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  #1  
Old 01-12-2001, 05:15 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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I am changing my coolant this weekend when I replace my thermostat. My car currently has green coolant in it from my private MBZ guy, when he did the flush & fill last year. The coolant thet I picked up from MBZ today is red. The red MBZ coolant has a big warning label on the front warning not to mix non-MBZ approved coolant with the red coolant. I called my local MBZ guy and he said that the green coolant he put in IS compatable. Has anyone had any experience with this?
Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 01-12-2001, 05:47 PM
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This is from the MBCA.org website's technical library:
Green Stuff vs. Orange Stuff (Antifreeze)

By Steven Rae, email smrae@worldnet.att.net

Reprinted from the 500 Section Star, Steven Rae, Editor

Do yourself a favor right now. Go out and look at the color of the antifreeze in your Mercedes-Benz (Make sure the engine has cooled before opening the coolant cap). Is it by chance GREEN? If you have anything other than the pale orange Mercedes-Benz brand antifreeze in your cooling system, please read on because you may be harming your engine! As a bit of background, antifreeze is in many ways a miracle formulation, because it not only lowers the freezing point of water, it also raises the boiling point, assuming the correct 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.

George Murphy, Chairman of the MBCA National Technical Committee (2000), strongly urges that only genuine Mercedes antifreeze (properly mixed with water) should be used in your car because it contains special additives to keep the coolant from eroding alloy engine components and harming plastic cooling system parts. Mercedes-Benz brand antifreeze contains buffers to keep the pH of the coolant as close to neutral as possible, which then prevents erosion and corrosion of engine parts. pH is a measure of the relative concentrations of acids versus bases in a liquid. Other name brand formulations, while claiming to be specifically formulated for aluminum engines, do not contain the correct pH buffers.

While genuine Mercedes-Benz brand coolant is a little more expensive at $10 a gallon vs. $6 for the “Green Stuff”, think of it as extremely cheap insurance to extend the life of your M-B investment. Also note that Mercedes-Benz recommends changing the coolant at least once every two years. Promise yourself you will check your coolant and have it drained and refilled with the Orange stuff. Those of you with the correct fluid, pat yourselves on the back and worry about collecting your 155,000-mile pin.
All technical advice is presented as a courtesy and service of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, which does not guarantee the suitability of use of the advice, which is at your discretion.

If you would like to read more articles like this, subscribe to The Star magazine, and read your local newsletter.

If you would like to submit an article for consideration, please contact the Technical Committee Chairman, the Information Technology Chairman, or the MBCA Webmaster.




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  #3  
Old 01-12-2001, 09:39 PM
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Thank you for that insight. Does anyone know of any downsides, should there be any traces of old coolant left in the system, after I flush it?
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2001, 10:00 PM
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CJ, my opinion is that traces of the old coolant will be nullified by the new stuff.
With that application, coolant with coolant, trace contaminants should do no harm. The orange stuff claims to be basic coolant plus additives.
However, an earlier post by senior member
Larry Bible cautioned against using the same plastic funnel
that has been used for transferring coolant, for the addition of transmission fluid. In this scenario, trace
contaminant of coolant does not wash off the plastic
and , according to him, can cause very serious damage to the
sensitive Mercedes transmission. He's talking molecular level trace coolant elements screwing up a transmission!
Do a search!
Good Luck.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2001, 10:19 PM
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Get a couple gallons of MB coolant and a bottle of the MB citric acid powder cooling system flush agent. Follow the directions thoroughly and refill with 50/50 MB and water. I use only MB coolant in my Mercedes, the BMW, DeLorean and Jensen all get Havoline Extended Life (it's orange too). If you must use the green stuff, I'd say to use the Prestone Low-Tox. We have a few cats around the house and I'm always careful not to spill any coolant or leave any unattended but I always consider switching to Low Tox in my three non MBs.
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2001, 10:21 PM
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That I do know will cause harm. I just was concerned that mixing the red with green might cause a chemical reaction. I just took a look at the factory CD and it appears that there is a pet-cock on the radiator and also on the block. Hopefully, after this I will have an angine that runs hotter so I can have heat on the inside of the car.
Thanks again!!!
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Old 01-13-2001, 09:30 AM
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A clarification regarding my previous comments regarding traces of antifreeze in transmission.

I KNOW that a slight trace of antifreeze in an Allison transmission will destroy the clutch faces. My previous warnings were from a "be on the safe side" standpoint. MB clutchfaces may or may not be harmed by this minute trace.

I offered the warning for what it's worth. To me it seemed to be a pretty cheap thing to do. That is, I bought a transmission fluid, dunce cap looking funnel and labeled it ATF, and hung it on the shop wall. It has never seen anything but ATF. Seems like a simple thing to do.

Your MB clutch faces may not be susceptible, but they very well could be.

Have a nice weekend,
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2001, 02:18 PM
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Just a thought...

There was a previous thread in the archives under "Mercedes Antifreeze" which has a lot of additional information. One point that stuck out (no pun intended), was one member's assertion that mixing high silicate and low silicate antifreeze together would clog up your cooling system.

Also, it was pointed out that MB coolant isn't actually Ethylene Glycol, it's Glysantin. Here's the direct quote from Kent Christensen's posting, along with the links he provided:

"There certainly is a difference between MB antifreeze and anything green. Mercedes antifreeze is Glysantin. See the following articles: http://www.imcool.com/articles/antifreeze-coolant/G05-Glysantin.htm http://www.valvoline.com/products/cooling/technicalbulletin/tb_zerex_antifreeze.html"

I might also suggest that the use of distilled water added to the coolant instead of water from your garden hose would reduce, if not totally eliminate the formation of scale in the cooling system due to it being free of any minerals, unlike tap water, which can contain a wide variance of minerals and contaminants depending upon your local water supply.

