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Old 05-12-2018, 07:49 PM   #1
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Premixed Antifreeze brand?

I was out driving today, and after a few hours, the coolant light came on intermittently. When I got home and the engine cooled down, I checked, and see the fluid level needs to be topped up. In the Owner's Manual it says to only use "Porsche approved" products. Is that a certain brand or type, or is something off the shelf like Prestone Premixed good enough? Is there something better I should use?

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Old 05-12-2018, 08:19 PM   #2
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I don't know of any thats already mixed that won't open up a discussion about the evils of non-OEM coolant.
The Porsche coolant is about $30/gallon undiluted. You can buy some and cut it 50/50yourself with distilled water. A little cheaper solution that will work is Zerex extended life GL-5 IIRC. You can find it at Pep Boys and it, like the Porsche stuff, is not diluted. I think there's Pentifrost product but I don't know anything about it.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:48 PM   #3
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I don't know of any thats already mixed that won't open up a discussion about the evils of non-OEM coolant.
The Porsche coolant is about $30/gallon undiluted. You can buy some and cut it 50/50yourself with distilled water. A little cheaper solution that will work is Zerex extended life GL-5 IIRC. You can find it at Pep Boys and it, like the Porsche stuff, is not diluted. I think there's Pentifrost product but I don't know anything about it.
Thanks. I only mentioned the premixed because I saw it on the shelf. I can mix my own, for sure. I just didn't know if there was a certain non-Porsche brand that is/was recommended. The nearest Porsche dealer is an hour's drive from my house. I'll check locally for the Zerex. Appreciate the tip. Thanks!

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Old 05-12-2018, 09:37 PM   #4
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If just topping off, use plain distilled water. If you don't know for sure what is already in the car, you don't want to risk adding the wrong kind, causing it to gel.

Distilled water is fine if you aren't adding much.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:06 AM   #5
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If just topping off, use plain distilled water. If you don't know for sure what is already in the car, you don't want to risk adding the wrong kind, causing it to gel.

Distilled water is fine if you aren't adding much.

I'll Google it, but what is a sign of a gel issue? I admit, I'm not much of a mechanic, but I've never heard of antifreeze doing that. I don't know what is in the car now - the last service on the coolant was before I got it. I'll probably have it flushed and filled, so it's all the same. And if so, is the Zerex mentioned above a good product?

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Old 05-13-2018, 08:01 AM   #6
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As mention, if you just need to top up, use distilled water. Unless you know what coolant is currently in the car that is your best bet. If it hasn’t been flushed and refreshed, or you think the coolant is original, it would be best to do a full flush and refill and do a pressure test to find out if you have a leak, or another problem. A top up here and there is no big deal, but if you were low enough to through a low coolant light, there may be other issues.

Gelling is just a thickening of the coolant, it doesn’t flow well and causes problems. The Porsche coolant is an “oat” coolant I’m pretty sure and, yes it’s 30 a gallon. But really that’s only 15 a gallon mixed. So it really isn’t very expensive overall. Plus, it’s one of the life bloods of the car, good insurance not to have any issues down the road with a funky coolant mix. YMMV...
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:26 AM   #7
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I'd strongly suggest you take a moment and read up on the newer generation coolants. OAT, non silicate coolant is what you need. Imho, buying premix is for suckers. You can get a gallon of distilled water at Walmart for 88 cents.

Most of us like Burner's videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMkoxlm6mzI


I use Prestone Dexx-cool btw. The orange stuff.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:49 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys. This kind of stuff is new for me. Still learning.

I'm sure the coolant in the car is not original, and I doubt it's even OEM. I agree, a flush and fill with a good product would make it all good to go, and a pressure test in the process will make sure there isn't a problem.

Thanks again,
Dave
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brian in Tucson View Post
I'd strongly suggest you take a moment and read up on the newer generation coolants. OAT, non silicate coolant is what you need. Imho, buying premix is for suckers. You can get a gallon of distilled water at Walmart for 88 cents.

Most of us like Burner's videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMkoxlm6mzI


I use Prestone Dexx-cool btw. The orange stuff.
When GM Dexcool came out, there were lots of issues with elastomer compatibility and degradation... Boxster design predates Dexcool so I would not take any risk. Just do it right with Porsche OEM coolant and forget about it, especially when you do not drain and fill 'lifetime' coolant very often, as long as the water pump stay healthy.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:59 PM   #10
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So I called the place where I bought the car last year. They're friends of mine, and I trust them to tell me the truth.

