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Old 05-16-2009, 12:54 PM   #1
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Zerex???

I looked for Mike Focke's and others recommendation for Zerex Extended Life 5/150. Closest I could come up with is:
Zerex G-05 (phosphate free) 5/150.
Approved for Benz & BMW all years.
And Porsche/Audi up to 1996 - they they recommend Zerex Dex-Cool.
Oh and it is pink - for what that is worth.

Before I pore it in - looking for advice.

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Old 05-16-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by urban_legend
I looked for Mike Focke's and others recommendation for Zerex Extended Life 5/150. Closest I could come up with is:
Zerex G-05 (phosphate free) 5/150.
Approved for Benz & BMW all years.
And Porsche/Audi up to 1996 - they they recommend Zerex Dex-Cool.
Oh and it is pink - for what that is worth.

Before I pore it in - looking for advice.

Advice: Buy the OEM stuff, it is only about $20 a gallon (you will need two to do a complete change) and mix it with distilled water only.

Considering that this OEM stuff is readily available, not all that expensive, I fail to see why people keep trying to use something else..........but, in the end, it is your car and the resulting problems will be yours as well……….
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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Plus, you only need to do this every 5 years... so if you break it down to per year cost it's not that bad?
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:29 PM   #4
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Paying Porsche a ridiculous amount of money for their coolant is fine if you don't trust what you read on the internet. But then I'm not sure why you'd be on the internet. There's no risk to using a like-formulated coolant at half the price of what the dealer charges. It's kind of like sticking with Mobile 1.

Porsche coolant...the exciting conclusion!

According to toolpants, even the manufacturers know of equivalents.

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3772&pid=18113&mode=threaded&start=#entry18113

G 05 is not compatible.

Last edited by blue2000s; 05-16-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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The G-05 stuff is likely a better formulation than the others, and a lot of BMW guys (myself included) are running it with good success, but I'm not sure I'm ready to put it in the Porsche. I've been using the Havoline Dex-Cool in the Porsche.

There are two ways of looking at this. Considering how infrequently one swaps coolant, and how little the car takes, it's really a wash in overall cost to not just spring for the factory stuff. On the other hand, why pay over twice the price for the factory stuff, when equally good alternatives are available?

Honestly, I think that where all the coolants have gone in terms of development, you could probably buy the absolute cheapest, Walmart branded stuff and as long as you made sure (via a good flush) that you weren't mixing coolants, you would be just fine. I don't think you can even buy a coolant anymore that isn't Phosphate free.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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I paid $25 for the Porsche coolant, and it's actually 2 gallons since it's a 50/50 mix with distilled water. That's $50 to replace all your coolant, without any guesswork as to what may or may not work, every 5 years. It may not be the best, but I know it works and if something goes wrong the dealer can't say, "Oh, well thats not Porsche coolant, so it's not our problem."
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:38 PM   #7
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Monkey wrench..

Great stuff... I now have a minor in coolantology. But here is the catch - the reason to use porsche coolant (or Dex-Cool) is to make sure it matches the OEM coolant already there. BUT, on my inspection there was green coolant in the tank.
So clearly not the pink porsche coolant - but what is it?

Is the Dex-Cool green? Any quesses?

So my conclusion is it is probably more important to get all the old green coolant out than what I put in afterward. The problem seems more to be mixing coolant types than what brand you put in. (Havoline, Chevon and Zerex all market Dex-Cool.)
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:15 PM   #8
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http://e-partssales.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=P&Product_Code=00004330105&Category_Code=986maint

"Recommended for use in all 50 states and Canada. This is latest version. It's red in color, and replaces the green fluid. They are both compatible and can be mixed."
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by urban_legend
Great stuff... I now have a minor in coolantology. But here is the catch - the reason to use porsche coolant (or Dex-Cool) is to make sure it matches the OEM coolant already there. BUT, on my inspection there was green coolant in the tank.
So clearly not the pink porsche coolant - but what is it?

Is the Dex-Cool green? Any quesses?

So my conclusion is it is probably more important to get all the old green coolant out than what I put in afterward. The problem seems more to be mixing coolant types than what brand you put in. (Havoline, Chevon and Zerex all market Dex-Cool.)
There's no standard on the color. Porsche's branded coolant was pink at one time and yellow at another. Don't go by color.

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=9350&mode=linear
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:35 AM   #10
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OK, I think you answered my question...

If I have a 2001 Boxster and the coolant looks green and not in the pink or yellow family. Then it must have been changed (by previous owner) to a non-porsche coloant.

By color alone, I cannot determine chemical makeup - but probably phosphate free (most are) however likely not silcate free.

Best game plan - have it professional flushed. I have tried twice and can only get about 2 gallons out. So some coolant seems to always remain in the system.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by blue2000s
Paying Porsche a ridiculous amount of money for their coolant is fine if you don't trust what you read on the internet. But then I'm not sure why you'd be on the internet. There's no risk to using a like-formulated coolant at half the price of what the dealer charges. It's kind of like sticking with Mobile 1.

