Jump to content

does coolant brand matter?


Pbassred
 Share

Recommended Posts

Last night I looked at the coolant level on my new to me VFR 800 Vtec. Very low and I didn't check it when I picked it up fron the dealer 1000miles ago. So did they check it? change it? Is it drinking it? I don't know although they allegedly serviced it. Anyway I either need to top it up or drain/refill.


Is Halfords coolant any different to Honda's or any other?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its really difficult to check without removing the fairings, but It was either very full or very empty because couldn't see the level. I know about blue (old) and red coolant (new). Its a 2011 bike so I imagine it should need red coolant ....... except there is a blue hue to the bottle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I was you I would check the level properly and if it only needs a touch I would just top it up with distilled water when I say a touch I mean enough just to fill the expansion bottle!


The trouble is some manufacturers have their own coolant that can be green and all sorts of colours!


Once topped up keep an eye on it


On my bike you can't tell if its low until you get the fairing off as the expansion bottle is in the dark and mucky and hard to see!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can see the coolant level then mark it with a bit of tape and see if it moves after a few rides. If you can't see the level then fill it to the min and use that mark to see if it moves. Don't fill it to the max as some bikes seem to find their level and spit out anything above that and you'll worry you'll have a leak.


If it's leaking then fix it if not then top it up if it's a bit low (do people really bother with distilled water?) or drain and refill if it's really low so you're protected against freezing weather.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mentioned this before but it's worth knowing that Antifreeze is quite paletable to small children as well as cats and dogs . Once ingested there is no treatment and an agonizing death is a real possibility . So please do not leave the stuff lying around in open containers or bowls .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(do people really bother with distilled water?)

 

Yes I do!


I will show you some lime build up later when I get chance

 

This is what it looks like in the BMW F650 engine from not using distilled water!


This is all over and will take some cleaning but imagine what it does to the seals!

 

IMG_20200117_143335.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mentioned this before but it's worth knowing that Antifreeze is quite paletable to small children as well as cats and dogs . Once ingested there is no treatment and an agonizing death is a real possibility . So please do not leave the stuff lying around in open containers or bowls .

 

Almost all modern antifreeze in the UK and Europe is propylene glycol, which while is unlikely to kill if ingested.

Older stuff, and US antifreeze, is ethylene glycol, which is poisonous to all mammals.

Fastbob is right to remind us not to leave the stuff around for anyone/anything to drink - it may not kill, but may make a person/animal very ill.


As an aside, I recently had a conversation with a guy that had vape shop/distribution/import business. He told me that the "oil" in vape juice is Propylene Glycol.....he had no idea that it was antifreeze.


On the original question, I wonder if the dealer did a coolant change but didn't bleed the system properly. Now after a few miles the bike has bled all the air out giving you a low level ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mentioned this before but it's worth knowing that Antifreeze is quite paletable to small children as well as cats and dogs . Once ingested there is no treatment and an agonizing death is a real possibility . So please do not leave the stuff lying around in open containers or bowls .

 

Almost all modern antifreeze in the UK and Europe is propylene glycol, which while is unlikely to kill if ingested.

Older stuff, and US antifreeze, is ethylene glycol, which is poisonous to all mammals.

Fastbob is right to remind us not to leave the stuff around for anyone/anything to drink - it may not kill, but may make a person/animal very ill.


As an aside, I recently had a conversation with a guy that had vape shop/distribution/import business. He told me that the "oil" in vape juice is Propylene Glycol.....he had no idea that it was antifreeze.

 

Well that's a bit reassuring . So things must have changed . When I was at M&P we sold Repsol Coolant and that was definitely Ethylene Glycol . I remember because we had to make sure that it had a sticker on it describing the contents in English stuck over the Spanish label .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(do people really bother with distilled water?)

 

Yes I do!


I will show you some lime build up later when I get chance

 

This is what it looks like in the BMW F650 engine from not using distilled water!


This is all over and will take some cleaning but imagine what it does to the seals!


IMG_20200117_143335.jpg

 

It would depend on whether you live in a hard or soft water area I suppose, but I would also strongly recommend distilled water or pre mixed coolant .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Fastbob.

I should add, ethylene glycol is still available here, although almost all generic antifreeze is propylene glycol.

EG has bittering agents added to make it less attractive to mammals in UK (probably in all EU countries) and I think there may be higher duties or other restrictions on EG to force manufacturers to use PG instead.

For example, the overpriced Evans crap is 95% PG and 5% EG.


Outside Europe ethylene glycol is much cheaper than propylene glycol, so it's possible some dodgy independent suppliers could be selling black imports of EG antifreeze.

(And that might explain people dieing after using unofficial vape juices)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the original question, I wonder if the dealer did a coolant change but didn't bleed the system properly. Now after a few miles the bike has bled all the air out giving you a low level ?
Yeah that's a concept. The major bike dealer is actually merely incompetent. Its better than a broken bike but I wonder what else they didn't do (or do right).


