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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yes, a very basic maintenance item, but one I think is overlooked, and often is POORLY and INCOMPLETELY performed.

Ask the "Stealership" *HOW* they do their $49.95 "Coolant" services...... I think you will find *MOST* will just drain the Radiator, and Refill.... end of story!
This leaves around 1/3 of the fluid still in the system. Yes, perhaps an infusion of fresh anticorrosive coolant is better than nothing,,,,, I believe in the WIS SPECIFIED method of Coolant Service as shown in this Post.

Personally I do Coolant Service every TWO years, instead of the "recommended" THREE years. I live in a horribly harsh environment of heat, humidity and salt, thus, my desire to have a more "accelerated" schedule. I also change the brake fluid ANNUALLY.

Since I do a "complete" drain frequently, I see no need to do the "Fresh Water 'FLUSH'".... Plus, I've NEVER understood the logic of how one estimates how much Straight fluid to add to compensate for the residual "Water" in the inner spaces of the engine. And, on the "modern" motors, how do you CHECK the true concentration??? All you are checking is the RESERVOIR, and NOT the actual fluid moving around IN the engine!!

Please use care when working with the coolant system. ONLY open the system with temps less than 90C, and do it SLOWLY. Wear a face shield, gloves and protective clothing.

Please Dispose of the Coolant per your LOCAL regulations, even though it is classified as "Biodegradable".

Apparently Zerex 05 is the "same" thing as the MB fluid for cheaper. WIS allow Distilled H2O. (Our water here is horrible).

I would strongly recommend the Vacuum Fill method. With the "Remote" expansion reservoirs, and their "weenie" tube with go to the radiator, it takes a long time to fill with the normal "gravity" method.. Plus you have the issue of "burping" out any retained bubbles in the system.
 

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Outstanding Contributor W221 Moderator
2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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1,828 Posts
Just pure magic, G. Except for that bulky, awkward torgue wrench. Maybe you should get a Hazet like mine! AND literally LOL at the "diaper!"
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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7,218 Posts
Great writeup as always, also for those with older W140s make sure you have a spare drain knob/plug as they get old and often crack when you remove them.
 

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1996 s 500 lang
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59 Posts
Old fluid is still there

By removing the lower radiator hose you will get another 1/2 litre of fluid. This is for the m119 engine.

Best regards

JH
 

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94 S350, 06 E320CDI
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929 Posts
Lots of extra stuff to buy to do this. The cap adaptor is one part, but the vacuum setup with gauge, etc is another. Where do you get that setup that will check pressure while drawing in liquid?
 

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1997 s600
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267 Posts
Very nice write-up. I have been using the vac-fill tool for years and it is the only way to go. Using the refractometer is also a good practice that few people utilize, nice touch.
I would also mention that the coolant that is in the de-gas bottle is representative of the coolant as a whole since all the coolant in the engine will eventually circulate through it, as opposed to the old style bottles that were just overflow containers. Thanks again for a very nice DIY.
 

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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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Discussion Starter #9
Lots of extra stuff to buy to do this. The cap adaptor is one part, but the vacuum setup with gauge, etc is another. Where do you get that setup that will check pressure while drawing in liquid?
Yes, I know there are alot of things to get... Please note, though, I am one of these anal people who like to do things "by the book"... thus, I tend to have on hand the WIS specified tools and procedures. My posts are geared to be more of a "color pictorial" of the WIS black and white "written" instructions.

There are TWO options for the Vacuum systems...

A- The "Cheap-O"(relative) --> I have one of these "Fleabay" systems... funny, they were like... $60 bucks not toooo long ago.. now nearly twice that..

UView Airlift Cooling System Leak Tester Airlock Purge: eBay Motors (item 350326524547 end time Jul-07-10 16:31:14 PDT)

No experience with this one for a Pressure tester: STANT 12270 RADIATOR COOLING SYSTEM & PRESSURE TESTER: eBay Motors (item 260621090078 end time Jul-16-10 11:08:26 PDT)



B- the MB OEM system, which, like many things, is supplied by another maker.
In this case, "Leitenberger" makes both the PRESSURE TESTER, and the Vacuum systems, as well as the Refractometer (to supply to Hazet AND MB).

It's funny how the SAME exact product can vary so greatly in price, but, in my case, some of the items I got cheaper from the Dealer, other's thru Hazet, and some from Leitenberger itself. You don't want to know how much these items are, though......

