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Old 02-01-03, 04:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why you should use Honda Brand Antifreeze

A while ago when I first had my Legend I used to refill my coolant using Prestone brand coolant. At the time it seemed to me that coolant was coolant. That was until a year and a half later I discovered during my 60k service that my water pump was leaking and seals were corroded. It was brought to my attention by Peter (aka PSA) that you MUST use Honda coolant. Reason being is that Honda coolant is "silicate free"


What Coolant Should I Use?
[A/H, KS] Recently, several people have questioned whether the coolant (anti-freeze) sold by Honda and Acura dealers is different from the popular mass-market brands.

Honda has sent the information attached below to its dealers. While you might not expect the source to be exactly unbiased, it does provide technical information and justification for differences in their formula.

Genuine Honda Coolant is the Only Way to Go

Increasingly severe operating conditions and the advent of lower maintenance requirements have resulted in significant changes in the variety and the concentration of additives used in engine coolant. Also, the continual improvements in engine and vehicle design have challenged coolant suppliers to design products that perform well in a more demanding environment.

To meet these needs, Honda engineers have developed a superior, high-quality coolant that has several advantages over the competition.

Some antifreeze, although labeled as safe for aluminum parts, may not be compatible with Acura cooling system components. Extensive research and testing by both Honda R&D and CCI, the manufacturer of the Honda coolant, have proven that the abrasive silicates and/or borates found in most domestic coolants can cause these problems:

- - Silicates bond to the surface of the water pump seal and act as an abrasive, causing considerable seal erosion and coolant leakage. In actual tests, the silicated coolant caused early leakage. This leakage increased dramatically until a substantial portion of the coolant had been lost. In contrast, the Honda coolant had almost no leakage through the duration of the test.

Chart here, entitled "Coolant Leakage from Water Pump Seal", showing Leaked Coolant Volume in ml as follows for each test duration in Hours:

24 hrs: Honda Coolant 0, Typical Silicated Coolant 21
48 hrs: Honda Coolant 1, Typical Silicated Coolant 36
72 hrs: Honda Coolant 2, Typical Silicated Coolant 47
96 hrs: Honda Coolant 2, Typical Silicated Coolant 55
120 hrs: Honda Coolant 2.5, Typical Silicated Coolant 56
144 hrs: Honda Coolant 3.5, Typical Silicated Coolant 57
168 hrs: Honda Coolant 4, Typical Silicated Coolant 58.8
192 hrs: Honda Coolant 6, Typical Silicated Coolant 63
200 hrs: Honda Coolant 6, Typical Silicated Coolant 64

- - Silicates tend to gel and settle in the coolest parts of the cooling system, causing radiator plugging and overheating.

- - Borates cause pitting corrosion on the cylinder head.

- - Silicate inhibitors are difficult to stabilize and, therefore, limit coolant shelf life.

Most commercially available coolants were originally designed for cast iron engines. Silicate, an inexpensive additive, was added to coolants to prevent aluminum corrosion, but the long-term durability of the combination was not tested.

In contrast, Honda coolant was designed specifically for aluminum engines. It contains an organic corrosion inhibitor instead of silicate. This superior formula gives these advantages:

- - No silicate abrasion of water pump seals. For example, these graphs show the surface roughness of two aluminum water pump seal rings. Seal A, exposed to silicated coolant, shows considerable damage. Seal B, exposed to Honda coolant, displays only minute wear.

[graphs here, showing roughness across the surface, with A a very wiggly line, and B a very smooth line]

- - No plugging or overheating caused by silicate gelling.

- - Excellent corrosion protection for aluminum components.

- - Long-term corrosion protection for other cooling system materials (steel, cast iron, copper, solder, gaskets, seals, and O-rings).

You can find less expensive coolants on the market, but now you can see why genuine Honda coolant is the only coolant approved for Honda and Acura vehicles (it MUST be used for warranty repairs). Honda's non-silicate formula delivers added protection not offered by 95 percent of other brands. Since our customers expect lower maintenance, you're doing them an injustice if you use any other coolant.

[MBA - 99/9/7] The coolant sold at Honda Dealers is the same part number as Acura stores sell, so try your nearest Honda dealer if your Acura dealer is far away.

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Old 02-03-03, 07:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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thanks for the heads up
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Old 02-28-03, 08:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Since you brought this up, do you know of any brands out there that are on the same level as Honda's? I.e. silicate free?
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Old 02-28-03, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This came from the product description on Prestone's website:

In addition to providing protection from -84F to 276F, Prestone antifreeze/coolant protects all cooling system metals from rust and corrosion, including the thin, lightweight aluminum found in many newer radiators.
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Old 11-21-08, 08:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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*bump old thread*

Did we ever reach a final conclusion on this? I know a lot of people use BLUE to be on the safe side, and don't mind spending the extra money. (Myself included).

But, there are prestone fluids which say safe for all vehicles and silicate free.

Honda coolant is pre-mix with distilled water correct? Silicate Free. Do we have any mechanics who know the truth behind these theories. Is Prestone "safe for any color coolant" silicate free... okay to use? I know we've had various threads throughout the year but we never reached a singlular conclusion.
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Old 11-22-08, 02:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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thats because there is no genral consensus. i believe the most educated car folks here have been the ones to point out that Prestone will do fine. Prestone is silicate free, btw. the best reason i've seen to use honda coolant is that its what belongs in the car and its not that much more expensive than regular antifreeze. Prestone will do the same thing that Honda coolant does. as far as cooling system protection (aka headgasket failure) i dont think Prestone is any worse than Honda coolant.
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Old 11-22-08, 06:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't care if there is a general consensus. The fact is many legends came with green coolant, thus green coolant is safe for them.(Assuming its not mixed with blue duh)
Fixing legends is easier than fixing lolcats, but the parts are way more expensive

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Old 11-23-08, 04:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The fact is many legends came with green coolant,
from the factory?
I feel safer using toyota brand antifreeze on my toyotas and honda brand on my honda
I learned the hard way before by using a different brand tranny fluid in my toyota
so now thats 2 fluids im not going to skimp on ATF and coolant
I was using Prestone the acura and had my waterpump leak got it replaced mechanic put prestone again after asking to use honda anyways i did the hoses and now using Honda with watter wetter
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Old 11-24-08, 01:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I hope Honda Coolant isn't as expensive as Toyota Coolant... but regardless I'd rather spend a little more than have to deal with the problems in the future... only one slight issue though. I just had my timing belt, water pump, and thermostat changed... I know that the mechanic just used plain old premix green coolant... would I have to drain and fill with distilled water a couple of times before adding Honda Coolant? Or can I just drain and add a mix of honda coolant and distilled water when refilling?
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Old 11-24-08, 08:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by reboticon View Post
I don't care if there is a general consensus. The fact is many legends came with green coolant, thus green coolant is safe for them.(Assuming its not mixed with blue duh)
The original Honda green coolant was no different from the newer blue coolant- it is just the blue is supposed to be longer life.

Is this proof enough? This is the original document spelled out in the first post
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