And, CJ, it seems to me that you aren't getting any coolant circulating into your heater core?

[Edited by longston on 01-13-2001 at 02:23 PM]
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Old 01-13-2001, 04:40 PM
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That was a good article. I have to say over the past 24 hours I have gained quite an education on coolants. I suggest others read these as well.
ARI
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2001, 08:33 PM
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My Mercedes-Benz service agent here in New Zealand uses and recommends Mobil One coolant, which is green. They also use Mobil One oils and other lubricants.

I have to say that I am suspicious of claims that the only fluid to use is the proprietary orange one. I suspect that oil giants like Mobil put just as many (if not more) research dollars into antifreeze formulation as M-B do.

And after all, aluminium is aluminium. Many, many engines are aluminium: it is nothing unique to Mercedes. Even Honda engines are aluminium!

Just my 2c worth ...

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Old 01-13-2001, 09:00 PM
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The owner/mechanic at a neighborhood garage here (Old timer, has a Mercedes Benz Training Certificate from the Studebaker days) suggested a test, which I would try if I had any of the green stuff. Take 3 saucers and 3 steel washers. Pour red stuff in one saucer, green stuff in another, and a mixture in the third. Put one washer in each saucer. Come back in 3 months. (Guess you could do the same test with aluminum). His contention is that the mixture of red and green will begin to disolve the steel washer. Might be an interesting test.
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Old 01-13-2001, 09:09 PM
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Honda engine may be aluminium too, but they sure don't last as long as Mercedes Engines. If you don't care if your Mercedes lasts half as long as it should you can use which ever fluids you want, you can extend change intervals beyond specifications, and you can use non OE parts for repairs. It is possible your car will function properly with the green stuff, I know the previous owner of my car used it, but I will only use the good stuff. Who knows how many years life the previous owner took off my car without knowing it. The big oil companies like MObile may do just as much research as anyone, but they still make their products to meet the general specifications of the great mass of vehicles, not special vehicle like Mercedes. I don't think anyone here is saying the green stuff will ruin your car, but it I'm not taking any chances, especially since I own an older car and hope to keep it for the rest of my lifetime, even if I do retire it in the future and keep it as an antique or hobby car. The Mercedes dealer only charged me $10 more to change my fluid to the good stuff than the Cadillac dealer charged to change the fluid in the DeVille I used to own. It's cheap protection in my mind.

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Old 01-13-2001, 09:25 PM
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I am going to drain the green, flush the system with distilled water, then fill with the red. I can't imagine that the small trace amounts of green left in the system would harm anything. The guy that I bought the car from owns one of the biggest private MBZ only shops in Maryland. I was given every single repair record for the car. Judging by the condition of the car, I would find it unlikely that this guy would have put anything in the car that would be detremental to it's health.
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Old 01-13-2001, 09:26 PM
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There's only one type of aluminium.

We're talking about the effect of chemicals on aluminium, not the longevity or design qualities of engines, cooling systems or radiators.

I'm no scientist, but I would imagine that a coolant that is suited to one type of aluminium engine will also be suited to others.

Many M-B service agents obviously hold this view too, otherwise they would automatically prescribe M-B proprietary coolant - but many don't.

I stick to all the suggested fluid change intervals and service schedules. My radiator has just been flushed at 289,000km (180,000 miles) and it's fine. A bit of gunk came out, but not much.

I've never had a cooling, temperature or internal corrosion problem.

If my agent said, "Use only M-B coolant," I would, but they don't. So I'm interested in hearing how a coolant designed solely for M-B alu engines can be significantly better than a premium brand coolant designed for alu engines in general. Especially when the oil made by the generic brand is frequently recommended for use in M-B engines!

Cheers
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2001, 10:18 PM
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Aw-Lew-Minny-Uhm Ain't The Only Issue Here!

Settle down, will you?

The aluminum is just one aspect of the problem. The plastic in the upper tank of the radiator is something that is legendary for failure, and newer replacements have even included a "metal sleeve" to prolong their service. The deterioration of the plastic parts in the cooling system are also a point of contention made in previous posts on the subject of coolant.

If we all reference the posts and the links I suggest in the last posting I made to this thread, we will all be on the same page, 'K?

Now, CJ: You probably don't have to FLUSH the system with distilled water, I only suggest using it when mixing the "coolant cocktail" of 50/50 water and coolant for what is going to stay in the system. And what about that heater core? Do you think it's clogged, diverted, or even getting any coolant?

Personally, I had, and still have, Der Green Stuff in my car from when I bought it at the end of October. I stopped by my local MB dealership shortly after the purchase, and asked a service tech to have a quick look at the car. The very first thing he pointed out to me was that I had the "wrong" coolant, and that mine should be "amber" coloured in order to be the correct stuff. he alleges that he has seen the damage done by the green stuff, and he mentioned bad, scary things like severe pitting, erosion, and cavitation.

On the other hand, one of my local independent MB garages says that there is no difference, and that all EG green coolant is phosphorous free, and perfectly ok to use. They seem to views the difference between the two as a matter of "color preference".

I am getting ready to replace/rebuild my radiator real soon, as my upper radiator hose outlet from the upper tank is broken. When I replace the system, I will decide on what coolant to add based mainly on the condition of the radiator when it is removed, plus the suggestion of the radiator shop, times the opinions listed on this forum, squared. Allowing for the appropriate drag co-efficient... :p

[Edited by longston on 01-14-2001 at 01:03 AM]

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