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My observation, not just from this forum but from several other sources, is coolant failure is the leading cause of premature engine failure. Your cooling system won't necessarily blow up but the internal corrosion leads to hot spots, warped heads, failed head gaskets, etc. For that reason I do a 'drain and fill' every 2 years on all my cars. With that service interval I'm perfectly happy with the cheap green stuff. Twelve dollars of coolant and distilled water plus 15 minutes of time is cheap insurance. For the manufacturer with their long warranty spending extra on fluid saves them warranty expense on fluid changes. If I was to try and go to a 5 year change interval I would spend more on fluid. But then again the reason I don't do that is I still don't believe the 'lifetime' fill claim. BMW claimed that with ATF years ago and we know how that worked out.
 

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dont want to let this coolant thread become an oil thread- we have seen the articles, ive been using prestone long life peak longlife or global or supertech long life on E53 3.0 151K miles ,thermosat(#2) expansion tank(#2) all else original.E46 2.5 162K miles water pump(#2),thermostat(#2) expansion tank(#2)all else original.Im comfortable with the choices ive made and car runs like new.If the above failures are due to my use of "green stuff" I am fine with that...how long have yours lasted with the BMW Blue?
Btw - my acura with 172k miles run on the same coolant choices too after the warranty, on its original cooling system sans water pump change with the timing belt at 100k.
 

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Reading the linked article suggests that BMW coolant is better then non OEM. Perhaps the aluminum they use is totally different from the aluminum everyone else uses in their aluminum engines? Somehow I doubt it. The only thing I'm sure of about these cars is the plastic they use in their cooling system is just as bad as all others that use it, so why would their aluminum be any different?
 

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My 03 must have had Zerex G05 because what I drained out to do my first wp/tstat was clear. I topped that job up with phosphate free Prestone. All jobs since then has been with OE without a complete drain, might be a trace of green in there yet no issues of any kind.
 

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Coolant brands

I ran Prestone in my ZHP for 215,000 miles and my core was clean and clear as when it was new. The important thing is to NEVER USE TAP WATER!
Always used distilled water in everything on your car. From battery to coolant. Tap water will ruin them every time.
 

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The days of “use BMW blue or your cooling system will explode” mango days are long gone.
Interesting how many responsible green coolant users come out of the woodwork once the Blue BMW Coolant Only Police are gone. :shhh:
 

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Lol. I learned a while back that arguing with idiots turns you into one. I’m sure the Lexus forums are loving him.
 

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A lot of this cooling system nonsense can be remedied by not overfilling coolant. The pressure needs somewhere to go. Keep the coolant between the full and low mark on the cooling dipstick and you wont get excess pressure in the cooling system. I really think this is the best preventative maintenance for the money anyone can do.
 

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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.
Correlation vs causation, though. The person who buys OE coolant is more likely to buy OE parts and take care of recommended maintenance. The person who buys green coolant may be buying whatever is cheap at Autozone - and that may be indicative of how they maintain their car regardless of whether the coolant itself is of sufficient quality.
 

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Ho boy, a coolant thread....

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.

I'd largely agree.
I do have an exception for my personal cars. On anything European I own (Yes my ol BMW K1100RT also) I choose to use the older version of Mercedes Benz coolant. (The clear/manilla colored stuff.) My reason for choosing was based upon decades of servicing German cars and noting pattern failures. MB cars have a much lower frequency of having the coolant turning acidic and eating the plasticizers of the cooling system. The only reason I could come up with (radiators/pumps/plastic hoses are made by the same vendors) was the coolant. I've been a happy camper since.

Caveats: MB coolant does NOT mix with other HOAT coolants. This means a complete flush is in order, to include the heater core. Then fill with a 50/50 mix of coolant & deionized water. Topping off is water only if you don't have more MB coolant on hand.
It's also impractical for 99% of my customers, as if they top off with any green stuff it will coagulate into nasty jelled balls. MB sells a Citric Cleaner for such contamination issues.
I'm also religious about semi-annual coolant changes.
Again the above isn't for most folks, just if you do all of your own maintenance and want that little extra edge, IMO the older MB coolant is the way to go, for my German cars and my older water cooled Beemer.
Cars are Bimers and bikes are Beemers.
 

