HOW-TO CHANGE FROM STANDARD ANTIFREEZE TO ENGINE ICE
What you need to know
— We think it was Yoda who said, “With big horsepower comes big responsibility.” Most 1000cc high performance UTVs are, on average, pumping more than 100 horsepower at the crank. The four-stroke engines of today are very intricate, and every little bit of protection that can help that engine survive for years to come is crucial. One thing that damages engines is extreme temperatures.
Luckily, there are companies out there like Engine Ice that make an improved coolant. Engine Ice is a high-performance coolant that is biodegradable, phosphate-free, non-toxic and typically reduces operating temperatures. It effectively keeps the boil-over temperatures to 256 degrees Fahrenheit or less and offers freeze-up protection to -26 degrees Fahrenheit on those cold winter days. Engine Ice works best when you empty your UTV’s entire standard coolant to use Engine Ice. It is never recommended to mix any coolants and Engine Ice is no exception. Our Can-Am X3 needed a new radiator fan, so we decided to add the protection of Engine Ice while we were at it.
You can purchase Engine Ice in 64-ounce bottles for $23.95, or you can go big and buy the 5-gallon canister for $188.95. But unless you have multiple machines, that’s a bit of overkill. The Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo R models require around two and a half 64-ounce bottles.
First things first, we had to drain the OEM coolant out of the X3, and there is no way to do it other than pulling the lower coolant line on the right-hand side of the radiator. We used a pair of pliers to release the pressure on the hose clamp and slid it out of the way. Be sure to have your catch bucket ready, because once you pull the line, it might as well be a “coolant grenade.” It will take a few minutes to completely drain. After that, for best performance, Engine Ice suggest that you flush the system with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar, which is a good formula for any coolant flush. We reinstalled the coolant line, filled the system with the water/vinegar solution, ran the engine until it was hot, turned it off to cool, pulled the coolant line again, and then ran clear water through to rinse out the vinegar.
Then we reinstalled the coolant line and secured it by moving the hose clamp back into the correct position on the hose.
On the X3 models, the coolant reservoir is in the bed of the machine under a plastic cover that is removable without tools. We removed that cover to access the reservoir.
The reservoir is where the coolant is added and where we added the vinegar/water solution. We made sure the machine was completely cool before removing the radiator cap. We then added the correct amount of coolant until it showed up on the “cool fill line” and reinstalled the radiator cap. Any time you change the coolant on the machine, the system must run the coolant through the engine. We started the X3 until it got warm. We did this several times, adding the Engine Ice as we went when it would cool down. Most systems will take around 5–-10 minutes to circulate the coolant through the radiator and engine. During that time, just let the machine idle. Revving it could damage the engine. Once it was full, we reinstalled the plastic cover. It’s as simple as that.