarantee of its properties. Therefore, never mix products simply because they are the same colour. This can produce a mixture of glycols in which each one basically tries to protect against the other, and in the worst cases this can encourage corrosion in the cooling system.
USE READY MIXED
Glycol comes as a concentrate or ready mixed. My advice would be to use ready mixed; that way you know the mix is just right. If you still prefer to mix yourself, the rule of thumb is half water, half glycol. And remember not to use tap water, but deionised water. Tap water can contain too much calcium, for instance, as in ‘hard’ water, which will make the glycol age faster.
GOOD, BETTER, BEST
The most common products are standard glycols with a life span of 12–24 months. If you’re looking for better quality, use a product based on organic acid technology, or OAT. These products have a life span of 5–6 years and provide better rust protection. If you’re looking for even higher quality, choose a glycol product with hybrid/lobrid technology, which will provide even better rust protection.
CHECK THINGS OUT – EVERY YEAR
One recommendation is to check your glycol product every autumn, most easily via the expansion tank when the engine is cold. Cloudy glycol is a warning sign which suggests the fluid contains corrosion residue. Also check the antifreeze properties using a refractometer. And of course, remember to make sure there is enough glycol in the system. If the levels are low, there could be a leak somewhere.
OUR ONLINE GUIDE – YOUR SHORTCUT TO FINDING THE RIGHT GLYCOL PRODUCT
As I said before, the engine manufacturer knows best when it comes to the right glycol product for your engine. If you’re ever in any doubt, check with your retailer. And if you want to make life even easier for yourself, use our online guide to find the right product quickly. Click here for easier, more reliable glycol management.
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Smart Lubrication is a blog from FUCHS where we share our common knowledge about lubricants and lubrication.