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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Coolant Type CHOICES

Seemed to have some disagreements with my data. So I have decieded to remove the post and any replies I have made. Don't want to upset anyone here!:D
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Jason, hate to break this to you my man, but you've got some really wrong info there.

Almost all coolant thesed days is ethylene glycol based. Some coolants use propylene glycol because it's less toxic, but this is not the difference between green/orange/yellow coolant. The color is to designate the additive package, not the glycol base.

As far as I know there's no problems with using propylene glycol based coolant in any engine, aluminum or no. The glycol is what changes the boiling point of the coolant, and chemically it's pretty inert. It doesn't affect the corrosion resistance (that is a function of the additive package).

There's three main types of coolant right now that I know of:

Green: traditional additive package. These are good for something like two-three years or so.

Orange/Pink/Red: extended life coolants using an organic anti-corosion package. GM calls these Dex-Cool, and they are also the basis for the pink Audi/VW coolant. In *theory* these should not be mixed with green coolant and if you use them in replacement of green the system is supposed to be flushed first. In practice, Mongo dunno.

Yellow: the new Prestone, which is labeled "mixes with anything". This is an extended life coolant with the organic package that's theoretically safe to mix with either green coolant or the newer orange/red coolants. I have used it to top off green coolant without any issues.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Color does mean something. The SAE standard for coolant color is green. The newer organic coolants are colored red-orange to differentiate them. Prestone uses yellow because cosmetically it's a color that will blend with either the green of traditional coolants or the orange of the newer coolants.

(If you pour the orange stuff into the green stuff and you wind up with a muddy brown, which is not an inspiring *cosmetic* sight in your coolant tank. I've heard it both ways on whether it's okay *chemically* to mix dex-cool or traditional...from "yes it's fine" to "no you'll get goop in your cooling system". I prefer to err on the side of caution on this one. Prestone is organic like dex-cool but is specifically listed as okay to mix with traditional.)

I think you need to look for another culprit for your corrosion besides PG. You probably hit the nail on the head when you said "lower grade" - the quality of the coolant, whether the additive package is designed for aluminum, and the frequency of coolant changes are much more important than the base.

Like I said, the glycol base is chemically inert...it doesn't react with the metal at all. Almost all coolants are EG based because it's cheaper, the ones that use PG generally do it for the lower toxicity. Amsoil uses PG in their coolant, for example.

http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/ant.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Color does mean something. The SAE standard for coolant color is green. The newer organic coolants are colored red-orange to differentiate them. Prestone uses yellow because cosmetically it's a color that will blend with either the green of traditional coolants or the orange of the newer coolants.

(If you pour the orange stuff into the green stuff and you wind up with a muddy brown, which is not an inspiring *cosmetic* sight in your coolant tank. I've heard it both ways on whether it's okay *chemically* to mix dex-cool or traditional...from "yes it's fine" to "no you'll get goop in your cooling system". I prefer to err on the side of caution on this one. Prestone is organic like dex-cool but is specifically listed as okay to mix with traditional.)

I think you need to look for another culprit for your corrosion besides PG. You probably hit the nail on the head when you said "lower grade" - the quality of the coolant, whether the additive package is designed for aluminum, and the frequency of coolant changes are much more important than the base.

Like I said, the glycol base is chemically inert...it doesn't react with the metal at all. Almost all coolants are EG based because it's cheaper, the ones that use PG generally do it for the lower toxicity. Amsoil uses PG in their coolant, for example.

http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/ant.aspx
Like I said I use the VW/AUDI brand. I have no corrosion.

You are some what correct in your comments. I guess what I was getting at is that the old green stuff if you will is a bit out dated for the all aluminum engine.

There are some better anti-freezes coming out or have been out since 96.

For example:

Hybrid” antifreezes that contain inorganic and organic corrosion inhibitors. Inorganic inhibitors like nitrite and silicate were used for years in antifreeze. They provide excellent corrosion protection but deplete rapidly. The past ten years have seen the introduction of OAT antifreezes that rely on organic acids for corrosion protection with extended life. Hybrid antifreezes combine inorganic inhibitors with organic acids to get the best features of both.

here is a cool chart to help with picking coolants.

Anyways, my point was to upgrade to some of the newer hybrids for better protection. I just have seen folks still use the old green stuff!!

