Diesel Exhaust Fluid FAQs

What is BlueDEF®?

BlueDEF® is the fluid (known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid) that is used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems on diesel engines to reduce NOx.

What is Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)?

SCR is an acronym for Selective Catalytic Reduction. SCR is a technology that uses a urea based diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and a catalytic converter to significantly reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. SCR is being used by almost all OEM manufacturers.

How does an SCR System work?

The purpose of the SCR system is to reduce levels of NOx (oxides of nitrogen emitted from engines) that are harmful to our health and the environment. SCR is the after treatment technology that treats exhaust gas downstream of the engine. Small quantities of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) are injected into the exhaust upstream of a catalyst, where it vaporizes and decomposes to form ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia (NH3) is the desired product, which in conjunction to the SCR catalyst, converts the NOx to harmless nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O).

What is BlueDEF® for?

When used in an SCR system BlueDEF® will reduce the levels of NOx emissions of those engines.

What is the composition of BlueDEF®?

BlueDEF® is a high-purity, 32.5 strength urea solution and deionizer water.

What is Urea?

Urea is a compound of nitrogen whose aqueous solution generates ammonia when heated. It is used in a variety of industries, including as a fertilizer in agriculture.

Why use a 32.5% urea solution?

A 32.5% solution of DEF will begin to crystallize and freeze at 12 deg F (-11 deg C). Freezing does not harm the quality of the DEF solution. Upon thawing, DEF will perform as required.

How do I keep the DEF from freezing? What happens if the DEF freezes in the tank on the vehicle?

During vehicle operation, SCR systems are designed to provide heating for the DEF tank and supply lines. If DEF freezes when the vehicle is shut down, start up and normal operation of the vehicle will not be inhibited. The SCR heating system is designed to quickly return the DEF to liquid form and the operation of the vehicle will not be affected.

Does DEF expand when frozen?

Yes, DEF expands by approximately 7% when frozen. DEF packaging and tanks are designed to allow for expansion.

Are there any quality standards the DEF must meet?

Yes, DEF needs to meet the ISO 22241 quality standard.

Is it hazardous, toxic or flammable?

No, BlueDEF® is classified as non-hazardous, non-toxic or flammable.

Is DEF corrosive?

DEF is corrosive to copper, brass, and aluminum as well as carbon steel. Only approved materials as listed in the ISO 22241 standards should be used in contact with DEF.

Why is the SCR system, requiring DEF being incorporated into diesel vehicles?

The EPA has mandated the reduction of NOx emissions released into the environment. In particular, the new 2010 requirements.

How will BluDEF® be carried on the vehicle?

BlueDEF® is stored in a designated tank on the vehicle. It is then replenished like fuel.

What happens if the vehicle runs out of DEF?

Vehicles will be equipped with a DEF gauge on the dash to alert the driver on the fluid level. If the level becomes low an alert will let the driver know the DEF level needs to be replenished. If the driver runs out completely the vehicle power will be reduced to encourage the operator to refill the DEF tank. Once the DEF tank is refilled, normal power levels will be restored on the vehicle.

Does BlueDEF® mix with fuel?

No, It is not an additive. It is sprayed into the exhaust stream where it reacts with the NOx in the SCR system to form nitrogen and water.

How much DEF will I need?

DEF is consumed at a rate of approximately 2-3% by volume to diesel consumption.

Does the BlueDEF® program offer equipment?

Yes, we offer a full line of dispensing solutions for fleets, truck stops and all other end users.

Final Charge Heavy Duty Coolants FAQs

What is FINAL CHARGE® GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze?

FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze  is a heavy-duty extended life coolant that provides total cooling system protection for 1,000,000 miles of on-road use (8 years or 20,000 hours of off-highway use) using proprietary engine protecting inhibitors that do not deplete as quickly as conventional “old” technology coolant and SCA products.

Why are trucks being factory filled with extended life coolant?

As engine and truck builders extend overall service intervals, factory fill products must be able to reach the extended service goals. Most truck manufacturers are filling new engines with extended life coolants to offer their customers the highest coolant performance, extended coolant service intervals and reduced overall maintenance costs.

I’ve heard of extended life coolants. Who is using them and why?

