Coolant: 2EHA Tests (DexCool)

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If someone was going to test the possibility that 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid is bad for car gaskets and cooling system components, what would the proper testing setup be like? I made the mistake of going down the "dex cool is bad for gaskets" rabbit hole of internet posts today and I want to run somewhat definitive tests. I'm seeing way too many opinions on the internet based on what happened to GM in the 90s. I would think that Peak's distribution model (Wal Mart, Drug stores, grocery stores, gas stations) means they are literally selling millions of gallons of 2EH coolant each year, and if this stuff was indeed bad then anyone who used it would be reporting similar issues. I'm thinking of buying some gaskets for common cars and soaking them in a 50/50 solution of something like Peak Long Life coolant and distilled water. Would this be enough to test this idea? Or would I need to keep the solution heated at around 180*F in order to "activate" the 2EH? And would I be looking for the gasket material to literally start dissolving and melting or would it be a gradual "chipping away" of the exterior? Any ideas will be appreciated. I plan on publishing the pics/results here if we can figure out a test setup that is somewhat scientific.
 
The white quick disconnect heater core fitting on 99-06 GM trucks would make a good candidate. I dunno what plastic is used in that fitting but it felt like mush and easily broke when I replaced it with a black fitting as a precaution.
 
Originally Posted By: Trav
No idea but I think it might take a very long time (years) before you see any results.
THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ It would take a VERY LONG TIME!
 
Originally Posted By: Kibitoshin
The white quick disconnect heater core fitting on 99-06 GM trucks would make a good candidate. I dunno what plastic is used in that fitting but it felt like mush and easily broke when I replaced it with a black fitting as a precaution.
Good idea. The fittings could be weighed before and after in order to empirically verify the degradation.
 
I think within reason, I can buy some air tight glass jars and use them to store the samples. I don't think I'll be able to reproduce the heat or pressure of an operating engine, though. As for the heater core fitting -- Is it still possible for me to buy an OEM one? If the part was problematic from the start, it wouldn't surprise me if the only option now are redesigned aftermarket versions.
 
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
As for the heater core fitting -- Is it still possible for me to buy an OEM one? If the part was problematic from the start, it wouldn't surprise me if the only option now are redesigned aftermarket versions.
Part number is 15032062.
 
I thought I had a lot of time on my hands. Ever consider that GM used some pretty junky plastic gaskets back in the 90's? I have no issues with Dexcool in a properly maintained cooling system and still use it. Myself, I would rather watch paint peel.
 
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My mom had a 95 Cutlass Sierra with a 3.1. This was the year before the Dexcool switch and hers still had standard green coolant. Her car still had lower intake gasket failure and the old gaskets looked every bit as bad as any I have seen out of a Dexcool 3.1 or 3.4. My experience leads me to believe the failure point is with the gasket itself and not really a coolant issue.
 
Originally Posted By: cronk
My mom had a 95 Cutlass Sierra with a 3.1. This was the year before the Dexcool switch and hers still had standard green coolant. Her car still had lower intake gasket failure and the old gaskets looked every bit as bad as any I have seen out of a Dexcool 3.1 or 3.4. My experience leads me to believe the failure point is with the gasket itself and not really a coolant issue.
I agree. I too have seen degraded gaskets in the older systems with "green" coolant. Something to consider- the fabled GM gaskets were made from PA66 plastic. Now that same material is ALL OVER the cooling system. First and most notably, the side tanks of your radiator. If Dex-Cool truly was the plastic eating monster people made it out to be, the every radiator it was installed in would be a pile of goo in a year or two. The biggest thing to remember with Dex-Cool is to keep the cooling system 100% full and to use a new OEM radiator cap. Also keep extra coolant in the recovery tank to aid in refilling the radiator when the engine cools back down.
 
Eric, all the gaskets I have changed the orange multi lip seals around the ports were all out of shape not the plastic itself. I don't know how the seals are attached to the frame but I am guessing the adhesive may not be able to retain a bond properly to the plastic in coolant or the seal material itself is more to blame. What is your experience?
 
