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Old 03-01-2001, 09:04 PM
engatwork's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 13,758
ok - I finally decided to

post my $.02 worth. My father had a Ford Taurus that had NEVER had the coolant changed. One time when I was over there nosing around under the hood of it I opened the coolant reservoir cap and noticed that it was very slimy in there. Man, I mean it was awful!! I think he had about 136k miles on it at the time. Within a couple of months the head gasket blew and he purchased another one. The secret, as far as I am concerned, is to change it once a year.
'85 300D
'95 E320
'97 CRV

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Old 03-01-2001, 10:42 PM
longston's Avatar
Another View. . .
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mark West, CA
Posts: 787
The Plane, Boss, The Plane...

Well, at the risk of Mr. Lewallen feeling that he's getting ganged up on, I just have to jump in here and add to this discussion again. You see, I would say that he and I are just agreeing to disagree on this subject. And that's OK, I'm not an antifreeze salesman, I don't get paid by Mercedes, and I'm not interested in forcing anyone to use a product that they simply don't want to.

However, Bill, even though I have no reason to doubt your word, or disrespect you in any way, I would feel better about your decision to cling steadfastly to Prestone if I thought that you had done any research, or read the archived threads on this subject. But I have given up on convincing you personally, as I can see that no amount of information will ever change your mind.

Mercedes has used their own antifreeze for at least 15 years that I can document so far, and at least one old MB tech has told me that he remembers seeing "red" antifreeze in MB automobiles as far back as the 1970's. This antifreeze that Mercedes has being made for them, just happens to be the most advanced formulation of antifreeze in the world today.

If that wasn't true, then GM wouldn't have come up with the "Dexcool" formulation, and Chrysler, as well as Ford (soon to be) wouldn't be using antifreeze with Glysantin G 05 in it.

Just for reference, I decided to read the old "Coolant, RED vs GREEN" thread all over again, as well as the article I posted a link to in my past thread. While I was at it, I finally got around to call the publisher of the magazine that the article originally appeared in, and asked him several questions. Well, our conversation was shortened by the fact that he was under deadline to get the latest edition of his magazine, "Cool Profit$" finished. His magazine is circulated (sorry, intentional pun) to radiator shops nationwide, as well as businesses specializing in antifreeze, and air conditioning.

So the jist was this, He doesn't happen to own even one Mercedes, but he uses MB coolant in all of his cars. If the green stuff was good, he'd still use it, but it isn't and has caused problems in many more cars (and trucks) than just Mercedes. So, I asked him to log on here, post his comments, and answer members questions. He said that he would be happy to do so as soon as he was past his deadline for the latest edition of "Cool Profit$".

While I am talking about his magazine, I'd like to mention that he is currently working on an article about all of the problems that GM dealers and radiator shops are having with using "Dexcool" specification antifreeze. He mentioned the clog problem that Gary asked about, and also said that the silicates are "dropping out" and forming what appears to be sand in the cooling systems. These problems are so pronounced that GM has not only admitted to them, they have actually produced a video on what to do about them! These problems are not limited to any one brand of "Dexcool" antifreeze. It includes products made by Prestone, Havoline, and Zerex. I advise that no one use any of the "Dexcool" specification antifreezes in their Mercedes cooling system. Again, we should stay with the antifreeze specified for our cars. By the manufacturer!

Now, as for Prestone, I went to their website and found out that they originally made straight ethylene glycol antifreeze in 1927 when the norm for antifreeze was methyl alcohol.

Well, EG is a corrosive, and even more of one at high temperature, so in 1930, "Prestone developed and marketed the first inhibitor to further protect the cooling system and retard rust formation. ". Well that's no surprise...

But it wasn't until the early 1960's that American automobile manufacturers actually started using an EG antifreeze in new cars, and then, only with a 50/50 mixture. Whether it was Prestone or not they all used is unclear to me at this time.

Then, in 1972, "the product was reformulated to incorporate the unique, patented silicone-silicate copolymer which greatly enhanced its inhibitor effectiveness, particularly for aluminum cooling system components." If it was so good in the first place, and already had an effective corrosion inhibitor in it, then why reformulate it?

Then they say, "The year 1977 marked the introduction of Prestone® Super Flush formulated to remove rust and scale from radiators. ".

If this stuff is so good, why did they have to create a specific product to clear the rust and scale out of the cooling systems that it was being used in? Especially when the inhibitor they had added as far back as 1930 was supposed to "retard rust".

Then, "In 1981, Prestone® antifreeze/coolant was again reformulated to provide even better corrosion protection for the increasing number of aluminum cooling system components used in cars. ". Whoa, slow down! I thought they already conquered the aluminum issue in 1972! What's going on here?

But we're not done folks, because, "In 1994, Prestone introduced many new products in the antifreeze and car care categories including Prestone® LowTox™ antifreeze/coolant, Prestone® Extended Life 5/150 antifreeze/coolant and RV antifreeze. ".

