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Old 09-26-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
cab0oze
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Default Engine coolant help!!

Hey all
So I'm planning on doing a coolant drain/refill and would like to avoid going to the dealer and paying 110$ for something that seems incredibly simple.

Unfortunately I have two bottles of this stuff (motomaster is the big local store brand for you non-canadians) from my previous car:
Link

Its yellow, and theres no real information available about it. Says the same stuff on it as the prestone stuff, which is why i originally bought it.

Here is the prestone stuff...
Link
Looks the same to me.... I beleive it is yellow too

... And here is the Peak stuff (not sure what color it is, but i am betting yellow too!)
Link

I've read 4 different topics now with people arguing about what is ok, and what is not ok. From what I see on this form in particular, everyone seems to be OK with just using green stuff from one of these big brands.... Except in canada we dont seem to have the same exact types of anti-freeze as in the states.

What do I do?? I'd just suck it up and pay double at the dealership, but it seems that mazda canada might have yellow fluid too... How do i know which (if any) of these are actually OK to use? I never thought something seemingly so simple could turn into such a headache.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:37 AM   #2
Instant_Ocean
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

You may use the yellow stuff, pre-mixed at 50/50. I just did a flush myself and bought some STP 50/50 at Walmart for $12.96 a gallon. You want to avoid, like it was mentioned in other threads, including the "how-to", any coolant that is not safe for aluminum. Most of them are safe but make sure you read the label before you buy, just to be safe. Be careful also NOT to buy the pure stuff but the premixed, unless you want to make your own mix with distilled water... which is a PITA and not necessary.

BTW, I didn't see any "green" coolant anywhere when I was shopping for coolant. Maybe it's a Quebec thing, not sure. Buy 3 gallons to make a good flush and in between flushes, run some tap water with a garden hose to really rinse out residue of your old coolant. I know it was said not to but the little quantity that is left in the entire system will not harm your radiator, imo. Also, for best results, flush once, rinse, wait a few minutes to drain. Then refill but don't put the cap back on the tank and take the car around the block to mix the new and old stuff. Park the car and repeat the first procedure and go for another spin again. If the liquid is bright yellow, like the original, you are done. If not, repeat until you get there.

My M3 2005 runs a bit cooler now than it did.

Have fun!
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

If you're just doing one or two drain and fills, then get FL22 coolant from Mazda dealer, I think it's under $20 a gallon, so while more expansive than the aftermarket stuff, itís still within reason.

The problem with coolants available in Canada, is that most of them are Dexcool clones, and the worst thing you can do for the cooling system is mix coolant formulas, thatís why I would recommend Mazda coolant.

If you want to do a full flush, then any of the coolant you mentioned will do fine and thatís what I would recommend you do. Flushing coolant system on our cars is very easy and it will not limit you to use Mazdaís coolant.

Personally I flushed my cooling system when my car was 3 years old and filled it with Zerex G-05, I got it a Walmart and I think most Walmarts still carry it, but I would recommend doing a full flush when going with an aftermarket coolant.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

Alrite thanks for the great summary guys! What do you think of this plan:

Use all the crappy motomaster crap i have leftover for my first (2?) f, and then top it off with some theoretically better quality stuff (prestone) for the third? i suppose since they're both 'universal' i should be fine....

Cheers
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

Since you have 2 bottles of the Motormaster stuff, I would probably go buy another gallon and do the flush with that brand only. I would not mix 2 brands of cooling fluids that have different specs together. You should keep the Prestone gallon for your next coolant change. Stick to one brand for each flush. I'm not a mechanic but I am a chemical process tech and even if I don't have a proof that mixing both of those coolant can be harmful to your cooling system, I would not chance it. Might be harmless to do so but I cannot confirm that.

That's my take on it.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

I would not mix these coolants even though they say all makes and models. Also, is the coolant you have a concentrate or 50/50 mix?

The reason Iím asking is because if you have 50/50 mix and want to do a complete system flush with distilled water, you will not get a proper 50/50 mix in your system. You basically have to flush using 50/50 mix coolant to keep the ratio at proper level. This is really wasteful and expansive since 50/50 mix is not much cheaper than the concentrate and from my experience Mazda system needs about 4 radiator drains and fills to get most of the old coolant out. I posted pictures in the coolant how to:


http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=136818.0

If the coolant you have is a 50/50 mix, I would try to return it and get the concentrate of your choice instead, flush the system with distilled water, about 4 drain and fills with distilled water should do the trick, make sure you run the engine with heat on to flush the heater core as well.
Mazda cooling system is really nice for flushing because the whole system holds almost 2 gallons of coolant (7.9 qts I think), so basically once your system is full of distilled water, drain the radiator (it should drain a little over 4 qts), then pour in the entire jug of coolant concentrate. Run the car with the cap off, to burp any trapped air, the coolant level will go down a little, if it does top off with distilled water until it no longer drops and stays at full line mark. You will be pretty much at 50/50 mix, no need for pre-mixing in extra jugs, no messing around, just one jug of concentrate is all you need.

I would recommend switching to something popular, like Motomaster or Prestone, so that later on you only need to do radiator drains with the same formula and then you can use 50/50 mix safely.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

K thanks guys, I guess i'll stick with my motomaster 50:50 crap (i guess i'll do it your way next time KrisZ, thanks for the tips) and go buy an extra jug for now like IO said. That way this job will only cost me ~8$, instead of buying completely new fluid.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

Just an update, after 3x drain/fills my fluid is now a normal shade of bright green (i.e. not black like it was before). However, it is nowhere near the yellow color I put it in... I guess I'll try using my last jug next week or something.

At least the job is very very easy....
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

Color: Means you are not done yet. Might have to do 1 or 2 more flush to get all the wasted stuff out of there. Since it's so cheap, it's only time demanding. Make sure you run the car without the cap on around the block in between flushes. It helps a great deal IMO. If I recall right, it took me 4 bottles to get there... not sure, might be only 3. Anyway, you need the color to be the same as the brand new stuff.


IO
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine coolant help!!

=/ gah alrite i'll do one or two more sometime this week. I just hate always putting on/taking off the stupid splash sheild, what a pain in the ass.
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