Using the proper coolant at correct intervals helps ensure that your equipment delivers maximum performance
If you are looking to protect critical engine components and keep operating temperatures steady, you need the right engine coolant/antifreeze. While the word “antifreeze” implies protection from freezing, engine coolant is actually critical in all weather applications, because it transfers heat to prevent both freezing and overheating.
Choosing a coolant specifically designed to work with your machinery is your best option, as it’s been tested and developed for those particular systems. Not using the correct type can potentially create issues because each coolant brand has a unique formulation.
“It comes down to how that coolant performs with the other components of the cooling system,” said Alexis Crawford, Komatsu Parts Marketing Associate. “If the wrong coolant is used, you are introducing chemicals that may cause premature wear such as leaking seals, which can ultimately affect machine performance.”
Each manufacturer has its own stated engine coolant life. Some claim that theirs will last the life of the machine. Crawford said that while this statement may be appealing, equipment users should be cautious about relying on it, as the protection will likely degrade over time. Coolant, like other fluids, should be monitored and replaced as part of your preventive maintenance schedule.
Komatsu distributors can provide oil and fluid wear analysis (KOWA) lab testing to show if there are metals or other minerals in the coolant that have leached in and may indicate a breakdown of internal components. Checking the coolant level daily can tell you if there is any evaporation due to a leak that needs to be addressed.
Komatsu recommends using their genuine Supercoolant that is specifically designed to work across the entire product line. It offers two types: a 50/50 pre-mix product that is ready to use and a concentrate product that is mixed with distilled water. Its nitrite-free formula contains a blend of phosphate and organic acid technology (OAT) to help prevent corrosion and oxidation in modern engines. Supercoolant exceeds all ASTM D3306 and JIS K2234 standards, and is available from your Komatsu distributor or can be ordered directly through My Komatsu.
“Komatsu Supercoolant should be replaced every 4,000 hours but could extend up to 6,000 hours for our 50/50 offering,” said Crawford. “Your machine operation and maintenance manuals will tell you how much coolant (refill capacity) your machines need.”
Coolant color – why does it matter?
You will notice that Supercoolant has a distinctive blue color. It is important to never mix different brands or colors of coolant as this can cause contamination and damage to the cooling system. If you are using Supercoolant for the first time, be sure to perform a system flush to avoid contamination.