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Old 08-25-2017, 10:07 PM   #1
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How often do you test your SCA

I checked my SCA about a year ago on my 2015 DS 450 HP Cummins and if I interpreted the strips correct everything was fine, but have to find a source for new strips for this annual check.

Should the SCA be checked any more often than annually? When an SCA additive is required about how much does it usually take under ordinary circumstances? Just wondering how much additive I should buy to have on hand.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:16 PM   #2
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Are you sure you have coolant that even needs to be tested? I'm surprised that Newmar would specify anything but OAT coolant now.
Before I changed to OAT coolant in the '02 DSDP I checked it every 6 months. Amount of DCA needed varies by the coolant capacity and how much is needed to bring the concentration up to spec's.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:26 PM   #3
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Check ours twice a year. There are some irv2 users who have had cylinder problems on the Cummins forum. To important to forget. As Mr. D points out not all coolants require SCA/DCA checking. We all need to know what coolant we have and what requirements are for checking coolant additives. There are a lot of different coolants out there are should be mixed with different coolants. Color isn't enough to know what coolant you have.
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:56 AM   #4
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you could also replace the coolant with an extended life coolant that is compatible..correct ?

i think i have read about others doing that....have not researched it, however....
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:21 AM   #5
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No. Annually is sufficient. UNLESS your are adding fluid on a regular basis. Are you topping off leaks?
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:32 AM   #6
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Test it every 6 months!

This is from the Camp Freightliner Student manual.

For Diesel Engine applications, you should always use the information in the OWNERS MANUAL for the specifications for which coolant to use.
FCCC uses Old World Industries, INC.
On the New recreational Vehicles that we are building today they feel very confident in stating that FLEET CHARGE will last for 5 years or 100,000 miles. They will back that statement as long as the purchaser is aware that PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE MUST be performed on the cooling system every 6 months or 25,000 miles; whichever comes first.
When referring to preventative maintenance, the user needs to be aware that checking the SCA levels and the Freeze point on the antifreeze to water mixture is EQUALLY important. The SCA level can be checked with any of the various litmus paper strip test that are on the market that check nitrite level. Freeze points can be tested with either a refractometer, or a ball tester.
This Applies to Model Year 2002: Replace the Antifreeze Every 60 months or 100,000 miles, NOTE: You Must check the SCA and Freeze points Every 6 Months or 25,000 miles.
For Model Years 2001 and Prior: Replace the Antifreeze Every 24 months or 60,000 miles.
IF YOU CHANGE THE ANTIFREEZE OUT AND USE FLEETCHARGE KEEP THE RECEIPT AND THE AMOUNT USED SO YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NEW LIFE CYCLE OF THE COOLANT.
Page 274
SCA - Supplemental Cooling Additive
SCA is primarily a mixture of chemicals that form a coating on your engine cooling passages. There are very specific limits to the levels and amounts of these chemicals as too little will allow your engine to self-destruct through cavitation (see below for details) and too much will cause the coating to clog the passages and deposit out on your internal seals. SCA also contains a buffer to correct the pH and neutralize acids, an anti-foam a scale inhibitor, enhanced corrosion inhibitors and an anti-fouling compound to limit oil and dirt buildup on internal engine surfaces. SCA is used up as you operate your engine and must be replenished before it falls below safe levels under severe stress levels it can become dangerously low in 10,000 miles.
You can buy SCA test strips at most heavy duty truck service centers for a few cents each. If you don't get the individually packaged strips check the length of time they last once the package is opened it is usually very short. You warm your engine (check the suggested temp range on the strip package) and dip the strip into the coolant. After waiting a few seconds (time depends on brand) you compare the strip to a chart that comes with the strips.
The first check will show the level of antifreeze protection, add antifreeze if you are not near the 50 percent level as it also helps cooling performance as well as providing freezing protection. If you are over the maximum level drain some coolant and add distilled water to bring it down to safe levels. Ethylene-Glycol and Propylene-Glycol should be 50% to 60% of the coolant for best cooling performance and 68% or less for the best freeze protection with slightly reduced cooling performance.
The second two checks will give you the levels of SCA (phosphate-molybdate and nitrate) in your coolant. They are matched to the sides of a grid chart and the square where the two readings intersect is your SCA level. The center of the chart has an irregular green area that indicates the safe levels and you should be within the green area. If you are in the green but at the high limits you might want to consider adding a non-SCA filter element next time you change coolant filters. If it is near the bottom and you are changing filters a new SCA filter should bring it up, give it a couple thousand miles and check it again, if it is still low add some SCA concentrate. If you are not changing filters add some SCA concentrate to bring it up
Again, too little SCA will allow your engine to self-destruct through cavitation. This damage is not repairable! If you have a sleeved engine you can purchase and install new sleeves and pistons, plus any bearings that were damaged by the antifreeze leaking into your oil and hopefully polish the damage off the crankshaft and camshaft. If you have a non-sleeved engine, also called native- bore you need a new block along with all the internal repairs. Too much can clog the cooling system up. Neither repair is a cheap thing to do, the SCA test strips are much cheaper.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptw View Post
Test it every 6 months!



This is from the Camp Freightliner Student manual.



For Diesel Engine applications, you should always use the information in the OWNERS MANUAL for the specifications for which coolant to use.

FCCC uses Old World Industries, INC.

On the New recreational Vehicles that we are building today they feel very confident in stating that FLEET CHARGE will last for 5 years or 100,000 miles. They will back that statement as long as the purchaser is aware that PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE MUST be performed on the cooling system every 6 months or 25,000 miles; whichever comes first.

