A Coolant “Heads-Up”

Potential problems with using the newer types of coolant in older cars was discussed at a recent Club meeting. This is just a “heads – up” for Club members and others who may be interested.

The “old-style” coolants used Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT), while the coolants used in more modern cars use Organic Acid Technology (OAT). The problem arises because the OAT corrosion inhibitor pack can apparently attack silicone compounds (silicone is a common base for gasket sealants), solder and other materials typically used in older engines. There have been reports of gasket and seal failures, and even the serious corrosion of components such as water pumps, leading to ominous puddles on the floor!

The older IAT-type coolants were usually green but using colour as a guide is no longer a guarantee. Some coolant manufacturers’ labels state that they are “safe for all cars” but this may not actually apply for older vehicles, and the staff in some auto supply stores may not be aware of the issue.

However, many of the various Marque Clubs have been aware of this problem for a few years, and a lot of information can be found with some online web searches. For example, one site recommended that OAT-inhibited coolant not be used in any engine built before 2000. The best advice is just to check carefully before changing your coolant.

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