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Discussion Starter #1
To cut a long story short, as it is getting colder and I wanted to "top it up" - as I have been unable to recall if it more than 18 months since the antifreeze was changed however - and cannot get hold of the fellow who did the work (holiday), I have decided best bet is to simply drain, flush and refill.

That way I will know what is in it, it will be the right strength and it will be fresh for the corrosion inhibitors.

I have seen some contrasting info though - some which suggest anything other than "007/400 F" should not be used at all - and others saying providing it is the inorganic green/blue stuff and not the organic orange red one - then it will work perfectly well.

What I was hoping to be able to do (as car not easily moved at the moment due to weather), was simply amble into town and buy several litres (will check how much) and do the job tomorrow morning.

If I have to send off or wait until I can get 007/400 F however this is likely to take me a while to organise - so am wondering if I should just vent the coolant and leave it dry - as temp warning of -15 possible and not sure how strong anti-freeze currently is.

Sooooooo

Hmm, I didn't cut it very short did I? sorry.

Summary then:- If I drain all coolcant out, and wash through a few litres of tap water (just as a rinse), can I then refill using an easily bought antifreeze / de-ionised water which I can get from Halfrauds / Wilko etc?

The site the reckoned 007.400F was not essential suggested "Comma Xstream Green" was good and would do no harm to the car at all.

Suggestions please - as I would rather have it sit "dry" a few days than refill with bad coolant.

Kind Regards

Mark
 

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Hi well I would Just Drain off some fluid and top up with 2L of pure Antifreeze
Halfords should have some Blue
Then when your Mechanic is back you can chat to him
I don’t like leaving Engines open to the elements or with out coolant
I think Halfords have antifreeze testers just as a guide
Don’t for get to get the engine up to temp so that the new stuff can mix mite help to put a blanket over the grill so she will get hot faster
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the thought - that was sort of my original plan but I just wasn't sure if there was a risk involved in adding one type of "ok antifreeze" with another type of "ok antifreeze". As in either is ok but a mixture is bad.

I will see what the forecast is - if not as cold as last night, then I will see if I can hold out until he comes back of holiday. If not, I will just use the "blue" stuff.

Kind Regards

Mark
 

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I wouldn't mix the anti freezes. I would only use the red stuff on the Volkswagen type late cars.

The red stuff is used because the blue stuff will react with the aluminium in the block and create a sludgy mess and start blocking things.

I missed the model of your car.

Please let me know.

Matt
 

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Red stuff, blue stuff?

Its all the same (.... virtually).
Halford'd anitfreeze is gold plated (well you would think so because of the cost).
Having looked through the motor mags, the situation as explained, by them, is this...

The blue stuff is perfectly ordinary anti-freeze, with all the corrosion inhibitors you need. Just be sure to mix it to the minimum strength you require (usually 25 to 30%) for a UK winter (even this one). If you mix it too strong, it won't cool the engine properly, as the antifreeze traps gas at the surfaces it touches (the internal waterways), resulting in a poor thermal contact with the metal. You have probably seen adverts for cooling improver additives (I think Water Wetter is one, but that is no recommendation). These can help counteract this bad property of antifreeze (its all about lowering the coolant's surface tension, anti-freeze raises it).
For this reason, never use neat antifreeze unless you absolutely have to, and then you should switch back to an antifeeze/water mix when the weather improves

The problem with blue antifreeze is that it degrades over time, and its inhibitor properties that stop corrosion reduce, so it needs replaced, every couple of years or so (consult your service schedule).

Now

The red stuff is anti-freeze 'plus'. It is basically long life antifreeze, with a longer lifespan between replacement. They colour it red so you know the difference.

If you want to use the red, and get all the long life properties, you must flush out the blue, and pour in the red (again in the optimum dilution).

If you have filled with red and need to top up and can only get blue, then that is ok, but you will simply de-grade the lifespan of the red down to that of the blue lifespan. You must then drain the lot out and re-fill with the red/water mix later to regain your anti-freeze longevity.

Whatever you do, do not just fill up with water. I guess that is an option in some of those places in the world where its always shirt sleeve order.

Plain water will eat your engine from the inside. Alumimium dissolves brilliantly without inhibitor and then blocks the whole thing up.


'Simples'

Cheers... Rob.
 
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