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Antifreeze compatibility


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I needed to top off my antifreeze in my 2000 Boxster, and when I went to the Porsche dealer to purchase some, he said I had two options...buy Porsche antifreeze in a 1 litre bottle for $11.50 or buy a gallon of VW/Audi antifreeze (G012A8FA4) for $23.05. So I opted for the gallon which was nearly 4 times the amount for a little more than double the price. I topped the Boxster off but I did notice that the VW/Audi product is pink, while my OEM Porsche antifreeze was/is green. I didn't think it would matter. However, since then, checking with a few shops, they tell me I should never combine antifreeze of different colors, even though the formulations might be the same. Has anybody had any experience with this or could shed some light on this. If they are not compatible, I'd like to bring my car back and have Porsche flush my system and put in the right coolant. On the other hand, if there is no issue with combining the two, I'd hate to make a big stink for nothing. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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I needed to top off my antifreeze in my 2000 Boxster, and when I went to the Porsche dealer to purchase some, he said I had two options...buy Porsche antifreeze in a 1 litre bottle for $11.50 or buy a gallon of VW/Audi antifreeze (G012A8FA4) for $23.05. So I opted for the gallon which was nearly 4 times the amount for a little more than double the price. I topped the Boxster off but I did notice that the VW/Audi product is pink, while my OEM Porsche antifreeze was/is green. I didn't think it would matter. However, since then, checking with a few shops, they tell me I should never combine antifreeze of different colors, even though the formulations might be the same. Has anybody had any experience with this or could shed some light on this. If they are not compatible, I'd like to bring my car back and have Porsche flush my system and put in the right coolant. On the other hand, if there is no issue with combining the two, I'd hate to make a big stink for nothing. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Didn't you read our replies to your other post? <_< The Porsche anti-freeze is in a concentrated form that comes in the pint bottle. You should be alright for now.

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The color is due to whatever dye is put in.

I went to AutoZone and Prestone had what I thought were 2 different coolants, until I looked at the back of the container and compared the list of chemicals. They were identical. I should have opened the one that said 'any color' antifreeze just to see what color it was. This has to be a marketing thing to sell the same product packaged differently.

Go back to you dealer and compare the Porsche/VW/Audi list of chemicals on the back of the container. I know there is a list on the 1 liter black containers sold by Porsche, so I assume VW/Audi coolant has the same list.

Then let us know if the only difference is the color.

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I checked with Porsche USA, and apparently the color does matter even though the formulations are the same. You can use Audi pink if you flush the entire system since it meets Porsche spec's, but you should never mix Porsche green with Audi pink. There's an issue with possible gelling of the two compounds. I contacted the dealer parts person that gave me the erroneous information and the service tech manager has agreed to flush my system and pick up the tab for labor if I pay for the Porsche antifreeze. I'm doing that tomorrow. Live and learn.

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  • 6 months later...
I checked with Porsche USA, and apparently the color does matter even though the formulations are the same. You can use Audi pink if you flush the entire system since it meets Porsche spec's, but you should never mix Porsche green with Audi pink. There's an issue with possible gelling of the two compounds. I contacted the dealer parts person that gave me the erroneous information and the service tech manager has agreed to flush my system and pick up the tab for labor if I pay for the Porsche antifreeze. I'm doing that tomorrow. Live and learn.

On the advise of the parts desk at HBL Porsche in Washington, DC, I put Mercedes lifetime a-freeze in my car, mixed with newly-changed Porsche coolant. (Just got hit by the leak thing.) Is the Mercedes product (not pink) compatible with the Porsche product?

TIA

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No clue about Mercedes coolant. Does it have a name of a company that makes it and a list of the chemicals.

As an aside, several months ago Porsche began selling coolant in 1 gallon containers. When I took this picture in January it was to get a list of the chemicals. I just noticed it says made in USA, if you look at the lower right hand corner.

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No clue about Mercedes coolant.  Does it have a name of a company that makes it and a list of the chemicals.

As an aside, several months ago Porsche began selling coolant in 1 gallon containers.  When I took this picture in January it was to get a list of the chemicals.  I just noticed it says made in USA, if you look at the lower right hand corner.

The 1 gal. bottle is labeled Mercedes Benz, w/ part number Q 1 03 0002. It was produced in the US for "MB US," in Montvale New Jersey. Contents: ethylene glycol (107-21-1), diethylene glycol (111-46-6), sodium tetraborate (1303-96-4), sodium benzoate (523-32-1), "corrosion inhibiters, defoamers and dyes." The product is to be cut 50/50 and has a very light orangish color; definitely not green.

