Main.TrailIndexPage | Cooling and Air conditioning | Coolant and Antifreeze

Coolant and Antifreeze

This component is part of Cooling and Airconditioning.


Define the component. Include, if known, the german language word for the component, as well as the English or American equivalent. Show a picture, a diagram.

  • Its technical name & common name(s)
  • part # - start year & end year
  • which area it belongs to - engine, transmission, body, injection etc, link back to the relevant section


Describe, in general terms the function of this component. Meaning what is it there for and what role it plays. Describe how it works, the inside mechanism. Use diagrams to explain.


Describe common maintenance procedures, and common faults that may occur. Describe how these may be diagnosed and resolved. Again, include diagrams, photographs and explanations. Where possible, include measures, tolerances, weights etc.

  • Symptoms when it faults
  • How to test if it is faulty - what tools to use
  • How to fix / change

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Can I go to "Billy Bob's Auto Parts Megaplex" and get some Prestone (or other) coolant/anti-freeze or should I go to an M-B dealer and get M-B coolant/anti-freeze? What do you guys use?

Will Samples says: I have always used Zeroz or Prestone or a clone. Never had any problems. I feel the type of water you have to work with is as big or bigger of a concern.

Prestone it is! What's the deal with the water? Is there a problem with City tap water? Should I spend a couple bucks on bottled fresh mountain spring (read: filtered city) water?

Will Samples says: depends on what kind of water you have. Ask local mechanics or radiator shops if there is a problem with the water. If not, OK. If they tell you about problems, consider a jug of cheap distilled or bottled water.

It is time to change the coolant. I purchased Mercedes Benz Coolant and a container of Mercedes Benz Citric acid powder to clean the cooling system. Has any one done this befor and know if the engine should be warm befor I drain the coolant out. I don't want to blow up the engine and blow a head gasket. Also I noticed that two of the bolts on the thermostate cover are blocked by the fuel enjection lines What A Pain!!! How hard is this to dismantle? Should I also put the heater levers in the on position to drain the heater core while the engine warms up? I plan at this time to replace some of the hoses in question heater core hose to fire wall, heater core hose to motor injection heater by pass hose and overflow hose to radiatorand expansion tank overflow hose.

When changing your engine coolant, what do you do with the old stuff? I have a large plastic drain pan I could catch it in, but then what? I don't feel right dumping it in my yard or down the storm sewer.

I found a "Sprint Lube" (a 10-minute oil change place) that would take my old engine coolant and recycle (or dispose of) it.

Joe Alxeander: I uncovered some additional information that may be useful. The part number for Mercedes Antifreeze is #Q 1 03 0002. For many years Mercedes recommended that the coolant be replaced every two years. After 1982 the recommendation was extended to every three years. The 50/50 mixture specifies the water as being drinking water. This is a vague term since the water should not be too hard or contain too much metallic salts. Now here is the catch, distilled or deionized water will rapidly corrode metals in its pure state. However as soon as antifreeze is mixed with distilled water, it is no longer pure and it will work very nicely as a coolant mixture. ("The Star" May/June 93). A 50/50 is optimum and will provide protection to -37 degree F or -37 degree C. A stronger mix will increase freeze protection but will not cool the engine as well, since antifreeze in itself does not conduct heat away as well as water. Radiator caps for the 113 cars should have 100 (100 percent of atmospheric pressure) and will hold 1 bar or(14.5 psi in the system). Owners should make sure they are not using the later caps which will have 120 or 140 on the caps. These caps will overpressurize your cooling system! Care should be taken to avoid overheating due to air lock when changing coolant.

I just got my radiator back from the shop, 38 years of crud was removed. Now that I have a clean radiator and have completely purged the rest of the system, and have all new hoses to install, what anti freeze should I use. The older style or the new long life antifreeze.

Why not go with the special Mercedes orange anti-freeze that is suppose to be good for the these cars? It is more (about $12 for a gallon), but how often are you going to change it?

Anti-Freeze, like most automotive products, is much better than when our cars were made. Texaco advertises there Extend Life Anti-Freeze for 300,000 miles or 12000 hours of off road use (the cooling system is a sealed system so the "off road " is just hyperbola) and then with an extender Texaco says you can go another 300K miles or 12K hours. For cars their site says 150K miles or 12K hours. Security says 300K miles or 5 years. Penstate and Prestone say 150K miles or 5 years. I use an extended life anti-freeze. My car spends a lot of time in the garage and I don't want to worry about the anti-freeze. I change it it all years divisible by five. Next change, fourth since I owned the car is due in 2005. As much as some of the folks on this list are very traditional, i.e. use only what DC recommended when the cars were built and that is OK, I am at the other end of the spectrum and use 0-30W synthetic oil changed every 25K miles, DOT5 silicone break fluid, extended life Anti-Freeze, synthetic transmission fluid, synthetic gear oil, synthetic grease, modern radial tyres, etc. I believe that these modern auto chemicals will keep my SL running very nicely longer than I will be alive.

I recall reading in an article in Car & Driver (6/02??) that the new technology antifreeze is not backward compatible, it corrodes old-style radiators with lead solder as well as the waterpumps of older cars. the new formulation protects new alloys and materials in current engines but not designed for engines four decades old. Any expert comments on this topic greatly appreciated.
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