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Advances in vehicle design and technology require engine coolant technology to minimize the degradation of nonmetals and prevent the corrosion of the metals in the cooling system. This article provides a detailed discussion on the functions, operation, materials, and major components of the cooling system. It discusses various forms of corrosion that occur in cooling systems, including uniform corrosion, galvanic corrosion, crevice corrosion, pitting corrosion, intergranular corrosion, erosion corrosion, and cavitation corrosion. The article presents information on engine coolant base components and inhibitors used for corrosion prevention. It reviews the coolant performance tests recommended by ASTM, SAE, and vehicle manufacturers. The article concludes with a description on the difference between light-duty automotive and heavy-duty diesel engine coolants.

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