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Engine Coolant


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I would swear I ran across something/somewhere that said you should flush the engine coolant every so often.  When my A&P questioned this, I couldn't find anything.  The plane has been run on the Rotax recommended ever since it was born.  Anybody know?



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The recent Rotax bulletin is silent on when to change coolant.  It refers one to the coolant manufacturer.  One coolant mentioned by Rotax, Prestone DEX COOL, says this, "

  • Protects vital engine parts for up to 5 years/150,000 miles with Extended Life Formula."

One assumes one would have to check the coolant manufacturer for each brand or version.  If one did so, then one might make a suspense calendar  entry (like we do for ELT batteries) that tells when the coolant replacement is due.

I don't agree with tying unlike items which can be judged by differing criteria to the same time frame.  We see many examples on this forum of people arguing that a given inspection can be deferred based on judgment.  In that case, the associated item inspection may also be deferred without due consideration.

But - whatever floats your boat.


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OAT coolant like dexcool is recommended for 5 years in cars too.

Basically, there are components in it that turn corrosive and are neutralized by antacids. But those run out eventually.

If it's an off orange color or very cloudy, it needs to be changed ASAP.

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Let me clarify, there's acids that are protective for the engine because they bond to surfaces to create a protective layer, and then there are the not so protective ones that actually corrode aluminum. Eventually OAT coolants can't keep the protective layer up.

I wanted to avoid getting too deep into this because my knowledge quickly runs out if someone asks about specific chemistry.

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