RR 182: Bobby Bassett on Cooling System Comebacks

Bobby Bassett, the Manager of Training North America for Gates Corporation started with Gates in sales in 1999 and transitioned into training; there he found his calling.

This episode has a very powerful message: To Minimize Cooling System Comebacks


  • 40% of radiator failure is due to coolant contamination.
  • 95% of water pump failure is due to coolant contamination.
  • OE Coolant hose failure is spiking between 10-11 years.
  • Research shows that if a flush and fill was not performed at the same time the water pump was replaced, the customer may see their water pump begin to fail again beginning around 7 months or 7,700 miles.

The Gates message on coolant is not an argument with coolant manufacturers. In fact, Gates fully supports the total fluid replacement message for coolant system/water pump preservation!


Below find distinct problems happening in the coolant system today:

  • If certain conditions exist in the coolant system, mixing dissimilar coolants can create a reaction.
  • Metals are failing because of lack of protection. All metal components in the coolant system are protected from corrosion by the inhibitors in the coolant package. If partially diluted or depleted, it can’t protect. Current field testing is not adequate for today’s automotive coolants, as you can’t test the inhibitors to see if they are still protecting the metal (lab test only).
  • Suspended solids in the contaminated solutions are destroying the water pump seal prematurely. Water pumps use coolant to lubricate the water pump seal. If the old coolant is reused, suspended solids in the contaminated coolant act as abrasives, destroying the seal prematurely.
  • Just a 17% inter-mix of coolants can create catastrophic failures in the coolant system.
  • Remember, there is no antifreeze warranty and minimal coolant protection when coolant is topped off or partially filled.
  • Contaminated coolants are creating additional premature internal coolant system failures because suspended solids are not flushed from the system.

Important Biographical Information on Bobby Bassett

A major milestone for Bobby was when he was honored in 2014 with the Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award.

The Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award is given annually to the person, educational institution or company that best advances the concepts and programs for education or continuing education in the North American automotive aftermarket.

Bassett was recognized for his accomplishments in the training arena– including the Gates Tools for Schools Program, an industry-wide initiative to provide support for automotive instructors, the Gates Performance Center, an e-learning site that provides video and other training support for Gates employees, customers, technicians and students, and his work for introducing “Inside AAPEX”, a program to encourage instructors to attend AAPEX.

“It is a huge honor to receive this award,” said Bassett, “Hopefully this award will provide industry insight as to the needs of the educators along with their students. After all, they will be the ones repairing cars in the future and we want to make sure they have the latest information at their fingertips.”

Bobby is involved with ATMC  (Automotive Training Managers Council) and is a past Chairman. He is involved with the ASE Board of Governors and is a SkillsUSA Automotive Service Technology Committee member. He is also a NACAT Foundation past Chair.

One of Bobby’s big accomplishments was creating the Gates Hub. It houses training and resources for professionals and for educators. Bobby is so proud of the Tools for Schools program where educators can get access to a presentation library, tech tips, a video library and their webinar calendar.

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This episode is brought to you by Federal-Mogul Motorparts and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust.  For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com  and fmgaragegurus.com

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

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