So You Think You Understand Coolants? [RR 931]

Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care

Recorded Live at MACS (Mobile Air Climate Systems) 2024 Training Event & Trade Show, Joe Long at discusses the evolution and importance of coolants. Joe shares his expertise on the impact of coolants on engine systems, the specifics of coolants for electric vehicles, and the challenges posed by new technologies. He also explores the transition from conventional to organic acid coolants and the importance of proper coolant testing and maintenance. The conversation also covers diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), its testing procedures, and maintenance tips to ensure fluid quality in automotive and heavy-duty applications. Joe emphasizes the need for education and proper maintenance to prevent system failures and maintain vehicle efficiency.

Joe Long, Director, Heavy Duty Business Development, Old World Industries

Show Notes

  • Watch Full Video Episode
  • Joe Long’s background (00:00:42) Joe Long’s extensive experience in the trucking industry and his transition to working with Old World Industries.
  • Old World Industries and Peak brand (00:02:06) Discussion on Old World Industries and the Peak brand as a leading supplier of various coolants for heavy-duty and automotive applications.
  • Importance of coolants in automotive and heavy-duty applications (00:02:51) The critical role of coolants in engine maintenance and the impact of coolant-related engine downtime.
  • Battery electric vehicle coolants (00:05:19) The development and testing of coolants for battery electric vehicles, including the challenges and specific requirements for these systems.
  • Longevity and types of coolants (00:08:09) Insights into the history and types of coolants, including the case of Dex-Cool and its compatibility issues.
  • Coolants for hydrogen-powered battery electric vehicles (00:10:16) Research and development of coolants for future hydrogen-powered battery electric vehicles and the challenges associated with this technology.
  • Coolant color and types (00:11:18) The significance of coolant color and the distinction between conventional and heavy-duty coolants in different vehicle systems.
  • Testing and maintenance of coolants (00:14:57) The importance of testing coolant for compatibility and the recommended test procedures for automotive technicians.
  • Color, Clarity, and pH (00:18:59) Discussion on testing for color, clarity, and pH levels in coolants, and the significance of organic acid technologies.
  • Water and Glycol Content (00:19:48) Explanation of the purpose of water and glycol in cooling systems, and the impact of temperature and driving conditions on the glycol-water ratio.
  • Refractometer Testing (00:22:02) Importance of using a refractometer to accurately measure water glycol content and freeze point in coolants.
  • Coolant Blend and Inhibitors (00:23:17) Discussion on maintaining the proper blend of glycol and water, and the consequences of diluting inhibitors in the coolant system.
  • Testing for Inhibitors (00:24:00) Explanation of the importance of testing for inhibitors in coolant systems and the differences between old and new technology.
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and SCR Systems (00:26:37) Overview of the evolution of diesel exhaust systems, including EGR, DPF, and SCR systems, and the role of DEF in reducing emissions.
  • DEF Composition and Shelf Life (00:29:11) Insight into the composition of DEF, its production process, and factors affecting its shelf life such as temperature and sunlight exposure.
  • Testing and Storage of DEF (00:33:20) Guidance on testing DEF quality, considerations for storage, and the impact of temperature on its shelf life.
  • DEF Maintenance and Testing (00:34:57) Discussion on the importance of maintaining DEF quality, testing procedures, and the significance of color, clarity, and odor in DEF.
  • Cleaning Coolant Systems (00:38:38) Discussion on washing coolant balls with soap and water and proper cleaning methods for refractometers.
  • Fleet Maintenance (00:39:21) Importance of proper cooling system testing and maintenance in fleets, and the need for education and awareness.
  • Coolant Evolution (00:40:34) Transition from nitrite-based to nitrite-free coolants in automotive and heavy-duty applications, and the impact on cooling system performance.
  • Coolant Failure Analysis (00:43:39) Joe Long’s expertise in analyzing coolant failures, identifying causes, and providing solutions.
  • Cooling System Cleaners (00:44:24) The need for cleaning coolant systems to address rust, corrosion, and other contaminants, with specific products for different types of failures.
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Inspection (00:47:00) Discussion on DEF freezing, white crud formation, and the need for regular inspection and maintenance.
  • Platinum DEF Product (00:51:10) Introduction of Blue DEF Platinum with added inhibitor to prevent white crud formation, and the importance of using the right DEF for vehicle maintenance.

Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care

Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting

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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.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!