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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old February 1st, 2008, 09:20   #1
chevy88
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Default G12 antifreeze

Is GM dex-cool longlife antifreeze the same as VW G12 as this is what I have beem told by service manager At VW dealership ? I was going to order G12 from them but they just said to use dex cool long life ??????????????
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Old February 1st, 2008, 09:27   #2
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Absolutely not! Different formulations that don't play well together. Get the real stuff from the dealer or one of generic equivalents (ELF, Pentosin)
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Old February 1st, 2008, 10:20   #3
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No, No, a thousand times, NO !!!!!

Either scratch this dealership from your "approved" list, or add this dealership to your "avoid at any cost" list... (or both...)

If they don't stock G12 or G12-Plus, have them special-order it for you... The VW part numbers are G 012 A8F A4 and G 012 A8F A1.

Better yet, mail-order it from one of the Canadian parts suppliers:
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/roseland/VWPartsA4.htm
http://www.precisiontuning.ca/

All the best,

Yuri.


PS: I just paid a dealer quite a bit of money to flush out the DexCool on a new-to-me TDI Golf... (environmental concerns led me to farm it out...) Of course, I had to take it back to have the job performed correctly... sheesh... if one has to spoonfeed dealership techs every step that needs to be taken one may just as well do things themselves... my motto, but in this case, I decided to be a good citizen with regards to the environment... that will teach me...

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Old February 1st, 2008, 12:20   #4
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Just because they have similar color does not mean they have the same chemistry.

Glad you asked but steer clear of the idiots at the dealer that claim they are the same...as already mentioned they are not.

If the bottle does not expressly state "G-12" it is NOT G-12 compliant or compatible.

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Old February 1st, 2008, 12:25   #5
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Here is a good explanation on coolant chemistry types:

Quote:
Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT)
This is the common green stuff original equipment manufacturers have used for over 70 years. Ethylene glycol is its base chemical, and there are silicate and phosphate additives that make it compatible with copper, brass, cast-iron and aluminum cooling system components. Manufacturers recommended that you change the green IAT antifreeze every 36,000 miles or three years. IAT coolant was used in GM vehicles until 1994. Chrysler used green IAT fluid until 2001, as did Ford (with the exception of some 1999 models that used OAT blue coolant which must be purchased from Ford).

Organic Acid Technology (OAT)
Commonly referred in GM vehicles by the brand name, Dex-Cool or to other manufacturers as propylene glycol. GM introduced Dex-Cool in 1995 as an "extended life" coolant, though most GM car owners and repair shops are finding that Dex-Cool is good for only about three to five years before it needs to be replaced. But because of the additives in the Dex-Cool orange antifreeze, you do not want to substitute the old reliable green coolant. Usually (but not always) dyed orange or yellow so you could tell the difference between OAT and IAT, this coolant has similar corrosion protection to the green stuff; however, it is designed to be slower acting, hence the extended-life moniker. It is made from a propylene glycol base, which makes it less poisonous than conventional IAT for children and pets. OAT, when spilled or lost due to a boil-over, is much less harmful to the environment. In addition to its use in 1996 model year and newer GM cars and trucks, OAT is also used in 1996 to 2001 Audi, Land Rover, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Kia, Jaguar, Saab and Porsche. Manufacturers are now recommending your OAT coolant be changed every five years. OAT coolants are currently readily available from most auto parts stores.

Hybrid Organic Acid Technology
(HOAT)
This coolant is usually dyed yellow but comes in other colors like green, pink, blue, red and orange, which leads to a lot of confusion. One way to know for sure if you are getting HOAT will be by the packaging. Manufacturers often refer to this antifreeze as "global" and will indicate on the bottle that it meets or exceeds the specification "G-05" for most European cars and G-11 or G-12 for Volkswagen and Audi. Hybrid antifreeze has added silicates for aluminum protection and is advertised as having a five-year change interval. Normally, HOAT coolants are specified for vehicles newer than 2002, specifically Mercedes, Volvo, Ford, VW, Audi, Chrysler, BMW and Saab.