 Today, all leading heavy-duty OEMs, including Caterpillar® and Freightliner®, offer extended life coolant as a factory fill coolant. Extended life coolants offer the lowest cost of ownership through longer coolant life, longer coolant change intervals, and the elimination of SCAs and chemically charged filters.

Do extended life coolants have “acids” in them? Does “acid based” mean it is corrosive?

The organic acids in FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze’s patented formula have been neutralized to form highly effective corrosion inhibitors. The difference is that they are neutralized organic acids instead of the neutralized inorganic acids found in conventional heavy-duty coolants. Using neutralized acids as corrosion inhibitors in coolants is not new. Conventional coolants contain neutralized inorganic acids as inhibitors, such as phosphate and/or borate, which are derived from the neutralization of phosphoric acid and boric acid, respectively.

Does FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze meet Cat EC-1 requirements?

 Fleet test in Caterpillar® 3176 & 3406 engines demonstrate that FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze meets Cat EC-1 requirements. EC-1 is Caterpillar®’s specification for an extended service coolant.

Besides Cat EC-1, what other OEM Specifications does FINAL CHARGE Coolant/Antifreeze meet?

FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze  also meets Cummins® 14603, Detroit Diesel® 93K217, Mercedes® 325.3; MAN 324 Typ SNF; MTU 5048; Navistar® CEMS-B1-Type IIIa; Behr Radiator and is recommended for use in all types of heavy-duty diesel gasoline and natural gas engines, making FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL  Coolant/Antifreeze  ideal for use in mixed fleet applications.

What ASTM and TMC specifications does FINAL CHARGE Coolant/Antifreeze meet?

FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze meets leading ASTM coolant specifications, including ASTM D-4985 and ASTM D-3306. However, it should be noted that ASTM has not established a specification for extended life coolants. Instead, current ASTM specifications are more geared toward conventional coolants that have a limited service life, typically 3-year/36,000 mile. As with ASTM, TMC has not set coolant specifications addressing extended life coolants. TMC RP-329, a long-standing heavy-duty coolant standard, is the specification for a conventional low silicate coolant that is precharged with a Supplemental Coolant Additive (SCA) containing nitrite or nitrite and molybdate. While FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze definitely meets the performance requirements of TMC RP-329, it does not meet the chemical requirements of the specification.

The reason FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze does not meet the chemical requirements of TMC RP-329 is that FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze’s proprietary corrosion inhibitor system does not contain nitrite. With FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze, nitrites, and other conventional inhibitors like phosphate and silicate, are replaced with longer lasting organic corrosion inhibitors to provide total cooling system protection. At the end of the day, it’s about coolant performance, not specific chemistry.

The Industry seems to be moving away from nitrites – What is the nitrite content in FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze?

Nitrites have long been used in fully formulated coolants, or incorporated in Supplemental Coolant Additive (SCA) then mixed with conventional coolants, for their ability to protect wet sleeve liners against cavitation and corrosion. However, nitrites in conventional and fully formulated coolants deplete, thereby reducing the level of protection provided. Also, ongoing testing and monitoring of nitrite levels are required to ensure the proper levels are maintained. To extend coolant service life and reduce maintenance time and cost associated with testing and maintaining inhibitor levels, the heavy-duty industry is moving toward nitrite-free Organic Acid Technology (OAT) coolants. With OAT coolants, conventional inhibitors, like nitrites, are replaced with organic corrosion inhibitors that deplete very slowly over time. As a result, extended life corrosion and cavitation protection is achieved without a regular schedule of liquid additives; inhibitor testing and maintenance coolant filters. FINAL CHARGE Coolant/Antifreeze is formulated with a patented nitrite-free formula.

Is FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze a low silicate, phosphate-free coolant?

FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze is silicate-free. Instead of using silicates, the advanced formula contains corrosion inhibitors called organic acids. FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze is also phosphate-free, nitrite-free and borate-free. The patented OAT inhibitor system provides excellent overall corrosion protection while reducing dropout, water pump seal damage, and internal cooling system scaling and storage stability often associated with conventional coolants and inhibitors.

Today’s engines generate more heat than ever before. Will this affect the performance of FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze?

Compared to the inhibitors used in conventional coolants, FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze forms a thinner, longer lasting film on engine metals that protects against cavitation and corrosion. The thinner film provides better heat transfer between the engine metals and the coolant. Furthermore, FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze is formulated with special proprietary stabilizers that slow down the degradation of glycol at high temperatures. This is especially important with the advent of EGR technology. The result, your engine can run cooler with FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze.

