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Old 06-10-2019, 06:00 AM   #1
bmos
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Default Coolant

Happened to notice this while reading through the LH2.2 B230F manual:

Quote:
Use genuine Volvo coolant, type C (blue-green), diluted with clean water in proportions of 50/50. The coolant should be changed every second year since the corrosion-protective additives in the coolant loose their effect in time.
What's the type C part? All the coolant I've seen for Volvos says it's for all Volvos.

Next, the two years figure jumped out at me. I'm a BMW technician so that is what I'm most familiar with. BMW recommended a 4 year interval until the early 2000s, at which time they switched to a "lifetime fill". In a somewhat contradictory statement from their service information, they say never to re-use it as the corrosion inhibitors must be renewed. While I'm not sold on a lifetime fill although I admit that many conventional life estimates may be too low for modern fluid, it makes me wonder just how often I should be servicing my Volvo's cooling system. The coolant I'm using is Zerex G48 which is a direct replacement for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and humorously Tesla (for their liquid-cooled batteries). If this coolant will last so long that BMW and Volvo both call it "lifetime" in their new cars, is there any reason to change it every 2 years? I haven't ever seen corrosion on the modern BMW cylinder heads I've worked on, nor the new motors with magnesium blocks (not sure if that's also at risk of corrosion).

The main "devil's advocate" approach I can think of here is that manufacturers know that their cooling systems will have to be drained when one of their many plastic cooling system parts fail at the 29psi of pressure they run, necessitating coolant replacement before it would otherwise deteriorate excessively.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:48 AM   #2
Martin L.
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You could measure the voltage between ground and the coolant to check for chemical electrolysis. Also use a pH test strip.
From the back of my head under 0,3V and at or above pH7,0 is O.K.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:38 AM   #3
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The 'lifetime' is probably 100,000 miles or 5 years which appears in at least 2 of my recent car's manuals. Refill with same fluid is then stated as 50,000 miles and 2 years.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestPoint View Post
The 'lifetime' is probably 100,000 miles or 5 years which appears in at least 2 of my recent car's manuals. Refill with same fluid is then stated as 50,000 miles and 2 years.
For BMW it isn't and most Volvo service schedules I have looked at. That being said, I think the schedule you have mentioned makes the most sense and is the rule of thumb that the instructors taught in tech school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin L. View Post
You could measure the voltage between ground and the coolant to check for chemical electrolysis. Also use a pH test strip.
From the back of my head under 0,3V and at or above pH7,0 is O.K.
Obviously this is the technically ideal approach but I do like the simplicity of mileage-based service. I do test the cooling system voltage periodically on all my vehicles to watch for deteriorating engine grounds and cooling system issues.
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