The use of OAT and HOAT coolants can extend the life of rubber coolant hoses, because they conduct less electrochemical degradation or ECD than the conventional green antifreeze. ECD is the process by which the motion of coolant and water through your engine creates an electrical charge similar to a galvanic battery. This electrical charge degrades both rubber and metal parts in the cooling system from the inside out. ECD can be attributed as the cause of many premature coolant system failures.

Volkswagen, Audi and other European vehicles use antifreeze that can be blue, pink or red in color. Most of these are available under the brand name Pentosin in 1.5-liter bottles. The pink and red are specifically designed for alloy engines and both meet the required G-12 coolant specification. The blue is also for alloy-based engines, but with a different pH level, and is equivalent to the G-11 rating.

You will find other types of antifreeze available for heavy-duty trucks. Both pink antifreeze (no, not the same stuff as used in the toilet in your camper at the lake house) and red are sold for truck use. These should not be confused with the pink or red HOAT coolants used on imported vehicles because they are designed specifically for trucks. These coolants will usually say "low-silicate" and "final charge" or "fleet charge" on them. They will do you no good in your passenger car because the lubrication and metal protection additives are separate in large truck cooling systems.

So what should you use? Manufacturers will tell you to stick with what is in there. You can have the cooling system cleaned with a coolant filtration system. This is a very popular tool in repair shops today and will recycle your antifreeze. Component chemicals can be re-added to boost its boiling and freezing point and adjust the pH of the cooling system back to specifications. The most accurate tool for measuring OAT and HOAT potency is a refractometer, which is an expensive piece of equipment, so you should have the coolant checked by a service station before deciding whether it should be replaced or refurbished. If you are low on fluid or have a leak, a general rule of thumb is, green IAT is always replaced by green IAT coolant.

Dex-Cool or an OAT product with equivalent specifications is always necessary to replace orange or yellow organic-based antifreeze. For the rainbow of colors of HOAT, your only substitute is the yellow or amber global antifreeze. Global coolant will not change the color of the stuff that is already in there.

If original red, blue or pink antifreeze is desired, you must get these from a Pentosin supplier or your car dealer. Can you run organic coolant in an earlier vehicle? Yes and no. OAT will work if your radiator is aluminum and you flush your entire cooling system with water and completely refill with OAT, but there are some issues with the interaction between organic coolants and lead solder, so using OAT in a copper radiator is not recommended. In short, antifreeze these days is a buyer beware deal. Check your owner's manual for the correct fluid, and read the label on your replacement coolant carefully to ensure it meets with the required specifications.
from Glysantin (Supplier of G-12 coolants)
Quote:
A new "G12" coolant additive, recognized by its red color, has been introduced during m.y. 1997, replacing the "G11" used previously.
The "G11" and "G12" coolant additives are NOT interchangeable, and must NEVER be mixed. Use only water or "G12" coolant additive G 012 A8D A1 to top up cooling systems filled with "G12."
GLYSANTIN Alu Protect/G30 silikatfrei



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Last edited by Drivbiwire; February 1st, 2008 at 12:35.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 13:11   #6
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Wow thanks DBW this is the most coherent blurb on coolant I have read to date.

My local mech added some global coolant (amber) to my car when I had the thermostat replaced and I gave him hell because the color looked different in the reservoir. He assured me it met VW specs, but I was going to have it flushed and replaced with G12. Maybe I should just get a good look at the bottle? Understanding the purpose of the post was to explain to OP the diff. between OAT and HOAT.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 18:33   #7
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Default g12 antifreeze - help!

Hi! Long story short - I took my '05 Golf TDI to the local stealership for non-related warranty-work. ... They replaced the coolant (G12, original), with (according to the invoice) ZVP-000-200 Antifreeze 4 x $6.00 (color looks the same as G12) and 09500 BG/540546 1 x $23.71 (what is this? Invoice doesn't lable it). Labor was $72.24.
My owner's manual states the coolant is permanent; the stealership says it should be replaced every 2-3 years based on problems they've seen.
Does anyone know about this? Will my car be ok?
Thanks for your help!
Kristina

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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:31   #8
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1997 Passat 1Z with 248,000 miles, NOT ONE SINGLE COOLANT CHANGE EVER!

