Shell Rotella has introduced a new do-it-yourself coolant conversion kit to convert a heavy-duty diesel engine’s cooling system from conventional to extended life coolant.
The goal is to make converting from conventional to extended life coolant easier for truckers by reducing the time it takes to drain conventional coolant then replace it.
In fact, the ELC (extended life coolant) conversion fluid included in the Shell Rotella ELC kit makes it possible to top up conventional coolant and convert it without draining the tank.
Of course, you have to test the coolant already circulating in your system (not to mention the system itself) first, to make sure the conversion will work. That’s why the conversion kit includes twelve three-way test strips and a set of instructions on how to read the strip test results.
If you want to avoid buying the kit before you know whether you can use it, you can always try getting your own three-way coolant test strips (which measure nitrite levels, freeze points, etc.) to see what kind of shape your coolant is in before you fork out the bucks (the ELC conversion fluid is worth about US$45 per gallon and the kit includes five one-gallon containers of it).
Once you’ve confirmed that you can use the conversion fluid, you just pour a gallon of it in and away you go. Once you’ve let the engine run a bit and the conversion fluid has been completely circulated, send in a sample of the fluid to the Shell lab (a sample bottle and mailing kit is also included in the kit). Shell will get back to you to let you know if the conversion has been successful, and what you need to do if it hasn’t.
Subsequent top ups must be made with extended life coolant — NOT the conversion fluid.
Once the conversion has been made, protection is provided for up to 600,000 miles or 12,000 hours of service, say Shell officials, who claim a typical conversion using the new Shell Extended Life Coolant Conversion Kit normally takes less than an hour to perform.
The new kit contains:
Five gallons of Extended Life Coolant Conversion Fluid: The primary component of the ELC Conversion program, of which only one gallon is required to convert a 12-gallon cooling system. The fluid contains a superconcentrated dosage of Rotella ELC additives blended in a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol and de-ionized water. The 50/50 pre-mixed product has been formulated to have a minimal effect on the freeze point of the coolant in use, and is fully compatible with all reputable ethylene glycol-based engine coolants.
One Extended Life Coolant conversion procedure card
One Extended Life Coolant conversion test strip kit (12 test strips)
Ten Shell Rotella ELC Extended Life coolant/antifreeze tags
Five coolant sample bottles with mailers
One Extended Life Coolant conversion Frequently Asked Questions card
“Our new conversion kit is a fast, easy and economical way to convert to Extended Life Coolant technology without draining and refilling the current coolant, while also providing the many benefits of an extended life coolant,” said James Roberts, technical service specialist for Shell. “More than 20,000 trucks have been converted during the past year using this program. We fully expect widespread trucking industry acceptance of this new cooling system technology.”
According to Shell officials, Rotella Extended Life Coolant benefits include:
Lower cooling system maintenance costs
Excellent pitting protection for wet sleeve cylinder liners
Effective, long-term corrosion protection for aluminum, brass, cast iron, steel, solder and copper
Improved water pump life
Outstanding hot surface aluminum protection
No inhibitor level testing required
The new Shell Extended Life Coolant Conversion Program is recommended for use in all North American heavy duty and natural gas engines, including Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, International, Mack, Mercedes, Volvo and other original equipment manufacturers.