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Old 01-24-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
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What type of coolant to add?

Starting my rig after sitting for 2 months. I get a "low coolant" orange dash check engine light.

Looking at the coolant reservoir (behind the power steering reservoir!) it's showing just barely below the Min line. I don't believe there is any leak...I noticed it slightly low last fall.

Question is:
1. Can I buy antifreeze for this at Walmart or Napa, or do I need to get something "fancy" from a dealer? I saw something about pink or clear antifreeze being the right stuff (extended life?) and not the green stuff. Can anyone offer any advice?

2. The power steering fluid tank has a sticker that lists the coolant fill procedure that is quite involved. I'm thinking that those instructions must apply when draining and refilling, but probably don't apply when I'm just topping off the reservoir tank. Is that correct?

Thanks!


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Old 01-24-2015, 04:45 PM   #2
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Starting my rig after sitting for 2 months. I get a "low coolant" orange dash check engine light.

Looking at the coolant reservoir (behind the power steering reservoir!) it's showing just barely below the Min line. I don't believe there is any leak...I noticed it slightly low last fall.

Question is:
1. Can I buy antifreeze for this at Walmart or Napa, or do I need to get something "fancy" from a dealer? I saw something about pink or clear antifreeze being the right stuff (extended life?) and not the green stuff. Can anyone offer any advice?

2. The power steering fluid tank has a sticker that lists the coolant fill procedure that is quite involved. I'm thinking that those instructions must apply when draining and refilling, but probably don't apply when I'm just topping off the reservoir tank. Is that correct?

Thanks!


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Most antifreeze you find at Walmart will be Green and list that it is compatible with all other types. If you have the year and make of you chassis would be helpful.
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:45 PM   #3
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You need to buy what the engine suggests so what you need depends on the engine you have.

There may be a label in the engine compartment that will have the suggested type listed.

What color is in the tank?
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:52 PM   #4
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I'm sorry...I neglected to post the details of my chassis!

It's a 2008 Berkshire, running on the Freightliner chassis with the Cummins ISB engine.

Thanks!


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Old 01-24-2015, 05:03 PM   #5
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I'm sorry...I neglected to post the details of my chassis!

It's a 2008 Berkshire, running on the Freightliner chassis with the Cummins ISB engine.

Thanks!


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OK you want to spend the extra money on good coolant for the diesel.
All I found on a quick search is low-silicate antifreeze.
Peak, Valvoline, and Motorcraft all make Diesel antifreeze.
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:55 PM   #6
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You should be able to buy the correct type at any auto parts store you have locally, Pep Boys, O'Reilly's or NAPA.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:08 PM   #7
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Pull a sample and note the color first. It will probably be red, which is an ELC1 type coolant, so only use that. Never just grab a "compatible" coolant. Match the color at the very least.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:37 PM   #8
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ID:	68795 NAPA carries it at their larger stores. Note it is for Cummins heavy duty. While you are at it check your radiator pressure cap and also look at the heater shutoff valve in the generator compartment.. If needed, the shutoff is the same as a 1978 Chevrolet pickup, V-8 equipped, with A/C.



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Old 01-24-2015, 07:22 PM   #9
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^^^^^ That's the stuff!
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:15 PM   #10
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you want to use FleetCharge.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:30 PM   #11
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Ok, cool. Thanks for all the responses! Off to my local Napa...


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Old 01-26-2015, 10:58 PM   #12
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I ended up buying some coolant very similar to the picture above, at my local Walmart.

It took 3 gallons to get the level in the surge tank up above the minimum line...I was on the phone with Freightliner and they told me the tank has a 3.5 gallon capacity.

I checked, and what I added did clear the Low Coolant code...so that's good. I'm a little worried about where that might have gone, but frankly I'm betting it was low for some time, and finally got to the point of tripping the sensor.


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Old 01-26-2015, 11:18 PM   #13
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sometime after a hard drive if you shut the engine down right away without letting it idle a few minutes to cool down the engine and stabilize the temperature it will put a little of the coolant out the overflow. You mix the antifreeze with 50 percent water. Half water half antifreeze and add to the surge tank. do not overfill.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:49 PM   #14
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Again, check the radiator pressure cap. I had a similar coolant loss problem without under vehicle drippings, turned out the heater shutoff valve was seeping.


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Old 01-27-2015, 12:14 AM   #15
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If it was originally barely below the minimum line, I'm really surprised it took 3 gallons!
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:49 PM   #16
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Uh, yeah. So the good news is, I figured out where my coolant went. The bad news is, it apparently leaked through a leak in the core. The bottom left corner was leaking...though in a strange way (sometimes it would drop quite a bit, and sometimes not very much). Since I'm on the road, and on a time crunch, I talked to Freightliner about adding some Leak Stop. I did add 2.5 bottles of Bar's Leaks, and it appears that I may have solved the leak...at least enough to get home!

As for why it took so much fluid from being barely below the minimum line: apparently the way the tank is designed, fluid will actually show up on the shelf just below the minimum line, even when the main part of the surge tank has quite a bit less in it. Once I started to see how it worked, I was able to tell if it was low on coolant. Kinda fools you at first!

Keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't leak any more...and if so, I've got a few extra gallons of coolant on hand to pour in.

Thanks for all the help!


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