As Far as color:

Until recently, the color of the most commonly used antifreezes for both light duty
and heavy-duty engine cooling systems was predominately green. Its change
interval is normally about every two years or 30,000 miles (50,000 km) of use.
Then, long life (LLC) / extended life (ELC) coolant / antifreeze was introduced in
an effort to reduce maintenance costs, downtime and environmental disposal
costs and issues. With the introduction of this totally new concept, antifreeze
manufacturers wanted to differentiate this new product from existing antifreezes.
To accomplish this, they introduced different colored dyes for their LLC / ELC
products. Orange and red dyes were used first; now it appears there may be
virtually no limit to the different dye colors that may be used.

Since antifreeze is clear when it is manufactured, and water is clear, dye is used
to color the antifreeze for identification and marketing purposes. The color of
antifreeze is no longer an accurate indicator as to whether it is an IAT, OAT,
HOAT or NOAT formulation. Further, some antifreeze manufacturers market a
“universal” antifreeze they say is compatible with all OAT, HOAT and NOAT
formulations. These "universal" formulas are not for use with IAT and they will not
convert an IAT to an LLC/ELC antifreeze. Mixing IAT with OAT, HOAT or NOAT
antifreezes will not damage your vehicle’s cooling system; however the mixture
will negate the long life/extended life attributes of these formulations.

There are currently two oranges, two reds, green, dark green,
yellow, blue, blue-green, clear and pink dye colors available.

The National Automotive Radiator Service Association
(NARSA) has been wrestling with this issue, trying to sort out
the confusion and see where the real-world problems exist. It
has been getting coolants analyzed and talking to scientists
and chemists, plus engineers at the vehicle manufacturers.

NARSA admits that it doesn't have all the answers, but it may
be able to help you avoid the major pitfalls. Here are NARSA
answers to some frequently asked questions. First, though, a
few caveats: Many changes are occurring in coolant
chemistry, and NARSA believes Daimler/Chrysler U.S. will
be going to a new coolant formulation very shortly. Ford,
meanwhile, has said it's considering a hybrid for its U.S.
cars, but for the present is continuing with conventional
American coolant.

Those caveats aside, here's a service-oriented summary of
what you need to know to help minimize the chances of doing
something wrong with your customers' cooling systems.

First of all, forget coolant color; it's just a dye and means
nothing.
GM and Texaco, which codeveloped the Dex-Cool
brand of OAT antifreeze for late-model GM vehicles, picked
orange to distinguish this type of antifreeze from conventional
American coolant, which is green or gold. Volkswagen, which
also uses an OAT formulation as mentioned earlier, has a
similar dye that most of us think is pink. Toyota's traditional
red dye is a totally different product. Although the orange
coolant in Chrysler L/H models contains OAT, it's a custom
hybrid, with Chrysler specifically forbidding the use of
Dex-Cool in these cars. It would have been better if Chrysler
had used some other dye color.

What kinds of coolants are out there? Aside from the limited
sale of propylene glycol to environmentalists, it's ethylene
glycol... about 93% ethylene glycol, that is, plus water and
specific rust and corrosion inhibitors. Here's a rundown:

Conventional American coolant (green or gold) contains
silicates (a long-used aluminum corrosion inhibitor) and other
inhibitors. Silicates work quickly to protect aluminum, but also
are depleted relatively quickly in service.
They're also
somewhat abrasive (being based on silicon-sand), so they've
been implicated in water pump seal wear.
Advocates say
tests show silicates last longer than was commonly believed.
And with the latest seal materials, they actually do a better
job of protecting the water pump, because they both resist
cavitation erosion-corrosion and "repair" any that occurs.

OAT coolant (orange or pink) contains no silicates and no
phosphates. It's a blend of two or more organic acids, a
specific class of inhibitors with slow-acting, long-life
properties. Texaco's Havoline Dex-Cool (also sold under the
Goodwrench label by GM) was the first example. Prestone
and Peak also have introduced OAT coolants that are
chemically compatible with Dex-Cool.

Conventional European coolant (blue or yellow) contains a
low dose of silicates and no phosphates, but does include
other inhibitors, including one organic acid.

Hybrid European coolant (blue or green) is similar to
conventional European, but with a much greater dose of
organic acids. It's a balanced formula designed to have the
silicates provide the primary protection for the aluminum,
then allow the organic acids to provide long-term protection.

Hybrid American coolant (green or orange) contains a
moderate dose of silicates, plus a blend of organic acids.

So with all these coolants around, who uses what?

GM cars and light trucks built since the 1996 model
year use Dex-Cool OAT. VW/Audis since 1998 use an
OAT, but it's a different formula. The '99 Mercury
Cougar uses an OAT-type coolant that's reportedly
similar to Dex-Cool.

Except for the '99 Cougar, Ford U.S. vehicles use
conventional American antifreeze. And except for the
hybrid coolant in '98-on L/H cars (Intrepid, Concorde,
300M), so do Daimler/Chrysler U.S. vehicles.