If this stuff is so great, why have they reformulated it every decade since the 1960's? and as for their claim, "Prestone antifreeze/coolant became the Official antifreeze of NASCAR®." , they specifically mean, "Extended Life 5/150 antifreeze/coolant ... is licensed by NASCAR®", and guess what? THAT IS NOT THE GREEN STUFF!

WOW! These guys have hyperbole swirling faster than the antifreeze in the cooling systems that their products are still in. And while we're addressing that issue, I seriously doubt that "80% of American motorist are using it in their cars." as Bill states.

First, Zerex is the #2 antifreeze manufacrturer in this country, closely followed by Peak and Havoline. Now if you take into consideration all of the other private label off brands, along with the specialty antifreeze targeted at the trucking industry (who have had the worst problems with "the green stuff"), and all of the other "designer" antifreeze used by the Japanese manufacturers, and Saturn, VW, Audi, BMW, Volvo, Saab, and Mercedes, how could all of that only account for 20% of market share in antifreeze sales?

If you don't belive me, then, Do your OWN homework!:

[Edited by longston on 03-01-2001 at 10:57 PM]
"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 03-02-2001, 06:54 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Augusta, Ga.
Posts: 51
comment on logic

"why have they reformulated?" They may, may have changed because of technological advances. Because things are changed doesn't necessarily suggest they were wrong. Not questioning your conclusions. I will think about switching in my MB and keeping the green in my '65 Ford cast iron pickup for nostalgia. This and other threads are interesting for the interplay between information and experience. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Dan Stadt
'85 300D turbo
'79 300SD
'73 220D
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Old 03-04-2001, 03:58 PM
Wm. Lewallen
Posts: n/a
To all car owner,
It is with great relutance that I return to this debate about antifreeze.
I was hoping that the wind from the West had died down, but,alas, it has not. I have explored some of the sites that have been posted here. They have been great sites for promoting their products. Like the magical cures for everything from cancer to in-grown toe nails. I have not had time to read all the testimonials extolling all the good properties of their coolants. Nor do I need to read them. Experience is the best teacher and with 34 years experience of dismanteling MB engines in preparation for rebuilding them,I have never seen any damage caused by the coolant in them. Most had Prestone in them. After all, it has 80% of the US market.
Even though I have not had time to read all the testimonials, I have taken time to read the labels on the back side of some of the different brands of antifreeze. Guess what they say? They all say the the same thing with a 50/50 mix:
What else do you need to know about a product?
I say if the products fails and causes damage to our engines, we sue the bastards. Though I doubt if the indivdial motorist would receive much compensation. A few years ago I took part in a class action lawsuit and we won. Or I should say the lawyers won. They got $3 million. I got a check for $2.83.
Back to the Great Debate. Yesterday I had to replace the thermostat in my '83 300SD. That's the one I had to replace the radiator last summer. That's also the car that had "Mercedes" antifreeze in it when I bought it. It now has Prestone in it. And you know what I feel safe with it.
The radiator I had to replace was the original. A Behr.
My 1977 300D has the original Behr radiator and has had Prestone antifreeze in it for I know the last 24 years. If it (Prestone) causes trouble with my cooling system and ruins my engine, I will sue Honeywell(parent company of Prestone).Maybe I'll get a check for more than $2.83.
Bill Lewallen Lexington,Ky. The Blue Grass State. Where diesels purr and turbos whirr.
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Old 03-05-2001, 01:59 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 2,042
Off topic but...

I was on the winning side of a class action suit against my mortgage company and my winnings were 50 cents.
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Old 03-05-2001, 03:39 PM
Wm. Lewallen
Posts: n/a
Jim, John and others,
The poor consumers suffer in all class action law
suits. We suffer the damage and the lawyers collect. We had a lawyer here in Central Ky. that was suing a chain store for a lady client and they won a judgement of $50,000. Guess what? The lawyer kept the $50,000 and sent her a bill for $10,000. You figure that one out.
Bill Lewallen Lexington,Ky.The Bluegrass State. Where diesels purr and torbos whirr and cars are full of Prestone.
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Old 03-05-2001, 08:27 PM
Posts: n/a
Just for fun I sent the following E-mail to all the antifreeze manufacturers that were listed in the prior posts:

There is a lengthy thread going on the web page concerning the use of various brands of antifreeze in Mercedes Benz automobiles. Many people are questioning the safety of various brands of antifreeze in Mercedes Benz automobiles. Can you either post in this group or send me a reply that I can post concerning the above question?

