Join Date: Sep 2006
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You people are still hanging on to the old technology (I'm a chemist). The older coolants used silicates and phosphates in the ethylene glycol as lubricant and anti-corrosion additives. These coolants are alkaline and therefore not compatible with aluminum parts.
DexCool is a tradename for ethylene glycol coolant that has potassium 2-ethylhexanoate as its additive (Google DexCool MSDS); this is also called organic acid technology, or OAT. Manufacturers have to pay license fee to call their stuff DexCool or DexCool compatible. I just used Peak coolant in my Yukon which specifies DexCool (GM WANTS your business $$$$) and it clearly states on the container "safe for all vehicles and models" and that it does NOT contain silicates or phosphates. I brought some of the Peak into work, dried off the volatile ethylene glycol and water (50/50 was $1 a gallon at Pep Boys Thanksgiving sale), and the Peak coolant was green, then analyzed the residue by FTIR and then by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
Guess what: the additive was essentially ALL potassium 2-ethylhexanoate (soap), just like the DexCool !!! And ethylene glycol is ethylene glycol, no matter whose name is on the container. The Peak MSDS search had only stated "proprietary", others state organic acid technology (remember: don't get scared that is says "acid", soap is neutralized organic acid).
Bottom line: if it clearly states on the container "safe for all vehicles and models", then it's essentially identical technology as those that state DexCool. The color doesn't matter, that's 0.02 cents of dye. I'm not sure the old style phosphate-silicate type is even sold any longer.