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Old 05-05-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
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Understanding the Anti-Freeze Rainbow?

Greetings all!

I just picked up my first Porsche, a 2001 Boxster that was gently used, (30K original miles) and seems to be well maintained. In going over the car this past weekend for the first time and detailing it, I noticed the coolant bottle was a little low (below the min mark when cold).

After searching here, and reading the potential horror stories, I dropped the $32.00 a gallon the dealer wanted for Porsche coolant (pink stuff.) I mixed it 50/50 with distilled water to top off the tank, and when I went to pour it in, noticed (and confirmed with a sample) that the stuff in there already was actually the orange-ish, "DexCool" looking stuff.

Should I, or shouldn't I top it off with Porsche Pink? Eventually I want to flush it, as I don't have any records for that being done, (I can only imagine it was), but in the mean time, will topping the bottle off with a quart of pink mixed 50/50 cause me issues?

Thanks!

Bill

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Old 05-05-2009, 03:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blundgren77
Greetings all!

I just picked up my first Porsche, a 2001 Boxster that was gently used, (30K original miles) and seems to be well maintained. In going over the car this past weekend for the first time and detailing it, I noticed the coolant bottle was a little low (below the min mark when cold).

After searching here, and reading the potential horror stories, I dropped the $32.00 a gallon the dealer wanted for Porsche coolant (pink stuff.) I mixed it 50/50 with distilled water to top off the tank, and when I went to pour it in, noticed (and confirmed with a sample) that the stuff in there already was actually the orange-ish, "DexCool" looking stuff.

Should I, or shouldn't I top it off with Porsche Pink? Eventually I want to flush it, as I don't have any records for that being done, (I can only imagine it was), but in the mean time, will topping the bottle off with a quart of pink mixed 50/50 cause me issues?

Thanks!

Bill
Bill:

If you are going to flush it, and you want to use the magic Porsche coolant, why not save it for after the flush.

In the meantime, just top off with straight distilled H2O and you will avoid any potential problems (i.e., gelling) which MAY come with mixing two types of coolant.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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Link to a coolant flush DIY?

Very little info in the Bentley service manual - esp for a DIY. Just babble about a special Porsche tool that will save the planet and is of course only available at your Porsche dealer.

I need to do it this weekend and was looking for some tips before I started.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blundgren77
Greetings all!

I just picked up my first Porsche, a 2001 Boxster that was gently used, (30K original miles) and seems to be well maintained. In going over the car this past weekend for the first time and detailing it, I noticed the coolant bottle was a little low (below the min mark when cold).

After searching here, and reading the potential horror stories, I dropped the $32.00 a gallon the dealer wanted for Porsche coolant (pink stuff.) I mixed it 50/50 with distilled water to top off the tank, and when I went to pour it in, noticed (and confirmed with a sample) that the stuff in there already was actually the orange-ish, "DexCool" looking stuff.

Should I, or shouldn't I top it off with Porsche Pink? Eventually I want to flush it, as I don't have any records for that being done, (I can only imagine it was), but in the mean time, will topping the bottle off with a quart of pink mixed 50/50 cause me issues?

Thanks!

Bill
I agree with Maurice on this one, save the new Porsche anti freeze for after the flush if you think the system has something other than the OEM green or pink in it already; you could get gel problems otherwise. If you are convinced the system has something different in it, a full drain, refill with distilled water (about 80 cents a gallon at the supermarket), run for bit, another drain and then refill with a 50/50 mix of the Porsche coolant and distilled water will do the trick. This is a bit time consuming DIY, but as the fresh mix will be in there for years, well worth while. Also, if you are planning any other “coolant related” up grades (the LN Engineering 160 degree thermostat, swap a base oil cooler for the “S” model, adding the third radiator, etc.), this would be a great time to do them as the system will be open.

You will also need at least a second gallon of the Porsche coolant as the system typically holds between 4-5 gallons of mixed coolant. You are also paying way too much for the Porsche anti freeze, we just bought several gallons from Sunset Porsche and paid about $20 per gallon.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban_legend
Very little info in the Bentley service manual - esp for a DIY. Just babble about a special Porsche tool that will save the planet and is of course only available at your Porsche dealer.

I need to do it this weekend and was looking for some tips before I started.
Actually, the tool is very available elsewhere from a company called Uview in Canada. You can pick up their system online for about $100 (compared to over $500 from Porsche). Their system is well made and works very well; takes about 5 min. to evacuate the system, pressure test and refill with fresh coolant mix. No muss or fuss; no "burping" the system or running around with the purge valve open. The Uview will also work on anything with a cooling system while the Porsche tool is Porsche only. Good tool investment, particularly when you find out that dealers and independents get $300-400 to flush the system once.


Last edited by JFP in PA; 05-06-2009 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:39 AM   #6
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OK, it doesn't matter whether there is oem or aftermarket coolant in there. It doesn't matter whether there's a mix of proper or improper coolant in there either.

There are two things which dictate the system s/b flushed and the fluid should be changed.

First, you have no idea what's in there, that alone dictates a need to service the system.

Second, save one (Evans NPG - waterless coolant rated to 500k mi.), no other coolant currently in use is rated at more than 5 yrs./150k mi. (incl. Porsche brand) whichever comes first.

Many Boxsters are now coming to the end of this useful life and the coolant in these cars is not running up to spec in either lubrication or corrosion protection. It appears that this is one maintenance item overlooked by many owners and we have seen several reported cooling system failures recently. Is this just coincidence, or is this the result of running 'used up' coolant?

The alloy components used in the Boxster (to save weight and improve heat transfer) are in some cases almost paper-thin and require proper lube and corrosion protection much more than the copper/brass components used in the past.

It's not a big deal for a DIY, or expensive as Porsche repair goes, so just do it and take your mind off of it.

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Old 05-06-2009, 07:34 AM   #7
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OK, it doesn't matter whether there is oem or aftermarket coolant in there. It doesn't matter whether there's a mix of proper or improper coolant in there either.
You might want to re-think that if you saw the 05 S that was flat bedded to the shop yesterday after someone added what we think was a "Dex Cool" type product (according to the owner) to a low cooling system at another shop...........there were chunks of sticky gel floating in the surge tank, and when the lower hoses were pulled, it came out like thin oatmeal. With very little effort, you can make an ungodly mess out of these systems.......After which you are on a “time and materials” basis to clean out the mess.

If you cannot do it properly your self, or do not know how, take it to someone that does…………….
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Leave it up to the Germans to make something like antifreeze a topic of debate. I think this weekend I will be flushing it out DIY. Other than the Snap-On kit, anyone know of a good "how to" that's published on doing it right, or tools that can aid in keeping air out? What about pressures? If you pull a vaccuum on the system, is there a chance of pulling too much and collapsing something?

I did talk to the dealer, who gave me a run-down on the fluids. Apparently, the original Porsche fluid is green - somewhat in color to prestone and is the "lifetime" stuff. They actually didn't want to quote me a price on them flushing it, as they said it was "lifetime" rated. (yea right). Then I guess there is an Orange fluid also which appers to be what I'm filled with now, that's a DexCool replacement, and now the new Porsche fluid is pink/red. The pink/orange should be ok together..but I'm not going to take a risk on mixing it into yet another color.

Why this can't be simple I have no idea, but I'll flush it out and replace it so that I will finally know what the hell is in there.

BTW - Milwaukee area dealer wants 260.00 labor, plus parts to do a flush. They said their procedure is to let the fluid gravity drain, and then they use a machine to purge it, and then they refill. They budget at least 2 to 4 hours to completely drain it.

Thanks again!
Bill
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blundgren77
Thanks for the info. Leave it up to the Germans to make something like antifreeze a topic of debate. I think this weekend I will be flushing it out DIY. Other than the Snap-On kit, anyone know of a good "how to" that's published on doing it right, or tools that can aid in keeping air out? What about pressures? If you pull a vaccuum on the system, is there a chance of pulling too much and collapsing something?

You are going to get air into the system when you fully drain it, which is inescapable; getting the air out afterwards is the issue. As for pressures, we typically pull 26-28 inches of vacuum on the system, and then hold that for at least 5 min. to check for leaks before refilling the system. Some of the flexible hoses may collapse, but that is OK and will do no harm. The only full write up I've ever seen on using vacuum is in the 13 volume OEM manual set; the Bentley manual uses the atmospheric bleed next to the surge tank in the rear trunk. Takes a lot longer, but if done correctly, that route will work fine. The Bentley will also show you everything you need to do to drain the system as well.

I did talk to the dealer, who gave me a run-down on the fluids. Apparently, the original Porsche fluid is green - somewhat in color to prestone and is the "lifetime" stuff. They actually didn't want to quote me a price on them flushing it, as they said it was "lifetime" rated. (yea right). Then I guess there is an Orange fluid also which appers to be what I'm filled with now, that's a DexCool replacement, and now the new Porsche fluid is pink/red. The pink/orange should be ok together..but I'm not going to take a risk on mixing it into yet another color.

Considering the potential downsides, cleaning out the system and refilling it with a 50/50 mix of the Porsche “pink” (which is their newer formulation, the old stuff was green) and distilled water (cheap, pure, and highly recommended over tap water), and you will have a clean system ready to run for years. Thought worth mentioning: If you have any other cooling system related fixes/upgrades, now would be the time as you do not want to be doing this again in two weeks.

Why this can't be simple I have no idea, but I'll flush it out and replace it so that I will finally know what the hell is in there.

Hey, it’s all part of the Porsche “mystique”…………

BTW - Milwaukee area dealer wants 260.00 labor, plus parts to do a flush. They said their procedure is to let the fluid gravity drain, and then they use a machine to purge it, and then they refill. They budget at least 2 to 4 hours to completely drain it.

In the shop, on a lift, and with the Uview tool, two hours I can see; four hours is a rip off…….

Thanks again!
Bill

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Old 05-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
You might want to re-think that if you saw the 05 S that was flat bedded to the shop yesterday after someone added what we think was a "Dex Cool" type product (according to the owner) to a low cooling system at another shop...........there were chunks of sticky gel floating in the surge tank, and when the lower hoses were pulled, it came out like thin oatmeal. With very little effort, you can make an ungodly mess out of these systems.......After which you are on a “time and materials” basis to clean out the mess.

If you cannot do it properly your self, or do not know how, take it to someone that does…………….

No disagreement here at all. What I was saying was that the arguement as to whether there was 'mixed' fluid in there or not was moot... it was past it's service life and should be changed.

I am fully aware of the problems associated with using non-compatible fluid, such as gelling, which you mentioned, and attacking the cooling system components, which you did not.


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