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Old 08-13-2014, 12:57 PM   #1
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Coolant additive

I have been using a coolant additive to prevent cavitation in my Volvos but ran out of it. Went to NAPA to buy another jug of the stuff and they never heard of the stuff. Any ideas where I can get some?
P.S. Going to Volvo is not an option. Too much $$$$.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:02 PM   #2
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I have been using a coolant additive to prevent cavitation in my Volvos but ran out of it. Went to NAPA to buy another jug of the stuff and they never heard of the stuff. Any ideas where I can get some?
P.S. Going to Volvo is not an option. Too much $$$$.
Where did you get the original additive? Do a web search on the name of the additive and you'll probably find a vendor.

Why do you think you need to add something to your coolant? Are you using Volvo's recommended coolant? Volvo coolant is a little pricey but not compared to the cost of engine damage.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
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Anti cavitation additives are important in some higher performance diesels.
Diesel truck shops will have it. Just make sure that it is rated for your engine and use the correct amount.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:27 PM   #4
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Fleetguard DCA60L Supplemental Coolant Additive at DieselManor
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:54 PM   #5
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My question is, if the engine's manufacturer does not call for an additive but specifies coolant qualities and replacement intervals, why would someone need to add something to that coolant? Or, why isn't it in the coolant already?

I would think Volvo would already be aware of any cavitation problems with its engines and address them with the coolant specifications.

I use Volvo coolant in my engine. Yes it costs twice as much as Prestone or whatever, but I know it's compatible with my engine and will do what Volvo expects it to do.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:37 PM   #6
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Ron, ancora is likely inquiring about a SCA. IIRC, he has KAMD 40 series which are wet sleeved. It is quite common to replenish additive packages in diesel coolants and is often part of OEM recommendations.

Volvo changed over to a yellow coolant (VCS) which i think is an organic base, a few years back. So they may not be supporting the "old" green coolant directly anymore with SCAs

Check Fleetguard, I use a Cat coolant in my Toyota diesel, but Fleetguard had a SCA that was compatible.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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Ron, ancora is likely inquiring about a SCA. IIRC, he has KAMD 40 series which are wet sleeved. It is quite common to replenish additive packages in diesel coolants and is often part of OEM recommendations.

Volvo changed over to a yellow coolant (VCS) which i think is an organic base, a few years back. So they may not be supporting the "old" green coolant directly anymore with SCAs.......... .
Volvo still sells the green coolant. Searching the Internet, I found that Volvo recommends that if you've been using the green you should not mix them and not try to convert your engine over to the newer yellow coolant. Apparently, you can never remove all traces of the green coolant and the results of even this small amount of green coolant will cause problems.

I buy my Volvo brand coolant from the local Volvo auto dealer. I think it's a couple dollars cheaper than at the Volvo authorized marine and heavy equipment service place and that place has a "list plus 3%" policy for credit card sales.

Volvo recommends replacing the coolant every two years in my engine and says nothing about additives if this coolant is used. The book may say something about additives if water is used for cooling rather than their coolant. Since I use the coolant I just skip over that part.

My engine is a TAMD41P, late 1999.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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I have two TMD40 Volvos; I am lookin' at usin' DCA-2 or DCA-4 but don't know which one?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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Engines that need SCA are modern engines made light by exposing the cylinder walls to the coolant.

Old style engines where the cylinders are pressed into sleeves in the block do not need it.

Under load the cylinder walls expand and contract with each power stroke. When the cylinder shrinks back to size it is very rapid, so fast that a vacuum is formed on the outer wall surface , which is the cavitation that eventually could eat right thru the cylinder.

Evert big truck stop will sell the SCA and the measuring cards used to confirm the proper mix.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Yesterday I had the Present surveyed. The surveyor ask, "are you ever going to have this boat in freezing temperatures? If not, drain the antifreeze, replace with water and add a rust inhibitor. Water is a much better medium to promote engine cooling than antifreeze."

Comments.....after busting my Marvel Mystery Oil myth I figgered I best air this one out too....
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:28 AM   #11
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My Volvo manual does not mention using a cavitation additive either. Can it be these old engines don't need the stuff?
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:39 PM   #12
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Engines that need SCA are modern engines made light by exposing the cylinder walls to the coolant.

Old style engines where the cylinders are pressed into sleeves in the block do not need it.

Under load the cylinder walls expand and contract with each power stroke. When the cylinder shrinks back to size it is very rapid, so fast that a vacuum is formed on the outer wall surface , which is the cavitation that eventually could eat right thru the cylinder.