Let's see if any of them come onboard here. If I get anything back, I'll post it here.
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Old 03-05-2001, 10:13 PM
Jason M.
Posts: n/a
Anti Freeze and The Distilled water myth

I own both a Mercedes (86) and a 1999 Chevy Crew Cab Dualie,at 18 and working in a parts store, I have cheap access to Various products and use them/abuse them at little cost to myself. (1.5k Mile Mobil 1 oil changes, 10k mile Brake Fluid changes, I have too much time on my hands even though I am full time enrolled in College aswell). My Truck came with the red DEX-COOl Antifreeze and I have been VERY UNSATISFIED with its performance. There isn't one fitting on the coolant system (quick release fittings)that I haven't had to replace, the "Dealer Only" Intake manifold gaskets(Have water passages in the intake manifold) which also went down for the count because of corrosion. Dexcool is much much more corrosive than the regular green stuff. Chevy water pumps tend to go right at about 50k miles, I know as my dad has owned 13 chevy trucks in the past 15 years(No, Not because they were junk). Now with DexCool at 7.99 per gallon vs. 4.79 per gallon for Ethylne Glycol Green Antifreeze, we see why manufacturers are pushing for usage of DEX-Cool.

As for the Mercedes aspect: When I bought the car I flushed the radiator within 3 days. I refilled with a proper mixture of 50/50 Green and (gasp) Tap water. I change it every 30k Miles and have absolutely no scale, grease build up, or corrosion in my motor (I've pulled the head) or any of the exposed coolant pipes. As far as water pump life goes, Water Pump bearings are sealed, the minute that the seal fails and exposes the bearings to engine coolant (coolant leaks from the weep-hole) the Water pump is supposed to be earmarked for replacement. So special antifreeze doesnt make much of a difference.

Distilled Water: Distilled water is added with the intent of keeping minerals out of the coolant system. Did anyone ever consider that an iron engine block that is constantly in contact with the coolant might shed a few minerals here or there? Remember that most mercedes are iron blocks with aluminum heads, so the effect on the coolant is still similar to that of a (dare I say it?) Chevy or Ford....

Keep on your wild goose chases and quotations of great authors, I'll just change my antifreeze once a year. Besides, 150k mile change interval? Now who sounds ridiculous?

Jason M.
1986 300E 88k
1999 Crew Cab Chevy Dualie 7.4L 90k
ASE Parts Specialist
Student at UCF

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Old 03-05-2001, 10:53 PM
Wm. Lewallen
Posts: n/a
I have just read your post concerning the Great Antifreeze Debate. You make more sense than any one yet. Myself included. I don't believe there is any difference in the popular brands of coolants on the market today. If they state that their products will protict your cooling system from corrosion and rust,and it does'nt we should sue them for the damage their coolant has caused.
Bill Lewallen Lexington,Ky. The Blue Grass State where the grass is really green, and the coolant in our cars is also green.
Diesels purr; turbos whirr.
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Old 03-05-2001, 11:05 PM
Jason M.
Posts: n/a

Thanks for the vote of confidence Bill

Jason M.
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Old 03-05-2001, 11:12 PM
Wm. Lewallen
Posts: n/a
You are quite welcome.
Bill Lewallen
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Old 03-06-2001, 07:09 PM
Posts: n/a
First Reply- Valvoline

Thank you for you interest in Valvoline, and the Valvoline family of products. We do not have applications for antifreeze, so we can not tell you what to use in a Mercedes. I do know that a great deal of Mercedes require a
phosphate free antifreeze that is only available at Mercedes dealerships, and if you use anything else, it can damage your cooling system.

Thanks again for your interest in Valvoline. If you have any further questions
please feel free to call us here at 1800TEAMVAL.
Joey, Valvoline Tech Services
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:01 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: MI
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Wm. Lewallen View Post
Here is the procedure for cleaning the cooling system. The ingrediants to use are listed on a thread above.I mixed the entire contents of each container in a plastic bucket and poured it into the reservoir tank. Top off with water.
1.Completly drain coolant. Radiator and block. Drain plug for most diesels is on the lower right side of the block in front of the starter
2. Remove thermostat
3. Fill system with degreaser solution
4. Run engine at operating temp. for five min.
5 Stop engine and let cool to about 122F
6 Completly drain radiator and block.
7.Rinse twice with clear water;run engine warm 5 min. with each rinse.
8. After second rinse with clear water, fill with 10%(100g/l)solution of citric acid.
9. Run ten min. at opperating temp.
10.Drain and flush three times as you did before.
11. Fill system with your favorite antifreeze. Any well known brand will do just fine in your now clean cooling system.Valvoline's Glysantin G 05 is approved by Daimeler-Chrysler for world wide applications. Notice that they state that Valvoline's Glysantin G 05 is approved, and not mandatory that you use it. You can buy from your local auto parts store. It's called ZEREX..
I just picked up that degreaser solution from Mercedes part # 001 986 21 71 but it doesnt say what concentration or how to mix it. Is it also a 10% solution or is it different?

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