DIY Coolant change/drain on E320 1998? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:05 AM
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Question DIY Coolant change/drain on E320 1998?

I don't believe my coolant has been changed in the last 10 years

This car was inherited so the maintenance log is spotty and the stealership here is not adherent to expertise in car maintenance (yep, they're only motivated to move cars OUT the door and never be held accountable for the product sold).

Still, I DIG this car. So I wanted to enact a coolant change but there doesn't appear to be any stickies or DIY'ers on this issue such as that posted for the oil change and thank you gregs210 for that stupid-proof method

Does anyone here know what needs to be done at home in order to change the coolant from the very green coolant running around in mine right now?

Help appreciated

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#2 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:45 AM
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That's odd and you're right - I don't see one either. I know it's been described on a thread or two here, but maybe none of those threads made it into the stickys because there were no photos.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 01:05 PM
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According to my memory, there are a few threads describing this. Apparently there is no drain plug at the bottom. People drain the old coolant by disconnecting the tube to the radiator. Then pour in water and run the engine for a while, then drain again. Then add coolant 50% (only MB approved type, with a gold color bottle) water 50%, then it is done, check level again after the engine run for a while. Mind the pressure cap.

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 06:03 PM
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Now that's what I mean

Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvjesus View Post
According to my memory, there are a few threads describing this. Apparently there is no drain plug at the bottom. People drain the old coolant by disconnecting the tube to the radiator. Then pour in water and run the engine for a while, then drain again. Then add coolant 50% (only MB approved type, with a gold color bottle) water 50%, then it is done, check level again after the engine run for a while. Mind the pressure cap.
There are VARIED points of view right now as to how to go about draining the coolant and replacing it accordingly. Some say there is NO drain plug whereas others say there is ... I don't want to be put in a position wherein I pull things apart and lo and behold I'm crap out of luck so far coolant goes.

I had an engine leak that I had to correct MYSELF after 2 Indie mechanics and the stealership LIED to me telling me that there was a rear main engine oil leak when it was actually the bridging point between the oil cooler and oil filter that needed tightening.

I know there are guys on this forum that KNOW how to do this and I'd feel a whole lot better in getting their expert opinion in getting this issue done. In the same token, I'll even put a DIY'er together myself!

Still looking for that response .... someone please

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 11:12 PM
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Hi SB,
The reason that there is no DIY on this, is because it is such an easy job. The confusion about the drain plug stems from 2 reasons: (1) Some people are referring to an engine drain plug while others refer to the radiator drain plug. I've never found an engine drain plug on the M112 engine and basically I wouldn't bother with it in any case - just another possible area of complication. The location and appearance of the radiator drain plug may vary slightly depending on where the radiator was sourced from. But it is normally a plastic plug, sometimes with butterfly arms attached to it, but most of the time just a slotted plastic plug that you unscrew with a large flathead screwdriver - or even a coin in a pinch. It is positioned at the lowest point on one of the two vertical tanks on the side of the radiator. Once again, it may either be pointing to the front of the car, or back into the engine compartment.
To change the fluid, warm the engine until the temperature guage shows about 60 degrees, with the heater controls switched to high heat. Switch engine off. Remove the expansion tank cap. Unscrew the plastic plug and catch fluid so that you can dispose of it later. I also blow into the expansion tank to empty it from old fluid, since it will not drain completely. (Hope you have good lung capacity ). Close drain plug. Fill with distilled water if you can find it cheap. In the US it is less than $1 for 4 liters. This is probably only critical if the area you live in has hard water (water with high mineral content). Close drain plug and refill the radiator through the expansion tank. Start engine and warm it up again. Monitor expansion tank and fill up as needed. Once engine reached normal temperature, switch off and repeat steps above. Repeat the process a few times until clear water runs out.
For the final refill, you MUST use the approved additive. It is not the standard anti-freeze, but a special HOAT type. Mixing another additive with the special HOAT type can result in a nice thick slurry blocking all cooling passages. The additive used by MB is also available as Zerex G05. You can also inquire at the BMW dealer or the VW/Audi dealer as I think they use the same type. The color is NO indication of whether it is the correct type, some times it is green and some times it looks just like p*ss. You will need two cans.

For the final refill, distilled water is essential for a good job. If the fluid is not pre-mixed, then create your own pre-mix with the distilled water in a 50/50 mix. The mix is NOT for low temperatures in your case, but purely for anti-corrosion and anti-cavitation purposes. Refill the radiator through the expansion tank to the correct level with the mixed fluid, start the engine and let it get to normal operating temperature. Add more pre-mix if needed. Now replace the expansion tank cap, go for a short drive and then let the car cool overnight. Check the level the next day before starting the car and fill with pre-mix to the correct level if needed. Repeat this step every morning for a few days, since trapped air may still escape for some time.

After that, you're good for a couple of years again.
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Last edited by Kobus; 05-01-2009 at 11:14 PM.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 07:07 AM
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I do not use pre-mixed antifreeze when flushing a car, because it is impossible to get all of the flush water out.

Rather, I will do a final flush with (distilled) water, drain out what I can, add the proper amount of antifreeze to end up with a 50% mix, and top off with water again.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 09:23 AM
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Yeah, that is the better method. It is surprising how much water does remain behind. So find out the capacity of the colling system (in owner manual), calculate 50% of that volume and add that much anti-freeze first.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 12:58 PM
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In California, even going skiing occasionally I am not worry about freezing point being -40 or only -20F.
I just buy a gallon of coolant and add distillate water to the mark.
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