antifreeze concentrations and leaking water pump

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by treeline12345, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. 1994 Plymouth Voyager, 203,000+ miles, 3.0 liter Mitsubishi engine,
    2-wheel drive.
    Water pump has a slow leak. Noticed when losing heat.
    Put in antifreeze and leak slowed. Fresh antifreeze seemed to help, not
    getting cold air now. Used the 5 year antifreeze. Won't extend what's
    in it but maybe gave the water pump a boost with a better kind of
    antifreeze and fresh antifreeze.

    Now concerned about concentrations since mixed it myself in the cold
    and was guessing - forgot I had antifreeze indicators, duh. Now I see
    why 50/50 is popular in the stores pre-mixed.

    First, the protection was below -34 F, too much antifreeze, then above
    a tad, 4 balls floating instead of 5 in the cheap gauge - too much
    water, now it's probably way below - too much antifreeze, and I am
    getting somwhere around 70/30 instead of the usual 50/50. My Prestone
    gauge does not go beyond -43 F and I am not finding charts on the web
    yet. Maybe the shop manual has a nice list of numbers and proportions.
    I gather -84 F is 70/30 protection. Is it proportional or non-linear?

    Will this harm anything until I can get it back to 50/50? I read that
    at 70/30 the antifreeze can become slightly slushy which would make the
    water pump worse I would think.

    Any ideas? I could change the coolant or is that silly since it's
    probably going to leak a gallon every couple of weeks at best.

    At worse, the water pump would need to be replaced right away if
    complete failure and might as well change timing belt then since it has
    to come off anyway to get to the pump and the seals for the crankshaft?
    That's a bit of change at this point in the winter.
    treeline12345, Feb 12, 2006
  2. treeline12345

    Richard Guest

    You are fine. Pure antifreeze is bad, but as long as you have some water in
    the mix your freeze and boiling points are going to be OK. If you are at 70%
    antifreeze now just add some distilled water the next time some fill is
    called for.

    Richard, Feb 13, 2006
  3. Uh-oh...*WHICH* "5 year antifreeze", exactly, did you use? If it was one
    of those that's labelled as Dex-Cool compatible, you have just set
    yourself up for significant component failures and resultant expense.
    Antifreeze formulations are not all the same, nor are they all compatible
    with all engines.
    It will do neither. Note also that the arrangement of the water pump and
    timing belt in the 3.0 engine means your water pump leak can easily turn
    into a timing belt job if the leak is allowed to carry on.
    How 'bout fixing the problem and installing the correct antifreeze
    formulation in the correct proportion with water?
    The crankshaft seal neither knows nor cares the condition of the water
    pump or timing belt. If the crank seal is leaking, that's a separate
    problem. Cars, like all machines, require repair when they require repair.
    They do not factor-in owner convenience when "deciding" when to break.
    Delaying needed repairs often increases the extent and expense of the
    eventual repair.
    Daniel J. Stern, Feb 13, 2006
  4. treeline12345

    Steve Guest

    Be REAL careful with what kind of "5-year" antifreeze you use! DexCool
    does not protect copper alloys or solders that were used in some older
    vehicles, including head gaskets with copper in them. It does protect
    aluminum and iron, so for some reason ALL the corroision focuses right
    in on the solder and copper in the system. I'm also very suspect of the
    "universal" long-life antifreezes (EG Prestone and Peak) for the same
    reason, because I tend to think that they're just modified DexCool. The
    one that does seem to be good for older systems is G-05, available from
    Zerex as well as from Ford and Chrysler dealers as "Motorcraft Premium
    Gold" and "Mopar G-05." For some strange reason, the Mopar G-05 is dyed
    orange like DexCool wheras all other G-05s are dyed pale yellow (almost
    Steve, Feb 13, 2006
  5. ....including head gaskets *without* copper in them. I've watched Dex-Cool
    and compatibles dissolve coatings, sealants and composite materials in
    head gaskets not specifically intended for use with Dex-Cool. Cost me a
    lot of money replacing a lot of head gaskets before I twigged to what was
    going on and did a bench test by applying Dex-Cool to a new head gasket
    sitting on the bench and observing the destructive effect over a few days'
    Daniel J. Stern, Feb 13, 2006
  6. This was SuperTech from Walmart. Does not say Dex-Cool on it.

