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by larmini
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  #1  
Old 04-20-2008, 07:22 PM
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What type of Anti-Freeze/Coolant to use?

My reservoir is low and I'm still more than 1,000 miles away from MINI service. The stupid owners manual won't tell you what type of anti-freeze to use. What kind should I use to bring the reservoir level back to normal?
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2008, 07:48 PM
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why are you sweating?

You're in Alabama. Last I heard it didn't snow this late in the year there, right? Go and get yourself some distilled water and top it off. This small amount of water will not appreciably alter the concentration of coolant/water ratio.
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2008, 11:42 PM
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This has been covered pretty extensively elsewhere, but the simple answer is to get a name-brand "Extended Life" or "DexCool" antifreeze. Prestone, Zerex, Peak, etc. All compatible with MINI antifreeze; the only difference will be the color. Get the 50-50 mix and just add it straight to the resevoir, it maintains the proper ratio.
-skip-
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2008, 07:33 AM
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Zerex G-05 is the way to go.

http://www.valvoline.com/pages/produ...asp?product=10
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:44 AM
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I went to my local Beemer dealer and for maybe $20-25, got a gallon of the factory full strength coolant. I've never heard of adding Dex-Cool to a MINI. Dex is a GM only coolant. You have to be careful because as coolant additives break down, some become acidic. I know Dex-Cool does. A lot of GM dealers were having trouble with head and intake manifold gaskets.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:43 AM
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Avoid Dex-cool at all costs. It has been shown to break down plastics in vehicles that were not designed for it (I found this while researching coolant for a Ford Focus).

In the past, Mercedes and BMW coolants have been shown to be great for imports. I think the others are coming up to speed, but I'm wary.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:21 PM
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Dex-Cool is GM's name for the same stuff that is Extended Life Coolant. All meet every chemical requirement for MINI's. The formulations are the same, the colors change. The old-style silicates, phosphates, and borates caused problems with aluminum heads and radiators. That's the reason for the change to organic acids. The bottom line is that if you flush and fill every few years (much better than going 100,000 to 150,000 miles) any problems you'll have will be caused by something else.
(I am in no way connected with any antifreeze/chemical company; I just hate wives tales that have no documentation or substance.)
Popular Science:
Antifreeze itself (most commonly a chemical called ethylene glycol) doesn't wear out–ever–but the key ingredients are the rust and corrosion inhibitors, and they get used up. The most common inhibitors, silicates for aluminum protection, are used up faster than others. That's why some new cars (all General Motors, Mercury Cougar, VW/Audi models) have red or orange antifreeze with a new class of inhibitors, called organic acids. Examples of U.S. brands with these organic acids: Havoline Dex-Cool and Prestone Extended Life, both recommended for five years or 150,000 miles. That's the good news.
Fill 'Er Up
How about just pouring orange antifreeze into every cooling system, say, yours? Sorry, but it's not that simple. The new organic acid antifreezes may be used only if the cooling system has an aluminum radiator (rather than copper-and-brass.
Mini's rad is aluminum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemiheaded18 View Post
I went to my local Beemer dealer and for maybe $20-25, got a gallon of the factory full strength coolant. I've never heard of adding Dex-Cool to a MINI. Dex is a GM only coolant. You have to be careful because as coolant additives break down, some become acidic. I know Dex-Cool does. A lot of GM dealers were having trouble with head and intake manifold gaskets.
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Last edited by Ancient Mariner; 04-21-2008 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:25 PM
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And the Zerex product is actually approved to be used in the MINI.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip.irving View Post
Dex-Cool is GM's name for the same stuff that is Extended Life Coolant. All meet every chemical requirement for MINI's...
Just google dexcool or dex-cool problems and read up, I would avoid that particular formulation like the plaque.

There are many many other formulations to use, and as you stated the color doesn't matter its the content. In particular some are more suited for iron bloack vs. aluminum blocks and aluminum radiators vs. copper/brass radiators.

And again I emphasis, avoid Dex-cool... at least I will.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:14 PM
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If you are not aware of the class actions suits against Dexcool, then as stated earlier, just google Dexcool and read up. Not one drop will ever enter my garage, let alone any of my cars.

YD
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:51 PM
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Go with the G-05.
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2008, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yo'sDad View Post
If you are not aware of the class actions suits against Dexcool, then as stated earlier, just google Dexcool and read up. Not one drop will ever enter my garage, let alone any of my cars.

YD
As is your right as a consumer. I am not defending Dex-Cool or any other antifreeze. The only facts concerning it's problems are in regards to GM v-6's, and there are a number of alternatives out there to MINI branded antifreezes (see ScottinBend re: Zerex). What I was talking about was the use of the internet for a judge, jury and executioner. Just because its on the interweb don't make it true. See this:
http://www.imcool.com/articles/antif...le-Excerpt.pdf
for a balanced questioning of the issues.
A large part of one of the litigations concerned the fact that Dex-Cool was touted as a 150,000 mile product, but the GM warrenty didn't cover it out that far. So when people drove their cars over 100,000 miles, let the coolant level get low, then complain about sludging and such, I have no patience with them. Maintain your vehicle.
"Oh, I didn't open my hood and check to see if my coolant level was low. I think I'll sue." Remember the lady that spilled hot coffee on her lap at the McDonald's drive thru, then sued McDonalds because her hot coffee was.... HOT? Litigation for idiots.
Sorry, rant's over. I'll go take a nap.
-skip-
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip.irving View Post
AJust because its on the interweb don't make it true. See this:http://www.imcool.com/articles/antif...le-Excerpt.pdf
for a balanced questioning of the issues.
This is a personal call:
1. I don't feel that article actually says anything conclusive either way.
2. I've done considerable additional research which indicates at least a risk if not problems with Dexcool sue to it's attack on plastics. Considering there are a number of superior replacements, it only seems smart to avoid these risk factors.

