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  1. #1
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    Pink Coolant

    Just bought an '04 Passat (early edition with Colorado Red paint). What is the story with the pink coolant? I have heard stories that this formulation can cause some deterioration of gaskets... Thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    i was told it is the only coolant you can run in a vw but it comes in consintrate form so you have to add water

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    i have never heard this before, can you find where you heard this and post up more info?

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    The pink coolant is VW's G12 coolent. You can only use coolant meeting this spec in your car. You can only get it at the dealer, or some online places. Heres the info on the G12 from www.autobahnfluids.com
    Pentosin Antifreeze G-12 Orange

    For vehicles requiring Pentosin G-12 Orange antifreeze. Eliminates corrision and safe on plastic radiators and hoses. OEM application for most European manufacturers, including VW and Audi. Do not mix with G-11 and other antifreezes. 1.5 liter [1.58 quarts]. Cross reference: Audi/VW G001200.

  6. #5
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    i was told that by the service department at my dealer

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    Re: Pink Coolant

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonspeedracer
    Just bought an '04 Passat (early edition with Colorado Red paint). What is the story with the pink coolant? I have heard stories that this formulation can cause some deterioration of gaskets... Thoughts?
    Having just gone through the dreaded, but inevitable "Vanagon leaking head gaskets" problems, and spending over $2K for two new Wasserboxer heads, (parts/labor) I'll never use anything BUT what VW recommends. (On the Vanagon, if you didn't use the VW blue coolant, which is phosphate-free, then the alloy on the head would begin to corrode and you'd end up with leaky gaskets.) A very parts/labor intensive job. I began using the blue coolant as soon as I bought the van, but it was too late. I think the PO used regular green coolant.

    Now, with my two Passats, I paid the $$ and bought some G-12 from the dealer (around $18.00 per gallon). If something happens to the gaskets, at least I can tell VW that I used the coolant THEY recommended and bought it from THEIR dealership.

    Just my .02 cents.

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    Re: Pink Coolant

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonspeedracer
    Just bought an '04 Passat (early edition with Colorado Red paint). What is the story with the pink coolant? I have heard stories that this formulation can cause some deterioration of gaskets... Thoughts?
    ^^this is what i was wondering about, where this info came from

  9. #8
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    What's wrong with the G12 pink coolant you can get from places like Napa? isn't one G12 coolant the same as any other?

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    NO NO NO. Pink coolant from other manufacters is bad. To my knowledge the only G12 coolants available are from the dealer and the Pentosin brand of G12.

    Do not mix any other type of coolant, bad things can happen.

  11. #10
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    VW Pink

    I've heard that the G-12 Pink stuff is THE best coolant you can get, and thus is why you can leave it in for so long. Told to me by friend who runs a small indy repair shop....

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    Don't trucks use G12 coolant? Anyway, not the point. Where is the bad info on G12 come from, I love when people post a suspicion or rumor wihout revealing the source - very useful.

    G12 is good stuff, and I was not aware that NAPA sold G12 - the only places I have ever seen it are at autobahnfluids and VW dealers both are made by Pentosin, the one at the dealer is just VW branded.

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    Awesome info... Thanks! The reason for me asking is that my mechanic / brother-in-law just had issues with their fairly new GMC truck's intake manifold gasket degrading. He saw on some websites that the pink coolant was rumored to cause some corrosion of aluminum inside the engine, leading to further leaks. Since the truck has since been traded in, we don't know if the coolant is the same composition as the G12 in the Passat.

    By the way, they also own a '96 VW Golf GTI that uses the time-proven,
    environmentally-unfriendly, green coolant.

    G12 and H20 will be the only thing that ever goes into my little car...

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    This is interesting, just this morning my fiancee's MkIII had the coolant light come on, took a look, it's blue coolant in the resevoir. Guess it's time to do a full system flush and put some quality stuff in there (didn't think to check it when we picked up the car)

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    I just dumped and replaced the ORIGINAL G12 coolant in my '98 Passat with 102k on it. The amazing thing is that the original G12 that came out was still perfect. No goopy stuff, no corrosion. Good stuff.

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    I ran the green stuff in my 95 Jetta for the last six years; this winter I decided to do it right--I put a new VW thermostat and 70% G12, (95 Jetta came w/G11, but I figured G12 had to be at least as good), and 30% distilled water. My car had always run pretty cool, even climbing the Rockies in July, but now the temp is right in the middle and I get better gas mileage than ever before. Also, I had found some areas around the hose connections that had been corroded by the green propylene glycol. Don't use green stuff, don't use GM DexCool, G12 should be the best you can get, (except for those models w/the blue stuff).