Before learning of the need for "special" a-freeze I added about 3/4 gal of cut "regular" a-freeze to my car's recently replaced coolant. Should I now replace all the a-freeze because of the volume of sub-par a-freeze in the mix (assuming the MB product discussed above is adequate)?

TIA

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The color is due to whatever dye is put in.

I went to AutoZone and Prestone had what I thought were 2 different coolants, until I looked at the back of the container and compared the list of chemicals.  They were identical.  I should have opened the one that said 'any color' antifreeze just to see what color it was.  This has to be a marketing thing to sell the same product packaged differently.

Go back to you dealer and compare the Porsche/VW/Audi list of chemicals on the back of the container.  I know there is a list on the 1 liter black containers sold by Porsche, so I assume VW/Audi coolant has the same list.

Then let us know if the only difference is the color.

TP,

Cows Fall From The Sky... film at 11:00! ;) I almost NEVER find myself in disagreement with you. But on this one, I do.

There is a significant difference in the two Prestone Anit-Freezes you describe. The Yellow, is normal AF which contains Phosphates and is therefore Porsche Incompatible.

The Prestone 5/150 is Phosphate-Free (Substituting Nitrates as the anti-corrosion agents) and therefore is Porsche Compatible.

The chemical comparison you made is from those listed on the WARNING label, not a full Ingredient List. They share many common ingredients, but not all. The difference is quite significant. Hope this helps.

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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The color is due to whatever dye is put in.

I went to AutoZone and Prestone had what I thought were 2 different coolants, until I looked at the back of the container and compared the list of chemicals.  They were identical.  I should have opened the one that said 'any color' antifreeze just to see what color it was.  This has to be a marketing thing to sell the same product packaged differently.

Go back to you dealer and compare the Porsche/VW/Audi list of chemicals on the back of the container.  I know there is a list on the 1 liter black containers sold by Porsche, so I assume VW/Audi coolant has the same list.

Then let us know if the only difference is the color.

TP,

Cows Fall From The Sky... film at 11:00! ;) I almost NEVER find myself in disagreement with you. But on this one, I do.

There is a significant difference in the two Prestone Anit-Freezes you describe. The Yellow, is normal AF which contains Phosphates and is therefore Porsche Incompatible.

The Prestone 5/150 is Phosphate-Free (Substituting Nitrates as the anti-corrosion agents) and therefore is Porsche Compatible.

The chemical comparison you made is from those listed on the WARNING label, not a full Ingredient List. They share many common ingredients, but not all. The difference is quite significant. Hope this helps.

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Jim's post prompted me to call the service manager at HBL, the Northern Virginia Porsche dealer that told me the MB life-time antifreeze was compatible w/ Porsche's product. I am now told by the service manager that the products ARE NOT compatible. HBL has agreed to "help me out" w/ flushing the system and replacing all the antifreeze w/ Porsche's product.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Following adds to my earlier posts re compatibility of Mercedes Benz' current lifetime antifreeze (part # Q 1 03 0002) and Porsche antifreeze.

A local Porsche service manager and I talked: Apparently Porsche changed its formula w/in the last year (noted by PTEC). The new Porsche product IS compatible w/ the old bright green Porsche product, but is NOT known to be compatible w/ any other, including the new Audi/VW product (some engineering there), and will gel in a big way when mixed w/ uncompatible product. The old Porcsche product was said to be compatible w/ most other lifetime antifreeze, including the current MB product I put in my car, and even the stuff in my truck.

So, going forward we all need to know exactly what's in our cars before adding antifreeze, particularly if one drives an 04 or older model that has been serviced by Porsche, and thus maybe now has the new formula or a mix of old and new. (Is anyone else wondering what the heck is really going on here?) I'm not sure when the new formula first appeared.

BTW, the SM said nothing is compatible w/ late model VW antifreeze.

Query, imagine the car overheats in the middle of no place. Unless you happen to have spare antifreeze on board, is it OK to only add water then limp to a Porsche dealer?

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Query, imagine the car overheats in the middle of no place.  Unless you happen to have spare antifreeze on board, is it OK to only add water then limp to a Porsche dealer?

Yes. Antifreeze pretty much does exactly what its called. It prevents the water in the cooling system from freezing in cold evironments thought it does have detergents and anti corrosion additives too. I dont have a link to it but I've seen a graph about the cooling efficiency of straight coolant vs straight water and every ratio in between. A ratio slightly more towards the straight water cooled most effectivly if I remember correctly. Unless you're going to park the car is 0 degree weather overnight, then yes you could run on practically pure water.

