The road car fliuds thread

Breaking news, useful data or technical highlights or vehicles that are not meant to race. You can post commercial vehicle news or developments here.
Please post topics on racing variants in "other racing categories".

Post Wed May 12, 2010 3:29 pm

Hi.

In the globalized world car market we are living today I ask myself several questions I nor the internet can answer. This is a thread created to gather real info from people that actually works with or develops the products we are going to discuss about. Please stick to the norm. No "I use X gear oil and its best just because I have never braked my gear in 1.000.000 miles" allowed. [-X

I have found that when John/Jane Doe takes his/her car to do maintenance outside the car dealer, the oil guy puts the fuel-air-oil filters/brake fluid/transimission fluid/oil/powersteering fluid/coolant they sell. No matter the car is American branded manufactured in Brazil or USA or its a German branded manufactured in Mexico or Germany.

Its a reality the car dealers are 2X more expensive that the local shop oil guy. Its a reality that in every car user manual you can read "use only the _ _ _ _ fluid, norm _ _ _ _." Why? What happens if you do not follow that?
Its a reality that when you live in some parts of the world, you may not have access to a determinated brand/type of products you may "need" for your car.

So, some of the questions would be:

What if you mix Dexron III "red" fluid in your "green" fluid Audi´s powersteering?

What if you have a water leak in the middle of nowhere and you have just demineralized water of doubtful quality (I mean, it can just be regular water) to fill in?

What if your car uses DOT4 brake fluid but you only can get a DOT3 type?

What if you see the oil guy pours a "yellow" coolant in your cars "green" or "red" coolant system and then tells you its all the same but with different coloring?

And what about filters? Seriously, has anyone cheked what type of filters does the car dealers or the oil guys use? How can you know wich is the adequated filter that will let pass the "not dangerous" particles in order that your system doesnt clog and pressures doesnt rise?


Questions and answers welcomed. X brand fanboyism forbiden. Lets believe the technicallity of that "There are no low quality brands or products, they are just aimed to another market".
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna
Belatti
 
Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Location: Argentina

Post Thu May 13, 2010 4:34 am

Water does not matter, distilled or not it will cool(better than the green stuff will too) if it is really hard water flush and fill once you get a chance.

DOT3 and DOT4 can mix, no problem

Yellow? Is he pouring pee into your car? I seen Orange, green & red... never yellow. when in doubt read the bottle... and Anti-freeze... improperly called "coolent" is not necessary(for those of us who live where humans are supposed to) so if you think it is pee refuse it and ask for water instead.

As for filters, I go by the weight, heavy is good... Mobil1 is my preferred brand, but the New Bosches look good, K&N gets good marks, as does the super purolater, but I tend to stay away from the light ones. I seen frams split open in high oil pressure applications.
ISLAMATRON
 
Joined: 1 Oct 2008

Post Tue May 18, 2010 5:20 am

Thanks Islam, I see our fellow forumers dont care much about what they spill inside their cars. :roll:

What about power steering fluids?
And the use of auto transmission fluids in it?
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna
Belatti
 
Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Location: Argentina

Post Tue May 18, 2010 5:42 am

Old school guys used to allways put ATF into their power steering systems, but I hear that is a big No-No for Hondas and Audis... best bet is allways read the manual... Lucas, which is a specialty brand of additives here in the states and a huge sponsor of motorsports, offers an exceptional line of fluid additives that I have never heard anyone complain about... problem is I dont know about its worldwide availability... if it aint available is the SW hemi I should quickly become a distributer there$$$. Their ATF and Powersteering additives are outstanding.

ATF is tricky because their are so many standards... but change it often... that is the number 1 killer of auto transmissions... old worn out fluid.
ISLAMATRON
 
Joined: 1 Oct 2008

Post Tue May 18, 2010 6:46 am

The other thing to consider about anti-freeze is the anti-corrosive/lubrication properties it creates in the engine. A straight water fill WILL tend to cool better, absolutely! However, corrosion and water pump failure occur more easily. I also just use tap water. I change my anti-freeze (with a chemical flush) every second year here in the "Great White (Frozen) North" so I don't worry about scaling or deposits that MAY occur with cheapo tap water.