Does FINAL CHARGE Coolant/Antifreeze protect seals and gaskets against wear and corrosion?

 FINAL CHARGE Coolant/Antifreeze’s patented silicate-free, phosphate-free, nitrite-free and borate-free formula provides outstanding long-term NBR, viton and especially silicon elastomer protection.

Do I need to test for SCA or nitrite levels?

No. FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL  Coolant/Antifreeze, which features a patented inhibitor system that is phosphate-free, silicate-free, nitrite-free and borate-free, reduces inhibitor drop out and eliminates the need for SCA’s and routine testing of inhibitor levels. To maintain the protection of FINAL CHARGE Coolant/Antifreeze proprietary inhibitor system, proper cooling system maintenance is required.

Should I continue to use a chemically charged coolant filter after converting to FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze?

Most coolant filters contain SCAs and are not required when using FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze. Blank filters, which do not contain SCAs, should be used instead. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if a blank filter is recommended for the cooling system.

My truck is filled with FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze and I know a conventional coolant was added at top off. Will this affect the coolant performance?

FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze is formulated with Contamination Tolerant Additives (CTAs). The performance benefits of FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze will not be adversely affected by the occasional addition of conventional coolants. However, it is recommended that effort be made to keep contamination levels below 25%. This can be accomplished by topping off with FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL 50/50 Pre-Diluted Coolant/Antifreeze and the periodic adjustment of the cooling system to maintain between a 45% to 60% coolant and a 55% to 40% water mix.

My truck is using a conventional coolant, and I would like to change to FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze. How do I convert my truck?

With the FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Extended Life Coolant Fleet Conversion Program, you can convert a truck using conventional or fully formulated coolants to FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze without having to drain, flush and refill the cooling system. At the center of this program is FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Converter. FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Converter is formulated with a special blend of FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze’s patented Organic Acid Technology (OAT) inhibitors with Contamination Tolerant Additives. A one-time dose of FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Converter is specifically formulated to convert properly maintained cooling systems using conventional or fully formulated coolants meeting ASTM D-4985, ASTM D-6210 or TMC RP-329 to FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze’s patented formula.

My truck is using a heavy-duty OAT coolant, and I would like to change to FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze. How do I convert my truck?

With FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze’s patented formula, you can convert a truck using a heavy-duty OAT coolant without having to drain, flush and refill the cooling system. For vehicles already using another brand of heavy-duty OAT coolant, simply begin and continue fulfilling all top off requirements with FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze.

Do I have to use special water to mix with FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze?

For optimum performance, deionized water should be used. In cases when deionized water is not available, FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze contains proprietary scale inhibitors allowing the coolant to be mixed with all water qualities without jeopardizing coolant performance or damaging engine metals.

  • Do not add Supplemental Coolant Additives (SCAs) to the cooling system or use chemically charged filters.
  • At every regularly scheduled preventative maintenance interval, visually inspect the coolant for contamination with sediment oil.  The coolant should appear clean (not cloudy) and red in color.
  • Using a refractometer, or a coolant test strip, test the freeze point of Final Charge Coolant/Antifreeze/ at least two times per year.  Maintain the freeze point between -24°C (-11°F) and -51°C (-62°F).
  • Use only FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL 50/50 Pre-Diluted Coolant/Antifreeze when topping off the cooling system as needed for freeze protection

What are the recommended maintenance procedures for a truck using FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze?

To maintain the protection of FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze’s patented technology, the proper level of the proprietary inhibitor system should be present in the cooling system. This can be accomplished by adhering to the following maintenance practices:

Fleet Charge Heavy Duty Coolants FAQs

What is FLEET CHARGE® and how is it different?

FLEET CHARGE® is an advanced “fully formulated” coolant designed for heavy-duty cooling system applications. Fully formulated engine coolants were developed in response to user demands for a simple, universal, longer life coolant technology

For years, heavy-duty operators were limited to using low silicate automotive coolant formulations requiring a separate Supplemental Coolant Additive (SCA). This often resulted in mixing errors when the SCA was added at initial fill or when topping-off. To reduce these mixing errors and improve convenience, Old World Industries developed FLEET CHARGE® coolant. Unlike automotive coolants, Fleet Charge is pre-charged with a high quality SCA and already contains all of the ingredients necessary to protect diesel, gasoline, and gaseous fuel engines.

Why is FLEET CHARGE® pink?

The pink color of FLEET CHARGE® has become recognized as the identification for a fully formulated coolant.

How, where, and when should I use FLEET CHARGE®?

FLEET CHARGE® is easy to use. Use 50/50 with water in any coolant system.

Can I mix FLEET CHARGE® with other coolants?

While the best results can be expected when used by itself. FLEET CHARGE® is compatible with all coolants that meet ASTM D6210, TMC RP-329, automotive and heavy-duty engine manufacturers’ factory specifications.

Can I use FLEET CHARGE® in my fleet’s other vehicles, like cars and off-road equipment?

 Yes. FLEET CHARGE® meets the performance requirements of al major automotive specifications for conventional antifreeze, allowing operators of mixed fleets to stock one antifreeze for all their vehicles.

Is FLEET CHARGE® an “extended life” coolant?

The term “long life” usually is associated with coolants that contain carboxylic acid inhibitors. Therefore, we have described FLEET CHARGE® as a Fill-For-Life technology.

What is meant by the term Fill-For-Life technology?

The Fill-for-Life alternative provides for easy, low cost monitoring of the coolant inhibitor and freeze protection levels. Fill-For-Life is an extended service maintenance program developed by FLEET CHARGE® and Penray researchers. It is very simple. Users simply install a Penray Need-Release filter on an engine coolant system (up to 30 gallons). Every 18 months the filter is replaced. This practice eliminates scheduled coolant changes.

How much FLEET CHARGE® do I need for corrosion and liner protection?

Minimum 0%.

Optimum 50%.

Maximum 65%.

What maintenance does FLEET CHARGE® require?

The recommended maintenance for FLEET CHARGE® in systems up to 30 gallons is the Penray Need-Release filter. Change the Need-Release every 18 months, 150,000 miles or 3,000 operating hours (whichever comes first). Under this program there is no scheduled coolant change interval.

Does FLEET CHARGE® have a shelf life?

FLEET CHARGE® has a stable storage life of at least 2 years if stored above 0 degrees F.

Can I test FLEET CHARGE® to see if the system is “Ok”?

Sure! We recommend the use of a refractometer or a Penray test strip (just don’t use automotive coolant test strips or hydrometers).

Automotive Antifreeze & Coolant FAQs

1. HOW DOES ANTIFREEZE/COOLANT WORK AND WHY DOES MY ENGINE NEED IT?

An antifreeze/coolant (“coolant”) provides 3 critical functions in a cooling system: 1) Maintain optimum operating temperature, 2) prevent freeze-up, and 3) protect cooling system metals from corrosion.

An engine creates heat in the process of generating power to move the vehicle.  That heat needs to be removed from the engine and transferred to the surrounding air through the radiator.  Water is a great heat transfer fluid, but has some significant shortcomings.  First, it freezes at +32F, which would be a problem in many areas of the country.  Second, it boils at a relatively low 212F, so the risk of overheating would be high.  And third, it does not provide corrosion protection to the metals in an engine, and can actually cause corrosion to occur.  So, something better is needed.

A typical antifreeze/coolant is a mixture of ethylene glycol and corrosion inhibitors.  In fact, most of a gallon of antifreeze/coolant concentrate is ethylene glycol.  This mixture cannot be used by itself because the freezing point would not be low enough and it would be too viscous (thick) at low temperatures.  Water must be added to create a 50% to 70% mixture of antifreeze/coolant and water to create acceptable freezing point, boiling point and corrosion protection.  Most vehicle manufacturers recommend a 50% mix to help the engine run at optimum conditions.  That’s why all antifreeze/coolant companies offer a 50/50 prediluted product which already contains high-quality water.  The charts below show the freezing and boiling points that result from different antifreeze/coolant and water mixtures.  As the amount of antifreeze/coolant is increased, the boiling point goes up and the freezing point goes down.  To provide even higher protection against boilover, cooling systems are pressurized, typically to 15 psig.  The values in the chart are based on this system pressure.

Finally, an antifreeze/coolant must protect cooling system metals from corrosion over the service live of that coolant.  All coolants marketed in the US must meet the performance requirements of industry standards ASTM D3306 and D6210.  All OWI coolants meet or exceed these standards, and OWI guarantees the performance of their coolants for the service life indicated.

50/50 PREDILUTED ANTIFREEZE/COOLANT   ANTIFREEZE/COOLANT CONCENTRATE

         

 

2. WHAT TYPES OF ANTIFREEZE/COOLANTS ARE THERE? HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR MY CAR?

For many years, life was pretty simple when it came to antifreeze/coolants (“coolants”).  Most vehicles in the US were factory-filled with a green conventional formula designed to provide excellent corrosion protection to cast iron and steel engines with copper/brass radiators.  It was based on inorganic additive technology (IAT) corrosion inhibitors.  Over the years, OEMs looked for ways to reduce vehicle weight and started using aluminum components.  That meant the mix of metals in the cooling system was changing and conventional coolants were no longer the best option.  New types of coolants started to be developed to provide protection to systems containing aluminum.

In 1995, the first coolant was launched in the US using a new type of corrosion inhibitor called organic acid technology (OAT).  It was capable of providing good protection for the emerging mix of metals in the system.  This type of coolant quickly became widely used and was marketed by coolant manufacturers as “All Makes/All Models” because it can be used on top of any existing coolant in any vehicle cooling system.

As more foreign vehicle manufacturers started making their vehicles in the US, a range of vehicle-specific coolant formulations began to appear, each designed to protect specific mixes of cooling system metals.  The range of coolant formulations expanded quickly to include what is known as hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) coolants.  These use both inorganic and organic corrosion inhibitors to provide customized protection.

With all of these new coolants in the market there can be a lot of confusion.  Not only are there different types, but different colors are used to identify the formulas.  This has created a “rainbow” of colored coolants.  To deal with the confusion, PEAK has made it easy for vehicle owners to find the right coolant.  For DIYers driving older vehicles for engines requiring a conventional green coolant, we offer PEAK Green Antifreeze + Coolant.  For those who just want good long-lasting protection, there is PEAK Antifreeze + Coolant for All Vehicles with its extended life technology providing a minimum of 10 years or 300,000 miles of cooling system protection.  And, for more hands-on DIYers who only want OE-level performance, OWI has developed its PEAK Original Equipment Technology Antifreeze + Coolant line, with formulas meeting the specific needs of Asian, European, and North American vehicles.  Each product is formulated with the same technology and color as that of coolant that was in their vehicle right from the factory.

OWI also offers a full line of Fleet Charge and Final Charge brand antifreeze/coolant products for heavy duty applications.  These are specifically designed to protect systems in a wide range of more severe-duty operating conditions.

To find which antifreeze/coolant is right for automobiles, light/medium duty pickup or heavy duty vehicle, check out PEAK’s Product Finder tool or refer to your owner’s manual.

 

3. HOW SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY COOLING SYSTEM AND PREVENT ENGINE FAILURE?

Cooling system failures are the leading cause of mechanical breakdowns[1].  Overheating and other cooling system problems can be the result of many factors such as those listed below.  However, the majority of problems are related to not having enough coolant in the system or the coolant being weak or neglected.  In an OWI survey[2], 60% of vehicles were found to be low or dangerously low on coolant.  A low coolant level can lead to overheating because the coolant is no longer in contact with the hot metal surfaces to absorb the heat and carry it away from the radiator.  It also allows air into the system which can significantly contribute to corrosion.  Weak or neglected coolant is not able to provide the right level of freezing, boiling and corrosion protection.  Major cooling system component manufacturers[3] have found that up to 60% of water pumps and 40% of radiators fail due to poor coolant condition.

The best defense against engine overheating and cooling system damage is good cooling system maintenance.  There are 3 major pieces to this winning strategy:

  1. Check the Level in the coolant reservoir every time you open the hood. Top off; if in good condition (for testing the condition see Step 2); as needed. Also inspect cooling system components and make repairs as soon as problems are discovered.  Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for changing hoses, belts and other critical components.  See Question 4 below for checking the level and topping off the system.
  2. Test the Condition of the coolant at least twice a year. Once in the beginning of Summer and then again in the beginning of Winter.  It’s important to ensure the corrosion inhibitors are still protecting the cooling system.  Use a test strip, hydrometer (such as the PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Tester, antifreeze/coolant tester instructions in Question 5), or refractometer to verify adequate freeze-up and boilover protection.
  3. Change Your Coolant as outlined in vehicle owner’s manual.  Change intervals may vary from every 2 years/36,000 miles to 10 years/200,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer.  See Question 6 below for changing your coolant.

