Ross F-1 wrote:I just got these, courtesy of a friend Down Under. They are "radiator socks", a special mesh that you stick in the upper radiator connections and are held in place with the hoses. They continuously filter the water. I first saw them on the old MSN site and have wanted some, but they don't sell them here in the States. (Sorry for the poor picture)
Here are my thoughts...
Socks, Gano and Tefba filters are very effective....
We know from test conducted by Prestone, conventional coolant has a life of 13 + years (at that mark they stopped the test) and it's contaminants that kill the coolant and damage components. With that said, here's the possible issue I have with any inline filters. As they collect contaminants, they slowly restrict the flow and there have been a couple of instances where these restrictions have caused severe overheating (yes caused by owner failure to clean the filter).
1. Nothing substitutes a periodic flush of the radiator
2. When I drain the coolant, I place a doubled up paper towel over the funnel which filters to less than 3 microns (much better then any of the inline filters)- in terms of contaminants, the coolant or water for that matter is now as clean as when it came out of the original bottle. Provided it meets all the other test I do, it is reinstalled in the vehicle.
3. I have installed a magnesium anode in all overflows (same electrolysis protection used per code for all underground tanks)- Zinc anodes are available as well (JC Whitney, etc.) specifically for automotive applications and sell for about $10- they attract all the nasty stuff that destroys radiators, pumps, hoses etc and they become the sacrificial lamb- and keeps the ph of the fluid neutral. The inside of my cooling system and related components is spotless- literally!
4. I check the ph (using a swimming pool kit) - and check the alcohol content (if your using coolant) using a conventional coolant bulb type test device ($10 at any parts store)
1. Contaminant production is eliminated by 90%+ as a result of the neutral ph maintenance
2. Contaminants that are produced are contained outside of the system flow, in the overflow at the anode. At this point I have less contaminant in my system than if I used an inline filter because we have eliminated 90% of the production and contained the residual.
3. With the paper towel, I can actually see the residual system contaminants (which you can typically count) and by most accounts visually know if a potential problem exist by the type and color of the products. The coolant is as clean as if I had opened a fresh container.
4. The system is clean and performance level known.
My personal results...
My family started this in the 1950's and typically the conventional coolant lasts 10-20 years in the vehicle before requiring replacement. I persoanlly cannot remember repairing a radiator or heat exchanger or water pump during my 50+ years on this earth on any of my family's vehicles- (I take that back, I replaced 2 water pumps on my 1990 F150 when due to a pulley tension/alignment problem it ate two bearings/seals, my fault as I didn't check it the 1st time, but at 80,000 miles I was not too surprised to see a leak from the water pump bearing).......and we typically keep our vehicles for 10+ years.