We can't use regular antifreeze?! Truth or scare tactic? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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We can't use regular antifreeze?! Truth or scare tactic?

Anyway the other day I noticed my car's coolant was low though it stayed at regular temps the whole time. After letting my car sit for several hours to ensure it was completely cooled off I check the cap and look into the overflow jug and it was empty. To play it safe I bought a jug of 50/50 premix antifreeze from an auto parts store on the way back to my car after coming off work. I bring fill it up to the correct mark and put the cap on. Now that I have my car at a dealer for something else I asked them what it'd take to do a flush and fill with MB coolant since earlier today MB Customer Assistance said that standard storebought antifreeze either isn't good enough or is too far off from whatever Mercedes uses.

Is this for real? I mean I know many fluids in our cars are MB-specific, but aren't cars of all brands cooled with more or less the same stuff? I can't see how adding more coolant could be less than ideal for my car.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 08:15 PM
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In the past I replaced several radiators on aging cars only because they had an internal buildup, that lower the cooling efficiency. It sucks to boil the radiator at 104 outside while you are stuck in the traffic. They used the green stuff.
Your choice. MB radiators run for $400-500.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
In the past I replaced several radiators on aging cars only because they had an internal buildup, that lower the cooling efficiency. It sucks to boil the radiator at 104 outside while you are stuck in the traffic. They used the green stuff.
Your choice. MB radiators run for $400-500.
I had no idea what was in it already, the coolant was only showing up at the extreme bottom of the overflow jug. Add in the terrible sightlines peering inside the jug and the yellowing/cloudy effect of 20 years of time on translucent plastic reservior jugs and I could hardly tell what the existing fluid's color was. I added some Peak 50/50 brand Antifreeze that was the color of Mt. Dew and/or Lemon/Lime Powerade if you will. The dealer said they can do a flush n' fill for $125, that is less than $500. What do you think?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 10:03 PM
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Well.. I drive long enough to learn the market changes.
Years ago buying new radiator for $120 was not a big deal. Even the dollar was going much farther 20 years ago.
But when I got quote for radiator for my bus conversion at $2600, I figure out that even spending $26 for a gallon of commercial coolant is cheap
I had coolant tank failure on my Ford Supeduty pickup this summer. Even the truck has over 200k on it, I didn't want to refill it with green stuff. I bought 6 gallons of distillate water, radiator flush and the most expensive coolant I know for diesels.
Maybe it will work, maybe not, but I am planning to drive the pickup in the year of 2020.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Makes sense to me

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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
Well.. I drive long enough to learn the market changes.
Years ago buying new radiator for $120 was not a big deal. Even the dollar was going much farther 20 years ago.
But when I got quote for radiator for my bus conversion at $2600, I figure out that even spending $26 for a gallon of commercial coolant is cheap
I had coolant tank failure on my Ford Supeduty pickup this summer. Even the truck has over 200k on it, I didn't want to refill it with green stuff. I bought 6 gallons of distillate water, radiator flush and the most expensive coolant I know for diesels.
Maybe it will work, maybe not, but I am planning to drive the pickup in the year of 2020.
Vs. $2600 for a new truck radiator, even primo $26 antifreeze is a bargain. This is the predicament I am in. Currently I am out of work though my regular kind of work pays very decently and in the past when I have work I am endlessly doing stuff to my Benz to make it last the ages, changing fluids on schedule and addressing things before they break or cause problems. Therein lies the rub. I have quite a few things on my list I would want to cover on my car, but being out of work I have to pick and choose what I have serviced. What I have done so far is to fix and service the most urgent stuff, working down to trivial stuff I can do whenever like change the battery which although works is pretty old. I have already had the motor mounts replaced and the shifter rod bearings (the shifter was sloppy-you had to drag it nearly all the way down to 3rd to make it go into Drive) replaced along with transmission service (new fluid/filter/gaskets) and oil/filter change soon after I bought the car to start off fresh. Now that the car drives more buttoned up, I want to keep going but since I don't have the money coming in like before I have to prioritize. The dealer quoted me $125 for a flush n' fill but that is not the only thing I'd like to address on my car. My dilemma is that for that $125 I spend on coolant, would I be neglecting something way more urgent that money could have went towards improving.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 12:01 AM
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You are out of work and you take you car to the stealers?
What you doing on this forum?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 12:05 AM
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You can use pure water but shouldnt.

Long term wear will be quite devastating using the green (and other) fluid.

If you are talking about 5000 miles it doesnt matter. 50000 miles... kinda. 100 000... you better use the proper stuff.

I hope that puts it in perspective

vw phaeton. when vw copies mercedes, but forces you to service it next to golfs and jettas
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyrate View Post
You can use pure water but shouldnt.

Long term wear will be quite devastating using the green (and other) fluid.

If you are talking about 5000 miles it doesnt matter. 50000 miles... kinda. 100 000... you better use the proper stuff.

I hope that puts it in perspective
I never use water. I buy the 50/50 premixed antifreeze so I can't F up the ratio of pure coolant to water. I know the other 50% is water but its less tricky for me like that.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Was between a rock and a hard place...

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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
You are out of work and you take you car to the stealers?
What you doing on this forum?
(sorry I got my threads mixed up, I thought this was my thread about the bad ignition lock)

It was a tough decision, my mechanic is closed for weekends and since this nearby dealer was fielding the area on behalf of MB Roadside Assistance and had a live guy call me back within minutes and talk me through getting the key unstuck and talked me through the rest about how at present I am on for just a $120 part vs. the whole assembly for $800 it seemed like the best thing I could do.

The good news is they figured the part would be about 3-4 days in shipping but its coming quicker than expected for them and they say it should be in either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Last edited by 2.6_Steve; 10-05-2010 at 01:07 AM. Reason: added disclaimer since I can't delete my post
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 01:47 PM
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MB's are "sensitive suzie's" so Yes an unauthorized antifreeze mix "MIGHT" hurt your MB. But you were in an Emergency, so anything had to suffice.
Afterwards flush out the non spec antifreeze and move on with life.
Check Your Owners Manual. There is a Flyer with it. It DOES specify MB Fluids, Oils, Antifreeze, but not ONLY that. It actually does authorize and sanctify "equivalents". I have used Xerex G-05. It meets MB's specs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.6_Steve View Post
Anyway the other day I noticed my car's coolant was low though it stayed at regular temps the whole time. After letting my car sit for several hours to ensure it was completely cooled off I check the cap and look into the overflow jug and it was empty. To play it safe I bought a jug of 50/50 premix antifreeze from an auto parts store on the way back to my car after coming off work. I bring fill it up to the correct mark and put the cap on. Now that I have my car at a dealer for something else I asked them what it'd take to do a flush and fill with MB coolant since earlier today MB Customer Assistance said that standard storebought antifreeze either isn't good enough or is too far off from whatever Mercedes uses.

Is this for real? I mean I know many fluids in our cars are MB-specific, but aren't cars of all brands cooled with more or less the same stuff? I can't see how adding more coolant could be less than ideal for my car.

Charles
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Richmond County

United States of America
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