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Coolant Change Intervals
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Posted 6/14/2016 10:14 AM
louwdj
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Date registered: Feb 2007
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Vehicle(s): 89 W460 230GE 5 door; 82 W123 230e; 99 W210 E240
Posts: 136
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Coolant Change Intervals

My W460's Owners' Manual (1989 230GE with W102 engine) recommends coolant changes every year.

My Mercedes Benz cars' manuals (1982 W123, 1999 W210 and 2004 W203) all recommend coolant renewal every three years. The Service Booklet of a recently purchased 2009 W204 C220 Cdi recommends, coolant renewal, wait for it . . . . . Every 250,000 km / 15 years. I could not believe my eyes!

The W204's Owners' Manual states: "Add premixed coolant solution only. Adding water and MB 325.0 Anticorrosion/Antifreeze separately from each other, could cause engine damage not covered by the Mercedes-Benz Limited Warranty".

I use MB 325.0 Anticorrosion/Antifreeze in all the vehicles. Why the different change interval recommendations?

Until now I believed that the coolant looses some of its anti-corrosion properties after a few years. Does the newer 646 engine have different metals not requiring more frequent (3 year) changes?

What does the experts say?
#232766
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Posted 6/14/2016 12:20 PM
G-AMG
G-Class DIY Host




Date registered: May 2006
Location: South Texas
Vehicle(s): '04 G55, '80 280GE, '99 S420, '98 E320, 2011 E350
1000
Re: Coolant Change Intervals

I hear you... I've been struggling with the same Dilemma...

2 Years ago, I see within WIS, M-B switched the Interval to 15 Yrs/150,000 miles.

"Oh", thinks me.... "Must be the Newer Style Fluid they are currently using as the Standard".

Well, this month, I'm looking at the MBUSA Service Sheet, and it Shows "3 Yrs", like it had traditionally been!!

So? I immediately did Coolant Services on the 'Fleet', and will get back to my Over-Maintaining-Interval of Every *TWO* years, as I have done since I purchased the cars.

It is quick, Easy, and inexpensive Insurance!!

G
#232769 - in reply to #232766
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Posted 6/14/2016 12:56 PM
AlanMcR
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, CA, Los Altos
Vehicle(s): G300DT E300DT 230SL
Posts: 3283
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RE: Coolant Change Intervals

Most fluids can be replaced with impunity.  I'm not so convinced with coolant.  Coolant is water, anti-freeze and a cocktail of ingredients that lubricate and prevent corrosion.  The anti-corrosion ingredients are needed because water itself is remarkably corrosive to both aluminum and steel.  The water will etch or plate the insides until a chemical balance is attained.  If the anti-corrosion ingredients are mixed perfectly there should be little corrosion with each change, but there will be some.  Big mistakes, or lousy coolant can really chew up the insides.   Think Flint, Michigan and the lead etched out of the pipes.
#232770 - in reply to #232766
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Posted 6/14/2016 1:08 PM
DUTCH
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, GA, Atlanta
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500 NMLE, 2015 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI
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RE: Coolant Change Intervals

AlanMcR - 6/14/2016 12:56 PM
  The anti-corrosion ingredients are needed because water itself is remarkably corrosive to both aluminum and steel. 


One other little information bit for you. I used to work in a BASF functional fluids lab many years ago. Antifreeze is one of the functional fluids we worked with to develop and test additive packages in automotive antifreeze for corrosion and wear on test fixtures.

We found that distilled or deionized water caused more corrosion and wear on the test fixtures than when clean tap water was used as the diluent for antifreeze concentrates. This was repeatable from test to test with different additive packages.
#232772 - in reply to #232770
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Posted 6/14/2016 1:37 PM
AlanMcR
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RE: Coolant Change Intervals

DUTCH - 6/14/2016 10:08 AM
AlanMcR - 6/14/2016 12:56 PM   The anti-corrosion ingredients are needed because water itself is remarkably corrosive to both aluminum and steel. 
One other little information bit for you. I used to work in a BASF functional fluids lab many years ago. Antifreeze is one of the functional fluids we worked with to develop and test additive packages in automotive antifreeze for corrosion and wear on test fixtures. We found that distilled or deionized water caused more corrosion and wear on the test fixtures than when clean tap water was used as the diluent for antifreeze concentrates. This was repeatable from test to test with different additive packages.