    I'm afraid you lost me. I was told that replacing the water pump
    required taking off the timing belt. Is this not true? I can replace
    the water pump without messing with the timing belt? If I understand
    you, I can replace the water pump now and not have to deal with the
    timing belt immediately also? The water leaking will ruin the timing
    belt quicker then?
    I asked the dealer what else could be done in conjunction or parallel
    with fixing or replacing the water pump. I thought the service writer
    at the dealer asked a mechanic who said, might as well replace the
    seals [via the service writer]. I was under the impression that after
    taking off the timing belt, the seals would also be exposed [seemed so
    in the manual], so do everything at the same time: water pump, timing
    belt, seals. Maybe even belt tensioner since the vehicle has 203,000+

    What do you think? I had the impression that since this is mostly
    labor, and it's probably due for maintenance, then replace the timing
    belt for sure, and maybe the seals.
    treeline12345, Feb 13, 2006
  7. treeline12345

    Steve Guest

    Interesting- that's the first I've heard about non-corrosion
    deterioration with DexCool. I can't say I'm shocked and appalled, but I
    am a little surprised.
    Have you tried that same test with G-05 and "classic green" silicate
    coolant? I'd love to see a triple test with the 3 types.
    Steve, Feb 13, 2006
  8. What's it say on it?
    Yes, for it's not "water" leaking. It's coolant.
    You've got to be kidding. The DEALER?! Are you *trying* to spend 4x what
    the job should cost you?
    Daniel J. Stern, Feb 13, 2006
  9. Shortly after I did the bench test described, one or another of the Mopar
    mags or sites (SDAC?) did the same and came up with the same results.
    Not with G-05 (didn't exist on the market yet when I was doing this) but
    green silicate conventional coolant did not affect the same materials that
    Dex-Cool ate.
    Daniel J. Stern, Feb 13, 2006
  10. treeline12345

    Steve Guest

    No, its true. What he's saying is that if you keep limping along with
    the leak, it'll weaken the timing belt until it fails and then you'll
    be stranded (at worst) or you'll have to do a timing belt job at the
    time the belt picks, not a time you pick (at best, but you'll still have
    to get a tow unless it happens to break in your garage). I don't
    *think* the Mitsu 3.0 is a valve-smasher so you probably won't destroy
    the engine.
    Steve, Feb 13, 2006
  11. Extended Life Up To 5 Years or 150,000 Miles

    ....for use with any antifreeze/coolant in ANY make or model of car or
    light duty truck with aluminum and other engine metals...may be added
    to ANY antifreeze/coolant of ANY make or model of car or light duty
    truck, foreign or domestic.

    Drain out old antifreeze.
    Flush with clean water.
    Use a cooling system cleaner to remove all corrosion.
    Fill with recommended mix.

    Contains ethylene glycol (107-21-1), diethylene glycol (111-46-6),
    sodium 2-ethyl hexanoate (19766-89-3), and sodium neodecanoate

    Meets or exceeds ASTM D3306 and ASTM D4985.
    It's not possible. Pep Boys wanted $750, an all day job. I did not ask
    the dealer yet for pricing.
    What do you suggest for a timing belt and water pump, labor? The parts
    are $200 if very good parts, less if so-so? Timing belt is around $64?
    Water pump, about twice as much if brand new? Less if rebuilt but in
    this case, difficult to say. Very high mileage vehicle but quite a bit
    of labor if that pump fails again. Or rather, I failed the pump by not
    changing the coolant in time. I'm sure I hastened its leaking.
    treeline12345, Feb 14, 2006
  12. treeline12345

    Neil Nelson Guest

    Ingredients are identical to Dexcool.
    Neil Nelson, Feb 14, 2006
  13. Yeah, well, the thing is, you cannot necessarily trust that "ANY make or
    model" advice on the back of your store-brand Wal-Mart antifreeze. It all
    resists freezing by means of the same chemicals (ethylene glycol and
    diethylene clycol); the critical differences are the anticorrosion
    chemicals, which differ from coolant formula to coolant formula and are
    *NOT* all compatible, miscible or interchangeable.

    Major types of coolant, by corrosion inhibitor chemistry:

    Conventional/silicate: The "green stuff" that until recently was the only
    stuff that could be had on the general public market.

    Conventional/low-silica: Required for a number of decades in certain
    imported cars, during which time it was pretty much necessary to buy it
    from those automakers' dealers 'cause the parts stores only had the green

    OAT, Organic Acid Technology: GM Dex-Cool. ___NOT___ compatible with
    systems not specifically designed for it!

    HOAT, Hybrid Organic Acid Technology: G-05 is the primary variety, and is
    appearing on the general public market. This may or may not be what you
    bought. It is supposed to have greater compatibility with a wider range of
    systems than OAT coolants, but:

    1) There is not a long enough track record to know how this chemistry
    reacts in the long run with older systems designed for conventional
    coolants, or with systems designed for OAT coolants, and

    2) It is NOT the same as conventional or OAT coolants.
    Daniel J. Stern, Feb 14, 2006
  14. treeline12345

    Bill Putney Guest

    Don't forget the new green Prestone "All Makes All Models" stuff (no
    reason to think that it's the same thing as the WalMart brand in spite
    of similar wording - clever marketing people). I have a feeling that
    Prestone fixed the problems of DexCool with this new product, and it may
    in fact be chemically similar to HOAT. Possibly Prestone's and GM's way
    of sneaking the public away from DexCool over time and saving face and
    more lawsuits. I can't imagine they'd be stupid enough to repeat the
    DexCool fiasco. Jury's still out on the "All Makes All Models" - but I
    now have it in one of my vehicles as an experiment.

