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Old 02-03-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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When to Change Engine Coolant?

I have a 2007 Powerstroke Diesel 6.0. The owner's manual states that the engine coolant should be changed at 105,000 miles.

However, I'm taking the SMB into Bob's Brake and Alignment in Lawndale in two Monday's for a 30k service. They seemed to think that Ford now recommends that the coolant be changed now and that Ford sent a letter out to some owners about this.

Has anyone else heard about this? Any compelling reason to change the engine coolant now?

Thanks as always.

Geoff
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #2
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

Although the coolant life is rated for that length of time in the 6.0L, there is strong evidence that the coolant is loaded with suspended particles (casting sand from the block) from the factory . These particles eventually can plug the small passages in the coolant side of the oil cooler ( think arteriosclerosis). This results in decreased flow of coolant to the EGR cooler hence a flash boil situation which destroys the EGR cooler. Once this happens you can have exhaust gases traveling through your coolant system, as well as coolant being sent back through the intake side into the engine. The worst case scenario for this is a hydrolocked engine with blown headgaskets. The best case scenario once this happens is the replacement of the EGR cooler and oil cooler. Many, many 6.0L's have had this problem.
Confused yet?
A simple way to help keep an eye on this is with a Scangauge, the EOT (engine oil temp) should be within about 14 degrees of the ECT (engine coolant temp.).
Honestly in my opinion it would be well worth it to flush the coolant system and get a coolant filter system. Cheap insurance to say the least.
My 04' 6.0L has 36,000 miles on it and I recently put a coolant filtration system on. The 1st filter was changed after 500 miles as recommended and I was amazed at the crap that was in the filter.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

I'd stick with the owner's manual recommendations.

However, it is necessary to add 8-10 ounces of supplemental diesel coolant additive every 15,000 miles for the 6.0. This additive helps prevent cavitation near the cylinder sleeves which causes pitting and can lead to engine failure. There are test kits to check for proper amount of additive that consist of strips of paper that changes color. I don't bother testing every 15,000 because the kit costs more than the additive. A pint bottle of additive from the Ford dealer is about ten bucks. The parts counter guy will know what you want.

Coolant additive info is on that large sticker under the hood near the top of the radiator......and probably the manual.

And my 2 cents: Know what maintenance the manual calls for at that specific interval, and don't let Dealer/Mechanic sell you any extras.
It's bad enough we have to pay separate for "shop supplies".

Philip
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:37 PM   #4
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

On my 04, a label in the engine compartment calls the Ford additive. Information on another website and from my dealer said that was in error.

What do I know?

I changed the coolant after 5 years and 70,000 miles. I also added a coolant filter and will change it again in 50,000 miles.

Mike
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

Thanks for the information and advice everyone. Sounds like there is a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to the coolant in the E350 powerstroke diesels. I'm guessing a coolant filtration setup is not a bad idea, but I think I will hold off on it for now. Especially since it appears to be a major hassle to find a place for the filter. I will also hold off on changing the coolant for now.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

windandsea,

When I recently had my little round about with the HPOP up in Fresno (you can read about that on another thread) I had an opportunity to visit with the head mechanic at the Ford Truck Center there (Scott). I was commenting about this and that and I asked him: "You see these vans come and go and you see virtually everything that could go wrong and what parts are weak/strong, etc. I'm someone who is interested in keeping this vehicle and taking good care of it for a VERY long time. What advice would you give me to make sure that I'm taking care of it the RIGHT way and not needlessly".

His one response was to ensure that I flush and replace the coolant every 45k miles. His opinion was that many of the problems he sees coming from these vans stems from the coolant and not changing/flushing frequently enough.

I'm not that techincal about these vans, and I'm sure there's many here that know a LOT more than I do and probably would disagree or debate the mertits of his comment. However, I didn't buy it to wrench it, I bought it to take it out and use it and not abuse it.

But considering the source (since he probably sees as many of these as anywhere else in the country) I, for one, am going to spend the little money it takes to follow his advice in the hopes (and piece of mind) that I'm doing something right for the van.

So, my opinion is worth every penny you pay for it but felt compelled to reply.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

And as a follow up, I know that Hubert can find the parts and do the job (he's done mine before)
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

I got this letter from Ford last July 09 and this is what they say re 6.0L Special Operating Conditions
Coolant Strength nitrite check every 15000 miles or 600 hours.If the nitrite level is between 300ppm and 800ppm add 32 fluid ounces of supplemental coolant additive VC-8 or equivalent. Do not add if nitrite level is above 800 ppm. If below 300ppm flush with engine cooling system iron cleaner VC-9 and refill the coolant.
That is exactly what it says.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:08 PM   #9
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

I have always changed and flushed all of my systems at 30 to 50 thousand miles .On the SportsMobile that leans to the higher operating temperatures I have like Brian been told that changing at 20 to 30 thousand would be safe inexpensive insurance .When I had mine done at 21 thousand I had the mechanic at FORD save a half gallon for me as I was going to see if it could be tested like our Oil and did find some particulate matter suspended in this sample , I still haven't found a test source for the sample but will keep trying .
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:33 AM   #10
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Re: When to Change Engine Coolant?

Thanks yet again everyone. Final question (hopefully), what coolant has everyone been using? Should I just stick with the Ford (Motorcraft) Premium Gold Engine Coolant? Especially if I will be changing it every 30 - 45k miles? Or is it worth using somethign like the Amsoil product (http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/ant.aspx)?
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