Back to coolant issues again.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:40
ThreadID: 5024 Views:1398 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Stray currents in and around the cooling system , how do you check for them, what do you do when you find tham and how can you prevent it happening again. If a multimeter is involved which I suspect it will be what do you have it set on? Any help appreciated, thanks in advance. Keep the shiny side up
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Reply By: Michael - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:23

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:23
EEEHHHHHH!!@@##$%%^%^^&*(*&^^%$#
AnswerID: 20551

Reply By: Rusty - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:42

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:42
Have know idea what you are talking about.

Please explain
Regards
Rusty
AnswerID: 20553

Follow Up By: Member - Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 20:45

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 20:45
See below, it's around stray electric currents, you can spend a lot of money replacing bits and pieces before you find out it's stray electric currents, not something you usually look forKeep the shiny side up
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FollowupID: 13227

Reply By: Member - Graham - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 16:00

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 16:00
As suffered this problem 7 months ago, and a bill of $700 because of a $15 globe, that simple.

Early signs maybe coolant loosing colour with maybe an odour,(in my case)
electrolysis (stray current) tends to go for soft metal,
ie; alloy radiator (ounce cleaned mine had 9 holes in it)
thermostate housing & other pipes of similar soft metal (alloy/copper)

Yes a multimeter is used, an analogue voltmeter is preferred that can measure millivolts the target is below 50mV or 0.05V 0.0volts is the best result.
CAUTION: If just replaced coolant, the coolant itself will generate a charge of which lasts approx 12 hrs

TO TEST is to have vehicle idling, at opperating temperature
place voltmeter neg to an earth or batt if close enough & pos in radiator water with no contact to anything else, and slowly go through each electrical item 1 at a time, if nothing comes to light try it on acc's & in the off position.

Happy hunting
AnswerID: 20561

Follow Up By: Member - Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 20:40

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 20:40
Graham,
Thanks for the help that's great, I wasn't aware that the positive lead had to actually go in the radiator water, I take it you had distilled water in the system, do you know if tap water would make any difference to the water conductivity higher or lower? Keep the shiny side up
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FollowupID: 13226

Follow Up By: Member - Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 21:41

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 21:41
Graham,
How did you find the problem, just process of elimination? What effect did the broken bulb have on the amount of millivolts how much more than 50 did it read?Keep the shiny side up
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FollowupID: 13240

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 21:46

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 21:46
Martyn,
tap water contains mineral salts that make water conductive, as a mater of fact "PURE" water is a very good electrical insulator, problem is only a small trace of minerals makes water very conductive. using "distilled" water where available helps, using the correct grade & consentration of both corrosion inhibitors & antifreeze (glycol) really helps!
local motor reconditioner loves MAGNA's, they get heads chewed out very quickly via electrolysis when a small earthing lead falls off somewhere on the things, seeing as they repair a lot of damaged heads the guys get to see a lot of them.
To help make sure each part of the motor, head, block & cooling system is grounded so there in no "potential differance" between components of the system . the rubber hoses don't make a very good conductors :)

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FollowupID: 13243

Follow Up By: Member - Graham - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 18:07

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 18:07
Martyn,
I can't give you an answer on the current, while waiting for the radiator to get to the rad mob i set to find what was'nt working and the only thing found was a high beam globe that had a fracture in the base and was loose. As these globes are 130 watts and nothing else found it was blamed, these lights are used 6 days a week and current used so posibility came to probability.The readings since have been 20mV.
Water i've used is from the rad mob from the process of reverse osmosis, apparently as pure as it gets.
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FollowupID: 13295

Follow Up By: Member - Martyn (WA) - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 20:50

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 20:50
I've heard that about the reverse osmosis water, I'm trying to track some down, the guy at the engine shop that r sleeved my block apparently has this water I'm off to see him at the wekend. Thanks again.Keep the shiny side up
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FollowupID: 13311

Reply By: yarda - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 11:52

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 11:52
On a lot of modern cars the radiator has an aluminium core but has plastic end tanks, effectively insulating the core, which can have consequences with stray current corosion. An easy fix which can prevent future problems as well is to use a bonding cable to earth the core to the body. A $2 job which can save hundreds later.. see ya
AnswerID: 20660

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