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Ground issue? Antifreeze Has Voltage-- help!!

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by cmobile, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. cmobile

    cmobile Former Member

    95 suburban K1500 350 TBI (175k miles)

    I read that antifreeze that has voltage is a result of a poor ground. I upgraded the alternator and all the main "+ & -" wires. No change.
    -Added a ground wire from alternator mount to same lug as eng/battery neg ground.
    -Added ground wire from firewall to intake manifold
    -cleaned all grounds I found and added "Conductive copper anti-seize" compound.

    After all this, there has bee no change in antifreeze voltage. Still 0.5V. With positive battery wire disconnected it goes down to 0.3V

    Is chasing grounds the right direction?

    Thanks for the help.
    Chris
  2. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

    If you have electric radiator fans, I would insulate them from the radiator with rubber bushings/grommets. Voltage in the anti-freeze is an issue because it will cause electrolyisis in the radiator metal. We had a lot of problems with this at Porshce, Audi, VW, because they had elect thermal switchs in the radiators to turn the cooling fans on. Isolate the rad from any & all elect sources.
    The voltage could also be conducting through the coolant from the engine. This could be from a leak in one of your elect coolant temp sensors, an electric water pump you may have installed etc. Not knowing anything about your mods I can't tell you where to look, but just think about all the possible places it could be coming from & you should be able to find the source.
  3. cmobile

    cmobile Former Member

    I was chasing a ground and removed the battery and tray to follow it. I checked the voltage again and read .46 volts with the battery completely removed. (this differs from the disconnected leads the other day of .3 volts.

    I found this page just before reading your reply stephan.
    http://www.ascca24.com/newsletter/cooling04.10.10ELECTROLYSIS.pdf

    I don't have platinum leads and may be creating my own problems.

    I guess I got started down a rabbit hole. Sorry.
    I was trying to solve a voltage drip in the dash gauge when the blinker is on. (the gauge dips about 1-2 volts with each blinker cycle. This led to (thinking) there was not having enough amps, which led to upgraded alternator, which led to larger wires, which led to grounds, which led to coolant voltage, which led to........I am getting out of the rabbit hole.
    ~C
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  4. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

    That was a good link & a great read, thanks for posting it C.
    Static discharge electrolysis is what we were suffering from, but P/A/VW never bothered to tell us about the platinum leads lol. I wonder what the readings would have been then?? They finally solved their "dissolving radiator" problem by making the thermal switches a dual wire switch so it wasn't grounding through the rad coolant, but rather just closing the circuit within the thermal switch. They also insulated the fan shrouds from the rads, & the replacement ratio dropped overnight.

    I'm guessing from your post that you now think you are chasing a "ground fault electrolysis" problem? I wasn't aware of that aspect of "E" untill I read your link. I'm sure we all have a little of that type, & I'm sure the next time I go out in the garage (maybe in the next 5 minutes) I'll have my test meter stuck in the coolant checking it ha ha...
  5. Dubsport

    Dubsport New Member

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