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  • 1 year later...
You guys never read the manual do you? It says not to use any other coolant right in there. Could have saved yourself a bunch of trouble. I stick with Porsche fluids in my car. There is no need to mess around to save a few bucks.

There is more to then just "doing what Porsche" says. There is nothing magically unique aboutr Porsches that prevents from using other products as long as they are phosphate free and of high quality.

Not all of us want to buy rediculous P antifreeze at $50 a gallong when MB has been making photophate free antifreeze for years (and others)...but it is a good idea to flush and not mix different brands.

They simply state this to make it easy on the consumer and sell more of their expensive services. If the consumer is confused just tell them to bring it to the experts and by their magically and secret product...right...

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Porsche Antifreeze is now being sold is the Pink stuff, I assume you can mix Porsche green with Porsche pink fluid. All Porsche fluid is concentrated meaning it must be mixed with distilled water to a ratio of 60/40 Antifreeze / Water or 50/50 Antifreeze / Water. The PN on the 1 gal Porsche container is reads Formula G-30-91 EF (pink), My Porsche parts guy said you could mix Porsche Coolant Formulas. I have used it for the past two years for coolant touch up on the System with no issues.

I always go by strictly what Porsche recommendation on Fluids, this is an easy area to get into trouble, But I have heard of people using other products. Let us know how it turns out and why you think its better.

D_Man

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IF you're just topping off, water is fine (distilled is best just to be safe).

This summer I replaced a rad, flushed the system, and used the yellow jug Prestone. So far its been fine but I haven't been through a winter yet. It said it was compatible with ALL cars. And I figure they'd get in heap of lawsuits by claiming that if it wansn't true. Also its what Autozone has on their system. Again big company, big touble for wrong claims, I figure. Not that I'm naive enough to rely on Prestone, Autozone or Porsche. I'm more apt to trust consensus here.

Now to the gents who were discussing phospates and nitrates. I am totally of the mind that buying porshe brand coolant is a scam. But did I pick the wrong Prestone stuff?

Edited by Baconaire
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Gelling of the anti-freeze is the problem, when you mix different types (not colors). So, it's best to stick with a single type. Probably best to stick with Porsche's brand, but I'm sure those of you who understand the chemical differences between types can do what your head tells you.

Since I topped off once, with some Zerex, and had it gell on me and my car temp max out at 250+, and had to use Porsche Roadside Assistance for a 1 way 175 mile tow to a dealer...well, there ya go. If ya don't know what's gonna happen when you mix types, then don't...top off with water.

JimEE

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...
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3 years after this thread started I got a chance to sample the Audi pink G 012 flavor.

The second picture is the list of chemicals for the Audi pink. The third is the Porsche pink. The fourth is the Porsche yellow.

Same chemicals used in all 3, but if Jim is correct this may not mean much. I did notice the Audi stuff seemed to taste a bit better....

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I did notice the Audi stuff seemed to taste a bit better....

I prefer to drink it on the rocks or mixed with brake fluid for what I call a Chernobyl Sunrise. They say it's lethal, but it tastes good to me :cheers:

I WAS told by my paa that if you mix antifreezes together you will get a chemical reaction occur which will result in tiny brown percipitation of brown powder rusty looking colour which will effect the over all cooling of the car can cause water pump seals to wear prematurley as well .....

best to stick to one brand of long life coolant and top up with same brand or completely drain flush with water to dilute as much as possible and refill with same colour antifreeze.

by the way the blue stuff taste way betta then the yellow

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3 years after this thread started I got a chance to sample the Audi pink G 012 flavor.

The second picture is the list of chemicals for the Audi pink. The third is the Porsche pink. The fourth is the Porsche yellow.

Same chemicals used in all 3, but if Jim is correct this may not mean much. I did notice the Audi stuff seemed to taste a bit better....

Priceless!

Regards, Maurice.

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Antifreeze is naturally clear. When the manufacturers add their food coloring, they don't have any rules to go by beyond whatever their internal convention is. So there's really no point in going by color as the exact same mixture can be two different colors from different manufacturers. It looks like Porsche hasn't even been consistent with their own coolants.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When driving home yesterday the warning light went on, flashing.

It did that once before but I thought nothing of it at the time. It's behind the steering wheel for me so maybe I haven't noticed it and it's been there for a while ...

However I checked the coolant level today and it's below LOW, in fact it's a cm down in the lower container part.

I cannot see anything on the floor or see any leaks around the container, elsewhere in the engine room or around the radiators.

I checked the oil dipstick and the oil looks ok there so perhaps it's not seeping into the engine ...

Is this normal, i.e. I just fill up with coolant, or should I be worried now?

Edited by MagnusB
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