I am presently stocking (known aftermarket brand) of coolant. Beck/Arnley Coolant is about $4.00 more a gallon than my all makes, all models coolant. I have been using the all makes, all models coolant for years. When I ask my customers which would they prefer, my aftermarket brand or the B/A OE coolant, I am told price is the decision maker. Competitive pressures are also intense from other jobbers and retailers.
- The main difference between the B/A coolant and the aftermarket “one size fits all” coolant lies in corrosion inhibition. All these products contain ethylene glycol, which is required for the cooling system. However product durability and extended life compatibility with Asian systems is different.
- The corrosion inhibition system developed for OE products ensures a long life product and eliminates doubt as to deterioration of system components related to the coolant products.
- A key part of this is our supplier is also supplying OE and thus is privy to specific internal engine requirements. They are part of the Asian OE Research and Development process for product development.
- The major difference between OE-specific and the “all-makes” brands of antifreeze/coolant is not so much the way they provide protection from freezing temperatures, which they all must do, but rather how they handle the threat of corrosion in the cooling system.
- That threat is determined by the composition of the materials used in the engine and its cooling system, and these materials vary based upon the OEM. Asian OE antifreeze/coolant from Beck/Arnley is formulated for the specific engine materials present in Asian automobile engines.
- Specifically, a Phosphated Organic Acid Technology (aka Hybrid Organic Acid Technology-HOAT). The European OEMs require a different formulation. There is no “one size fits all.”
- Also, some of our competitor’s brands contain an ingredient called 2-EHA (sodium 2-ethyl hexanoate), which is what’s known as a “plasticizer”- it softens certain plastics, causing engine seals and gasket leaks. This ingredient is also contained in Dex-Cool, another “all-makes” type, which Ford, Honda, and Toyota specifically forbid the use of. BTW, Dex-Cool has other problems like rapid oxidation with coolant level drops and delayed corrosion protection (up to 5K miles).
- There is a general engineering consensus that the use of flushing agents should be avoided because of unknown potential effects of their additive packages on various system components and the life span of the new coolant when added.
- Flushing a cooling system is a good idea and only distilled water mixed with new coolant or just straight distilled water should be used. Mixing different brands/types of coolant should be avoided.
There is a rumor within the industry that Hybrids have a special additive, a lubricant that needs to be added to the cooling system.
- There is no difference between Hybrids and non-Hybrids concerning coolant.
- The key here is using the OE fluid per the owner’s manual – which is available from Beck/Arnley. Any special additives are already a part of the coolant formulation as it is engineered by the manufacturers specifically for their particular engine needs.
- Specific coolant applications can be found in the Beck/Arnley web catalog.
Have a 2009 Acura and it needs the coolant topped off. What do I use? If it is Blue (50/50) and the store is sold out, can I use Green? If so, are there any (negative) ramifications?
- Yes, our Green Concentrate is compatible with the Blue 50/50. Actually, that’s exactly what some customers received with their Subarus. In 2008, Subaru went from the Green Concentrate to the Blue Extended Life 50/50. The Blue was used on the WRX and the remaining models received one or the other, or a mix according to their TSB announcing the changeover to Blue.
- What happens is that the change interval of the Green Concentrate, typically 30K miles, needs to be followed, instead of the extended change interval of the Extended Life Blue, typically 5 years and up, depending upon manufacturer.
- No problems, as verified in Toyota’s TSB announcing the introduction of their Super Long Life Pink in 2002. Again, the shorter change interval of the Red must be followed.
- In actuality, all of our coolants can be combined with the only negative effect being the reduction of the change interval to that of the concentrate (typically, 30K miles).
On the Fact Sheet from the coolant manufacturer, they note the change intervals. Why does the concentrate (Green and Red) have fewer years for the change interval, than the 50/50 mix (Blue and Pink)?
- The difference in change intervals recommendations is reflective of the fact that the 50/50 has a longer life expectancy than the concentrate.
- The range in the change intervals is indicative of the fact that each OEM specifies varied change intervals for their vehicles, dependent upon coolant type. The recommended change interval may even vary between the initial change of the factory-supplied coolant and subsequent changes.
If I use distilled water with Green or Red (cutting to a 50/50 mix) will I not get the same length of service as the Pink or Blue?
- No. Please see answer above.
Are there aftermarket coolants that contain Borates? Silicate? Nitrite? Is it the all makes, all colors?
- Nitrites and amines were found to be carcinogenic and thus are no longer used. Some may still contain Borates, but they should not be used in Asian coolants due to aggression to aluminum components. Zerex G-05 contains silicates, for one.
On the data sheet from the coolant manufacturer there is a Coolant A noted and a Coolant B noted. Who or what is Coolant A, Coolant B?
- Company A & B are both large aftermarket customers who both use Silicate type technology. One of the reasons Silicate technology exists is because it helps protect aluminum from corrosion.
- The downside is it has a tendency to gel, cause sedimentation, and weaken seals. B/A product uses other anti-corrosion additives to protect these surfaces and the corrosion superiority of the B/A product is noted in the test results. The metal corrosion test reflected in the comparisons is ASTM D1384 while the “hockey puck” test is ASTM D4340.
What if I use tap water and not distilled water when mixing the Red or Green Concentrate, will I get the same years of service?
- The minerals and ions typically found in tap water can be corrosive to internal engine components, and can cause a more rapid depletion of the anti-corrosion ability of our coolants.
On the fact sheets per sku, we state “Specific to:” for those vehicle makes ‘requiring’ either Red, Green, Blue or Pink. Then we list “can be used in:” right underneath. What does this actually mean? I can use either Green or Blue, Red or Pink?
- The “Specific to” wording is used where the formulation and color of the Beck/Arnley coolant matches the OE coolant supplied for the specific brand.
- For instance, the Beck/Arnley Extended Life Blue Antifreeze/Coolant matches the blue coolant used in (some) Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Suzuki models. But it can also be used in Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, and Mazda vehicles even though these brands don’t actually use an Extended Life Blue in any OE applications.
If we say Acura/Honda are “Specific to” blue (50/50), yet “May also be used in” calls out Green, we can then mix them and not have a problem? But essentially we want the installer to use Blue. How do we get this point across?
- Please see the answer above. This also relates to the fact that any of the coolants can be used and combined in any of the applicable makes. However we feel that color match to the OE-supplied coolant, as well as the type (concentrate or 50/50), is important to most installers and customers from an OE look standpoint and to maintain the change interval specified by the OEM.