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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is the first time I've owned a car that needed a specific coolant and I don't have any problems with that... our local autoshop carries pentosin pentofrost SF which I assume is correct since ecstuning carries the same stuff and lists it as g12 compliant and safe for our cars... (2002 passat v6)

Now... it says on the bottle that it is concentrated and needs to be mixed 50:50 with water. One 1.5 litre bottle than makes 3 litres of coolant when mixed with water....

What do you guys do if you only need a top up and not flushing the system?

Is it safe to mix everything together in an empty window washer bottle and keep it on the shelf for the odd time you need to top up?
 

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Or an empty water jug. If using a washer bottle. Make 100% sure it is thoroughly rinsed and clean. I stash water bottle full of premixed in each car.
 

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When diluting, use distilled water. Your cooling system in general and your heater core in particular will thank you. Also, you should be very suspicious of any need to top up. On my cars, the level has stayed constant, for years, between cooling system flushes. (Aside from the inevitable expansion tank and coolant flange incidents).

Nonetheless, I keep a 1.5L bottle of premix in the trunk.
 

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I've got a collection of G12 coolant bottles from replacing water pumps during timing belt changes. I always have a couple of bottles of ready-mixed G12 on hand for topping off my coolant reservoir. Having to top it off frequently usually means the coolant flange at the rear of the 1.8T block has started to leak again, which is a very common occurrence in these cars. There are a lot of online parts sellers that have G12 for a lot less than the stealership charges, even with shipping. I buy all of my fluids online, except for brake fluid since I can get Valvoline Synthetic DOT-3/4 at my locals auto parts store.
 

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When I top up, I just use a measuring cup from the kitchen and dump in a few oz of coolant, followed by the same amount of distilled water. You don't need to pre-mix before it goes in the tank; the car will take care of that for you.

Of course, I IMMEDIATELY rinse it out thoroughly and then put it in the dishwasher just to make sure the cats don't lick it.
 

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You can use it straight to just top off the system. .5L is not going to throw the mixture % off enough to matter and you can safely exceed 50% coolant in the mix. If you need more than that to top off the system, you will need to find and fix the leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies... I have only owned the car a month or so... just finished doing a general tune up (plugs, air filter, cabin filter, pads, rotors, brake flush) and noticed the coolant was hovering around min and max mark. As far as I can tell, no white smoke when I'm driving, engine temperatures are consistent and I have lots of heat when I need it. No soggy floors or anti freeze smell when I turn on the fan.

Not entirely sure its a leak but if you have any tips of where to look on a v6 for common spots, by all means let me know.

Some of the hoses forward in the compartment (close to the grill) had some pink crusty parts around them but no leak present.
 

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Anything with pink crust is a leak. It may not be a large leak, but it is a leak. The front bottom of the engine is the best place to look. The pipes and hoses going to the oil cooler is a common spot. After that, the water pump and thermostat housing can also leak (front of oil pan or passenger side of oil pan). Then there are the coolant pipes under the intake (look below the coil pack) and after that, the heater hoses on the engine side and the heater core where the hoses attach.
 

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... for what it's worth, I think when the engine is cold the proper level is a hair over the MIN line. If you top off and bring it up to the Max line it's too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is great to hear! I haven't gone out to purchase anything yet... I'll be sure to pop the hood when the car has been running awhile. Thanks for the tip.
 

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I made a reusable measuring cup. It's a clear glass 16-ounce Smucker's peanut butter jar with a metal screw-off lid. I measured six ounces of tap water, poured it into the jar and marked the outside of the jar at that level with a Sharpie. Then I added six more ounces and marked it again at the 12-ounce level. When I need to top off, I start with the empty jar, and then pour in six ounces of distilled water to the first line followed by six ounces of G12 the the next line. I have a tag on the lid -- "Coolant mixing jar: first black line is six ounces & second black line is six more ounces". When not in use, the empty jar is on the shelf with other auto supplies.

I don't know if my apparent leak is big enough to bother with. So far it hasn't been since I haven't tried to track it down yet. But I intend to look for it in the spring. Last week I added 12 ounces of 50/50 mix at 68,850 miles, and six months and 3,000 miles ago I added the same amount.

I came to this thread looking for ideas on where to look for coolant leaks, and I am thankful for suggestions that have been posted here.
 

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J have never known a coolant leak that didn't get worse. Case in point, my coolant flange started dribbling a bit back in July - just an ounce or two every few weeks. In December, it cut loose, and only the spare gallon in the trunk kept me from bring stranded.
 
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