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Engine Coolant for CAT Diesel

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:33 PM

I recently purchased a 2003 Safari Zanzabar with a 370 HP CAT engine with 42,000 miles. I did not catch it at time of delivery but the coolant in the reservoir is down below the low level fill line. Being a CAT engine, is it important to use their coolant? If not, NAPA says its ok to use their brand. Being almost 10 yrs. old, is it better at this time not knowing the history of when it was changed last to have it flushed and refilled. Is their a test to tell if the current coolant in the engine is ok first? Thanks for any help on this as I am new to owning a diesel coach.
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#2 wolfe10


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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:46 PM


The engine manufacturer (Caterpillar in this case) only gives the specs that the coolant must meet. And the specs are the same for Cat, Cummins, etc.

The chassis maker chooses the coolant for initial fill.

But, at 10 years old, if you don't know for a FACT that the coolant has been changed AND exactly what coolant it is, indeed change it now.

BTW, what Caterpillar engine do you have-- I didn't know the Zanzabar came with a 370 HP. If a 3126, it could be a 330 HP/860 lb-ft torque.

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Brett and Dianne Wolfe
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#3 BillO


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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

There are a couple of tests that can be done on antifreeze. NAPA and CAT dealers both sell test strip kits that will give you some guidance on the condition of the existing coolant. In addition, many CAT dealers have an S.O.S. lab that will test both oil and antifreeze. Possibly because I use the CAT ELC (long life coolant) the NAPA (Wix) strips didn't give me the same reading that I got from the CAT lab.

That said, since the motorhome is new to you and older I would change all the fluids as soon as you get time/money for it. That way you can start your own time line for testing/replacing on a regular basis.

When you do the antifreeze consider replacing (or at least evaluating closely) the hoses it runs through (especially those in the engine compartment subject to heat). My coach was a bit older when I bought it and those hoses were pretty darn soft.

Also, when the antifreeze is changed have the thermostat (CAT calls it a regulator) replaced as well. CAT's motorhome help line told me that the thermostat should be changed every three years.
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