They checked their records, and saw that they'd replaced both the water pump and thermostat before I got it. They said that means they replaced the coolant, and they used (drum roll please) Porsche OEM coolant! It's a good thing I asked before I did anything. Because I don't have tools or experience with this sort of thing, I took the car to them today. They're going to do a flush and fill (with Porsche OEM coolant) and do a pressure test.

When I pulled out of the garage, I noticed a tiny spot on the floor with a clear, slightly odorous fluid. It felt kind of slick, but not like oil. This is new, so I'm going to think it's coolant. So I may have a small leak.

Those of you who are better at this than me: If there is a small leak, will a pressure test pick it up? If not, is there an easy way to figure out where a leak is coming from?

Dave
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DaveNW View Post
So I called the place where I bought the car last year. They're friends of mine, and I trust them to tell me the truth.

They checked their records, and saw that they'd replaced both the water pump and thermostat before I got it. They said that means they replaced the coolant, and they used (drum roll please) Porsche OEM coolant! It's a good thing I asked before I did anything. Because I don't have tools or experience with this sort of thing, I took the car to them today. They're going to do a flush and fill (with Porsche OEM coolant) and do a pressure test.

When I pulled out of the garage, I noticed a tiny spot on the floor with a clear, slightly odorous fluid. It felt kind of slick, but not like oil. This is new, so I'm going to think it's coolant. So I may have a small leak.

Those of you who are better at this than me: If there is a small leak, will a pressure test pick it up? If not, is there an easy way to figure out where a leak is coming from?

Dave
Sounds good so far. Pressure testing is to detect small leakage so they could tell for sure to diagnose your coolant loss. Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DaveNW View Post
So I called the place where I bought the car last year. They're friends of mine, and I trust them to tell me the truth.

They checked their records, and saw that they'd replaced both the water pump and thermostat before I got it. They said that means they replaced the coolant, and they used (drum roll please) Porsche OEM coolant! It's a good thing I asked before I did anything. Because I don't have tools or experience with this sort of thing, I took the car to them today. They're going to do a flush and fill (with Porsche OEM coolant) and do a pressure test.

When I pulled out of the garage, I noticed a tiny spot on the floor with a clear, slightly odorous fluid. It felt kind of slick, but not like oil. This is new, so I'm going to think it's coolant. So I may have a small leak.

Those of you who are better at this than me: If there is a small leak, will a pressure test pick it up? If not, is there an easy way to figure out where a leak is coming from?

Dave
Ask them what brand of water pump. The aftermarket pumps are pretty much garbage with the exception of Pierburg. Porsche factory is your best bet on that one too. Also ask if they installed a standard temp sensor or low temp sensor. Generally a good upgrade is the low temp version.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:33 PM   #13
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So I picked up the Boxster today. The shop did a pressure test, and everything is fine. Strong pressure, no leaks. The water pump and all coolant lines are dry, no leaks. So that's all good, I think.

They topped things up with Porsche OEM coolant, and gave me the rest of the gallon so I'll have some if needed. I've got the car safely back in the garage with cardboard under it, so I can see where any leaks may happen while I'm out of town for the next two weeks. Hopefully, no surprises.

I'll ask them about the brand of water pump they used, and the temperature sensor.

Thanks for the help, guys. I appreciate the education.

Dave
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:43 PM   #14
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Glad to hear you got everything sorted out!
Just FYI on the extra coolant they gave you, if you top up make sure to do a 50/50 mix, or just add distilled water. The water is what is conducting the heat, the coolant is just there to keep the water from freezing/expanding/contracting. This was something I didn't know before I worked on the cooling system myself, I thought more coolant was better, that is not the case.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:08 AM   #15
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Glad to hear you got everything sorted out!
Just FYI on the extra coolant they gave you, if you top up make sure to do a 50/50 mix, or just add distilled water. The water is what is conducting the heat, the coolant is just there to keep the water from freezing/expanding/contracting. This was something I didn't know before I worked on the cooling system myself, I thought more coolant was better, that is not the case.
Thanks. I appreciate knowing that. What they gave me was their premix of the OEM coolant, so it's ready to use if I find it's low again. I'm going to be very observant with this, now that I know what to watch for. Hopefully, it's not a problem going forward.

Dave
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