Anyway I found a Honda dealer on my way home tonight and bought enough for a complete fill. VFR coolant is BLUE! apparently. Covers off tomorrow and investigate. The good news is that the dealer said he had no experience of head gasket failure and there is no coolant on the concrete floor so unless its boiling off, it seems like it was never there.


so ...... there's blue, red, propylene and ethylene. Does price matter?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(do people really bother with distilled water?)

 

Yes I do!


I will show you some lime build up later when I get chance

 

This is what it looks like in the BMW F650 engine from not using distilled water!


This is all over and will take some cleaning but imagine what it does to the seals!


IMG_20200117_143335.jpg

 

Blimey, you learn something every day. Good job I never keep cars that long :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I got the fairings off and ......The bottle is full. I'm going to do an engine flush and change the coolant.


It might warrant another thread but what its doing is getting to 106°C at 30 - 40mph urban cruising.The fan cuts it and out. When It gets to 6000RPM it cools right down to 85° in 1/2 a mile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

106 is ok for urban, stop-start etc. My vfr was the same.

It's a pressurised system and will be ok up to about 120 degrees.

If the fluid appears to be a 50/50 mix, based on colour or using an antifreeze tester, I would be tempted to remove some fluid to get the level correct then use the bike as normal while keeping an eye on temps and checking for leakage/usage.......then change the coolant as part of normal servicing when it's a bit warmer out😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have mentioned this before but it's worth knowing that Antifreeze is quite paletable to small children as well as cats and dogs . Once ingested there is no treatment and an agonizing death is a real possibility . So please do not leave the stuff lying around in open containers or bowls .

 

:offtopic:


Our 1-year-old cat died a horrible death late last year due to what the vet can only assume was anti-freeze ingestion. Gawd knows where he found it, but mine is kept sealed in the garage on a high shelf.


Took him to the vet, the vet thought he'd likely ingested a spider or poisonous bug due to the time of year and bugs slowing down. Next morning we found him lying in a pool of his own vomit and excrement barely able to lift his head. Took him back to the vet, he spent an agonising 2 hours there waiting for blood samples to come back, everything was off the charts. They put him out of his misery as soon as the results came in.


It's hard enough with a cat, I wouldn't want to contemplate a child going through that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mentioned this before but it's worth knowing that Antifreeze is quite paletable to small children as well as cats and dogs . Once ingested there is no treatment and an agonizing death is a real possibility . So please do not leave the stuff lying around in open containers or bowls .

 

:offtopic:


Our 1-year-old cat died a horrible death late last year due to what the vet can only assume was anti-freeze ingestion. Gawd knows where he found it, but mine is kept sealed in the garage on a high shelf.


Took him to the vet, the vet thought he'd likely ingested a spider or poisonous bug due to the time of year and bugs slowing down. Next morning we found him lying in a pool of his own vomit and excrement barely able to lift his head. Took him back to the vet, he spent an agonising 2 hours there waiting for blood samples to come back, everything was off the charts. They put him out of his misery as soon as the results came in.


It's hard enough with a cat, I wouldn't want to contemplate a child going through that!

 

That's dreadful , I'm so sorry to hear about that .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mentioned this before but it's worth knowing that Antifreeze is quite paletable to small children as well as cats and dogs . Once ingested there is no treatment and an agonizing death is a real possibility . So please do not leave the stuff lying around in open containers or bowls .

 

:offtopic:


Our 1-year-old cat died a horrible death late last year due to what the vet can only assume was anti-freeze ingestion. Gawd knows where he found it, but mine is kept sealed in the garage on a high shelf.


Took him to the vet, the vet thought he'd likely ingested a spider or poisonous bug due to the time of year and bugs slowing down. Next morning we found him lying in a pool of his own vomit and excrement barely able to lift his head. Took him back to the vet, he spent an agonising 2 hours there waiting for blood samples to come back, everything was off the charts. They put him out of his misery as soon as the results came in.


It's hard enough with a cat, I wouldn't want to contemplate a child going through that!

I'm also sorry to read that.

Actually I think that is is very ON topic. What I have found out since starting this thread is that there are 2 main types of glycol. Ethylene and propylene. Ethylene is sweet to the taste and toxic. There are petitions to ban it. Propylene is far less toxic and not palatable. It is readily available in the UK. In fact I just used Silkolene in my bike and it is labeled "non-toxic". Ethylene IS apparently used in de-icing fluid.


If you want irony, I remember in the 70s when Methanol anti freeze became popular. It used to boil off resulting in over heating problems. Glycol was marketed as "safer".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also sorry to read that.

Actually I think that is is very ON topic. What I have found out since starting this thread is that there are 2 main types of glycol. Ethylene and propylene. Ethylene is sweet to the taste and toxic. There are petitions to ban it. Propylene is far less toxic and not palatable. It is readily available in the UK. In fact I just used Silkolene in my bike and it is labeled "non-toxic". Ethylene IS apparently used in de-icing fluid.


If you want irony, I remember in the 70s when Methanol anti freeze became popular. It used to boil off resulting in over heating problems. Glycol was marketed as "safer".

 

Good to know, I'll be going with propylene from here on out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Sign up now

    Registration is quick and easy 

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.

Please Sign In or Sign Up