Mixing Coolants? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-20-2017, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Mixing Coolants?

Hey, haven't ridden in a week but I notice my coolant overflow tank is quite low. Radiator is at the correct level though. I have some engine ice on me but the coolant in the bike is obviously not engine ice as it's green. Looks good just don't know what it is (bought the bike used last fall). Just wanted to know if I can just add some engine ice into the overflow tank to bring it up to the correct level? or if mixing is bad news and I'm making a fool of myself. Would rather not do a flush. Anyone know what was used?

DL1000 '06
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-20-2017, 08:06 PM
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Flush and fill.

The engine is aluminum; and the radiator probably, also. Major-brand coolants MAY be mixable; but ever since engines started being made out of broiler-foil...in the 1960s...using the wrong coolant has taken down many a Buick, Rambler, Vega, and uncounted motorcycle engines.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-20-2017, 08:44 PM
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I would agree with Just Passin.

I just did my fill and flush last weekend and it was quite simple. I had green in the bike of unknown age and I replaced it with pink Toyota Long Life. It took 3 flushes with distilled water before I was satisfied I got all the green out.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-20-2017, 10:13 PM
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Honda HP coolant is green I believe.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-20-2017, 11:29 PM
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The color is not determinative in any coolant. Austin, just add a little distilled water, or even tap water if it has a low mineral content.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-21-2017, 12:49 AM
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I wouldn't

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Originally Posted by PTRider View Post
The color is not determinative in any coolant. Austin, just add a little distilled water, or even tap water if it has a low mineral content.
Adding water will raise the freezing point. In my opinion, probably best to change your coolant every 5 years or so. While some manufacturers claim to provide 'lifetime' coolant, I tend to believe that the anti-corrosive chemicals tend to decline over time. If the age of the coolant is unknown, best to dump and replace it. And considering how little capacity the cooling system has, always, always use distilled water rather than tap. Locally a gallon of distilled water is about a buck. It could save you hundreds in cooling system damage.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-21-2017, 04:50 AM
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As stated color is no indicator what type or who's brand the glycol is. It can be blue, green, pink, clear or any numbers of other colors that are available to dye glycol.

There are two types of glycol ethylene (alcohol) base and propylene (vegetable oil) base. If you mix them together the fluid can gel up. Also ethylene glycol is poisonous whereas propylene is non-toxic and you probably consume it on a regular basis in a myriad of foods or if you vape.

Adding a bit of water (distilled is best) is going to alter the freezing/boiling point but not drastically. 50% glycol/water solution if good to about -308F and boils at about 220*F. If you reduce it a 40% solution you are still protected to around -5*F and boiling point of 215*F.

If you decide to change the fluid you do not have to get antifreeze with the buzz words "motorcycle specific" antifreeze you need only head down to the nearest auto parts store or even wally world and buy antifreeze that is "silicate free" and "safe for aluminum blocks". I typically use Prestone 50/50 premix.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-21-2017, 08:15 AM
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Austin,
change the antifreeze. Like you, I made some assumptions when I brought my new-to-me Vee home. I didn't change the fluid (manual says do it every 4 years max) and had it overheat a number of times, leaving me almost stranded hours from home or help. It was the original antifreeze and well past 4 years. It is a quick, painless and inexpensive process to change the antifreeze. As suggested above, "motorcycle specific" isn't needed but make sure it says it is good for aluminum. I use Preston in my vehicles and same stuff in my Vee. Every since changing the fluids that first time, and regularly there after, I have not had overheating issues. Don't get stuck out there somewhere with a problem because you didn't want to spend an hour and a few bucks to ensure the antifreeze was up to snuff.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-21-2017, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys, I will just swap it - start fresh is probably best in my case for sure. Haven't changed coolant on a strom yet. Drain - flush with distilled water - drain - flush again - drain - fillerup with the juice. I have the factory service manual I found online but it's for the 2002 model, I assume the procedure is basically the same? Any tips for getting the air bubbles out?

Thanks again guys.

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-24-2017, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimding View Post
Adding water will raise the freezing point. In my opinion, probably best to change your coolant every 5 years or so. While some manufacturers claim to provide 'lifetime' coolant, I tend to believe that the anti-corrosive chemicals tend to decline over time. If the age of the coolant is unknown, best to dump and replace it. And considering how little capacity the cooling system has, always, always use distilled water rather than tap. Locally a gallon of distilled water is about a buck. It could save you hundreds in cooling system damage.
Antifreeze (most often, ethylene glycol) can be bought in concentrated form (no added water) or pre-diluted. Both the freezing point and boiling point of pure antifreeze are changed by adding water, The freezing point decreases (good) and the boiling point increases (also good). The best proportions of of the ethylene glycol:water mixture simultaneously give the lowest freezing point and the highest boiling point. Undlluted antifreeze bottles usually have a table showing the effect of different dilutions. For more information, look in chemistry books under "colligative properties", or do an internet search.

Antifreeze in pre-diluted form is pricier than buying it pure and diluting with water, but it saves the trouble of measuring and diluting it. Prediluted usually comes with the optimal amount of water.

I investigated the difference between ordinary antifreeze and antifreeze specifically for Japanese cars, because I expected that the more expensive antifreeze for Japanese cars would be a scam. It is not The anticorrosive package in the for-Japanese-cars version is higher quality that the package in ordinary antifreeze. Changing antifreeze at the recommended intervals seems prudent to me.

Deionized or reverse osmosis (RO) water should work as well as distilled water.
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