It's old news now, but the Dexsludge problem was real for lots of people including myself. Personally, I think it was a combination of poorly designed cooling systems, cheap gaskets, and Dexcool just piled the misery on top of it all. My 98 Malibu had top notch maintenance, and I had a lower intake gasket to let go at 15,000 miles, and then again around 95,000 miles. Around 25,000 miles Dexsludge appeared for what ever reason. Car was not running hot, and the intake was not leaking. That sludge was cleaned up under warranty with no explanation from the dealership on what happened.
 
Originally Posted By: Trav
Eric, all the gaskets I have changed the orange multi lip seals around the ports were all out of shape not the plastic itself. I don't know how the seals are attached to the frame but I am guessing the adhesive may not be able to retain a bond properly to the plastic in coolant or the seal material itself is more to blame. What is your experience?
What I've noticed is that the inside of the frame gets damaged and allows the sealing tracers to move, causing a leak. My guess is that the heads get too hot and/or there isn't enough beef on the inside of the seal to properly support it. In other words maybe if the gasket were thicker in between the seal and the water jacket, it may have held up better? This is a 3.5 I did head gaskets on- it was leaking coolant into the oil too. If you look at the bottom right, you can see how the gasket broke away and the seal failed, but the rest of the gasket frame is fine:
 
Yes I see that, that's probably why they went to aluminum frames including the aftermarket. It took them over 10 years to figure that one out. crzy
 
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
Originally Posted By: cronk
My mom had a 95 Cutlass Sierra with a 3.1. This was the year before the Dexcool switch and hers still had standard green coolant. Her car still had lower intake gasket failure and the old gaskets looked every bit as bad as any I have seen out of a Dexcool 3.1 or 3.4. My experience leads me to believe the failure point is with the gasket itself and not really a coolant issue.
I agree. I too have seen degraded gaskets in the older systems with "green" coolant. Something to consider- the fabled GM gaskets were made from PA66 plastic. Now that same material is ALL OVER the cooling system. First and most notably, the side tanks of your radiator. If Dex-Cool truly was the plastic eating monster people made it out to be, the every radiator it was installed in would be a pile of goo in a year or two. The biggest thing to remember with Dex-Cool is to keep the cooling system 100% full and to use a new OEM radiator cap. Also keep extra coolant in the recovery tank to aid in refilling the radiator when the engine cools back down.
Correct. Dex is not a problem. We run our service vans to component failure since 2004, that is almost always more than 200k miles. Never an issue here with Dex. Those same vans have open reservoirs and a HUGE added on heat exchanger which virtually guarantees air in the coolant. When we tear them down for a water pump they are clean and sludge free. Our Silverados rarely need any service at all to the cooling system, and they have pressurized reservoirs.
 
Gonna have to find a different brand to test than Peak if your looking for problems. They are a non 2EH formula and one of the better organic acid technology "universal" type coolants on the market. I've personally ran this through my Cummins engines for hundreds of thousands of miles with not one issue. Those cooling systems see some real abuse. Heavy towing, high GVW. http://peakauto.com/products/antifreeze-coolants/automotive/global-lifetime-full-strength/
 
Originally Posted By: jrmason
Gonna have to find a different brand to test than Peak if your looking for problems. They are a non 2EH formula and one of the better organic acid technology "universal" type coolants on the market. I've personally ran this through my Cummins engines for hundreds of thousands of miles with not one issue. Those cooling systems see some real abuse. Heavy towing, high GVW. http://peakauto.com/products/antifreeze-coolants/automotive/global-lifetime-full-strength/
Peak Global Lifetime is a non 2-EHA formula....Peak Longlife contains 2-EHA. Peak Global Lifetime is an excellent product but is hard to find in the 'Full Strength' formula. I used it to replace the OEM coolant in my Corolla (at 70K) and have had no problems (now at 105K).
 
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