How is Electrolysis detected?
Testing for electrolysis in the cooling system is simple. A volt/ohmmeter measures the voltage or electric charge flowing through the coolant. Any voltage reading over .10 (tenth) indicates the possible presence of excess electrical current. Connect the black or ground lead to the battery ground and lower the red or positive lead into the coolant in the radiator. Do not touch the filler neck sides or the tank. Any reading over .3 voltage is indicative of excess current entering the cooling system. Always perform this test twice, once with the engine off and all accessories off and once with the engine running and common accessories (radio, heater or A/C, lights, etc.) on. If a spike occurs with all accessories turned on, you can usually determine where the ground fault is by turning them all off and then turning them on one by one. Once the source of the electrical problem has been identified, and steps have been taken to repair or replace the defective ground, be sure that your cooling system is flushed and the coolant replaced.
Electrolysis destroys the corrosion protection of coolant and often produces chemical precipitates, which can plug the cooling system or cause damage by abrasion. The use of distilled water with the proper coolant and mix ratio is critical to the longevity of the radiator. In addition to electrolysis testing, pH levels should also be tested on a regular basis. Newer systems are more acidic and the need for higher pH reserves is essential. In the past, pH would read safe at around 7.5 to 8.0, but now it is more recommended to be between 8.5 to 10.0.
RMI-25 Cooling System Treatment has been shown to be an effective deterrent used to help control electrolysis. It’s a complete cooling system treatment which protects against rust, corrosion, cavitation and low pH readings. Test for pH with a test strip and treat, or add 8 ounces per 5 gallons of coolant every 15,000 mi / 300 hrs for best results. It is the only product on the market which can be used with standard, or long-life coolants and the only product we know of which contains an effective cleaner to keep the entire system operating cool & trouble-free. It is highly recommended for vehicles which do not use anti-freeze as it gives full protection, except for freezing. As one race car owner/driver recently said: “no more rust since we have started using it!”