Anyway, here is the list for "reference"-

Here's the Pressure testing section:
Cooling system testing equipment
you can also get thru Samstagsales.com-- http://www.samstagsales.com/images/hz4800-9.jpg

and here is the Vacuum Fill Section:
Vacuum cooling system filler

CO2 Tester: CO-2 Leak Detector

Refractometer: Refractometer for radiator antifreeze, windshield washer fluid and battery acid


To be perfectly honest, the "Airlift" (el Cheap-o) with it's "Universal" (Cone shaped Rubber stopper) connector works equally well as the high-end Leitenberger set-up.

One caveat, though.... I don't think you can "reliably" rule out a coolant system leak by SOLELY relying on a "Vacuum Leak" type test. Sooo, to use the Airlift system as both your TESTING, and FILLING.... that's up to you.

The reason I use the Leitenberger is: the Adaptor cap will work for both the PRESSURIZATION test as well as the CO2, and Vacuum-Fill operations.

With 5 cars in the "fleet", and since I typically do a similar service (ie. Coolant service every 2 years) on ALL the cars in one sitting, it is not unusual to have "parallel" servicing going on (a perverbial "menage a trois" of mechanical DIY joy) two cars simultaneously.

Anyway, enough babble from me...

G
 

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1999 S420 & 1996 E320
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Thank you so much!

I found that it is easy to drain the system and flush it out by using a tennis ball to block the lower radiator hole while holding a garden hose on the coolant reservoir to flow clean water in tot the system and rain all coolant.

JPG Hawaii
JPG Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii, Oahu, signs, banners, printing, car wraps, business cards, graphic design
808-429-7220
 

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W203 estate w203 saloon W201 W140
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This is very helpful especially when I am about to do this with the car approaching 92K miles.

I was wondering at 92K and 13 years old would it be prudent to replace some of the hoses while the system is dry?

Gnasha
 

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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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Discussion Starter #13
One extra Bonus feature of the Vacuum method: When the System is under vacuum, you will see the Hoses "Collapse" on themselves... it is a great time to see their plyability, check for cracks, etc.
 

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1995 S 420, 2012 GLK 350 and 1997 Audi Cabrio; Previously 1982 280CE, 1974 450SL, 1974 911S Targa
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456 Posts
Apparently Zerex 05 is the "same" thing as the MB fluid for cheaper.
Is Zerex G-05 the same color as the dealership coolant?
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,648 Posts
Is Zerex G-05 the same color as the dealership coolant?
Should be... NAPA sells two types of it. 50/50 mixed and full strength. If you go full strength (I do), use only distilled water to top things off.

Good Luck,

Jayare
 

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1995 S 420, 2012 GLK 350 and 1997 Audi Cabrio; Previously 1982 280CE, 1974 450SL, 1974 911S Targa
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Should be... NAPA sells two types of it. 50/50 mixed and full strength. If you go full strength (I do), use only distilled water to top things off.

Good Luck,

Jayare
I really want to verify this, as I don't want to add the Zerex to the existing coolant and have it turn a turd brown or something. I went to NAPA and picked up the Zerex G-05, but I don't want to open it until I confirm this. Can someone tell me for sure?
 

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94 S320 4speed
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xerex

I really want to verify this, as I don't want to add the Zerex to the existing coolant and have it turn a turd brown or something. I went to NAPA and picked up the Zerex G-05, but I don't want to open it until I confirm this. Can someone tell me for sure?
Yes. Its clear color so won't change your color. Works fine.
HOWEVER BE SURE there's 2 TYPES OF COOLANT- 50%water mix and 100% concentrated. READ FRONT LABEL CAREFULLY. Depends on what mix is in your system already
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,648 Posts
Well, it's been my understanding for more years than I can remember that G 05 is a dead match to OEM MB coolant. I've run it in every Mercedes I've owned and never looked back. Every forum I participate in also suggest "USE ONLY OEM MB coolant or G 05" G 05 has the same ph balance etc as the coolant that pours out of a Mercedes jug.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,648 Posts
I really want to verify this, as I don't want to add the Zerex to the existing coolant and have it turn a turd brown or something. I went to NAPA and picked up the Zerex G-05, but I don't want to open it until I confirm this. Can someone tell me for sure?
Wait... You want to "add" to the existing coolant? Are you 100% sure the coolant in the car is MB branded? If the coolant is more than 2 yrs old, the system should be drained, flushed and re-filled.
 
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