Porsche coolant...the exciting conclusion!

According to toolpants, even the manufacturers know of equivalents.

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3772&pid=18113&mode=threaded&start=#entry18113

G 05 is not compatible.
The only real issue we see are the over heated cars flat bedded in with oatmeal-like glop where the coolant should be. Because of the resulting mess, and the time to clean it out, a coolant change that should cost $300-400 ends up costing a couple grand in time and materials......... So, yeah, feel very safe buying something that is a few bucks cheaper, you will definitely sleep better at night knowing you saved a few bucks...........

And as for "sticking with Mobil 1", well I won't even go there............

Last edited by JFP in PA; 05-17-2009 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by urban_legend
If I have a 2001 Boxster and the coolant looks green and not in the pink or yellow family. Then it must have been changed (by previous owner) to a non-porsche coloant.

By color alone, I cannot determine chemical makeup - but probably phosphate free (most are) however likely not silcate free.

Best game plan - have it professional flushed. I have tried twice and can only get about 2 gallons out. So some coolant seems to always remain in the system.
An '01's coolant would have been green from the factory, they switched to the pink stuff a couple of year later................ It is probably the factory fill. But after 8 years, you should consider changing it.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:17 AM   #13
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Best game plan - have it professional flushed. I have tried twice and can only get about 2 gallons out. So some coolant seems to always remain in the system.
Just be sure you take it to a place that understands Porsche's require special fluid, not garden variety antifreeze. You don't want to end up with oatmeal in your engine b/c someone made a mistake.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA
The only real issue we see are the over heated cars flat bedded in with oatmeal-like glop where the coolant should be. Because of the resulting mess, and the time to clean it out, a coolant change that should cost $300-400 ends up costing a couple grand in time and materials......... So, yeah, feel very safe buying something that is a few bucks cheaper, you will definitely sleep better at night knowing you saved a few bucks...........

And as for "sticking with Mobil 1", well I won't even go there............
I honestly have no clue what you're saying here.
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:36 AM   #15
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I honestly have no clue what you're saying here.
First, we regularly do coolant changes at our shop, so we get to see the good, the bad and the ugly. The Porsche coolant is actually some pretty good stuff; coolant drained out after 8 & 9 years still tested well for freeze point and pH buffering, so it was holding up without issues.

From time to time, we get cars in that are overheating, and when we open up the system we find a mix of gel and coolant, almost always just after the system had an issue (like a coolant loss on the road due to a slightly cracked surge tank) needed to be “topped up” with another coolant product. The most often sited product (we have never been able to positively identify it) was that someone had added a “Dex Cool – type” coolant to bring the system up to fill levels. Shortly there after, problems begin, usually in the form of running hot. At this juncture, the car goes on straight “time & materials” charge basis to flush out the crud with lots of hot water; which is time consuming as Hell. You simply have to keep running hot water thru the block and radiators until the stream runs clear.

Based upon our tests with the OEM coolant showing it holds up well, and which in reality is only a few bucks more than the after market stuff, we stay with the factory coolant and tell our clients not to let anyone add anything else to it in a pinch. If you have a leakage/low coolant warning light, add distilled water to get the car home or to our shop so we can fix it properly. This is also what most dealers tell their customers when they call in with this issue.

Could you use something other than the OEM stuff? Sure, once the system is cleaned out, I’m sure there are several aftermarket products that could do the job. But because the OEM stuff is readily available, is not all that expensive (about $20 a gallon compared to the $12-14 a gallon aftermarket products), has demonstrated the ability to hold up well for a long time in cars that run rather hot (while your dash gauge may read 180, I’ll bet money a PID capable scanner plugged into your OBD II port will read 210-215 F on a 72 degree day); why bother with an unknown coolant?

As for my comment on Mobil 1; we stopped using Mobil 1 products several years ago. I have never subscribed to the “0W-anything” oil theory, and Mobil 1 has become infamous for reformulating their products with no notice, and have actually lost the ACEA A3, B3, B4 ratings for several of their oils (such as the 15W-50 grade, which used to have great UOA performance before, but now has a lot of trouble “staying in grade” after short usage in a low performance street car). So, we do not use any Mobil 1 oils, and do not use anything lighter than a 10W-40 in a M96 engine car. Our UOA continue to look great, and we have had absolutely no oil related issues.

Hope that clears it up for you………
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA
First, we regularly do coolant changes at our shop, so we get to see the good, the bad and the ugly. The Porsche coolant is actually some pretty good stuff; coolant drained out after 8 & 9 years still tested well for freeze point and pH buffering, so it was holding up without issues.

From time to time, we get cars in that are overheating, and when we open up the system we find a mix of gel and coolant, almost always just after the system had an issue (like a coolant loss on the road due to a slightly cracked surge tank) needed to be “topped up” with another coolant product. The most often sited product (we have never been able to positively identify it) was that someone had added a “Dex Cool – type” coolant to bring the system up to fill levels. Shortly there after, problems begin, usually in the form of running hot. At this juncture, the car goes on straight “time & materials” charge basis to flush out the crud with lots of hot water; which is time consuming as Hell. You simply have to keep running hot water thru the block and radiators until the stream runs clear.