Evert big truck stop will sell the SCA and the measuring cards used to confirm the proper mix.
Our CAT 3116 is one of these engines. We converted about 7 years ago to the Extended Life Coolant, rating is CAT EC-1. This newer coolant is good for 5 years with no SCA additives needed. To convert, a few good flushes with fresh water is all that is needed.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:46 PM   #13
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Some Sleeved engines do need dca

Listen to the maker
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:13 PM   #14
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Yesterday I had the Present surveyed. The surveyor ask, "are you ever going to have this boat in freezing temperatures? If not, drain the antifreeze, replace with water and add a rust inhibitor. Water is a much better medium to promote engine cooling than antifreeze."

Comments.....after busting my Marvel Mystery Oil myth I figgered I best air this one out too....
He's right in that distilled water with a rust inhibitor additive mix in it makes for a more efficient coolant than water and antifreeze do.

Most people in warmer climates add to much antifreeze to their coolant water as well.

The coolant I like best is Evans. Home » Evans Cooling
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:12 PM   #15
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He's right in that distilled water with a rust inhibitor additive mix in it makes for a more efficient coolant than water and antifreeze do.

Most people in warmer climates add to much antifreeze to their coolant water as well.

The coolant I like best is Evans. Home » Evans Cooling
Straight water is ......... Until it boils. One needs pressure and anti-freeze to minimize the probability of boiling somewhere in the system. I think all manuals recommend 50/50 .. mostly for simplicity. Not that much AFIs needed. BMW recommends 60/40 distilled water/anti-freeze. Extended life AF when the coolant is in contact w aluminum.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:10 PM   #16
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He's right in that distilled water with a rust inhibitor additive mix in it makes for a more efficient coolant than water and antifreeze do............
That contradicts what most experts and engine manufacturers say.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:01 PM   #17
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That contradicts what most experts and engine manufacturers say.
What? They say the specific heat capacity of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol based water solutions is greater than that of pure water?

Really, show us?

Now running just water and an anti-rust additive would more than likely mean you need to use a higher pressure radiator cap to increase the pressure in the system and there by increase the boiling point of the water and reduce the chance of hot spot boil offs. But distilled water with an additive will work just fine. But in most cases it may not be worth the trouble.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:40 PM   #18
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Localized boiling at hot spots will be reduced using a glycol/water mix. Those hot spots are a concern when running at high load settings. For trawlers, probably not an issue.

Glycol has worse specific heat, higher viscosity and lower thermal conductivity than water, all make it a worse heat transfer fluid. But that raised boiling point makes up for it.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:53 PM   #19
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Our Cummins has Fleetguard Polyglycol coolant. They make a test kit that test to the verify coolant specs. If they are out you just add the additive to bring it back to spec. I almost did a wholesale change out of both engines coolant this spring when I cleaned coolers. I found out about the test strips and tested the old coolant I drained out. It was well within spec. I even strained through a paint strainer and there wasn't any debris in it. Big $$$ savings.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:22 AM   #20
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The surveyor ask, "are you ever going to have this boat in freezing temperatures? If not, drain the antifreeze, replace with water and add a rust inhibitor. Water is a much better medium to promote engine cooling than antifreeze."

Comments.....after busting my Marvel Mystery Oil myth I figgered I best air this one out too....
I think that is pretty bad advice. Coolant, particularly diesel coolant, contains components that combat corrosion and other issues that can arise inside an engine. They are formulated to resist the cavitation that FF speaks of, for example.

If water with a rust preventative was all that was needed, then everybody would be using it and the engine manufactures would be including it in their operators manuals. I have yet to see an operators manual--- be it for my 1970s Land Rover to our new Ford F-150 and everything in between including vehicles from Austin-Healey, BMW, VW (diesel), Land Rover, Ford, Aston Martin, and Subaru--- that talked about using water and an anti-rust additive. Some of these vehicles-- like the new Ford and our Range Rover-- have aluminum engines, so the coolant has to be compatible with that material.

Most of the ratios that have been specced for the engines in all our vehicles and coolant-cooled boats have been 50:50 for our climate.

When we bought our current cruising boat the previous owner had put Sierra non-toxic anti-freeze in the FL120s, I think because the manual for the new hot water heater that he'd just had installed called for it (coolant from the starboard engine circulates through the hot water heater to heat the water).

Immediately after taking delivery of the boat, I asked people we know in the marine diesel manufacturing industry what we should be using for oil, coolant, etc. When I mentioned the Sierra coolant that was currently in the engines, one of the most knowledgeable and experience of these folks said, "Get that sh*t out of the engines NOW."

The coolant that was universally recommended by the industry people we talked to was Cat diesel coolant. Cat doesn't make it, of course, but it's made to their specifications, and it contains all the anti-corrosion and other characteristics that are what should be in a diesel engine's cooling system

So that's what we did, and we've been running Cat coolant ever since. Again, it's a 50:50 mix, which is what's called for in our climate.

I'm not saying that Cat is the only brand that should be used. There are plenty of others, I'm sure. But it's important to use a coolant that is specifically formulated to provide the cooling and combat the problems that can occur in a diesel's cooling system.
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