Proper Diesel Engine Coolant
Diesel engine coolant information



Failure to maintain proper coolant can result in the following:

  1. Engine overheating
  2. Engine cylinder liner cavitation (pitting)
  3. Water pump failures
  4. Coolant in the lube system
  5. Loss of coolant

Situation or Problem

  1. Under concentration of Supplemental Coolant Additives (SCA's).
  2. Use of automotive coolant not recommended for heavy-duty engines (diesel, natural gas, and compressed natural gas).
  3. Incorrect mix of coolant, water, and/or SCA's.
  4. Poor quality water.


Refer to the Tractor Operator's Manual Specifications "Diesel Engine Coolant".

Solution Steps

John Deere recommends the use of TY16036 summer/winter premix coolant.  Once a year all John Deere heavy-duty diesel engines should be tested with TY17175 strips and supplemental coolant TY16004 should be added as necessary.

In-depth Technical Information:

A 50/50 mix of heavy-duty antifreeze/coolant and clean, quality (distilled, de-mineralized, or de-ionized) water with supplemental coolant additives (SCA's) is required for all heavy-duty engines.  Water (without antifreeze/coolant) with 6% SCA additive is no longer recommended and is not an acceptable coolant solution.

Use an antifreeze/coolant which meets ASTM standard D4985, such as heavy-duty John Deere COOL-GARD™, available from your local John Deere dealer as TY16034 diesel engine anti-freeze/summer coolant (concentrate) or John Deere TY16036 diesel engine anti-freeze/summer coolant (pre-diluted with pristine de-mineralized water) or an equivalent. Antifreeze/coolant with an ethylene glycol base or a propylene glycol base is acceptable.

SCA's, such as John Deere liquid coolant conditioner TY16004, must be added to non-fully formulated coolant to protect the engine from liner pitting, mineral scale deposits, rust, and corrosion.  The correct ratio is 3% of total system capacity.  Do not mix one brand of SCA with a different brand.

Overcharging with SCA's can result in water pump seal leaks, gelling, plugged radiators, and solder bloom.  Automotive-type coolant typically has higher levels of silicates which contribute to the same problems as overcharging.

SCA level may be checked with TY16175 3-way heavy-duty coolant test kit to determine concentration levels.  It should also be checked after coolant loss to determine SCA make-up requirements.  See your John Deere dealer to order DSO251 CoolScan™ kits to ensure accurate readings and SCA requirements.  Your dealership will send samples to a lab for more in-depth analysis.

Both John Deere anti-freeze/summer coolant TY16034 and TY16036 are pre-formulated with SCA's and do not require pre-charging.  Most other brands of heavy-duty antifreeze/coolant are not pre-charged and do require pre-charging with SCA's.  If unsure, consult dealer to determine if pre-charging is required, determine the total system capacity and premix with 3% John Deere coolant conditioner TY16004 or an equivalent.

If TY16036 is not used, water meeting the following quality specifications, must be used:

Calcium magnesium (hardness) 

170 PPM maximum


  40 PPM maximum


100 PPM maximum

Total dissolved solids    

            340 PPM

PH level


If chlorides, sulfates, or total dissolved solids are higher than the above-given specifications, the water must be distilled, de-mineralized, or de-ionized before using in the cooling system.

If total hardness is higher than the above-given specification, and all other parameters are within the given specifications, the water must be softened before using in the cooling system.

SCA's become depleted during normal operations and must be replaced at maintenance intervals by adding John Deere liquid coolant conditioner TY16004 (16 oz.) or TY16005 (half gallon), or an equivalent.  Follow directions on product label to determine the volume of SCA's to be added.  If a coolant loss occurs, replacement coolant must be premixed with the same ratio of SCA's as the initial fill.

Water pump impellers and cylinder liner walls which are in contact with engine coolant can be eroded or pitted unless the proper concentration and type of SCA's are present in the coolant solution.

Liner pitting is easily controlled with heavy-duty coolant containing SCA's, which provide a surface film that protects the liner from pitting.  Liner pitting is caused by vapor bubbles forming and imploding on the exterior surface of the liner at very high pressure.  This process continually repeats itself resulting in liner pitting which will eventually pit all the way through the cylinder liner wall.

When not using John Deere recommended coolant, follow the Operator's Manual for maintenance and frequency of coolant drain intervals. Drain and flush the cooling system and refill with fresh coolant every 2 years or 2000 hours of operation, whichever comes first.

When using John Deere recommended coolant, drain and flush the cooling system every 3 years or 3,000 hours in all applications when using John Deere TY16036 pre-diluted diesel engine anti-freeze/summer coolant fully formulated with coolant conditioner, anti-corrosion additives, and anti-foaming agents to guard against liner pitting, rust, corrosion, and scaling.  Follow the engine operation and maintenance manual to determine maintenance frequency.
Additional information:
Use a refractometer to accurately measure the freeze point.  Hydrometers with floating balls can give inaccurate readings.  Propylene glycol requires higher antifreeze/water concentration than ethylene glycol for equivalent freeze protection.

Percent concentration

Ethylene Glycol  

Propylene Glycol


-24 degrees C

-20 degrees C


-12 degrees F

- 4 degrees F


-37 degrees C

-32 degrees C


-34 degrees F

-26 degrees F

60 (Do Not Exceed)

-52 degrees C

-48 degrees C


-62 degrees F

-54 degrees F

Additional information: color of engine coolant

Affected Equipment
All John Deere Tractors   

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