Thursday, August 25, 2011

Engine coolant

7AM - What I learned about engine coolant
Reader Steve in Houston asked me in ShoutBox to write a small essay on what I learned about engine coolant.  You may remember that yesterday at Harper Ford here in Eureka, California, MsTioga had her radiator replaced.  Her radiator had failed three times before.  Also, MsTioga's heater core had failed three times as well.

Just before I left Harper Ford I had a conversation with their senior mechanic.  We talked about galvanic corrosion and engine coolant.  Galvanic corrosion occurs in a radiator when there is a stray electrical current flowing in the engine coolant.  This stray electrical current is likely very small.  Maybe 1/2 to 1-1/2 volts.

Galvanic corrosion may be described as electrical etching of the weaker metal such as the metal aluminum.  In order for that electrical etching to take place in a radiator, the engine coolant has to be able to carry an electric current.  To prevent coolant from having the capacity to carry a current, the coolant should be of the type that needs to be mixed with water.  NOT the premixed coolant.   And the water used to do the mixing must be distilled water.

Question:  How do we know when we have a galvanic corrosion problem?

Answer:  I bought a radiator cap with a sacrificial anode attached.  This sacrificial anode is made from magnesium, a very weak metal.  If this magnesium anode begins to be etched away, I will know that galvanic corrosion is taking place.  Then MsTioga's engine coolant will be drained and replaced with pure coolant and distilled water.

Here is a [link] to the company where MsTioga's new radiator cap was purchased.

10AM - Blue Lake Casino
It is overcast in Eureka.  So, we decided to head east to find some Sunshine!   When we arrived in the Town of Blue Lake, we needed some gas, so we pulled off of Hwy #299.  We found that the Blue Lake Casino is located here. We are now [here].

There is a special parking area for RVs.  MsTioga is parked there now.  We used the provided RV dump and filled our fresh water tank.  Now we are going into the casino and see what's for breakfast!

12 Noon - Gambling
I haven't gambled for many years.  I like to play craps.  The only table games they have at Blue Lake Casino are with cards.   So, I sat down to play 21.  After one hour of playing 21, the cost of my breakfast went up from $10 to $30!

5:30PM - Boise Creek Campground
Our Nite Camp is inside the Six Rivers National Forest at the Boise Creek Campground.  The campground is located just a bit west of the Town of Willow Creek.  We went grocery shopping at Ray's Food Place in Willow Creek, then returned here to spend the nite.

Why did we drive way out here?  To be in T-Shirt & Short Pants weather!

PS: It only costs $5 to stay here for the nite with our Senior Pass!
George & Tioga in Boise Creek Campground