Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Staunton, VA - USA
This document is just the kind of "half truth" information that I've been decrying for some years now.
There is no doubt, absolutely none, that when the DexCool OAT formulations were first introduced there were numerous seal disasters in classic cars. The original formulation used 2-EHA which attacked certain seals rather aggressively. There was a huge lawsuit in the US which the plaintiffs won since the claim had been made that this coolant was universally backward compatible but wasn't. That, of course, triggered changes in the formulation to prevent seal degradation. Still, most people err on the side of caution and do not use DexCool formulations in classic cars.
There are lots of OAT and HOAT formulations that do not use 2-EHA and that are not problematic in classic cars. Most recently I purchased a box of Recochem OEM 50/50 Prediluted Global Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant because the local auto parts emporium had a very good deal on it. Of course, I wrote to Recochem to confirm that this formulation does not contain 2-EHA.
A good many of the newer extended life/lifetime antifreezes are ethylene glycol based, just like the old stuff, but it's the corrosion inhibitor packages that have changed. I find the comments about antifreeze's ability to "find the tiniest hole and cause leakages," both amusing and confusing. Well, it may do that, but since that has nothing to do with the basic chemistry of antifreeze and everything to do with a compromised cooling system, you can pretty much count on that happening if there is a hole to be found and you use any antifreeze.
In closing, I invite people to go out and find as many of "the disaster stories" on antifreeze as they can. Almost invariably they contain two common elements:
- they are not written in the first person, but are of the, "a friend of mine," or, "a friend of a friend" format
- the disasters are virtually always reported to have occurred within less than two weeks of the antifreeze change, sometimes within days
These stories may be true, but they are also quite isolated and all the reports are 10 years old or older (barring repetition). You have to ask yourself how many classic car owners have not heard these stories and have been merrily changing their antifreeze with what can be conveniently purchased from their local auto parts store or department store. There have got to be millions that fit into this category, yet we're not hearing anything about ongoing issues with seals.
The manufacturers of these products know about the early issues and the product liability that they will be subject to if they make "universally compatible" claims that don't hold up.
I'm not alone (and I know it and have confirmed it) in using extended life antifreeze in a Crewe V8 without issue.
I'm doing whatever I can to chip away at the urban legend that only old-fashioned, change every two years, IAT (Inorganic Acid Technology - if memory serves) antifreeze is the only thing suitable for our and other "classic cars." This is a situation where using the latest technology is a distinct advantage, not a disadvantage, to our cars.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. ~ Niels Bohr