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#4704393 - 03/23/18 04:12 PM Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad?
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 2076
Loc: VA
I have quite a few coolants laying around, some of them are sealed and some are open.

Was wondering if can go bad after some time or have some expiration? Understand, it's NOT milk. wink

But still wanted to verify with pro's Thank you thumbsup
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#4704411 - 03/23/18 04:28 PM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: maverickfhs]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 40196
Loc: 'Stralia
I can't see them going bad in sealed unopened containers.

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#4704907 - 03/24/18 07:01 AM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: maverickfhs]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6186
Loc: Waco, TX
It never goes bad.

I have drained "near-new coolant" from rusty systems, let the crud settle down, and put it right back in another system.

Coolant never "wears out" - Several engine manufacturers suggest doing an analysis to see which additives are depleted (similar to a UOA) and the additives can be bought separately in small bottles to add to the coolant to replenish it.
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#4704957 - 03/24/18 07:54 AM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: maverickfhs]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19346
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
I read a long time ago that its the heating and cooling cycles that cause the additives to deteriorate, it sounds reasonable but I have no idea how true it is.
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#4705061 - 03/24/18 09:41 AM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: Trav]
Olas Offline


Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 3938
Loc: Manchester, England
It sounds reasonable from a chemical POV but sounds like a bad choice of material for a system that is designed to see heat cycles..
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#4705062 - 03/24/18 09:42 AM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: maverickfhs]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 2076
Loc: VA
So does it mean it'll go bad in 'opened' bottles and should be good in sealed bottles?

Thank you all.
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#4705987 - 03/25/18 01:12 AM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: maverickfhs]
Nyogtha Offline


Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 2337
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Valvoline lists shelf life for their Zerex brand antifreeze products on their web site, in the PI sheets. I use those as my go-by, it varies from 2 years to 5 years depending on specific antifreeze type.

You could call or email Valvoline to get their viewpoint on what happens when antifreeze shelfife is exceeded.
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#4720914 - 04/08/18 08:15 PM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: maverickfhs]
pbm Offline


Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 7646
Loc: New York
About 6 years ago I put traditional green Zerex made in 1998 (from an unopened container in my garage) into a newly purchased (used) 2008 Hyundai Elantra. When I changed the timing belt 2 years later the water pump looked brand new.
I don't think unopened coolant deteriorates over time enough to worry about.

PS: None of the coolant had settled out in the container despite sitting all of those years....
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#4734159 - 04/21/18 12:53 PM Re: Coolant Question - Can it degrade or go bad? [Re: maverickfhs]
Warstud Online   content


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 5507
Loc: MIchigan
Yes it degrades and can go bad. The inhibitors do break down and don't protect metal as well as fresh AF. Also Coolant becomes Acidic and corrodes metal. To stay on top of the game...you can always buy test strips and check your fluid every year.

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