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Old August 3rd, 2003, 11:16   #1
booty
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

I will be installing a zero start heater soon and will set my antifreeze to about 60% for protection down to -60F at that time. Is the G-12 a VW ripoff or is there a genuine reason for it? Many other cars have aluminum heads etc and normal high quality antifreeze is good enough for them. What is the real story here????
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 11:38   #2
dieseldorf
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

stick with the VW product. Don't experiment with other coolants. If you want to know more, simply use the SEARCH functions. Volumes have been written on this topic.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 12:43   #3
GoFaster
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

Use the G12. Don't mix it with anything else, and don't try to substitute anything else. It is really good stuff by all accounts I've heard. This coolant is designed to be compatible with the seals and hoses in VW cooling systems.

G12 here, at the dealer, costs about double what cheap green stuff costs at Canadian Tire. In the grand scheme of things, the cost of a couple litres of the proper coolant is insignificant. And if it saves you a waterpump failure or a thermostat or a hose failure, it has paid for itself many times over.
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 19:33   #4
booty
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

I will swallow hard and use G-12. I guess in the whole scheme of things paying an extra $20 and not worrying about it is worth it.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 09:55   #5
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

According to the Bently manual: "Use only VW G12 or equivalent phosphate and silicate free coolant/anti-freeze identified by the red color." I found the equavilant with Prestone AF888 available at Partsamerica.com for $8.99 per U.S. gallon.
I will pick up a gallon and may go with it since it meets VW requirements.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 11:29   #6
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

Be EXTREMELY CAREFUL mixing the two.

You could end up with Jello rather than coolant.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 11:54   #7
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

Quote:
booty said:
According to the Bently manual: "Use only VW G12 or equivalent phosphate and silicate free coolant/anti-freeze identified by the red color." I found the equavilant with Prestone AF888 available at Partsamerica.com for $8.99 per U.S. gallon.
According to http://www.prestone.com , Prestone® Extended Life 5/150 Antifreeze/Coolant is a Dexcool® type coolant. VW G12 is not the same as Dexcool®, even though the dye colors may appear similar.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 12:40   #8
Chris Bell
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

A Car & Driver editorial of about a year ago suggested that Zerex G-05 antifreeze is (or was) a factory fill for VW. I believe it has a color other than pink and is not advertised as being approved by VW. However, it is approved by Mercedes, is NOT a Dexcool product (Zerex does have one of those, too), and according, to the C & D article, has the benign chemical properties that we know and love about G-12.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 12:50   #9
dieseldorf
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

Quote:
Patrick Bedard (C&D) said:

Dr. Turcotte writes a few coolant prescriptions.
July 2002



First, do no harm. Medical doctors live by that rule, at least the good ones. And to my great reassurance, so does Dr. David Turcotte, the good-humored antifreeze guru at Zerex.

I asked him to write a prescription for keeper cars, those wheeled time capsules some of us have around for sunny days and reliving the motoring moods of the past. As cars go, anything older than 20 years is a geriatric case. They were made for a world that no longer exists. That's what makes them so interesting.
It also presents problems. In many instances, they've outlived their factory-recommended care instructions. You can't get those old tires, oils, and fluids anymore.

As a guy living on Lipitor Lane, new doses for old vitals sounds like an opportunity to me. So I asked the doctor what he would recommend for geriatric cooling systems. Corrosion is my big worry. Minimal upkeep would brighten my weekends, too.
No one, it turns out, likes maintenance less than long-haul diesel truckers. Turcotte told me about Zerex Extended Life. This red juice is designed to go full-strength into truck radiators. Do nothing for the first 300,000 miles or three years. Then throw in another whack of inhibitors, a quart of Zerex Extended Life Extender, and run another 300,000, at which point the engine is probably scheduled for a full tear-down.

This product is labeled "heavy duty," which is the supply chain's term for diesel use. HD motor oils are intended for diesels also.
"This would be absolutely the most bulletproof thing I could suggest," he says. "We're pushing it 500,000 miles in our fleet work, and we still haven't found the point where it's no good."

But he was reluctant to recommend it for broad use in cars just yet. "In another five years, if things go as we expect, I can probably tell you this is a better fluid."
For now, his choice for cars "as old as we're likely to find" is Zerex G-05. "I've got a 20-year history that says this really works."

Zerex does most of its business with new-car manufacturers, developing antifreeze for the industry's evolving needs and supplying the assembly plants. G-05 started off as an "exotic European fluid." VW changed to it early, followed by more companies, including Mercedes for both gas and diesel engines. Now it's becoming the everyday American factory fill for DaimlerChrysler and Ford, who serve it up as a "long life" coolant good for five years/100,000 miles.
Turcotte says G-05 is less radical than Extended Life, and it's backward and forward compatible, which means that it can be mixed with green conventional antifreeze or the latest inorganic types. It's particularly well-suited to keeper cars, he thinks, because of the way it combats the sort of corrosion that comes with being a garage potato.