The generic "Prestone" anti-freeze is typical glycol based. In my experience, the only fluid NOT compatible with a typical glycol "off the shelf" brand is GM's Dex-cool (red) anti-freeze. However this may have changed and GM may not use dex-cool anylonger, I'm not sure...
BMW/Audi have blue, Toyota is red (but not dex-cool) and Honda uses(used) a green fluid, but they all have the same compatible base. (Just as an example). Color I believe is just a manufactures way of distinguishing between their own fluids.

In BMW land (where I work and play), the green power-steering/hydraulic fluid is made by Pentosin and is actually a mineral oil type of fluid. It has some different properties specifically for hydraulic suspension components and certain BMW steering gears. It is totally incompatible with a regular ATF (dexron) fluid. AFAIK, Audi and Mercedes use this fluid as well, I'm just not sure which variant as there are several.

Also, as Islamatron mentioned, DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids are compatible but have different properties. DOT4 has a higher boiling point than the DOT3 which is better for higher performance braking situations. I don't remember off hand, but I believe DOT5 is a racing fluid only and is incompatible with 3 or 4...

With engine oils, all are not created equal and some engines are actually designed with certain oils in mind. Take VW's TDI engines... they can have chronic EGR and Injector issues if the incorrect oil is used. The same goes for the BMW diesel engines. Sure, you can use any old oil designed for a diesel, but issues are much more apparent when not using the OE recommended brand. Some manufactures will always give you a list of suitable "second choices", others will just give you a list of requirements or specifications that an oil must meet. Manufactures (in America and Canada anyways) are not allowed to deny warranty if you do not use their "brand" of oil. That is why there are said specifications an oil needs to meet, so you can go and buy the Mobil-1 or Amsoil equivalent.

I have actually seen warranty being denied because of an oil being used that does not meet the requirements and specifications set forth by the manufacturer.

Again, as Islamatron says, generally heavier filters have more filtering material in them. Generally, not always ;) I stick with the Amsoil personally on my classic car, but use the stock Toyota ceramic filters on my daily driver. As with Islamatron, I've also seen horrific things with Fram oil filters. They are generally regarded as the cheapest and easiest, not the best. Then again, I've seen horrible things with the BMW canister filters as well. As long as you stick to a short interval (none of that european 25000km crap) the brand of filter shouldn't really matter as long as you change your oil regularly and with a quality oil.


There, my 2 cents to this interesting topic :)

-Aaron
majicmeow
 
Joined: 5 Feb 2008

Post Fri May 21, 2010 3:16 pm

Thanks majic!
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna
Belatti
 
Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Location: Argentina

Post Sat May 22, 2010 10:40 pm

I dont run anti-freeze, but i do run Water Wetter, it provides the lubrication & corrosion resistance of the anti-freeze, but with increase heat rejection properties... but again this is only for humans that live where they are supposed to... this isnot something for places that drop below freezing for more than a day or two at a time... distilled water is a must for this kind of set up.

DOT5 is silicone based and really not for racing but for cars that are in storage mostly... Dont ever even consider dot5... as for brake fluid for most applications I like castrol GTLMA... it has better heat & water rejection properties for those of us who live in humid places and take our cars to track days and is alot cheaper than racing brake fluid, but almost as good.

Fram is bad, but I seen worse... STP has an even worse line out. 25K Km service intervals are ok but only with synthetic oils and super high quality oil filters, and definatly not with canister type filters... I hate those things.
ISLAMATRON
 
Joined: 1 Oct 2008

Post Sun May 23, 2010 6:08 am

haha, the good ole water wetter trick :) I used to run that same setup in my Solo2 car for years. Straight water with the additive kept the cylinder head temps down about 15degrees (F) on a hot day compared to an antifreeze mixture. Allowed for a bit more timing before things got too toasty ;) hehe

Thanks for the reminder about DOT5 being silicone based... I wasn't sure if it was a mineral oil or silicon. With DOT5, does it absorb the water like DOT3/4 or is water not miscible in it? If not, wouldn't it be a bad choice to store a car with as moisture would settle in the low places like wheel cylinders/lines etc instead of staying in fluid and preventing corrosion?
majicmeow
 
Joined: 5 Feb 2008

Post Sun May 23, 2010 3:37 pm

ISLAMATRON
 
Joined: 1 Oct 2008

Post Sun May 23, 2010 10:36 pm

as far as I can tell there is no way to get the air out of a dot5 system terrible stuff
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."
flynfrog
 
