‘Don’t mix the two types, do­ing so may cause the cor­ro­sion in­hibitors to crys­tallise out’

Canal Boat - - Technical - TONY BROOKS Tech­ni­cal Con­sul­tant

BE­FORE THE RE­ALLY cold weather, it’s time to think about the en­gine and any wet cen­tral heat­ing an­tifreeze. An­tifreeze life re­lates to the way the anti-cor­ro­sion ad­di­tives get ‘used up’ as they do their job. Older, typ­i­cally blue, an­tifreezes might have a two-year life while mod­ern ones (any colour, of­ten red) may have five or ten years’ life. Don’t mix the two types: do­ing so may cause the cor­ro­sion in­hibitors to crys­tallise out. Also, make sure the type you use states clearly that it is suitable for any en­gine.

Do not ex­ceed a 50 per­cent mix­ture and stay above about 25 per­cent. I start with 50 and top up with wa­ter, so over the life of the an­tifreeze, the per­cent­age grad­u­ally re­duces. You can get a hy­drom­e­ter to test the mix­ture but make sure it is cal­i­brated for your type of an­tifreeze. When chang­ing an­tifreeze, flush sev­eral changes of wa­ter through the sys­tem, and check and change any hoses that are per­ished, ex­tra soft or ex­tra hard.

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