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I'm needing to top off my cooling system since I apparently have an air bubble in it. That means a $25 trip to the dealer for maybe only 20oz worth of fluid. However, it's about time for an maintenance flush and fill, so I'll wait until summer for that. But this got me researching and thinking; I know Nissan makes their stuff to spec for their engines. They probably don't put a lot of R&D into fluids, since their main concern is getting an engine and body designed. Also, I've read online (unconfirmed by proof) that Nissan just uses Castrol ATF in their transmissions, and Pentosin for their coolant.

But here's my concern; can aftermarket fluids actually be better for the engine than OEM stuff? For example, peak atifreeze (blue) has inhibitors to prevent corrosion. We all know Amsoil is awesome stuff and better than OEM (that's what's in my differentials).

Here's my thing: I'm a fan of using fluids I can get easily, like at Autozone/O'reilly/wherever. I don't want to have to go to a dealer for these fluids. Would you guys recommend sticking to Nissan coolant (or any fluids, for that matter) or are there instances where others are actually better for our trucks?
 

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2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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Not sure what type of fluids, but I have seen a How-to here that detailed parking the truck on a slight angle, opening the reservoir and somehow burping the system. Dunno, someone else may chime in.
 

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I will be going to all aftermarket fluids as soon as I need to. If they make up to and surpass oem stuff. Count me in. Like you mentioned going with a product that , that’s all they do. Has to be engineered better. JMHO.




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I have added prestone 50/50 universal coolant (the yellow jug of stuff that's "safe" to add and for all vehicles"). Don't know why it would harm anything.

I view the term "OEM" about the same as "milspec". It's simply a data point. Doesn't mean it's the best or the worst, just means someone decided it fit their price point and works decently enough.
 

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Pentofrost A3 by Petosin is the OEM coolant. From what I've read on here somewhere. It's available from Napa, Advanced, AutoZone and Rock Auto. In stock depending on the store. And it's $10-15 cheaper than my dealer. When I did my dump and fill that's what I used and no problems. If you have a air compressor find a vac-fill set up. Buy or rent. It is definitely the way to go no matter what you're working on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pentofrost A3 by Petosin is the OEM coolant. From what I've read on here somewhere. It's available from Napa, Advanced, AutoZone and Rock Auto. In stock depending on the store. And it's $10-15 cheaper than my dealer. When I did my dump and fill that's what I used and no problems. If you have a air compressor find a vac-fill set up. Buy or rent. It is definitely the way to go no matter what you're working on.


I've heard that here, as well, and on another forum. However, I have not seen any proof to back this up.
 

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I know Nissan makes their stuff to spec for their engines. They probably don't put a lot of R&D into fluids...
First of all: there is no "Nissan coolant manufacturing facility". There is no Nissan oil refinery. Nissan contracts with such existing facilities to package their stuff with the Nissan name. Why?? Because there's so much money in selling the same stuff but at higher prices, to scare the public into going to dealer. Sometimes a different dye is added (2 cents) so folks think dealer stuff is special.

Let me say that I'm a degreed chemist, worked in an analytical chemistry lab (think original CSI).

Years ago, coolant/antifreeze (ethylene glycol) had silicates and phosphates as additives. As aluminum radiators, cylinder heads, etc. came about, the pH of this coolant was too high, was not compatible with aluminum parts (Drano drain cleaner product is sodium hydroxide plus aluminum flakes, react together when it gets wet). So a lower pH formulas using the potassium salt of organic acids like 2-ethyl-hexanoic acid were invented, had a tradename DexCool. I've assayed non-DexCool coolants that stated "safe for all makes and models", and those also contained the potassium salt of organic 2-ethyl-hexanoic acid. For the record, I esterified the organic acid and used gas chromatography interfaced with a mass spectrometer for this assay. The modern formulas can state "organic acid technology" OAT, or similar.

And I use such coolant in my own trucks.

So as long as the coolant - still ethylene glycol based - states "safe for all makes and models", you're good to go.

To bleed the cooling system, use the bleeder on the engine (if your year has one) or jack up the front end/park on an uphill, take cap off run engine 20 minutes with heater on full, topping off until no more coolant can be added.
 

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jack up the front end/park on an uphill, take cap off run engine 20 minutes with heater on full, topping off until no more coolant can be added.
^This is essentially what I did when I had an air bubble. On the 2nd gen, you want to do this procedure from the reservoir (reservoir cap off, rad cap on). Like most 2nd gen owners who have this issue, my fluid reservoir looked full when the engine was shut off but I had a gurgling sound behind the dash and no heat at idle. I followed a procedure I saw posted here - I overfilled the reservoir by about 1.5 inches, parked the truck uphill, and ran it with the heater turned on and the reservoir cap off until the engine had warmed up. Heater has been nice and toasty ever since.

I'd had the last coolant change done by an independent shop that most definitely didn't use "Nissan coolant" and I used premixed universal coolant to top off the system.
 

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as an engieer for an oilfield tool OEM, we have fluid brands and types we recommend.
Why? a bit of tribal knowledge and it met the requirement for what we need. is fluid A better than B? No, just the way we've always done it.
 

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I'll add another plug for universal yellow coolant. I went with straight coolant though, cuz paying for 50% water is silly imo. Pour some coolant, add about the same water. Repeat until full. According to Torque my operating temperate jumped a whopping 2°C, probably cuz I put a bit more coolant than water in. Burping the system by jacking up the front end and running it also works 100%. I did when I swapped my rad, and on several other vehicles. Who needs fancy bleeder screws that fail and cost an arm and leg? Also; don't ever own a VR6. The bleeder screws are stupidly expensive.
 
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