[1] US Department of Transportation; American Automobile Association

[2] OWI 2017 employee vehicle population survey

[3] Gates Corporation:  Gates I60/R90 Be System Smart Initiative; Spectra Premium radiator failure assessment

 

4. HOW DO I CHECK THE LEVEL OF MY COOLANT AND TOP OFF IF NEEDED?

Follow the directions below.

CAUTION: NEVER WORK ON A HOT COOLING SYSTEM.  Allow system to cool before removing the pressure cap.  THE UPPER RADIATOR HOSE SHOULD BE COOL AND SOFT WHEN SQUEEZED.

The upper radiator hose will be cool to the touch and soft if the system is sufficiently cool.

Before starting, locate the radiator, coolant overflow reservoir, and pressure cap. The reservoir will be located at a high location on either side of the engine and may be near the radiator or at the back of the engine near the windshield.  The cooling system pressure cap may be on the reservoir if not on the radiator.

Pressure Cap on Or Near the Radiator
(Typical on older vehicle models)
Pressure Cap on Coolant Reservoir
(Typical on newer vehicle models)

 

If the pressure cap is on the radiator:

  1. With the engine off and cool, remove the pressure cap. The coolant level should be at the top of the radiator, ideally flush with the bottom of the pressure cap seat.  If the coolant level is low, go to step 2. Otherwise, securely replace the pressure cap.
  2. Add either 50/50 pre-mixed antifreeze/coolant or a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant concentrate and good quality water (e.g., distilled water) until the coolant level reaches the cap seat. Replace the pressure cap.
  3. Locate the fill line on the side of the overflow reservoir. If the coolant level is low, remove the reservoir cap and add either 50/50 pre-mixed antifreeze/coolant or a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant concentrate and good quality water until the coolant level reaches the level marked on the tank.  Replace the pressure cap.

If the pressure cap is on the overflow reservoir:

  1. With the engine off and cool, locate the fill line on the side of the tank. If the coolant level is low, go to step 2. Otherwise, securely replace the pressure cap.
  2. Add either 50/50 pre-mixed antifreeze/coolant or a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant concentrate and good quality water until the coolant level reaches the level marked on the tank. Replace the pressure cap.

Periodically check coolant level and test for freeze and boil protection.

 

5. HOW DO I TEST THE CONDITION OF MY COOLANT?

DIRECTIONS

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT. THE UPPER RADIATOR HOSE SHOULD BE COOL AND SOFT WHEN SQUEEZED.

  1. Unscrew the pressure cap on your vehicle’s antifreeze/coolant reservoir or radiator to allow access to the coolant for the test.
  2. Take your PEAK Antifreeze/Coolant Tester and squeeze the air out of the device by pressing and holding the black rubber ball at the top of the tester. While squeezing the rubber ball, insert the nozzle into the coolant. After inserting the nozzle, slowly loosen your grip on the black rubber ball to allow the coolant sample to enter the tester, filling it up to the fill mark.
  3. Once you have a sufficient coolant sample in the tester, hold it up to any light source so that you can see through the tester. If the coolant sample is discolored (e.g., rusty-brown), or has particles or sediment in it, a complete drain, flush and fill should be performed [insert link for drain, flush & fill directions]. Bubbles may appear soon after collecting the sample. Tap the tester to shake loose any bubbles so the pointer/needle can move freely.
  4. One side of the tester displays the freezing point and the other side displays the boiling point, both in Fahrenheit and Celsius. The pointer/needle on the tester will point to a certain temperature reading based on density of the antifreeze/coolant and water mixture.

6. HOW DO I CHANGE MY COOLANT?

You can either perform a Drain/Fill or Drain/Flush/Fill. A Drain/Flush/Fill is recommended because it does a better job of removing old coolant and corrosion deposits.  Follow the directions below for each.

DRAIN/FLUSH/FILL

Draining the system may leave a significant amount of old coolant and flush water behind.  Use only antifreeze/coolant CONCENTRATE when performing a drain/flush/fill to ensure the right coolant/water ratio is achieved.

