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Dealer Wants to Change Coolant "Just Because"

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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

Dealer Wants to Change Coolant "Just Because"

 
Old 09-04-2014, 12:30 PM
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'08 E350
Dealer Wants to Change Coolant "Just Because"

My 2008 E350 goes in for its 78K B Check tomorrow and the dealership says they want to flush the coolant even though it was flushed three years ago.

I asked why the early change if it had the 145K/15 year coolant and they say, "Just Because". They say with the temperature swings in SD, they recommend it. I asked them if they use a refractometer like Mercedes recommends for checking coolant. They had no idea what I was talking about. I mentioned that these vehicles are used all over the world and that there are pretty good temperature swings in other countries. Their reply back was, "we recommend every three years".

Yes, I'm sure you do recommend that because you charge $125 for a service to be performed that you have no way of determining actually needs to be done. I'm sure that helps the service dept's bottom line. I run oil analysis at every change so I called the lab about checking the coolant. Much more expensive - the least expensive option that would only tell me if corrosion was present was $55. The one to check everything was $140 which is more than the flush.

Has anyone else ran into this? I'm considering discussing this with the District or Regional M-B rep. I don't mind paying for services I need but they don't even have the tools to tell me if the coolant needs changing. As I've only owned the vehicle a couple years and don't know if anyone has put non-distilled water in at any point, it might be prudent to change it but I sure don't like the thought of it. The service manager I know very well is gone hunting for the next week or so. That prevents me from bouncing this off him.

"Ticked Off in SD"
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by hiker64012 View Post
My 2008 E350 goes in for its 78K B Check tomorrow and the dealership says they want to flush the coolant even though it was flushed three years ago.

I asked why the early change if it had the 145K/15 year coolant and they say, "Just Because". They say with the temperature swings in SD, they recommend it. I asked them if they use a refractometer like Mercedes recommends for checking coolant. They had no idea what I was talking about. I mentioned that these vehicles are used all over the world and that there are pretty good temperature swings in other countries. Their reply back was, "we recommend every three years".

Yes, I'm sure you do recommend that because you charge $125 for a service to be performed that you have no way of determining actually needs to be done. I'm sure that helps the service dept's bottom line. I run oil analysis at every change so I called the lab about checking the coolant. Much more expensive - the least expensive option that would only tell me if corrosion was present was $55. The one to check everything was $140 which is more than the flush.

Has anyone else ran into this? I'm considering discussing this with the District or Regional M-B rep. I don't mind paying for services I need but they don't even have the tools to tell me if the coolant needs changing. As I've only owned the vehicle a couple years and don't know if anyone has put non-distilled water in at any point, it might be prudent to change it but I sure don't like the thought of it. The service manager I know very well is gone hunting for the next week or so. That prevents me from bouncing this off him.

"Ticked Off in SD"
They just want money.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:17 PM
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The district or regional M-B rep isn't going to say or do anything about this because it has nothing to do with M-B, it's just the dealer and you.

One can argue that they're being cautious and looking out for your best interests. Better safe than sorry, ya know. And $125 isn't a bad deal for this service really.

That said, I wouldn't bother with it until you've got 5 years on the coolant.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:18 PM
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I have a 2004 e320 and never did the coolent change.
If you really want it changed do it yourself. It's just needs draining and refilling. I don't think there is any special type of coolant you need. Just pick one up from your local parts store.
Why pay when it's not needed. If I have to pay I rather pay for the coolant and do it myself.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dewana421 View Post
I don't think there is any special type of coolant you need. Just pick one up from your local parts store.
Two thoughts:

1) There are several different types of coolant, and I'm sure M-B specifies a specific one. I'm at work, so I can't look at my user's manual, but you need to get the correct coolant for your car. Look it up.

b) Coolant flush can be a DIY, but please be sure to properly catch and recycle the old coolant. Don't let it just run out on the ground to pollute our environment and potentially kill harmless animals (it smells sweet to them but is fatal to drink).
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:55 AM
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At 150,000 miles change coolant, hoses, water pump and (belt tensioners if you have not already done so).
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:59 AM
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Had to change my T-stat just a few miles short of 100K and a little over 7 years.


I know looks does not tell everything, but it does tell a lot, and the coolant coming out looked as clean as the new coolant I topped up with.


Inside of old T-stat, hoses and engine (T-stat opening) looked clean.