All the antifreezes I know have one side effect that's troubling for a few of our special cars. Ethylene glycol, which makes up 96 percent of what's in the bottle, has about half the heat-transfer capability of plain water. So when you mix antifreeze and water in the recommended 50-50 proportions, you give up a quarter of your system's cooling capacity. No problem for new cars; they're engineered with capacity to spare. But I remember British roadsters of the '50s and '60s that would boil on the streets of New York in the summer, and street rods are notorious for overheating. You could cure the cooling problems of those cars by circulating plain water through the system.
Most NASCAR racers do that. But corrosion sets in amazingly fast. Turcotte showed me a sample of coolant that had run 35 laps. It had flakes of red snow swirling through it—rust. I've seen similar rapid rusting when I've used plain water to leak-check a rebuilt engine.

Another approach: Increase the proportion of water in your mix, thereby trimming back both freeze and corrosion protection to gain heat transfer. Turcotte agrees that's a possibility, and he says he tests with dilutions down to 25 and 16 percent. "They survive," he says. Still, his do-no-harm approach shies from any antifreeze proportion below 40 percent.


Our conventional 50-50 mix is a one-size-fits-all solution to an American reality: Any car might drive to any North American location. So they all go out the factory door with enough ethylene glycol for freeze protection down to minus-34 degrees F. Antifreeze makers blend in the inhibitor dose assuming that we in the replacement market will dilute similarly. Other countries follow different conventions. In the tropics, where cooling is the top-most issue, the inhibitors are sometimes blended for up to 10:1 dilution.

Ideally, you could completely separate the freeze protection from the corrosion protection. Fact is, many special cars don't go out in freezing weather, particularly those Sunbelt residents that also face the greatest threat of summer—overheating.
For them, Zerex Racing Super Coolant sounds ideal. It was developed for attack boats used by Navy Seals. They must operate in tropical waters too warm to give sufficient engine cooling when you add in the inefficiency of ethylene glycol. Super Coolant contains inhibitors only—special antifoaming agents and protection during boiling—Turcotte says, and it's compatible with aluminum, iron, and other materials common in older cars.

Imagine boosting the effectiveness of your cooling system 25 percent simply by changing the radiator fluid.
Now the bad news: These aren't products waiting for you at Wal-Mart. Zerex Extended Life is serious trucker stuff sold through appropriate channels.

Zerex G-05 is still trying to find retail shelf space. It's the usual aftermarket story in which a product that will someday be as ordinary as pocket lint has to struggle for a toehold because, so far, it has no track record. Volume retailers shun products that might turn into shelf scenery.
But demand is coming. DaimlerChrysler changed to G-05 in 2000, and Ford began converting in 2001. Until now, you had to buy the replacement over the dealer parts counter, at a stiff markup ($12.50 per gallon at Ford). As the volume of needy cars on the road approaches a level that justifies a mass-market replacement, Zerex is launching G-05 under its own label. Expect to pay five to seven dollars at AutoZone and Checker's.

For Zerex Racing Super Coolant, call 800-TEAMVAL. Voices on the other end will know about G-05, too.
I have no personal experience with any of these products. But I do have a coupe that stays in the garage during July and August for just one reason: If it gets caught in stop-and-go traffic, I know it'll cook. Would I trade off freeze protection to gain two months of summer fun? In a femtosecond.

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Old August 4th, 2003, 12:57   #10
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

pdf link to Zerex G05 does not indicate VAG approval.

"Background.

Several years back, carmakers, feeling the push from new car buyers who like the words “low maintenance,” decided that 3-years and/or 30,000 miles was not a sufficient service life for coolant. The search began for a longer life product. In 1995, GM converted its new cars over to Dex-Cool®. That product, manufactured by Texaco, is a non-silicated organic acid technology (OAT) coolant designed to provide 5-year, 100,000-mile service (since upgraded to 5-year, 150K miles—but not for Saturn). Industry watchers expected that DC and Ford would soon jump on the OAT bandwagon. That didn’t happen. Instead, after running tests of their own, they decided to stay with what they had and research the options a little longer. To learn more of DC’s and Ford’s concerns about OAT, read “Coolant Controversy” and Technical Correspondent Paul Weissler’s “OE Makers Put Brakes On ‘Orange’ Coolants” as it appeared in the May 1999 issue of Automotive Cooling Journal.