Check vehicle owner’s manual for coolant TYPE, capacity and change interval recommended by vehicles manufacturer. specific cooling system maintenance recommendations.
Note: Before starting, locate the radiator drain valve (if equipped), lower radiator hose and cooling system pressure cap. The cap may be on a remote overflow reservoir if not on the radiator.

DIRECTIONS
CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT. THE RADIATOR HOSE SHOULD BE COOL AND SOFT WHEN SQUEEZED.

  1. Remove pressure cap from radiator or overflow reservoir.
  2. Drain cooling system by opening radiator drain valve. Disconnect lower radiator hose if there is no drain valve. Collect fluid for proper disposal. If the system has corrosion deposits (the coolant color is typically rusty/brown which is a good indicator that it needs to be replaced) in it, a chemical flush is recommended. Use PEAK Cooling System Cleaner & Flush to ensure maximum cooling system performance. Follow instructions on the bottle.
  3. Close radiator drain valve and reconnect radiator hose.
  4. Fill with fresh water and replace pressure cap. Start engine and run for 15 minutes with the heater on high. Stop engine and allow to cool.
  5. Repeat steps 1 and 2.
  6. Close radiator drain valve and reconnect radiator hose.
  7. Check owner’s manual for cooling system capacity and recommended antifreeze/coolant concentration. Fill system with enough new antifreeze/coolant to achieve the desired concentration. A 50% to 70% concentration is acceptable. A 50/50 antifreeze/coolant and water mix is recommended to achieve optimum freeze, boil and corrosion protection. Top off the system with water.
  8. Remove old coolant from reservoir tank and add a 50% to 70% mixture of antifreeze/coolant concentrate in water to the level marked on the tank.
  9. Replace pressure cap and run engine 15 minutes with the heater on high. Stop engine and allow to cool. Check antifreeze/coolant level and freeze protection and add more antifreeze/coolant concentrate or water, as necessary.

Periodically check coolant level and freeze protection.

 

DRAIN & FILL

Draining the system may leave a significant amount of old coolant behind.  Using antifreeze/coolant concentrate is recommended when performing a drain & fill to ensure the right final concentration is achieved.

Check vehicle owner’s manual for coolant capacity and specific cooling system maintenance recommendations.
Note: Before starting, locate the radiator drain valve (if equipped), lower radiator hose and cooling system pressure cap. The cap may be on a remote overflow reservoir if not on the radiator.

DIRECTIONS

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT. THE RADIATOR HOSE SHOULD BE COOL AND SOFT WHEN SQUEEZED.

  1. Remove pressure cap from radiator or overflow reservoir.
  2. Drain cooling system by opening radiator drain valve. Disconnect lower radiator hose if there is no drain valve. Collect fluid for proper disposal. If the system has corrosion deposits in it, a chemical flush is recommended. Use PEAK Cooling System Cleaner & Flush to ensure maximum cooling system performance. Follow instructions on the bottle.
  3. Close radiator drain valve and reconnect radiator hose.
  4. If using a 50/50 prediluted antifreeze/coolant, fill the radiator up to the bottom of the filler neck. If there is no radiator pressure cap, add the antifreeze/coolant to the pressurized overflow reservoir to the level indicated on the reservoir. If using antifreeze/coolant concentrate, install a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant and water into the radiator up to the bottom of the filler neck, or into the pressurized overflow reservoir to the level indicated on the reservoir.
  5. Remove old coolant from reservoir tank and add either 50/50 prediluted antifreeze/coolant or a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant and water to the level marked on the tank.
  6. Replace pressure cap and run engine 15 minutes with the heater on high. Stop engine and allow to cool. Check antifreeze/coolant level and freeze protection and add more antifreeze/coolant or water, as necessary.Periodically check coolant level and freeze protection.

Motor Oil FAQs

Do I really need to change my oil every 3,000 miles?

There’s a big misconception in the auto world that you “have to” change your oil every 3,000 miles. The fact of the matter is, with such technological advancements made in the formulation and engineering of motor oil, it’s nothing more than overkill. In fact, research has shown that it’s sometimes better to not change your oil every 3,000 miles—to give the current oil the proper amount of time to cycle through and work its magic. Sadly, the whole “3,000 miles or bust” mentality has turned into more of a marketing ploy by oil change chains. We do, however, always recommend checking with your owner’s manual for what your car’s manufacturer deems as the appropriate amount of time to go between oil changes.