Mercedes uses a conventional European antifreeze
that has been upgraded, and may outlast the
conventional stuff.

GM Opel products sold here (namely the Cadillac
Catera) use Dex-Cool.

Volvos and BMWs use a hybrid European.

Whether I am right or wrong it is good info!


Ciao!
 

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Dude, Whatever Danica Patrick says to use, that's what I'm using, don't need no chemistry mumbo jumbo, just listen to the hot Indy car driver, she seems to know what's best! :rolleyes: :D

When you Peak... you win! :rolleyes: ...cracks me up every time

Thank you both for the friendly debate, good reading! Nothing's simple anymore, is it? Have to go the dealer (found Mopar ATF+4 at Walmart, auto parts store had never heard of it! :rolleyes:) for every kind of magical ATF or A/F or P/S fluid or what have you, for every brand of car that you own, all at premo prices. :rolleyes:

Charles
 

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Do your own Diligence

I believe that each 164 owner is capable of performing his/her own due diligence in any / all of these 'controversial' matters. Do not listen to one person over another, especially under the banner of 'expertise", without critically examining it, pros/cons and maybes. Consider all points of view, do your research, and reach a conclusion. The web is a fantastic research tool.

Also, feel free to change your mind later on. DOn;t hold onto a point of view simply because you believed it at one time! Challenge authority and be a free thinker... Isn't that why you own a 164 in the first place-- conventional wisdom has no real place in the Alfa lover. Apply to advice the critical analysis method of scientific research!

Bottom line-- Like in the stock market, do your own Diligence!

goats
 

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Best place to find out what to use is the Owner's Manual. Whatever the factory specifies, then it should be good to use! Any deviation simply means taking a chance and like Goats said "do your own Diligence"!

I use the (more expensive) G5 stuff in my VW since that's what the factory specifies. It appears to be good stuff and it appears that it also has some stop leak additives. It "plugs up" the seam of the current leaky radiator on the car and appears to slow down the leak (I have a new radiator waiting for its turn to go in but I guess no hurry yet :) )!

I use the pink DEX-COOL in my Chevy. This is what the owner's manual say!

I use the Prestone green stuff (now yellow I believe) in my 164's. They have been working fine and not as expensive as the other two. Another reason for sticking with the cheap stuff is that I find I often have to open up the cooling system to do some works (water pump, thermostat, heat core, coolant hose, radiator, timing belt, ...) so inexpensive green stuff works out fine for me :) !
 

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Absolutely true, when you open the cooling system up all the time for this and for that, doesn't really matter what you use, because it's always getting replaced! :rolleyes: :D Cheap stuff should be plenty good for less than a years worth of protection. ;)
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I believe that each 164 owner is capable of performing his/her own due diligence in any / all of these 'controversial' matters. Do not listen to one person over another, especially under the banner of 'expertise", without critically examining it, pros/cons and maybes. Consider all points of view, do your research, and reach a conclusion. The web is a fantastic research tool.

Also, feel free to change your mind later on. DOn;t hold onto a point of view simply because you believed it at one time! Challenge authority and be a free thinker... Isn't that why you own a 164 in the first place-- conventional wisdom has no real place in the Alfa lover. Apply to advice the critical analysis method of scientific research!

Bottom line-- Like in the stock market, do your own Diligence!

goats
I think we can assume that most 164 owners do the above already or any intellegent person in general!!

I was Just passing on some information as I had some questions lately about what type. I thought that maybe others may have been wondering what type to use as well for best performance and corrosion protection. So I wrote this to possibly help narrow down the choices. Members can make their own choices. I by no means am an expert in this field at all but offered some information about it as I do get some updated trade info all the time
I was offering one point of veiw, take it for what it is worht and MOVE on!!

Obviously I made the mistake of posting this. I was only trying to help!
Oh well!!

There is no specific antifreeze to use with the 164, well alfa romeo brand antifreeze super. Whatever that is? With a 55%:45% antifreeze to water ratio. I was just offering some upgraded versions from the old green stuff which works fine. most I beleive use the dex-cool which is fine too. yeah, they are all basically the same but with the additive packages. I rather use a European antifreeze and that is why I picked the pink stuff from VW/AUDI.

I never thought I would get such a response for trying to help! Moving on...
 

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FWIW ( I guess that means my .02), I heard Dex Cool kraps out water pumps? I saw photos of water pump impellers with lots of krap coagulated around it. When I did the coolent change in my GTV, I used the Prestone Oat stuff which they said is improved Green technoligy that gives longer life. It has a bright yellow color unlike the color seen in yellow snow. That being said, 4 other vehicles have Dex Cool, one of which has an aluminum block - I plan on putting the Prestone Oat in at the next change.
 

