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Old 11-30-2019, 09:42 PM   #1
Tnelsen707
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Coolant brands?

I’ve heard that the e46 is very touchy with any other kind of coolant other than the specific Bmw brand but what actually happens if you were to put a different coolant in even if it is still “safe for bmws”?


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Old 11-30-2019, 09:56 PM   #2
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Risk vs reward. Why risk an adverse reaction with a coolant other BMW?

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Old 11-30-2019, 10:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tnelsen707 View Post
I've heard that the e46 is very touchy with any other kind of coolant other than the specific Bmw brand but what actually happens if you were to put a different coolant in even if it is still "safe for bmws"?
It's not touchy with other brands, but I'd at least make an effort to put in all one color or the other. Just don't put in the orange stuff.

I use Peak or Prestone 50/50 premix. Very convenient to buy, cheap and I never have to worry that I got the ratio wrong when pouring. 45K miles and no problems whatsoever (and it was a brutal summer here in TN).
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:20 PM   #4
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Don't mix types, and change it every couple of years.

Any antifreeze/coolant for aluminum/ iron engines works.

I use prestone, too, simply because it's easy to get.

There's nothing wrong with the BMW stuff, except that I find it pricey and hard to locate.

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Old 11-30-2019, 11:16 PM   #5
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Zerex G-48 is the same as Genuine BMW, and O'Reilly's stocks a 50/50 mix (although it's cheaper to buy straight coolant)
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:51 PM   #6
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I've used peak for a long time now. No problems with it.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:24 AM   #7
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https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003BPNO...395841_TE_dp_1
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:29 AM   #8
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Yikes, that’s expensive.


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Old 12-01-2019, 07:31 AM   #9
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zerex g-05
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:48 AM   #10
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Yikes, that’s expensive.


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Good stuff though. And it's not like you are using it up every day.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tnelsen707 View Post
I’ve heard that the e46 is very touchy with any other kind of coolant other than the specific Bmw brand but what actually happens if you were to put a different coolant in even if it is still “safe for bmws”
Prestone 50/50. Nitrate, borate and silicate free. The days of “use BMW blue or your cooling system will explode” mango days are long gone.

The LL-01 groupies however may take another couple years to break up.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:19 PM   #12
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Pentosin is acceptable but can get pricey, I see it locally but in small containers. I have an indy that sells BMW for $26/gal. $1 for distilled water and it becomes $13.50/gal. Amazon has it cheaper right now. https://www.amazon.com/BMW-821414677...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

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Old 12-01-2019, 06:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnelsen707 View Post
I’ve heard that the e46 is very touchy with any other kind of coolant other than the specific Bmw brand but what actually happens if you were to put a different coolant in even if it is still “safe for bmws”?


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looks like safe for a lot of people.
i'm on BMW blue since day 1.
i'm using the coolant as a filler for free shipping
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
Prestone 50/50. Nitrate, borate and silicate free. The days of “use BMW blue or your cooling system will explode” mango days are long gone.

The LL-01 groupies however may take another couple years to break up.
I mean you can use whatever you want, but unless it’s an emergency there’s no real advantage to deviate. The bmw stuff is pretty cheap and performs adequately.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:28 PM   #15
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zerex G-05 easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Now if I could just find some "BMW" washer fluid so my special BMW windshield won't melt.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:00 PM   #16
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OP---lets be real here... if you choose generic medicines and products over THE BRAND NAMES to use for yourself why not with this ancients??,,, its the same thing especially with your car,just buy a non BMW phosphate free nitrite free amine free silicate free coolant-your car will be fine.
But if you want to spend money ,that is okay too,,,in that case BUY everything BMW...
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:36 PM   #17
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Locally the OEM is around $30/gallon. It does not say if that's a gallon of concentrate or its a 50/50 mix. If 50/50 its way over priced. I get a gallon of concentrated Prestone for around $18.00 and mix it myself with distilled water ($2.00/gallon). So I make 2 gallons 50/50 at @$9.00/gallon. With the OEM the cost is about double that @$18.00/gallon. I've never had any problems using the Prestone, has always worked great for me.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:17 PM   #18
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Why the right coolant is important: https://blog.fcpeuro.com/how-to-pick...t-for-your-car

$22/gal for concentrated OE coolant with a lifetime replacement: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...ze-82141467704

Zerex G-05 is a great coolant that meets spec (and also costs the same).

Peak also released a manufacturer-specific line of coolant options.

Bottom line: The OE option is cheap to begin with. If you go with something else for whatever reason, at least make sure it meets spec.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:34 PM   #19
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Prestone 50/50. Nitrate, borate and silicate free. The days of “use BMW blue or your cooling system will explode” mango days are long gone.

The LL-01 groupies however may take another couple years to break up.
I am no Mango fan, but I do work on a LOT of BMW’s and my best friend owns a BMW shop, and we both agree we see more failures on green coolant cars than blue. It’s subjective to some extent, but based on 20 years experience. Now that Advance and Autozone carry the “blue stuff” for reasonable prices, I see no reason NOT to use the blue.

That said, replacing your cooling system PARTS every 70k is the only surefire way I know to almost eliminate cooling system problems.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:45 PM   #20
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Hopefully the OP will develop good habits - based on what he is comfortable with and common sense .Now lets go post about what oil brand to put in our cars....
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