This seems to come up fairly frequently with some 3000GT VR4 or Stealth Twin Turbo owners. Even with some of the base models too. It is usually due to one of a couple of common causes each time. So here is a introduction to the cooling system, antifreeze (in a little more detail than you thought of before) and the common things overlooked or not known by the new owner.
First, a few standard factoids to keep in mind
Antifreeze does not improve cooling
If you stay on top of your antifreeze changes (don't let it sit in there too long) then you can go with a mixture that will provide a better cooling effect. Something like a 60/40 is what I recommend as a minimum for a VR4 and many times a 70/30 is the best solution for you. The first number is the percentage of water. This mixture will still give you the corrosion protection and other protection plus provide enough boil over and freeze protection for many mild climates. What the higher percentage of water will do though is vastly improve your cooling systems ability to absorb the heat from your engine and release it in your radiator. Going from a 50/50 to a 70/30 can make such a difference that you will see the change on your temp gauge. Note: I live in the northwest USA so the winters are fairly mild. Plus I garage my cars. Make sure the percentage of antifreeze is sufficient to cover YOUR CAR for the winter temperatures you will experience. A frozen engine is a major disaster to say the least.
Also note that you can easily have a winter mix and a summer mix. It is not that hard to change the coolant %. After all, the VR4s only carry a little over 2 gallons total.
Water is water?
DISPOSE OF ALL ANTIFREEZE PROPERLY AND PROTECT FROM ANIMALS GETTING TO IT! EVEN A SMALL SPILL OR AMOUNT!
And ignore those "non-toxic" claims of the propylene styles. It is not as poisonous as the ethylene but it is still something you need to store and dispose of properly. Seriously, do not take the leaking, dumping, storing or anything else with antifreeze lightly. It is a fairly hazardous material.
So those are the two base formulas. Those with the basic silicates and phosphates are called "conventional" antifreeze or "original formula". There are now also the extra additives that create the specialized formulas we are now seeing out there in the market. Each car manufacturer specifies for their own vehicles based on the materials in the engine cooling system and radiator (aluminum now more prevalent that before) and also important to gaskets, seals and many other in depth reasons. It is all based on their own research and development. So you have things like DexCool that GM specifies (orange), then there's things like the pink Hybrid type from Toyota, and the list goes on. There are OAT (Organic Acid Technology) and then the Hybrid of those (HOAT) plus the Extended Life types that are on the market. Zerex even has a NEW antifreeze just for "Asian Vehicles" (no kidding, that is what the label says - Asian Vehicles). It is specified different than many others. Many european mixes (like the G-05 stuff) is for their hard water and no silicates or phosphates. But the "asian" manufactures prefer the phosphates and believe it helps with anti-corrosion.
It's best to not mix types of antifreeze. Try and stay with just ONE type or at least one style (ex: OAT type rather than Conventional, etc). And remember, it never hurts to change that old antifreeze if in doubt! You can use the new "asian formula" from Zerex or the conventional/original type (either EG or PG) or the newer long life stuff from Prestone (the yellow). Do not use the DexCool or the G05 in your VR4 (or any 3S).
Here's a couple of charts from Zerex (made by Valvoline) and some NAPA charts. These are basic and more in depth information is available at the manufacturers websites. Click the image(s) to open them in larger size in a new window. Not all antifreezes are shown in these charts. The Zerex Asian Formula for example is very new.
There's really no "one type works for all". Heck, I have to have several types on my shop shelf. MaxLife Conventional I use for my John Deere tractor, Dexcool for my GMC Yukon, Toyota pink longlife for my daughters FJCruiser, Asian or Longlife Prestone yellow for my 95 VR4. Engine Ice or Supercool for the smaller engines. I use Redline WaterWetter in all of them. In the drag race car VR4 I use only distilled water with 1 bottle of waterwetter (or 5 jugs of supercool by redline).
OK, that's a basic on antifreezes. It can get very complicated in a hurry because of so many formulas out there. Lots of info out there for those of you that want more detailed chemistry and information. There are anywhere from 4-6 different types at your local auto parts store. Make sure you know which is which and use the right type as well as not mix them together.
So there's some things that are important to keep in mind.
Now let's look at specifics on PAGE TWO
|Performance Guide and Upgrade Lists / Advice||Loctite info||60k/120k/180K info|
|My 95 VR4||My Drag Racing 3000GT||My 3000 Water Injection||NW3S FORUMS|
|Exhaust Cutout||AEM Brief||My 3000 Stereo System||My Shop|