Coolant / Water Filters

Coolant / Water Filters

Coolant filters are more commonly known as water filters, these can be chemically charged and contain Supplementary Coolant Additives (SCA's) or they also can be "blank" with no chemicals inside.  Chemically charged filters are designed to release SCA's into the cooling system... These chemicals are dispensed into the coolant over time to replenish chemical protectants that have been depleted over time. Filters containing SCAs should be used when additional SCA's are needed to keep a cooling system charged and not adding additional liquid SCA. “Blank” coolant filters should be used when a system is already overcharged and no additional SCAs are needed.  Blank filters will also need to be used when the coolant has been changed to an OAT based coolant as these types of coolant aren't compatible with the chemicals dispensed by SCA filters. In fact, adding these traditional technology chemicals via SCAs to a modern OAT coolant in the system can potentially negatively affect the service life of the coolant, as excessive SCA levels can lead to the build up of particles and deposits in the system which can cause damage to components such as water pumps and heater cores.  Bearing this in mind before you install a new coolant filter you should understand what type of coolant is in service first rather than simply change the coolant filter because the manual says to change it.

SCA filters should only be used with the correct coolant they were designed for and changed at the recommended intervals while also being monitored with periodic testing via test strips. Conventional coolant filters are typically changed at the same time as oil filters. Extended Service and Controlled Release models are designed to be changed about once per year (240,000 kilometres or 4,000 hours). SCA filters will rattle, this is the sounds and movement of the chemical pellets inside the filter and is normal.

To keep your diesel engine's cooling system and engine components protected, it's vital to follow regular cooling system maintenance procedures.  It's a good idea to inspect a used coolant filter every now and then as part of your cooling system maintenance routine to look for any problems. A periodic in-depth study of a used coolant filter may reveal issues with your cooling system. Here are a few things to look for:

- Plugged Filter - This may identify problems that include
   - Oil in the cooling system
   - SCA level too high
   - Dirty water
   - Stop leak products
- Rusty Filter - Possibly low level of SCA.  The rust can plug the filter
- Rusty, Leaking Filter - This would indicate there is little to no corrosion inhibitors in the cooling system.

Up to 40% of engine failure can be attributed to problems with the cooling system, these failures cost you money to repair/replace the failed component(s), but they will also cost you money in lost income due to downtime while the equipment is being repaired.  If you are unsure about the correct filter to choose or if it is compatible with your coolant in service you should contact us first to discuss.  With our extensive experience in all things filters and coolant FCP Solutions can offer you expert advice on coolant filter replacement and not simply tell you to put a filter on that won't be compatible, which is often the case from the OEM suppliers as they don't take the time to understand if the customer has changed coolant prior.


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