And that is the etch / plate tradeoff.  Clean tap water varies widely in its dissolved mineral content.  Not enough minerals and the engine is etched to make up the difference.  Too much mineral content and it plates out on the inside of the engine.  I've opted for infrequent changes with quality coolant (Zerex G05 - the factory fill) and distilled water.

#232774 - in reply to #232772
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Posted 7/17/2016 8:29 AM
GwagenLover
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Winston Salem, NC USA 27104
Vehicle(s): 2016 G550 & 2016 GLE350
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

100K+ and no change out.
No problems Mate1
#233024 - in reply to #232766
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Posted 7/18/2016 12:32 AM
ychung
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Date registered: Aug 2015
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

I've just changed coolants on mine, and I'm going to change it every two years from now on.
If I don't do engine block drains, it's going to take less than a hour.
#233029 - in reply to #233024
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Posted 7/18/2016 12:13 PM
AlanMcR
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Date registered: Apr 2006
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

ychung - 7/17/2016 9:32 PM I've just changed coolants on mine, and I'm going to change it every two years from now on. If I don't do engine block drains, it's going to take less than a hour.

You are, quite literally, buying trouble.  Let it go for at least 5 years.  Along the way a repair may come up that requires draining the system anyway.  Then you can choose to reuse or replace the coolant.  Coolant is not like engine oil.  It is essentially a sealed system, like the AC.

#233033 - in reply to #233029
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Posted 7/18/2016 1:47 PM
DUTCH
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, GA, Atlanta
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

AlanMcR - 7/18/2016 12:13 PM
Coolant is not like engine oil.  It is essentially a sealed system, like the AC.



But the additives, other than the glycol and water, do break down with time and temperature. They're better now than they us3ed to be, but they do break down.
#233034 - in reply to #233033
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Posted 7/18/2016 6:09 PM
AlanMcR
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Date registered: Apr 2006
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

DUTCH - 7/18/2016 10:47 AM
AlanMcR - 7/18/2016 12:13 PM Coolant is not like engine oil.  It is essentially a sealed system, like the AC.

 

But the additives, other than the glycol and water, do break down with time and temperature. They're better now than they us3ed to be, but they do break down.

Indeed, but that breakdown is somewhere on the order of 10 years.  Also, several of those additives are there to protect the engine from the new water.

#233046 - in reply to #233034
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Posted 7/18/2016 6:47 PM
ychung
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Date registered: Aug 2015
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Vehicle(s): 2004 G500, 2014 ML350, 2008 S550
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

Thanks for advice for both Dutch and Alan, I'll keep this in mind.
#233048 - in reply to #233046
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Posted 8/11/2016 11:42 PM
H1LM002G55
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Date registered: Mar 2010
Location: S Florida / Geneva / Jeddah
Vehicle(s): 500 GE, G55, G63, LM002, H1
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

I change every year and use distilled water from Oubkix (grocery store) and add a bottle of water wetter from Redline to lubricate the water pump.
#233371 - in reply to #232770
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Posted 8/12/2016 8:38 AM
petermerle
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Cape Town ( deep south )
Vehicle(s): W460 *1, W123 *2, W124
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

It also been confusing to me - Mercedes only sells one type of antifreeze in South Africa so doe s it mean that product is stable for 15 years ? I doubt it
#233376 - in reply to #232766
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Posted 8/12/2017 11:15 AM
osky1976
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Date registered: Oct 2016
Location: Naples Italy
Vehicle(s): 1990 Mercedes 250GD W460 LWB
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Re: Coolant Change Intervals

I own a 1990 LWB w460 250GD, Can anyone assist with how much Antifreeze I will need of MB 325.0. I'm ordering it so I want to make sure I have enough before I change out. I'm currently stationed in Naples Italy and I would hate not to order enough and be stuck on waiting for another Gallon through the mail.
#237011 - in reply to #232766
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