So life taught me another valuable lesson last week, never too old to learn (the hard way)!
One of our family cars blew a head gasket at 62,000 miles and naturally out of warranty (12 years old with a 10 year warranty). An embarrassing thing to happen to an old mechanic.
So I checked around to find out if this particular engine was prone to head gasket failure or if it was just a fluke.
Turns out that the "Green" (Tree Hugger) coolant being used in most of the newer engines, cars, trucks and larger diesel engines, becomes roughly 100 times more acidic than the older types of coolant used (if left unchanged or untreated) and tends to eat through the head gaskets (and other gaskets) in a fairly short period of time. The mechanic showed me the head gasket and how badly it was acid eaten, the one spot where it ate through was just the first of many places needing only a little more time.
This problem is not advertised as the "Tree Huggers" are lobbying hard to keep it quiet, because they previously lobbied so hard to get the government to force the new coolant onto the engine producers.
Ford has a couple of lawsuits pending against the government to stop using it, as Ford has had a lot of eaten through head gaskets over the past couple of years and it's very expensive for them to replace those under warranty. This is not just a Ford problem, all the manufactures are in the same boat, both domestic and foreign.
Most of the larger diesel engine manufactures now have a stipulation in their warranties, where if the coolant is not tested and certified for Ph level annually, the engine warranty will be void.
The coolant can be tested yearly and if necessary, a "Buffering Agent" can be used to control the Ph. Many of the dealerships are now performing this service, but most private shops are not. Preventative maintenance is not in the best economical interests of most non-dealership mechanics.
So beware and have your vehicles coolant Ph tested, it can be costly.
After a little more research, I found that the new "Green" coolant is no better for the environment than the previous coolants, it still contains Ethylene Glycol at dangerous to animals levels, plus some other (new) ingredients which cause environmental problems, but the "Tree Huggers" are not about to admit they made a mistake, one which is costing the vehicle producers and consumers millions of $$.
Sad, sad times we live in!