Joined: 23 Mar 2006

Post Tue May 25, 2010 4:54 pm

flynfrog wrote:as far as I can tell there is no way to get the air out of a dot5 system terrible stuff


If you are talking about bleeding the system. it makes absolutely no difference what fluid is in it.
I once filled the brake system in a range rover with water after an emergency repair in Northern Nigeria and drove all the way to Lagos using as little braking as possible.
autogyro
 
Joined: 4 Oct 2009

Post Tue May 25, 2010 5:45 pm

no dot 5 is silicone based it gets mircobubbles in it when you pour it the only way I have seen to get them out is to pull a hard vacuum. Normal bleeding wont do it.
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."
flynfrog
 
Joined: 23 Mar 2006

Post Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:08 pm

ISLAMATRON wrote:I dont run anti-freeze, but i do run Water Wetter, it provides the lubrication & corrosion resistance of the anti-freeze, but with increase heat rejection properties... but again this is only for humans that live where they are supposed to... this isnot something for places that drop below freezing for more than a day or two at a time... distilled water is a must for this kind of set up.


On the note of distilled water, it was my understanding that distilled water should be used regardless, in order to prevent mineral deposit build up after many repeated heat cycles, even if these cycles are just up to ordinary operating temp.
she_spools_180
 
Joined: 22 Mar 2011

Post Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:22 am

Belatti wrote:What if you mix Dexron III "red" fluid in your "green" fluid Audi´s powersteering?


Dexron III is an Aautomatic Transmission Fluid and should only be used in power steering systems intended to be used with ATF. The green fluid used by Audi and others are usually a synthetic hydraulic fluid from Pentosin, it should not be mixed with ATF.

Belatti wrote:What if you have a water leak in the middle of nowhere and you have just demineralized water of doubtful quality (I mean, it can just be regular water) to fill in?


Will with regular water and continue driving. You can change the coolant later. Demineralized water is prefered for mixing the coolant, although not required.

Belatti wrote:What if your car uses DOT4 brake fluid but you only can get a DOT3 type?


DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 are all polyethylene glycol based fluids. A lower number does however indicate that the fluid have a lower boiling point which can have safety implications.

Belatti wrote:hat if you see the oil guy pours a "yellow" coolant in your cars "green" or "red" coolant system and then tells you its all the same but with different coloring?


The colour alone will tell you nothing as different manufacturers can use different colours for different coolant specifications.

Most coolants are based on ethylene glycol and a corrosion inhibitor package. The latter can be of several types, and long life coolants tend to use organic acid technology or hybrid organic acid technology. In any case, avoid mixing and use a coolant according to the manufacturers specification. The additive package can be affected by water quality, so can the heat transfer, so the use of demineralized water is prefered.

Never use plain water as a coolant without a corrosion inhibitor. Keep in mind that plain water also reduce the boiling point of the coolant.

Belatti wrote:And what about filters? Seriously, has anyone cheked what type of filters does the car dealers or the oil guys use? How can you know wich is the adequated filter that will let pass the "not dangerous" particles in order that your system doesnt clog and pressures doesnt rise?


Use an OEM filter with an oil approved by the manufacturer. The car manufacturers and the oil and filter suppliers spend a lot of effort on both oil quality and filtration quality, and since it's near impossible to tell if the non oem approved stuff is good or not until it's too late, I recommend sticking to the oem stuff unless a car is significantly modified.
Edis
 
Joined: 31 Jan 2010

Post Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:29 pm

when water gets to 65c its scales so demineralized is obviously best. I've used water wetter before...BUT...it makes the engine take quite a lot longer to get warm and with a deisel thats not a good thing on a winters day and your blowers are chilling you! Also remember that the cooler an engine runs the longer it takes to heat the oil causing wear...Very little but wear non the less. Brilliant in summer though. The capacity of most cooling systems are more than capable of keeping and engine cool, there designed to allow you to potter round town when speeds are low. I just use regular anti-freeze nowadays, flushing between coolant changes and the vacume purging the system to ensure no air locks.

As Edis says above never detract form OEM filters. Mostly because you'll loose your warranty more than anything. But as he stated..maufactures dont spend millions on development to just guess whats best for the engine at the end of it!
Richied76
 
Joined: 18 Aug 2010


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