When referring to preventative maintenance, the user needs to be aware that checking the SCA levels and the Freeze point on the antifreeze to water mixture is EQUALLY important. The SCA level can be checked with any of the various litmus paper strip test that are on the market that check nitrite level. Freeze points can be tested with either a refractometer, or a ball tester.

This Applies to Model Year 2002: Replace the Antifreeze Every 60 months or 100,000 miles, NOTE: You Must check the SCA and Freeze points Every 6 Months or 25,000 miles.

For Model Years 2001 and Prior: Replace the Antifreeze Every 24 months or 60,000 miles.

IF YOU CHANGE THE ANTIFREEZE OUT AND USE FLEETCHARGE KEEP THE RECEIPT AND THE AMOUNT USED SO YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NEW LIFE CYCLE OF THE COOLANT.

Page 274

SCA - Supplemental Cooling Additive

SCA is primarily a mixture of chemicals that form a coating on your engine cooling passages. There are very specific limits to the levels and amounts of these chemicals as too little will allow your engine to self-destruct through cavitation (see below for details) and too much will cause the coating to clog the passages and deposit out on your internal seals. SCA also contains a buffer to correct the pH and neutralize acids, an anti-foam a scale inhibitor, enhanced corrosion inhibitors and an anti-fouling compound to limit oil and dirt buildup on internal engine surfaces. SCA is used up as you operate your engine and must be replenished before it falls below safe levels under severe stress levels it can become dangerously low in 10,000 miles.

You can buy SCA test strips at most heavy duty truck service centers for a few cents each. If you don't get the individually packaged strips check the length of time they last once the package is opened it is usually very short. You warm your engine (check the suggested temp range on the strip package) and dip the strip into the coolant. After waiting a few seconds (time depends on brand) you compare the strip to a chart that comes with the strips.

The first check will show the level of antifreeze protection, add antifreeze if you are not near the 50 percent level as it also helps cooling performance as well as providing freezing protection. If you are over the maximum level drain some coolant and add distilled water to bring it down to safe levels. Ethylene-Glycol and Propylene-Glycol should be 50% to 60% of the coolant for best cooling performance and 68% or less for the best freeze protection with slightly reduced cooling performance.

The second two checks will give you the levels of SCA (phosphate-molybdate and nitrate) in your coolant. They are matched to the sides of a grid chart and the square where the two readings intersect is your SCA level. The center of the chart has an irregular green area that indicates the safe levels and you should be within the green area. If you are in the green but at the high limits you might want to consider adding a non-SCA filter element next time you change coolant filters. If it is near the bottom and you are changing filters a new SCA filter should bring it up, give it a couple thousand miles and check it again, if it is still low add some SCA concentrate. If you are not changing filters add some SCA concentrate to bring it up

Again, too little SCA will allow your engine to self-destruct through cavitation. This damage is not repairable! If you have a sleeved engine you can purchase and install new sleeves and pistons, plus any bearings that were damaged by the antifreeze leaking into your oil and hopefully polish the damage off the crankshaft and camshaft. If you have a non-sleeved engine, also called native- bore you need a new block along with all the internal repairs. Too much can clog the cooling system up. Neither repair is a cheap thing to do, the SCA test strips are much cheaper.


All I have read on the subject states that native or parent bore engines (Cat C7 and Cummins ISB) and any other non wet sleeved engines are not subject to cavitation damage. Therefore SCA/DCA is not required but is ok to use. Just no requirement for testing.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:03 AM   #8
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When I had my one year service done at Gaffney, I purchased a test strip to do the next test in six months. They charged me $1.65 (less 5% for FCOC) for the spare test strip. Any Freightliner repair facility would have them. I wouldn't buy the additive unless you needed it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
I checked my SCA about a year ago on my 2015 DS 450 HP Cummins and if I interpreted the strips correct everything was fine, but have to find a source for new strips for this annual check.

Should the SCA be checked any more often than annually? When an SCA additive is required about how much does it usually take under ordinary circumstances? Just wondering how much additive I should buy to have on hand.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:10 AM   #9
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I opened up the Cummins manual that came with my 2017 Cummins ISL and on page 2-4 it says that the SCA MUST be tested every six months for an engine using standard service interval coolant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ownby View Post
All I have read on the subject states that native or parent bore engines (Cat C7 and Cummins ISB) and any other non wet sleeved engines are not subject to cavitation damage. Therefore SCA/DCA is not required but is ok to use. Just no requirement for testing.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:26 AM   #10
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Checking your SCA level is very Critical for the life of your engine. I tested my truck engines every 10,000 miles at oil change. Before I heard of SCA I burned out a liner in a B model Cat 425 as a result of negligence on my part.
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptw View Post
I opened up the Cummins manual that came with my 2017 Cummins ISL and on page 2-4 it says that the SCA MUST be tested every six months for an engine using standard service interval coolant.
How many late model diesels are using standard service interval coolants, and what does standard service interval refer to?

Guess the first step next will be to call Freightliner and see what antifreeze they were putting in the 2015 engines/per the VIN. It's almost unbelieveable there can be so many different diesel engine coolants out there with so many different requirements.
Appreciate all the responses.
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:12 PM   #12
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Hmmm, Ours is serviced with Final Charge... No SCA or testing required...
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:58 PM   #13
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Hmmm, Ours is serviced with Final Charge... No SCA or testing required...


What chassis do you have?
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:15 PM   #14
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