Specifications might be one of the most confusing parts of the antifreeze technology world. Even to the trained eye, a list of specs can look like alphabet soup. Castrol is here to help. Let’s touch on the basics of specifications so that you are better equipped to choose the right coolant for your system.
A specification, or standard, is essentially a bundle of different tests with pass or fail limits used to judge a product. A specification can be developed by an industry group (such as ASTM, ISO, or TMC) or by an Original Equipment Manufacturer (such as Ford®, Chrysler®, Cummins®, or Detroit Diesel®). Industry specs commonly include criteria such as pH, freeze point, corrosion limits, and chemical requirements. OEM specs typically contain those criteria as well, but they often go a step further and can include elastomer testing, OEM-specific corrosion testing, and field trials. Industry specifications help ensure that you use high-quality antifreeze/coolant that will, in general, protect your coolant system, while OEM specifications help to ensure that you are using the right coolant technology for your engine.
The first step in considering if an antifreeze/coolant is right for your application is the consideration of ASTM specs: ASTM D3306 for light-duty and ASTM D6210 for heavy- duty. These specs are the minimum requirement for safe antifreeze/coolant: any antifreeze not claiming D3306 or D6210 on the bottle should be considered with extreme caution. ASTM D3306 contains physical and performance testing requirements to keep your automotive system safe. At the same time, ASTM D6210 requires that a coolant pass D3306 and provide protection against cavitation* for the wet sleeve liners present in heavy-duty applications. Finally, OEM specifications contain requirements in addition to industry specifications. Follow the step-by-step guide below for help in navigating specifications.
How to Use Specifications: