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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-17-2004, 08:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey Guys,

Anyone know what's so special about BMW antifreeze against any other good quality stuff? I know it's about twice the price of regular antifreeze. Is using any other stuff a big NO NO? Has anyone used other ones/had problems after using them.

I'm talking about flushing the system and replacing, not topping up....so there's no mixing issues.

Your replies are very much appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 08-17-2004, 09:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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BMWs coolant is phosphate free, I think. Its something free. Not much help, but I think thats the thing.

Any something-free coolant will work, but BMWs is not that much more expensive.
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Presidente@Aug 17 2004, 10:12 AM
BMWs coolant is phosphate free, I think. Its something free. Not much help, but I think thats the thing.

Any something-free coolant will work, but BMWs is not that much more expensive.
Haha! Very nice.
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, I feel a little better knowing I saved myself a trip to the stealers. I think I will go with a regular high quality antifreeze, and save myself a penny or two. Red I think.

Cheers mates...Thanks again.
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd really wait for someone else to confirm or deny what i said. non-something free coolant isn't good the car.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I wouldn't go cheap on your BMW, at the very least, I'd go to a authorized BMW service center and ask, if you're doing this maitenence yourself.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally posted by El Presidente@Aug 17 2004, 10:12 AM
BMWs coolant is phosphate free, I think. Its something free. Not much help, but I think thats the thing.

Any something-free coolant will work, but BMWs is not that much more expensive.
here is the issue with BMW coolant:

I'm sure one question you're about to ask is "what type of coolant should I use?" BMW has issued a 1991 technical bulletin, 17 01 88(1743), which details problems with what is known as silicate gel precipitation in engines. This is the 'green goo' (yes, it actually says that in the BMW Tech bulletin - gotta love those German translators) that results as a consequence of an antifreeze over-concentration in the coolant, combined with hard water, and the phospates commonly used in many antifreezes. BMW factory antifreeze has been formulated to prevent this problem of silicate drop-out without any coolant performance loss. This antifreeze contains no nitrites and no phosphates. The part number for a one gallon container is 88-88-6-900-316, and it costs about $13.00 per gallon. Although I am always eager to find alternatives to BMW factory products, I would stick with the factory coolant for now.
the link to the complete article for flushing your system (and one Everyone should read if you plan on changing your own coolant) is here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticl...olant-Flush.htm

Based on this information I use only a 50/50 mix which eliminates the over concentration issue, and only distilled water, which removes the issue of hard water, so I figure using prestone or Zerex antifreeze, changing every two years, i am good to go and safe from the green goo goblin..
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Zerex G-05 is the same product (different color) ass theBMW product. All anti-freeze starts out colorless and color is added at some later date.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Bear@Aug 17 2004, 11:13 AM
Zerex G-05 is the same product (different color) ass theBMW product. All anti-freeze starts out colorless and color is added at some later date.
Hey bear, that would be great information to know, but how do you know this ? do you have some sort of documentation? A link? an article? I never act just on somone's say so without some sort of back up. No offense intended.

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Old 08-17-2004, 01:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey guys,

Thanks for your replies, both of you have given good info.

I always change my fluid before every winter myself. (Yes, it freezes here in Toronto, Canada!!) Here's what I usually do.

1. Empty the radiator and engine block.
2. Run tap water through the system for a few minutes with the engine off.
3. Put the nuts back on, fill the system with water and start the engine for 2 minutes.
4. Empty the system again, run some more tap water.
5. Finally, pour 2 bottles of distilled water with the nuts out.
6. Fill up with antifreeze, usually pre-mixed.

Here's probably a more important question. Do different types of antifreeze affect the water pump, rubber hoses and radiator in different ways? Does any one have more lubricant for the pump, better for hoses and cleans the radiator etc?

Your answers appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 08-17-2004, 01:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Damn man if you are doing that once a year you could be using beer for antifreeze and your cooling system would be in better shape than most peoples. All major manufactures clain they have special lubrincants additives etc blah blah blah, Given the frequency you change your coolant and flush your system any of them should be fine.
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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By the way... I wrote this about two or three weeks ago... its all the info you could ever want on BMW coolant..

http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/topic18257.html
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Old 08-17-2004, 02:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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All I gotta say is... Whatever is in the coolant system now, put the same color in. DO NOT MIX red and green antifreeze.... Bad things will happen.

If your doing a coolant flush, just be very sure to flush it really well if you decide to switch coolants.
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Color is not the issue, it is whether it is Ethylene Glycol or Propelyene (sp) glycol (do not mix), just read the label since anti-freeze can come in any color the manufacturer chooses (look at BMW it is blue).
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally posted by bitcore@Aug 17 2004, 03:19 PM
All I gotta say is... Whatever is in the coolant system now, put the same color in. DO NOT MIX red and green antifreeze.... Bad things will happen.

If your doing a coolant flush, just be very sure to flush it really well if you decide to switch coolants.
It's like that bruce willis movie with the 2 colored chemicals you mix and it blows up... I forget what the movie is called, but it's on USA every other day.
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