Your dealer is full of $HIT!

G-12 has NEVER shown any signs of problems in ANY engine it is used in EVER.

G-12 is without a doubt THE BEST coolant I have ever seen in any car.

G-12 or G-12+, anything else is simply the wrong coolant for a VW.

The only time you should change coolant is if you replace a water pump, other than that there is no reason to since the cooling systems additives are stabilized. VW systems are sealed and do not vent like older systems (go's back to the Rabbit era and the 1.5L IDI).

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Old May 6th, 2008, 06:02   #9
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Here's a thread where G12/G12+ was discussed in quite a bit of detail.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=200796

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Old May 6th, 2008, 16:39   #10
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Thanks - but what are <ZVP ... antifreeze> and the <09500 BG/>? Yeah, I know they're full of - , but this started as warranty work, they changed the antifreeze on their own. I'm wondering whether anyone has info of what they say they used.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 18:19   #11
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Dexcool compatible coolant is not as robust as G12. You won't damage anything by mixing them but the mixtures life will be shortened.

Quote:
The only time you should change coolant is if you replace a water pump, other than that there is no reason to since the cooling systems additives are stabilized. VW systems are sealed and do not vent like older systems (go's back to the Rabbit era and the 1.5L IDI).

DB
Older VWs didn't vent either, their cooling systems were the same as the newer ones. If they overheat, they will vent from the reservoir cap.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:22   #12
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DBW - finatastic summary. Thanks for that. I can confirm differing fluids have differing chemical attributes. I have a LR Defender 90 with a tranplanted Chevy Vortec 5.7L in it. I've just had to replace my $750 custom aluminum radiator due to galvonic corrosion after 35k miles. I had been running DexCool as this is what was original to the Chevy - however the AL radiator wasn't part of the original build and as stated, charge migration played a big part in the failure! Lesson's learned and as they say - hindsight is always 20 / 20. I may go to HOAT specifically for this reason.

Bottom line - if using a stock setup, stick with what was provided, flush and refill at the rec. intervals. Coolants do break down over time.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 08:21   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slownsteady
Coolants do break down over time.
Not true in all cases.

Once coolants stabilize and provided the system remains sealed and airtight (has not overheated where it vented) then the system should not require any flushing or changing of the coolant (specific to HOAT/G12 type coolants).

G12 after about 5,000-10,000 miles reaches that point of stability where the coolant has neutralized any reactions that may occur. As long as that stability is not thrown off, leave it alone.

In the case of the TDI the water pump requires replacement, this should be the only time that the cooling system is drained and flushed and the system refilled. sticking with G12 insures that the original balance of chemicals are maintained as close as possible to the stabilization point to eliminate any risk of system contamination or corrosion.

It's really simple, G12 out, G12 in, to insure system protection and integrity.

I recently got a car in that was running Dex-Cool and the water pumps block pocket was completely corroded and had lost the "freshly machined" look I am so familar with seeing when a car has run G12 since new.

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Old May 7th, 2008, 08:42   #14
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What does that say about the chances of radiator and thermostat failure? Is it reasonable to say that the other components will last hundreds of thousands of miles if not subjected to the inapropriate chemistry of other antifreezes and hard water? (plastic water pump impellar notwithstanding)
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:05   #15
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Car still under warranty and brought it into the dealer today to again troubleshoot coolant loss. Brought it in to the dealer in Feb. Suggested it might be a EGR cooler leak, as no coolant stains on the floor or belly pan. They claimed to have pressure tested the system and no leak. They added more coolant. The level has dropped about 1/4 inch since. The service writer today tells me I should have the coolant flushed and replaced every year or 12k miles. What BS!

Also concerned as about 1,100 miles ago I threw a CEL and it was for the #2 cylinder glow plug circuit. The dealer agains claimed to troubleshoot the issue and replaced the glow plug. Threw the same code a few days ago- #2 cylinder glow plug circuit. A glow plug which only lasts 1100 miles?
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