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Old 01-29-2001, 04:56 PM
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I've got a 300e 1991 gasoline engine. Does MB recommend a special coolant? Will plain-old prestone not do the job? Is there special anticorrosive types that should be used to protect the aluminum parts?

Also, I live in San Diego: what oil would you all recommend I use in the engine?

Thanks in advance...


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Old 01-29-2001, 05:32 PM
yal's Avatar
yal yal is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York, Long Island
Posts: 2,706
OH OH Jim, you have just touched on 2 of the most hottly debated issues on this forum...go to these threads below and do a search...

Mercedes Antifreeze?

Coolant RED vs. GREEN

oil change

Very enlightning, very interesting and every now and then very funny stuff
Hope this helps....

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Old 01-29-2001, 06:06 PM
Brian K
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All anti-freeze is definately not the same. They differ in their silicate levels, and the inclusion or exclusion of phospates, for one thing.

I did read a lot (but not all, its too much) of the debate on the threads you posted (thank you!), but this debate seems like more of a theoretical thing than a practical debate (i.e. a tempest in a teapot!).

Changing the anti-freeze is far from a daily thing. How much is genuine MB anti-freeze? $10 per gallon? $12? Compared to $7 for Prestone? You only need 2 gallons. So, we are talking about saving $6 to $10 every few years on anti-freeze??

One thing the debate here (and on many, many other car forums) tells us is that there *is debate* on the issue. I'd rather spend the extra $6 per few years, avoid the debate altogether, and be *100% assured* I am putting the right anti-freeze in my $37K car. To me, its not even worth thinking about to save $3-$5 or so per year.

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Old 01-30-2001, 06:49 AM
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Do yourself a favor and just follow the recommended fluids. If you check, use only MB coolant. Get some at your dealer. It is a long and complicated issue but, I have to agree not all coolants are equal especially, for your MB.
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Old 01-30-2001, 01:55 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mark West, CA
Posts: 787


There are several subjects that have been debated nearly to death on this forum, and yes, as you have already been warned, oil and antifreeze are the two hottest topics. And, yes I said antifreeze. Coolant is a misnomer. Antifreeze isn't a cooling agent, water is. That's why you mix the two. Water to cool the engine, antifreeze to keep the water from freezing, and from causing corrosion.

I will be the one this time to predict "flaming folders" for this thread. Whenever you see someone bring up either of these subjects in the future, respond as you would in a battle zone when you hear the cry, "INCOMING!".

Here's my, IMHO, thoroughly researched synopsis of your questions. First, Green antifreeze ist nicht gut. All Green ethylene glycol based product contains phosphate corrosion inhibitors that can hurt your engine and cooling system. Stick with the Mercedes stuff that uses an ethylene Glycol base with a corrosion inhibitor called "Glysantin".

The two most helpful/damaging components of antifreeze are the additives, mainly corrosion inhibitors, and silicates. The wrong mix of either/both can hurt your engine, cooling system, water pump, and mainly your wallet. Use the stuff that was made for your car.

Second, Mercedes now ships all of their cars from the factory pre-filled with Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil. (My mentioning this has now set off red flags, and the Dino/Mineral oil users out there, and you know who you are, will be posting to rebutt.) Here's a recent discussion about synthetic oil:

Getting Rid of Synthetic Oil

If you are a wise person, you will follow the lead of the company that made your car, use what they use, and change it when they say you should, or sooner.

If you are one of us nosy, gotta know why, let's review the materials one more time, what's the data? kind of guys, then you can do a search in the archives, use the links kindly provided by yal (thank you, yal), and check out all of the links posted in those threads that go to the websites for Mobil, Castrol, Valvoline, RedLine, Havoline, Peak, Sierra, and a host of others.

Here's some related topics that are also highly subjective:

1. Change oil by draining, or vacuum pumping?

2. Use distilled (or demineralized) water in your cooling system instead of tap water?

Don't worry, it's all covered in the links to previous discussion threads...

"We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror."
- Marshall McLuhan -

Scott Longston
Northern California Wine Country...
"Turbos whistle, grapes wine..."
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Old 01-30-2001, 02:46 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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Stick with the MB stuff. It is phosphate free and when considering the total operating costs of owning a MB, does the $10 or so difference really make that much of a difference? Better safe than sorry.

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