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The Technical Side of Coolant

I've hear enough "experts" on the subject what coolants to use or avoid. A basic web search found the following:

Courtesy of Texaco Magazine LUBRICATION,Copyright Texaco Inc.
"Nitrates provide aluminum protection, while silicates provide general corrosion protection and act as a deterrent to cavitation of aluminum coolant pumps."     "Silicates, despite their disadvantages, remained the inhibitor of choice for aluminum protection; silicate stabilizers have alleviated some of the problems with polymerization and precipitation of these chemicals. Disodium sebacate, the sodium salt of a dibasic carboxylic acid, was found to be an effective corrosion inhibitor for both ferrous and aluminum alloys."
The full text is at:

And some more:
"Silicate is an established inhibitor of aluminum corrosion, but it tends to jell as an ingredient in antifreeze. Silicone compounds are commonly used to prevent the jelling. Union Carbide has used silicone-silicate in Prestone for years, and current formulations by the other leading makers-- Dow, Northern Petrochemical (Peak), BASF Wyandotte, and Texaco (private branders)-- also contain silicates. At present, all have aluminum protection formulas that meet GM replacement and Ford O.E. specifications."   "Engine coolant should be REPLACED every two (2) years to refresh the silicates and other corrosion inhibitors contained in the coolant."  "Just for the record, distilled water can cause its own problems because it has such a low pH. Water will seek its own balanced pH, and when distilled water is placed next to aluminum, it leaches the minerals it wants from the alloy and black soot forms in the coolant. That's why silicates are put in aluminum-compatible antifreeze; they're sacrificial mineral deposits."   The full text is at

And finally...
"In the August, 1997 issue of MOTORCYCLE CONSUMER NEWS and then finalized in the November, 1997 issue, MCN detailed accounts of motorcyclists that encountered severe problems with mainly their water pumps if they were using antifreeze (coolants) that were designed for automobiles. "Our first findings were that the vast majority (98.7%) of pump failures occurred on bikes that had had their cooling systems flushed, or drained and refilled, within the past year. Secondly, of the bikes with failed pumps, 99% had been filled with automotive-type coolants, such as Prestone, Zerex or a house brand from some parts chain like Pep Boys. Less than 1% of the bikes with failed pumps had used pre-mixed Hondaline coolant or another motorcycle-specific anti-freeze." They went on to say that if you currently have automotive silicate bearing coolant in your bike now, get it out as soon as possible and replace it with a motorcycle-specific coolant like Hondaline Pro Honda HP Coolant."

Article By: David J. Morrow

August 2001 

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