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Feb 14, 2006
  15. treeline12345

    Steve Guest

    Daniel J. Stern wrote:

    AFAIK, there are precisely 3 brands of G-05 available in retail venues:

    1) Mopar G-05
    2) Motorcraft Premium Gold
    3) Zerex G-05

    And coincidentally, Zerex manufactures brands 1 and 2 as well. The "G"
    in "G-05" is for "Glysantin," which is a trademark of BASF corporation,
    and that is what makes G-05 unique among OATs and HOATs.
    Zerex's packaging is the only HOAT/OAT type that I've seen which doesn't
    say "all makes and models" but DOES specifically state that it meets the
    requirements of engines originally designed for green silicate-type
    coolants. Take that as a "FWIW," but to me its worth a lot more than a
    blanket "all makes all models all colors" type approach that Prestone
    and Peak take with their new mystery coolants, especially since they've
    provided somewhere betweenlittle and NO detail on what they're actually
    made of. And by the way the parent company of Peak- Old World
    Industries- makes virtually all the house-brand coolants I've ever seen,
    so I'll BET it is same as the Walmart brand that started this
    discussion. I have also read that Ford specifically opted NOT to use a
    Dexcool type package and went with G-05 because they discovered the
    total lack of protection for solders and brass/bronze/copper-containing
    materials in some of their accelerated testing.

    Call me a guinea pig- I've got a freshly built 440 in a 1966 Dodge and
    I'm running Zerex G-05. So far so good, no oddities yet. As a point of
    contrast I did once try Peak's universal long-life in another old car
    and (coincidentally??) started seeing seepage at multiple points on the
    upper radiator tank solder joint within a month. If it had been *one*
    point, I' would have believed it was a coincidence, but not with a whole
    bunch of seeps starting all at the same time! That car is back on
    conventional green coolant.
    Steve, Feb 14, 2006
  16. treeline12345

    Steve Guest

    D3306 is the standard specification for glycol gase Engine goolant for
    gutomobile and light-duty service

    D4985 is a specification for the requirements of a low-silicate
    ethylene-glycol base engine coolants for heavy-duty engines. Its a
    specification that allows the use of coolants in heavy duty (wet-liner
    diesels, for example) without any initial charge of supplemental
    corrosion additive. (SCAs are usually nitrite additives that act to
    prevent cavitaion damage on thin cylinder liners).

    So basically, those tell you.... nothing. ANY light-duty engine coolant
    that is glycol-based and low-silicate will meet 3306, and 4985 is a spec
    that says it has enough anti-cavitation protection for a heavy duty
    diesel as well.

    The thorny thing about ASTM specs are that they're really "lowest common
    denominator" specs, and they don't tell you anything more than bare
    minimums, and certainly doesn't tell you about materials compatibility.
    there are other more interesting ASTM specs about pH stability, reserve
    alkalinity, etc. that would tell you more, but they're never quoted.
    Steve, Feb 14, 2006
  17. treeline12345

    Richard Guest

    The stuff sold by Chrysler has a bitter flavor added so that your pet will
    not die if it spills on the floor, etc.

    Richard, Feb 14, 2006
  18. treeline12345

    Bill Putney Guest

    Me too - I've got G-05 in my '99 Concorde *AND* in my wife's '99 Buick
    Century as of about a year and a half ago (really gutsy!). I put the
    Prestone "All Makes All Models" in my daughter's '96 Mercury Mystique.
    Li,e I said - I can't see them making the DexCool disaster all over again.

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Feb 14, 2006
  19. Thanks a lot - was concerned about my cat going under my vehicle and
    nipping the antifreeze - I just scheduled an appointment this Thursday
    at the dealer for a fluid change. Just want the offical stuff since I
    don't know about the Walmart junk and the leak eating the timing belt
    quicker. I have a coupon they don't know about yet :)

    But going to the dealer is like going to surgeon. I'm very nervous and
    so relieved if I can escape out of there at the end without leaving all
    my wallet behind. I did try some local nearby mechanics whose greed was
    scary. There are some nice, honest ones but they are a bit far away.
    treeline12345, Feb 15, 2006
  20. treeline12345

    Steve Guest

    I thought about putting it in my wife's 93 LH, but given the fact that
    the first-gen 3.5s already are prone to corrosion around the O-rings
    between the timing case and the block and hers has *never* had a problem
    there (knock wood) I decided not to take the chance.
    Did you read my comment about what happend to my 73 Satellite's radiator
    after putting in Peak's "extended life" all-make-all-model type? About a
    dozen pinhole leaks at the solder along the upper radiator tank. Now it
    *is* an old radiator, but would the really *all* open up at the same
    time just by chance???? Color me dubious...
    Steve, Feb 15, 2006
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