What’s a HOAT? Hybrid OAT in this case means it has a traditional Ethylene Glycol-base, with a single OAT inhibitor and is moderately silicated. The version now being installed by DC, and tested by Ford, is based on the German BASF product, Glysantin G 05. It has been used in extensively in European Mercedes Benz and other manufacturer’s vehicles since the late 1980’s. New users expect that it will provide the 5-year, 100K miles coverage they desire. G 05 proponents believe that its moderate dose of silicates provide greater aluminum protection than a straight OAT while still being water pump friendly."

VAG's G12 is HOAT. Perhaps G11 is Zerex G 05
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Old August 4th, 2003, 13:07   #11
dieseldorf
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

pdf link to Valvoline G48 which indicates approval with VAG TL 774C standard.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 13:11   #12
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

The quotation from the shop manual suggests that G12 is silicate-free ... HOAT is "moderately silicated"??

I maintain the previous recommendation: Use only the official G12 coolant. Not stuff that looks like it, not stuff that claims it's compatible, not stuff that's the same color, not stuff that claims it's equivalent. Use the real thing, and then there is no guesswork involved! We know that G12 is good coolant, regardless of its contents. Why struggle?
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Old August 4th, 2003, 13:22   #13
dieseldorf
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

Dear Tom and Ray:

You wrote recently that different-colored coolants (regular and long life) can be mixed without danger. Your info might be accurate regarding GM and Toyota coolant, but as a Volkswagen Service Manager, I can tell you that it's not true with Volkswagen bright-pink "life-time coolant." The pink G-12 coolant, in use since 1996, is chemically different from the old blue or green G-11 VW coolants. When these two mix, there's a chemical reaction that causes the coolant to "gel" and turn brown in color. The coolant will get so thick that it can't pass through the cooling passages and will cause an engine meltdown. On behalf of thousands of Volkswagen owners, please amend your advice. Thank you. -- Will

Ray: Thanks, Will. We've been told by coolant experts that long-life (organic) coolant and regular coolant can be mixed, and the only negative result will be shorter life of the coolant. But Volkswagen disagrees.

Tom: VW put out a service bulletin warning against mixing its own coolant (G-12) with its older, G-11 coolant. We'll have to take its word for it, as we're not willing to sacrifice any of our customers' VW engines to test the theory. Well, there is Mrs. Beaseley ...

Ray: So if you own a VW, it's the pink/red G12 for you. Thanks for correcting us, Will.

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Old August 4th, 2003, 14:24   #14
Chris Bell
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

Quote:
GoFaster said:

I maintain the previous recommendation: Use only the official G12 coolant. Not stuff that looks like it, not stuff that claims it's compatible, not stuff that's the same color, not stuff that claims it's equivalent. Use the real thing, and then there is no guesswork involved! We know that G12 is good coolant, regardless of its contents. Why struggle?
I agree. But there will always be some who adamantly refuse to pay a few extra $s for the right stuff from the the dealer. They are going to use something else, period, and so should be directed away from the temptations of Dexcool and towards something closer to a G-12 formulation.
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Old August 4th, 2003, 14:49   #15
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Default G-12 Coolant ????

If there is one thing VW is good at, it is the quality of its service fluids. Not cheap, but the quality is excellent.

When my Passat hit 180,000 miles I changed the timing belt. I decided to change the water pump and coolant at this time as a preventative measure. The old coolant was as pink as it was in 1997, the original water pump looks brand new inside. Coolant passages and hoses were perfect inside. I could have easily waited intil my 240,000 mile TB change to swap out the water pump and coolant. Obviously G-12 went right back in. VW got it right the first time with G-12.

VW has a new & improved G-12 formulation. It is purple in color and can be used with either G-11 or G-12. The new part number for the purple G-12 is: G 012 A8FA4.

For any of the 96 B4 Passat TDIs that have the old blue/green G-11 in them, I would switch over to the purple G-12 while doing any type of cooling system work. Considering VW's G-12 will last at least 200,000 miles, who cares about the cost.

A brief history of VW coolants.

First generation G-11: high silicate with phosphate.

Second generation G-11: low silicates, phosphate free.

First generation G-12: pink/red OAT coolant, silicate & phosphate free.

Second generation G-12: purple OAT coolant, silicate & phosphate free, backwards compatible with all VW coolants.

Here is a link describing the Glysantin G-05/Valvoline Zerex HOAT coolant. Glysantin G-05 should NOT be used in any VW/Audi product because of the silicate content.

Glysantin G-05 Coolant

Valvoline-Zerex G-05

Brian, 97 Passat TDI
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