Based upon our tests with the OEM coolant showing it holds up well, and which in reality is only a few bucks more than the after market stuff, we stay with the factory coolant and tell our clients not to let anyone add anything else to it in a pinch. If you have a leakage/low coolant warning light, add distilled water to get the car home or to our shop so we can fix it properly. This is also what most dealers tell their customers when they call in with this issue.

Could you use something other than the OEM stuff? Sure, once the system is cleaned out, I’m sure there are several aftermarket products that could do the job. But because the OEM stuff is readily available, is not all that expensive (about $20 a gallon compared to the $12-14 a gallon aftermarket products), has demonstrated the ability to hold up well for a long time in cars that run rather hot (while your dash gauge may read 180, I’ll bet money a PID capable scanner plugged into your OBD II port will read 210-215 F on a 72 degree day); why bother with an unknown coolant?

As for my comment on Mobil 1; we stopped using Mobil 1 products several years ago. I have never subscribed to the “0W-anything” oil theory, and Mobil 1 has become infamous for reformulating their products with no notice, and have actually lost the ACEA A3, B3, B4 ratings for several of their oils (such as the 15W-50 grade, which used to have great UOA performance before, but now has a lot of trouble “staying in grade” after short usage in a low performance street car). So, we do not use any Mobil 1 oils, and do not use anything lighter than a 10W-40 in a M96 engine car. Our UOA continue to look great, and we have had absolutely no oil related issues.

Hope that clears it up for you………
Thanks for clarifying. Your input is appreciated. It sounds like you don't have any experience with what is compatible with what, just that you've seen what happens when an incompatible coolant is added.

I understand that your point is better safe than sorry, and I can appreciate that. Especially from the standpoint of someone who's got to get it right the first time or the car's coming back with expensive problems. But from a smart consumer standpoint, it makes sense to find the identical product for half the price.

Here's a little experiment I'd like to see. Take some of the Porsche coolant and some of the other coolants, like dex-cool, G05, that prestone universal stuff, mix it, heat it, leave it for a week and see what happens. Has anyone ever tried it?
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:34 AM   #17
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Here's a little experiment I'd like to see. Take some of the Porsche coolant and some of the other coolants, like dex-cool, G05, that prestone universal stuff, mix it, heat it, leave it for a week and see what happens. Has anyone ever tried it?

No, we do not know all of the possible combos that can lead to problems; but we have seen it often enough to know it is real; and I really think you would need to heat cycle the mix under pressure like it does in the engine to see any real impact. And in my world, trying to save $12 on a $300 coolant change (assuming a shop is doing it) in a $60,000 car is not "a smart consumer", but smacks of "false economy", particularly if it blows up on you.......... If you can't afford the $12, you shouldn't be driving one of these cars............
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:43 PM   #18
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OK, so now we know

that I either have original porsche green coolant (8+ years and 93K) very likely or some undefined green coolant - either way it is time for it to go. This is dead coolant walking.

And I don't mind paying for the Porsche coolant - becuse I know believe in the magic of placing a Porsche label on a plastic jug.

But not sure I want to pay the dealer to run hot water throught the systems. Even though only your authorized porsche mechanic know what end of the hose water comes out. So how - without the proper equipment can you get a good flush?

Just keep filling with distilled H20 - drive/idle - drain and repeat ad nasuem?
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by urban_legend
that I either have original porsche green coolant (8+ years and 93K) very likely or some undefined green coolant - either way it is time for it to go. This is dead coolant walking.

And I don't mind paying for the Porsche coolant - becuse I know believe in the magic of placing a Porsche label on a plastic jug.

But not sure I want to pay the dealer to run hot water throught the systems. Even though only your authorized porsche mechanic know what end of the hose water comes out. So how - without the proper equipment can you get a good flush?

Just keep filling with distilled H20 - drive/idle - drain and repeat ad nasuem?
It is not that hard, but the car needs to be up in the air or on high jack stands to do it. If you have access to a Bentley manual, follow the steps on draining the entire system. You then need to fabricate a couple of simple tools: You need rubber plugs to fit in the radiator hoses with a connection on the end for a garden hose (you can pick this stuff up at any decent hardware). You will also need a thermostat housing with out the stat (we used a spare we had lying about). The rest is simplicity itself, plug in the connector you made to the hoses you disconnected during the drain process and run hot water thru until it comes out clean (we use a fine mesh screen on the drain to watch for gel, etc.). Then reverse the process, connecting the hose to the engine and doing the same thing (after swapping out your thermostat housing for the empty one).....

Before you start, howerver, I look at the coolant you drain, if it is clean and clear, you are probably fine just to do a refill.


Last edited by JFP in PA; 05-19-2009 at 05:59 AM.
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