I would guess without some compromising event (like topping up with non-factory fill, overheating, or some source of contamination) this stuff should go 10 to 15 years and an easy 150K miles.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by beemer guy View Post
Two thoughts:

1) There are several different types of coolant, and I'm sure M-B specifies a specific one. I'm at work, so I can't look at my user's manual, but you need to get the correct coolant for your car. Look it up.

b) Coolant flush can be a DIY, but please be sure to properly catch and recycle the old coolant. Don't let it just run out on the ground to pollute our environment and potentially kill harmless animals (it smells sweet to them but is fatal to drink).
I would be interested in knowing what type Mercedes recommend ...I added a regular coolest to top off few years ago and had no issues. I used Just some aftermarket coolant.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:34 PM
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Changing coolant is one of the few PM type things I do on every car. My understanding is that the coolant breaks down and get acidic eats away at the head gasket. When I was younger I went through head gaskets on 2 cars that I bought new. So from then on I do it every 2 years. Plus, these aluminum engines don't take overheating so well. Overheat them once or twice and you're buying new heads. Coolant protects the water pump and thermostat.

I do oil at 8k~ miles (Fords and Hondas). But I change the coolant every 2 years.

On my CLK I'll hit the 10k miles for oil, and I was planning to keep up with the coolant every 2 years.

Everything else, I fix it when it breaks, but for coolant and oil, the cost of the consequences far exceeds the small cost of the PM.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dewana421 View Post
I would be interested in knowing what type Mercedes recommend ...I added a regular coolest to top off few years ago and had no issues. I used Just some aftermarket coolant.


The differences are usually in the additives to get long life and anti-corrosion.
While almost all are compatible from a cooling standpoint, once you start mixing, I figure it is best to go back to the old 2 to 3 year life.


This is interesting
http://www.recochem.com/media/upload...de_1213_EN.pdf

Last edited by N_Jay; 09-05-2014 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
. . . My understanding is that the coolant breaks down and get acidic eats away at the head gasket. . . . .
Maybe I'll check the PH next time I am under the hood.


I'll let you know what I found. (Should be a good test, 100K miles and 7+ years.)
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:26 AM
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147k on my 2003 W211 and have never replaced the coolant. I'm getting ready to do so in 3k miles; at which point I will replace the coolant, thermostat, water pump, and the main hoses.
I was looking for coolant capacity and how much is left if I don't remove the engine block plug when I came across this thread. I can't help but respond to the lunacy of "picking up any coolant" and adding it. It's people like that who ruin their Mercedes vehicles and then go to every forum and cry about how terrible Mercedes is!!!!
I will end up paying about $400 to completely replace my cooling system WITH genuine Mercedes product, and will leave it alone for another 100k or about 10 Years. If you are too cheap for that, get rid of your Mercedes and stop *****ing about the car because of your ineptitude.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:16 PM
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2008 E350 4Matic
I don't know how handy you are but coolant change is really easy. You don't have to be obsessive about it either, like you don't need to do a flush and get it all out, you can easily drain the coolant and then refill with new coolant.


I have the same exact model and year (mine is 4MATIC) and with 83K miles, it wasn't able to get to temperature, so I phoned an independent who charges the same labor rates as the local MB dealer, and he said $800 to change the thermostat and flush the coolant. I said no thanks.


I bought a MB thermostat discounted from APR for $121, and two gallons of pre-mixed Zerex G-05 MB compatible coolant from Pep Boys for $17 each. As I was lazy, I spent more money for the pre-mixed, not knowing how much I would need. It's less expensive to buy the concentrate and mix with distilled water.


Changing out the thermostat entailed the following:


1) put a short clear hose from Home Depot on the bottom radiator drain nipple, and put the other end into an oil drain container.
2) turn the red screw with a short screwdriver a quarter or half turn
3) open the overfill tank to allow air to assist the fluid to drain
4) put a 17mm socket on the molded nut fitting on the belt tensioner and rock it to the left, while sticking a small Allan wrench under the belt tensioner and it's bracket to keep it un-tensioned.
5) remove the two screws that hold the thermostat onto the block (may have to remove a couple of screws from the air pump to gain access to one
6) push the clip to one side on the hose and pull the hose off (or leave it on to give you leverage to wiggle and pull on the thermostat)
7) use a screwdriver to assist while pulling out the thermostat and it will eventually pop out as it's got a couple of O rings holding it in place
8) unhook the electrical connector.
9) installation is the reverse.


I used a little over 1 gallon of pre-mixed fluid, and topped off over the next three days as all of the air bubbles worked their way out of the system. When refilling you squeeze the radiator hose to burp the system as best as you can.


I could have put in the garden hose and flushed and drained the system, but as it was winter and all was frozen, I didn't fret it.


A drain, or a drain and flush is really simple. Where I live (DC suburbs) they charge an arm and a leg for everything...so it's best to be handy.


Good luck.


Cheers!
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:22 PM
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