Old Wive's Tale: Vinegar to clean cooling system? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
Grubeguy's Avatar
Date registered: Jan 2006
Vehicle: 73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
Location: DC Area
Posts: 2,103
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Send a message via MSN to Grubeguy Send a message via Yahoo to Grubeguy
(Thread Starter)
Old Wive's Tale: Vinegar to clean cooling system?

OK, this is a true story - my dad used to drain his entire cooling system and replace the juice with white vinegar. He'd run the car for 5 mins, drain it, refill with water, run for five again, and replace it all with 50-50 antifreeze and water.

Apparently, this removed any deposits or buildup internal to the engine cooling journals.

Grubeguy is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 06:56 PM
BenzWorld Veteran
Date registered: Aug 2009
Vehicle: '72 250C, '74 280C, '85 500SEL, '81 300CD.
Location: Tucson, Az.
Posts: 652
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Yup, it works. Essentially the same thing as a citric acid flush. It's probably a lot more environmentally friendly as well.

Corrosion from water is alkaline, the vinegar is acidic. The deposits are lifted into solution and then drained out. Won't work on really hardcore crud but as a maintenance item it'll work fine.

Standard treatment for evaporative coolers here in the desert Southwest. Once a month or so we pour in a cup or two of vinegar to loosen the built up deposits and allow the water tubes to flow freely.
Mike D is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 04:04 PM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Jan 2004
Vehicle: 1959 220S cabriolet, 1983 240D original owner, 1999 E300 turbo diesel, 1988 560SL, 2003 SLK320
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Posts: 3,467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
The correct procedure before using an acid like citric acid to descale the cooling system is to use something like Liquid Tide to deoil the system first. Service manual says to deoil the system first even if there is no evidence of oil in the system.

'59 220S Cabriolet - for sale - http://www.mbzponton.org/mbz220s/sellswap/car4sale.htm
'83 240D original owner 351,500 miles - for sale - http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w123...g-my-240d.html
'88 560SL 41,000 miles being parted out - https://sites.google.com/site/mercedesstuff/home
'99 E300 turbo 196,000 miles
'03 SLK320 34,500 miles
'14 Smart electric
sokoloff is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Vintage Mercedes-Benz

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome