Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 4Life coolant

Has anyone used the 4Life coolant that the MGOC are selling. I have read a few reports that it should not be used for older engines and that it can find holes that that blue anti freeze can't and so is more likely to leak.
Anyone know the truth?
D Brown

Dave are you joking

Have you not seen my many posts where I recommend 4-LIFE

I've used it in modern (even brand new build) and all my classics for about 20 years(?)

I should have bought shares I've used that much of it

Where do these b*llocks rumours come from - are you sure you're not winding me up

Why would the MGOC sell it if it causes problems for classics

The best bit for me is that it shows up the source of leaks well from the spray or splatter pattern (CSI fashion)

This link is from a "modern" Mg only because it gives a good description of the product (bottom of page)

On the label you'll see the telephone number is for MGOC

Also see item 75 on this page for midget parts

Note you use it neat (my mate didn't, added wheel cleaner but that's another story)
Nigel Atkins

Oh my mate has a Toyota Supra that's about 20 years old (I think) and that had 4-LIFE in from the manufacturer as new I think

I'd guess that the 4-LIFE in that car could well be original as certainly my mate didn't put it in and he's had the car 5 years or so - old Toyota so he's never needed to check much on it
Nigel Atkins

The MGOC sold me a rotor arm the didn't work!
Anyway I thought 4life looked good and was considering buying it, so I just did a little search in the net to double check and easily found several reports that say it finds it's way out of the engine far easier than blue anti freeze and a report from the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs saying only use Blue antifreeze in old engines.
I just wanted to make sure it was ok to use in an engine designed 60 years ago.
I take it you would recommend it.
D Brown

For what it is worth: I put red Shell antifreeze in my MGB last summer, purely by accident. From then on I suddenly had to top up the system regularly. Only a few drops, but but I didnīt have to before. Then I read an article in Safety Fast describing what you mention, that red antifreeze is more likely to leak. So I changed it with blue a few weeks ago, and so far it stays in the system.


Generally speaking I use OAT coolant in my engine builds, but I might well try 4-LIFE.

"Where do these b*llocks rumours come from - are you sure you're not winding me up"

Not a rumour, I'm afraid.

Nigel, I was down at Swavesey a while back (for the launch of the Chinese TF). Whilst I was there I got chatting to the Castrol/4-LIFE rep who gave me a gallon of the coolant to try out for free (and which I haven't got around to yet!).

The rep told me quite clearly that in older, un-rebuilt engines, the aggressive nature of the 4-LIFE coolant is that it WILL seek out any 'weak spots' in the cooling system and is thus more likely to find leak points than is the traditional blue glycol or modern OAT coolants.
Deborah Evans

I like this comment Nigel

""Why would the MGOC sell it if it causes problems for classics""

Err thats a tuffy but let me try.

Cos every gallon they sell they make a quick buck and Roche can go on a longer holiday!!


I am only jealous :)

Bob Turbo Midget England

Here is what I can offer...

The anti fluid is vary slippery with much smaller molecueals structure and thus can get into areas the other reg. anti couldnt, the idea is it slips by the water pump vanes more efficiantly and transfer heat much better thus would reduce cooling by 30-50 degrees. so because the anti is so fine and slippery, it can also find its way past old hoses, and other flaws...the real consern is getting around the head gasket

This info is from a motor cycle shop up the road from me that had something similar to 4-life anti (Im guessing) I think its good in therory But I have no knowledge in reality


Deborah and Dave

- sorry I take it back, first I'd heard of this, as a 4-LIFE and MGOC Spares user for many years I'd have thought the lads would have mentioned this to me (they know me well from my many visits and SBDRs at the NEC) but I suposse they know my classic cars' engines get a lot of maintaince or rebuilt

Dave - I put a link up for a better quality rotor arm supplier based on good reports I'd heard

If the one you got from MGOC isn't good return it, I often return parts to them and always warn about new parts being poorly made and/or faulty (especialy electrical)

They base their Midget upgrades on (MGOC founder) Roche's Midget but don't allow enough for other Spridget variancies

Roche had the Midget built up many years ago for his son but his son got too big for it at even 16, I almost bought that car (wished I had)

As I've said I've used it in many classic cars but would now say only if your engine has been rebuilt which by now many may have (serval times for some)

Shows up leaks nicely too (which were not caused by the 4-LIFE before anyone suggest that) like clips need tightening, V8 water pump when others thought it was a radiator leak (I followed the fine spray pattern left by the dried 4-LIFE), water tap leaks

Thanks both for the good info, I'm usually a bit sceptical of intrawbthingy rumours, I thought Dave might be on a wind up (which I personally (usually) enjoy) as you'd seen my previous posts

MGOC are I believe Castrol/4-LIFE main agents

ETA: having just seen what Prop's put I may reconsider its use if I get too many leaks - none at the moment
Nigel Atkins

Bob I take your point, Roche an ex-Xerox salesman, I think I must have been a bit (self) over protective

The lads know me well enough to warn me off stuff they think is suspect (they've done it before) - perhaps they don't like me anymore, or never did, yeah that's it they've got it in for me (joke/Prop rant)

I'm glad I done most of the water gaskets on the car myself with gaskets and sealants but what about that (second) head gasket(?)

I can't have faith in anything now

- but 4-LIFE (appears) to have served my mate's Supra well

- guess what'll happen next

- ring, ring "Hello, my Supra engine just blew up due to a coolant leak !"
Nigel Atkins

So, as mine engine has been recently rebuilt, core plugs replaced, new radiator, heater tap, hoses and water pump, it should be ok to use 4life.
I am after anything that will help keep it cool as I am not convinced the cooling system has a lot of spare capacity as standard.

Thanks for the responses. Sorry to cause a stir. ;)
D Brown

No stir, great up to date info (but not from me)

my engine is very, very slightly tuned from normal and has had no trouble keeping cool in the recent warm (far too hot for me) weather (electric instead of engine fan, heter turned fully off)

(especialy (may be) since I moved the horns, see other thread)
Nigel Atkins

Call me old fashioned and environmentally irresponsible, but I prefer to change my coolant every couple of years. Even if it is supposed to be good for 10 yrs, I'd still want to drain and flush just to have a look-see.
Trevor Jessie

I've just come back from Le Mans experiencing 40 degree air temps while sitting in traffic after a fast motorway speeds. I have a relatively highly tuned engine, 1330. High compression 11:1 aprox (perhaps slightly less) and a two year old standard downflow radiator. Later multiblade fan and a bit of water wetter. No oil cooler and I had no overheating issues. I do however (as some of you may know) have a very poor fitting frogeye steel front, which may alow slightly more heat to escape than similar cars with normal panel gaps.
G Lazarus

Following on from G Lazarus point
- I've never had 4-LIFE in for more than 2 or 3 years as I've either changed the car or more often versy soon after putting it in it has to be emptied out (or empities itself out) for some reason

Usually I refill with new but twice I've had to filter it and reuse it as I had insufficient stock (not easy to keep clean with a Midget that only drains from the block and bottom hose and runs over the crossmember) and I was surprised at how much debris could be collected in such a short time from old engines even rebuilt ones

My current engine, rad and heater have been flushed and back flushed by me ready for the coolant change and the 4-Life emptied out at least 4 times (don't ask) so I hope my coolant system is very clean and thus helps with the cooling
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed on 14/07/2010

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS is active now.