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Its the method!

Hey Jason

My post wasnt directed about you per se! I get advice all the time from 'experts' (even ones which I believe to be experts) and always test it against my own evaluation. Didn't you recently alter your thoughts on motor oil (or was it steering fluid?) To me that shows a level of self confidence and integrity! It shows that often, if one takes a single point in time advise as 'correct', one can be misled. So don't take it personal -- it applies to the advice I give to anyone else as well!

My Dad one told me "Advice is maximally worth what you pay for it." I don;t think that is true -- but I am certain that the amount of 'bad' advice far far outnumbers the 'good' advice in the world~ It's up to us as independent thinkers to separate the wheat from the chaff-- How do you do it yourself? Like Bob C, I start with the service and Ops manual, then if I stray for that, I do lots of research across mulitple sources. I also remember, all the time, that unless the research is done by a person truly independent from the product, it is inherently biased. Its the non-obvious bias that is the worst-- the obvious stuff is easy to see and recognize! So have a cuppa coffee, google the topic at hand, and above all, continue to offer your POV. No need to move on!

goats
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hey Jason

My post wasnt directed about you per se! I get advice all the time from 'experts' (even ones which I believe to be experts) and always test it against my own evaluation. Didn't you recently alter your thoughts on motor oil (or was it steering fluid?) To me that shows a level of self confidence and integrity! It shows that often, if one takes a single point in time advise as 'correct', one can be misled. So don't take it personal -- it applies to the advice I give to anyone else as well!

My Dad one told me "Advice is maximally worth what you pay for it." I don;t think that is true -- but I am certain that the amount of 'bad' advice far far outnumbers the 'good' advice in the world~ It's up to us as independent thinkers to separate the wheat from the chaff-- How do you do it yourself? Like Bob C, I start with the service and Ops manual, then if I stray for that, I do lots of research across mulitple sources. I also remember, all the time, that unless the research is done by a person truly independent from the product, it is inherently biased. Its the non-obvious bias that is the worst-- the obvious stuff is easy to see and recognize! So have a cuppa coffee, google the topic at hand, and above all, continue to offer your POV. No need to move on!

goats

Exactly! I did the research, that is what I do. I am very good at it. I do make many mistakes from time to time but don't we all.
I research products such as MOBIL ATF and found it not to work well in the MANUAL or AUTO 164 transmissions among others I found.
From experience I have found it to be not compatible!
I suggested to the members to think about using REDLINE D4 ATF OR AN OPTION MTL. The manual calls for ATF I say stick with the ATF.

As far as antifreeze goes, I have found the green stuff to be fine but why not upgrade to something a little more advanced in this day and age.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Honda brand pre-mixed silica free coolant is #1 for ally engines, coolant lines and seals.
Except they used to sell it undiluted. Then they started selling it 50-50 diluted, but for the same price. Scammers!

Jason - I wasn't trying to crap on you, man. Just trying to present some info.
 

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Good stuff, Jason et al! Thank you for posting!!

Best place to find out what to use is the Owner's Manual. Whatever the factory specifies, then it should be good to use!
What the above quote means is that when all else fails, read the instructions. Sound advice. However, technology changes. What was recommended at the time of vehicle manufacture may be 'old fashioned' today. As an example, mid 70s cars required an API SE rated engine oil. The current oil rating is SM. Dexron auto trans fluid was superceded by Dexron II which was then replaced with Mercon. Try and find SE oil or Dexron ATF today. You can't. I think that the same applies to antifreeze.
 

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papajam said:
What the above quote means is that when all else fails, read the instructions.
Sorry, Jim, not quite what I meant :) ! I do it the other way around. It is better to look up the owner's manual and/or other "official" information first and not "when all else fails" :( :) . It is better to find out exactly what the requirements are (if available), then investigate what is available out there currently. Chances are there are tons of information and different opinions out there on these topics - some are good and some are bad. But if ones knows where the baseline/requirements are, he/she should be better equiped to make a more intelligent decision according to his/her own situation.

Yes, technology is changing all the time and fast. We should be glad that there are better stuff coming out all the time. The motor oil standard/specification is a great example! So what does it mean by API Service SE, SF, SH, SJ, SL, or SM? (For those who don't know yet, perhaps it is time to do some homework :) !) Ok, "S" is for gasoline engine, the second letter is more like a "Revision" (if I could say so). As far as I know, the later letter specs cover (and supercede) the requirements of the earlier letter specs. So, in this case, we should be covered as long as there is a SF or later label on the bottle of the motor oil. Same thing is true for Dexon II and III. However, be careful about brake fluid - Dot 5 is NOT better than Dot 3 or 4! Too bad there's no similar API standard for anti-freeze! The newer stuff (e.g. Dex-cool) is not necessary good for older cars. Didn't it take a few years of usage before people started to complain problems in using Dex-cool? I believe the other VW or Honda coolant are good and most likely deliver more benefits than harms. But just keep in mind that if you choose them, you are going into some uncharted water - you might find a new continent or you might hit a rock :p !

This is a great forum to share experience. Just like the transmission fluid topic, I mentioned there that I have good experience with RL MTL and ATF D4 (yes, somewhat uncharted water but I know there're people went there before me :) )! I'm NOT telling other people those are the fluid that they should use!

I guess the problem with the initial post is that it sounded somewhat like a "TSB" :)!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry, Jim, not quite what I meant :) ! I do it the other way around. It is better to look up the owner's manual and/or other "official" information first and not "when all else fails" :( :) . It is better to find out exactly what the requirements are (if available), then investigate what is available out there currently. Chances are there are tons of information and different opinions out there on these topics - some are good and some are bad. But if ones knows where the baseline/requirements are, he/she should be better equiped to make a more intelligent decision according to his/her own situation.

Yes, technology is changing all the time and fast. We should be glad that there are better stuff coming out all the time. The motor oil standard/specification is a great example! So what does it mean by API Service SE, SF, SH, SJ, SL, or SM? (For those who don't know yet, perhaps it is time to do some homework :) !) Ok, "S" is for gasoline engine, the second letter is more like a "Revision" (if I could say so). As far as I know, the later letter specs cover (and supercede) the requirements of the earlier letter specs. So, in this case, we should be covered as long as there is a SF or later label on the bottle of the motor oil. Same thing is true for Dexon II and III. However, be careful about brake fluid - Dot 5 is NOT better than Dot 3 or 4! Too bad there's no similar API standard for anti-freeze! The newer stuff (e.g. Dex-cool) is not necessary good for older cars. Didn't it take a few years of usage before people started to complain problems in using Dex-cool? I believe the other VW or Honda coolant are good and most likely deliver more benefits than harms. But just keep in mind that if you choose them, you are going into some uncharted water - you might find a new continent or you might hit a rock :p !

This is a great forum to share experience. Just like the transmission fluid topic, I mentioned there that I have good experience with RL MTL and ATF D4 (yes, somewhat uncharted water but I know there're people went there before me :) )! I'm NOT telling other people those are the fluid that they should use!

I guess the problem with the initial post is that it sounded somewhat like a "TSB" :)!

YOUR RIGHT, SORRY TO MAKE SOUND LIKE TSB, DID NOT MEAN TO DO THAT!
Just a suggestion to look into the change. Yes uncharted territory but I have been using it for awhile now. But use what you think is right. I am not 100% right ever! But I do have some experience to share.
I also use it in the spider.

Ciao!
Jason
 

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Found on Selenia's website. FWIW. www.flselenia.it
Coolant type recommended for the 166 24V (closest car I could search, to the 164)
PARAFLU UP:
DESCRIPTION
Professional use, concentrated protective fluid for radiators. Monoethylene glycol base, formulated with organic inhibitors based on O.A.T. (Organic Acid Technology). PARAFLU UP is a specific protective fluid for the cooling systems that contain innovative light alloy materials.
CHARACTERISTICS
Advanced stringent laboratory tests by FL Italy show that PARAFLU UP guarantees meet all requirement even in extreme running conditions. PARAFLU UP mixed with 50% with water guarantees:
The maintenance of the protecting characteristics of the inhibitor agents.
Optimal heat removal from the engine combustion chamber.
The maximum protection against: - Cavitation and electrical discharge; - Freezing (down to external temperatures of -40°C); - Limescale formation; - Boiling in the warm periods, traffic, city journeys (circuit temperature up to +110°C); - Excessive swelling of rubbers and plastic in the circuit; - Formation of deposits in the circuit also in conditions of exasperated exercise.
ADVICE ON USE
For proper use of the product, Manufacturers recommendations must be followed.
When refilling, in order to restore the level of the fluid, the product must be mixed with 50% water.
Do not use the product concentrated.
Do not mix products of different brand or origin.
RECOMMENDED BY
Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Irisbus.
Selenia's website has many fluid recomendations on it for current Alfa, Fiat and Lancia
Charles :D
 
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