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dont want to let this coolant thread become an oil thread- we have seen the articles, ive been using prestone long life peak longlife or global or supertech long life on E53 3.0 151K miles ,thermosat(#2) expansion tank(#2) all else original.E46 2.5 162K miles water pump(#2),thermostat(#2) expansion tank(#2)all else original.Im comfortable with the choices ive made and car runs like new.If the above failures are due to my use of "green stuff" I am fine with that...how long have yours lasted with the BMW Blue?
Btw - my acura with 172k miles run on the same coolant choices too after the warranty, on its original cooling system sans water pump change with the timing belt at 100k.
Sounds good to me, I dont care what anyone runs. Just FYI, your sample size of 2 BMW's is much lower than the sample size I am using for my data points. That doesn't make me better than you so don't get all defensive.

But what I want others reading this to think about is what it does mean is when you have a best friend who owns a BMW shop and also work on other peoples cars for extra cash you hang around a lot of BMW mechanics. We talk trends and what works and what doesn't. That knowledge equals many, many years of experience with many, many more cars than just my own. I draw from this experience and knowledge when I answer threads like this so others (not you because you obviously have made up up your mind) can consider all the facts before making an informed decision.

To answer you directly about my own cars, my first e46 leaked coolant, blew tstats, and broke 2 water pumps (ran green coolant cause I didnt know any better). My last 3 e46's have had ZERO failures if any kind. All of them were over 200k miles when I sold them or they were crashed. The systems last 70k miles and then I replace them before they fail. I run blue coolant (not just BMW, Pentefrost and Peakes new blue stuff) and dont see any reason to run green since they prices and availability are now the same for each.

I'm done.
 

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A little tip no matter what anti-freeze you use - if you have a dehumidifier that is a great source of distilled water- no charge thank you.
 

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Just because someone uses a green antifreeze doesn't mean they buy cheap autozone parts for their car or don't maintain the car at all.As I stated earlier I use Peak and I buy most all of my parts from FCP and the Peak antifreeze has caused no problems whatsoever for me.
 

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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....
Oh, right, NOW let's start talking about religion! :D

I've used Pentofrost NF for decades (really!) in all our BMWs - I have no chemical analysis to back up my claim that it seems to be the BMW coolant (blue - made in Germany) without the BMW price tag. I can say that I've never had a problem related to coolant, such as sludge, corrosion, etc. Our E30, for example, has over 510,000 miles on it and its cooling system is still bright and shiny inside.
 

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Just because someone uses a green antifreeze doesn't mean they buy cheap autozone parts for their car or don't maintain the car at all.As I stated earlier I use Peak and I buy most all of my parts from FCP and the Peak antifreeze has caused no problems whatsoever for me.
That’s not what he said. Just that someone who’s okay with going off brand with coolant is more likely to be okay with using store brand parts etc.
 

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@smolck- relax.my statement was more of stating my experience and asking you what yours was that's all .Hope your not upset...I understand all of this is drawn on experience yours and others, but I hope you understand that in MY field , our practice is Based on EVIDENCE BASED medicine not on EXPERIENCE. I wish you understand why I just can't accept what articles and people have to say with out comparative studies on multiple subjects(in this case cars) long term over a period of years with controlled variables.
I do work on my own cars for fun and have less experience than most of you.
I use OEm parts from Bavuto and FCP .
I am running on my (#2) second set of coolant parts when usually after the expansion tank cracks. I don't overhaul the cooling system every 70k miles.
I would also like to point out to the OP that the brands used other than bmw albeit a different color- are amine phosphate silicate and nitrite free...as is the the case with bmw coolant ,mixed strictly with distilled water.This is key- IMHO

Merry Christmas !!Peace!
 

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I've used Pentofrost NF for decades (really!) in all our BMWs - I have no chemical analysis to back up my claim that it seems to be the BMW coolant (blue - made in Germany) without the BMW price tag. I can say that I've never had a problem related to coolant, such as sludge, corrosion, etc. Our E30, for example, has over 510,000 miles on it and its cooling system is still bright and shiny inside.
Pentofrost coolants (and Pentosin lubricants) are top-notch in quality and meet/exceed manufacturer spec. A good choice.
 

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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.

I had time to see the actual bottles of coolant the stores have , smolck is right , i have to admit it is too confusing what with Prestone and peak changing to "continent " specific packaging, so much easier to use the BMW fluid.
I will finish my last gallon of Peak global and will go back to bmw blue for convenience sake.
companies tend to change formulations and packaging and its hard to keep up.
You never know if its phospate free or not.
Cheers.
 
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