Another Coolant Thread

Another Coolant Thread

Postby OldSchoolNoe [OP] » December 19th 2020, 5:33am

New member here, bought a 97 Safari last week. Drove it home from the Las Vegas area to the central valley in California, that's a 5 hour drive. Halfway through the mission the van overheated near California City. Turns out it was very low on coolant (the seller assured me all fluids were topped off). Luckily the nearest auto parts store was AutoZ (20 minutes away). Went in our secondary vehicle and purchased 2 gallons of "Peak OET Antifreeze/Engine Coolant NAOB53."

The van made it home, but this is the orange stuff. After reading a few threads on this site many of you just totally despise the existence of this coolant. It doesn't say it is Dexcool, but it being orange makes me assume it is. The owner's manual states to add Dexcool but many advise against doing it.

Since the van was low on coolant I'm going to assume there is a leak somewhere so I will make a thorough inspection, and do some preventive maintenance to the cooling system.

My question is do I stick with this coolant?

My concern is to always follow manufacturer's spec. We've had a Mustang since 2002 and we always followed what the manual called for (Motorcraft Golden Coolant) and never had a problem. The manual for the van calls for Dexcool but the threads advise against using it.
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Re: Another Coolant Thread

Postby Rod's Trucks » December 19th 2020, 6:52am

First thing first!
Welcome to the Astro madness. You will gets lots of good advice and helpful suggestions

As for the coolant, were you able to tell the color of any remaining coolant? Any obvious signs of leaks?
Did it just get very hot according to the gauge; or did it get hot enough to boil over and blow a lot of coolant out?

If it had DexCool in it, and you added Dexcool, you should be OK from the chemistry standpoint.
If you've mixed DexCool it with something else, then you 're likely looking at a major flush job...probably multiple times. I understand they do not play well together.
My concern would be why it was low, on the one trip, if the owner said it was all topped off. ( Did he maybe know it was using coolant and did he know you were going that far on the first trip?)
Another possibility: How much did you need to put in?
The cooling system could be partially blocked, you could (possibly) have overheated it due to the long highway run, particularly if you were climbing in the mountains when it happened.

You need to find out if it is leaking/using and needing it regularly; and where is it going?
let us know how it is going, and what you find, for the collective of information
Best wishes for a good outcome.
Rod J
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Re: Another Coolant Thread

Postby SportsBoy » December 19th 2020, 4:35pm

Supposedly the old formulat for dexcool was bad and caused issues, but it's been fixed for years. However some people still don't trust it.

I have orange coolant and have been fine, for now.

Like Rod said, if the coolant in there was not orange, and then you added orange, you need to do a thorough flush or you'll have issues later. I think orange or green, whatever you prefer, has worked for plenty of people here.
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Re: Another Coolant Thread

Postby OldSchoolNoe [OP] » December 20th 2020, 2:29am

5 hour trip with minimal inclines. The van overheated 2.5 hours in. I noticed the gauge inching toward the red and I immediately pulled over (it did reach the first red indicator). I turned off the engine and heard coolant boiling in front of me, then all of a sudden steam burst out the front of the grille. For about 5 minutes steam shot out with occasional blobs of brownish looking coolant. I was relieved that this van has a "vent" because the New Edge Mustang I've had for years doesn't have that. I added 2 gallons of the orange stuff and it still did not top off. This was good enough to complete the trip with no issues (gauge stayed in the middle).

Messaged the seller about the type of coolant he used and he replied with "I believe it was green." Yup so now I gotta get to flushing, it needed it anyway. Will check for leaks soon.
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Re: Another Coolant Thread

Postby MechBob » December 20th 2020, 4:17am

Type of coolant is irrelevant,mostly,unless it is European weird coolant.Why did you need so much,there has to be a leak,which caused the problem,to have to add that much!!!!!
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Re: Another Coolant Thread

Postby Mmusicman » December 20th 2020, 1:50pm

OldSchoolNoe wrote:..all of a sudden steam burst out the front of the grille
I added 2 gallons of the orange stuff and it still did not top off..

Hopefully it blew this leak after your stopped driving it, and you didn't drive it empty.
Driving without coolant is a quick recipe for engine disaster.

You'll need to find the leak (or possible leaks) and fix.
You can borrow a system pressure tester from most auto-parts stores.
You'll need to completely and thoroughly clean and flush the system.
If Dexcool (orange) and green were mixed, then more than likely you may need to back flush the radiator if you want full cooling performance.

Don't replace with Dexcool after you've flushed it.
Might be a good time to replace the thermostat too.

When you get everything back in working order.. keep an eye on the reservoir level.
If you find you need to keep adding.. then you have another leak.
Look around water pump, hoses, heater hoses and valve, and around engine intake.
If an engine gasket is leaking internally (quite common after severely overheating), then it will likely burn the coolant and you won't see or find the leak.

Good luck
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