I have a full jug of Dexcool in my garage that I will give you for free! (I bought it a couple of years ago before I had done my research).

Also remember, all of the same color are not considered equal. I a previous car I definitely had more corrosion issues when I used the cheaper store branded coolants. This make sense as while they have inhibitors they likely had less.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:18 AM
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A gallon of full strength Dex-Cool costs about 13 dollars. I think I paid $24 for my full strength gallon from BMW. I think $9 whole dollars is worth it. Unless you have no dealernearby in which case, go with the Zerex.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:33 AM
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Just a note:
I don't/won't use DexCool. Never have, never will. That, as you say, is a personal call. I've done the research, too, and what I've found is the same thing you have: It's inconclusive. But I won't trust my car to something that has a 'maybe' hanging over it.
What I was ranting about was the use of the internet to make statements that have no supporting evidence. That's why Snopes.com is near the top of my favorites list.
Considering the risks involved, I'm happy to go with Zerex or Prestone, and I flush and fill every 15,000 miles. Cheap insurance. The MINI dealer is not especially close, and I can get the same stuff they sell (albeit with a different name) for less. More money for toys.
This has been a fun thread, and I really hope it hasn't confused any newbies or non-motorheads. Guys and gals: if you're not sure, buy MINI branded products. And do basic maintenance religiously. It's the path to happy motoring.
Thanks for the input, everyone,
-skip-

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgardnez View Post
This is a personal call:
1. I don't feel that article actually says anything conclusive either way.
2. I've done considerable additional research which indicates at least a risk if not problems with Dexcool sue to it's attack on plastics. Considering there are a number of superior replacements, it only seems smart to avoid these risk factors.

I have a full jug of Dexcool in my garage that I will give you for free! (I bought it a couple of years ago before I had done my research).

Also remember, all of the same color are not considered equal. I a previous car I definitely had more corrosion issues when I used the cheaper store branded coolants. This make sense as while they have inhibitors they likely had less.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:22 AM
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Zerox Coolant chart Found G05 at NAPA for $11.57 per gallon

Last edited by john171; 05-01-2009 at 01:11 PM. Reason: add price
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgardnez View Post
Just google dexcool or dex-cool problems and read up, I would avoid that particular formulation like the plaque.

There are many many other formulations to use, and as you stated the color doesn't matter its the content. In particular some are more suited for iron bloack vs. aluminum blocks and aluminum radiators vs. copper/brass radiators.

And again I emphasis, avoid Dex-cool... at least I will.
I agree, it turned to what looked like mud in my Chevy....never had that happen to any other anti-freeze no matter how long it was left in the vehicle.

No reason I can think of to take a chance on it.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:40 PM
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another vote for Zerex G-05! spec'd for our MINI's.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:54 AM
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The mud is the coolant system sealant tablets they drop in it from the factory, its not the coolant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by resmini View Post
I agree, it turned to what looked like mud in my Chevy....never had that happen to any other anti-freeze no matter how long it was left in the vehicle.

No reason I can think of to take a chance on it.
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:22 AM
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My husband has used the factory fill Dex-Cool in his '98 Vette for 11 years now with no problems. However, it gets changed every 2 years. Only Mini-approved coolant goes in mine!
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:31 PM
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Anyone try Water Wetter (http://www.redlineoil.com/products_coolant.asp) or HyperKuhl (http://www.hyperkuhl.com/)? Which is "best " to use?

I have been looking at the Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini web sites to find out what they use and Porsche "recommends" that their customers go to a dealer BUT many owners have been citing Dex-Cool and G-05.

Is the G-05 worth it? How should it be added? Some Porsche owners have mentioned that 60 parts coolant and 40 parts water is "ideal". Some Mini owners here on NAM have said that 50/50 is best....So...I am assuming that I am splitting hairs but when it comes to Water Wetter or HyperKuhl, what should be the "ideal" mixture?

Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:25 PM
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where are you guys finding Zerex G-05
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:56 AM
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I am REALLY particular about my Mini and this is what I have come up with so far:

http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/Zerex_CoolantChart.pdf

and

I called my local Checker Auto Parts (http://www.cskauto.com/) and they said that they carry it on the shelf ( "we only have 6 bottles because not many people buy it these days" the salesman said) and it goes for ~$15 a bottle.

Hope that helps.

If someone knows of something "better" to use...then PLEASE chime in!
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:10 AM
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G-05 50/50 and water wetter.......
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:51 PM
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LOL I see the Dexcool myth everywhere. I've used it in every GM and never had a problem.

No problem in 5 year old GTO either. I do change it every two years just like I change my oil on the mini every 4K. It's cheap insurance.
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