Pink coolant in reservoir?

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Ray D

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I was checking out  the motorhome, yesterday, getting ready to take it in for annual chassis maintenance. I noticed the engine coolant in the reservoir is pink. Pink is for winterizing, I thought! Is there a pink coolant for the engine? Is there a problem, here?

Don't know why I didn't notice that before!

2005 Damon Challenger, workhorse chassis.

thanks

Ray D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Relax. Radiator anti-freeze comes in several colors, depending on its chemical make-up and perhaps even the manufacturer's whim.  Your Workhorse requires Dex-cool or an equivalent polypropylene glycol-based antifreeze and those are usually reddish colored rather than the green-blue  of ethylene glycol type antifreezes.

The "pink stuff" you refer to is an entirely different animal. Do not  use the pink potable water system antifreeze in your eangine's radiator. Nor polypropylene glycol in your potable (fresh) water system.
 

Ron from Big D

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The pink coolant in the engine is probably a pre-mixed and pre-charged coolant.  I purchase mine from Detroit and it is a 50/50 mix with SCA's already in it.

 

Ray D

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Thanks.

I haven't done my own maintenance in decades. I hadn't done anything about antifreeze, except check the coolant leve, from time to time. I think the antifreeze in it is what came with it. At least, I didn't get charged for it, at the last annual maintenance.

Got tangled up reading all the winterizing threads, discussing the pink vs blue.

I'll relax, now.

Ray D
 

blueblood

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I suspect your using Fleet Charge. Here is a sentence from one of their bulletins.?

Fleet Charge antifreeze stands out from its competitors due to its unsurpassed performance, but it also stands out due to its unique "pink" color.



Here's a draft I'm working on for diesel engines that may help others.

Diesel Engine Coolants ? the color of MUD?


Engine coolants are a very complex subject and somewhat controversial as well. One of the complexities has to do with color of coolant. There are no real standards that forces coolant manufacturers to adhere to a color for a specific type. Therefore, one can get a pink and a green, which might be the exactly the same. In addition to color, heavy-duty diesel engines require what are called supplemental coolant additives (SCA) to prevent liner pitting from cavitation or did until the recent new ELC coolants. Coolants thus may or may not contain these additives.

The Technology and Maintenance Council has recommended practices (RP's) that act as guidelines for coolant manufacturers. There are three colors. GREEN the TRADITIONAL coolant and requires SCAs from day one. PURPLE the FULLY FORMULATED coolant? i.e. it comes charged with SCA?s and requires adding SCAs for ongoing maintenance. And the new RED coolant is EXTENDED LIFE coolant that doesn't require SCAs. One should be sure and check the coolant container conformance to the engine manufacturers coolant specification as well. Cummins coolant standard for the ISx series engines is 14603.? These are guidelines only. Thus one will find variances such as Old World Industries Fleet Charge which is a fully formulated coolant but pink in color whereas their ELC Final Charge conforms and is red in color.

Here?s another complexity. Manufacturers may install a coolant filter on a vehicle and the filter itself may or may not have SCA incorporated into it. Those filters that do have the SCA are designed to bleed it out slowly over time thus replenishing the SCA?s in the coolant and thus no need for operator intervention except changing filter as scheduled.

Let?s start where our motor homes begin at Spartan. In recent years Spartan has filled the diesel chassis coolant systems with extended life coolants. Initially, Shell Rotella ELC and more recently Final Charge Global ELC. Labels stating this are affixed to the coolant recovery tank. Note- one must be careful in looking at labels because brand names are often nearly the same for different coolants e.g Fleet Charge/Final Charge.

Here?s another of those complexities.

You?re talking to a Cummins or some other diesel engine technician and ask him/her what antifreeze to use. He replies without ever asking you any information on your specific vehicle and assumes you are using a fully formulated coolant and says Fleet Charge or some other equivalent brand. Actually your vehicle came with ELC and he should have advised to use Final Charge Global ELC or equivalent brand.

What?s the difference ? read on?

Extended Life Coolants (ELC) are red in color as noted above and provide up to 600,000 miles and 6 yrs (whichever come first) of usage with a single recharge of an extender at 300,000 miles or 3 yrs. There is no necessity to add SCA?s to the coolant.

So following the advise of the technician you have inadvertently added a fully formulated coolant that may kill the ELC coolant. The problem comes to how much dilution will kill the ELC coolant. There is some controversy here but the range seems to be between 10?25%. Final Charge says it can take up to 25%. Once exceeding those levels one will have to treat the ELC as fully formulated and begin periodic testing and replenishment of SCA?s. Shell has developed a kit to be used to changeover old trucks to ELC that have used non-ELC coolants in the past. I presume one could get back to ELC status by employing this kit.

Note- SCA?s are not required for the Cummins ISB series engines
 

Jim Godward

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Leo,

Would you post this on the Newmar Lists and the Diesel RV list on Yahoo.  It would sure clear the air and stop a lot of BS!!

Snow today and 19 degrees as I write this!!  A really beautiful day.    BG
 

Chet18013

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Leo,

I have been using the CAT extended life antifreeze 50/50 mixture and paying, what I consider, to much for a 50% water mixture. In reading the labels and the specs, I forund that NAPA was selling the same spec extended life anitfreeze in the 100%, undiluted form for just about $1 more per gallon than the 50/50 stuff from CAT.

Is there  any reason that I should not purchase the NAPA antifreeze and save almost 50% on the cost?  My engine, a CAT 3176 uses one of the coolant filters with the built in additive.

Chet1801
 

blueblood

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Chet18013 said:
Leo,

I have been using the CAT extended life antifreeze 50/50 mixture and paying, what I consider, to much for a 50% water mixture. In reading the labels and the specs, I forund that NAPA was selling the same spec extended life anitfreeze in the 100%, undiluted form for just about $1 more per gallon than the 50/50 stuff from CAT.

Is there? any reason that I should not purchase the NAPA antifreeze and save almost 50% on the cost?? My engine, a CAT 3176 uses one of the coolant filters with the built in additive.

Chet1801

There's a problem here. You say you are using extended life coolant and then say you are using a coolant filter with additives. ELC does not require SCA'a so I suspect you don't have it in your engine. Here is  a CAT QA on the issue

Question: Should I use spin on filters? Don?t you need a coolant filter without additives
to protect from debris?

Answer: Most coolant filters contain chemicals (SCA?s) which should not be used with
ELC. Non-chemical filters (commonly referred to as blank filters) can be used. Caterpillar
engines do not require a blank filter in the cooling systems. As always, follow the
manufacturer?s recommendations if a blank filter is required for the cooling system.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Just to avoid confusing the issue  in the original question...

Ray's Challenger is on a Workhorse (gas) chassis and it came from the factory with Dex-Cool antifreeze.  SCA's are not used with the 8.1L GM engine in the Workhorse chassis. 
 
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