Why does oil turn black when it's old?

The short answer is: it turns black not as much because it’s old, but because it’s done its job and has collected all the gunk that can be harmful to your engine.

What's the difference between conventional, synthetic, and high-mileage oil?

An entire book can be written on this topic, so we’ll keep it short and sweet. Basically, conventional oil is what should be used for everyday, “normal” driving. Conventional is designed to offer maximum protection throughout all seasons. Synthetic, on the other hand, has supplemental additives and higher levels of viscosity to protect your engine in harsh driving conditions and extreme temperatures. High-mileage oil, to put it simply, is a type of conventional oil; it’s just been engineered with premium base oils and enhanced additive systems to offer maximum protection on high-mileage engines. Fact is, a higher-mileage car has parts that are worn down and may not be as up to snuff as they once were, so high-mileage oil, with it’s added formulations and what not, help by giving even more life to an older engine.

What do the different motor oil weights (5W-30, 15W-40, etc.) mean?

Oil weights are basically just a differentiation of viscosity (oil thickness) grades. Depending on the grade (5W-30, for example), indicates the level of thickness of the oil. Typically, thinner oils have lower numbers—and tend to flow easier—while higher numbers indicate thicker oils, which are typically more resistant to flow.

Why is it important to recycle oil—and how can I recycle mine after an oil change?

Like aluminum cans—or anything else we recycle nowadays—recycling motor oil helps prevent pollution that can harm us all. With modern, innovative techniques, refineries are able to take crude oil and create basic lube stock that’s used to make motor oil. And with an excess of oil, thanks to the “3,000 mile oil change” myth, recycling oil is more important than ever. It helps the environment, after all. And it’s easy. Just take your used motor oil to participating auto parts stores, or search for a nearby oil recycling facility online.

Thermal Charge Heat Transfer Fluid FAQs

WHAT IS A HEAT TRANSFER FLUID?

Heat transfer fluids allow either indirect heating or cooling of process reactors, piping, molds, etc. Heat transfer fluids can also be called thermal oil, thermal fluids, hot oil or heat transfer oil. Of the water-based heat transfer fluid category, ethylene glycol (EG) and propylene glycol (PG) fluids are the most common. The key factors for any well-designed heat transfer fluid system are heat transfer efficiency, high purity, and thermal stability.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF GLYCOL IN INHIBITED GLYCOL HEAT TRANSFER FLUID APPLICATIONS?

The main purpose of glycol is to prevent freezing or overheating of the process fluid and ensure consistent flow at the desired operating temperature. Inhibited glycols will protect metals such as brass, copper, steel, cast iron and aluminum from scale and corrosion. Water systems treated with an inhibited glycol will also be protected from algae and bacteria that can grow and degrade the fluid system performance.

Inhibitors also function to extend the life of the fluid itself. Glycol based coolants will degrade over time into acids. The presence of the inhibitors helps to slow that degradation in a metallic system. These inhibitors also help extend the life in stainless steel or non-metallic systems.

CAN YOU MIX GLYCOLS OR GLYCOL BRANDS?

Do not mix different types or brands of inhibited glycol. This can have negative effects on the system if the inhibitors precipitate out of the solution. Mixing glycols will also gel and clog filters thereby preventing proper flow rates. If switching glycol types, it is necessary to clean the fluid from the system by running a full flush of it. Once that is done, then the system can be filled with the new glycol brand or fluid.

WHY SHOULDN’T YOU USE AUTOMOTIVE GRADE ANTIFREEZE?

Automotive grade antifreezes are designed for automotive use. The majority of automotive antifreezes are made from ethylene glycol as are some heat transfer fluids. However, automotive antifreeze is not designed for industrial applications and may cause problems with heat transfer or fluid flow. For instance, many automotive glycols contain silicate-based inhibitors that can coat heat exchangers, attack pump seals, or form a flow-restricting gel.

IS ETHYLENE GLYCOL SUFFICIENT FOR MOST STANDARD INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS?

Ethylene glycol is the conventional heat transfer fluid for most industrial applications. This type of glycol can be used in any application where a low toxicity content is not required. Ethylene glycol has moderately acute oral toxicity and should not be used in processes where the fluid could come in contact with potable water, food, or beverage products.