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    Ok, so tell me how bad it is that I've been topping of with this stuff + de-ionized water. I thought it was fine because it says it's silicate free, which I thought was the major factor as to why we had to use the 'pink' stuff (the zerex is pink)




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    A mechanic at the local VW dealership (sort of local...about 1.5 hours away...local for up here) said that it was safe to use the antifreeze GM puts out. It's orangy-pink in colour, but I can't remember it's name (sorry). I used it when refilling my system after a timing belt change. I've got the jug in the garage and can get the name if anybody needs it. I bought it at the local Autozone here in town.

    I had been using VW fluid, but didn't have enough of it after the timing belt change and needed to get something local (they couldn't mail any to me).

  19. #18
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    bump... anyone else?

  20. #19
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    AidenLee,

    Why muck around saving all of 10 bucks every MANY thousands of miles to cheap-out on the coolant? I would expect the only people that know the difference between pink stuff from AutoZone and genuine VW-spec G12 (from VW or Pentosin) would be the chemists that designed the stuff.

    Yes, it is very possible that Dex-Cool (the orange stuff) or whatever the Zerex stuff is would work, but why find out the hard way, 50 miles after your warranty runs out?

    SirWired

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    The can use the orange stuff problem is no one ever tries to compare the properties in VW spec stuff with other coolant. When the first VWs came out with the pink coolant in them, there was no aftermarket equivalent to the G12 so that is why it was emphasized that the G12 be used and nothing else. If you say "Oh you can use this something will be lost in traslation so that is why you only here the words. Use G12 only in you car. The reason that G12 and Dexcool have been created is because cars were mostly built with cast iron engine block and the "green stuff" was fine for preventing corrosion in them. However more automakers started using Aluminum engine blocks and the "green stuff" did not offer enough corrosion protection since aluminum and cast iron have different properties.

    G12 and Dexcool both are designed for engines with higher aluminum content. So it is a suitable replacement for G12. I currently have been running Prestone 5year orange coolant in all my cars since it is compatible with other coolants I don't buy the premixed stuff and I don't bother with the green stuff since some of my cars can't use it.

    Remember it good to ask questions you will always see a different way to look at things.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired
    AidenLee,

    Why muck around saving all of 10 bucks every MANY thousands of miles to cheap-out on the coolant? I would expect the only people that know the difference between pink stuff from AutoZone and genuine VW-spec G12 (from VW or Pentosin) would be the chemists that designed the stuff.

    Yes, it is very possible that Dex-Cool (the orange stuff) or whatever the Zerex stuff is would work, but why find out the hard way, 50 miles after your warranty runs out?

    SirWired
    It wasn't so much that I was looking to save a buck or two when I bought this stuff. I bought it thinking I knew what I needed but apparently was still ignorant on the whole deal.

    I bought it to top off they system until I could find time to deal with the slow coolant leak above my oil cooler. Once I have that fixed I will likely flush the system and refill with G12 if people here tell me there's a significant chemical difference between what I bought and the G12 that is putting my engine at risk. I hope to have my B5 for a long time, and proper maintinence is definitely key.

    I'm well out of warranty, btw. Thanks to this great community though I've managed to DIY all of my maintinence for some time now which makes things far more affordable :bow:

  23. #22
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    Here's the deal. I don't know the exact chemistry behind it but this is what happens...

    The additives in the G12 coolant are different then the additives in the GM Extended Life DEXCOOL type coolants. When those 2 coolants are mixed together the heat and time will cause the additives to precipatate out and basically cause chunks to be floating around in the cooling system. Doesn't take long after that to have water pumps and sensors failing etc.

    Now if you flushed out your cooling system real good with water and filled up with the DEXCOOL stuff you are probably alright. But If you are topping off with different stuff that's a bad idea. I don't know why so many people here plunk down hundreds of $$ on rims / etc and bitch about a $15 gallon of coolant.

    So if you are keeping your car for a long time better follow the right procedures. If you are leasing your car then go ahead and fill it with the walmart special $0.99 a quart SAE 50 motor oil.

  24. #23
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    sounds like I'll be flushing the system. thanks for the info

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