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Old 12-09-2012, 05:30 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshade40 View Post
I have no idea,
These cooling system date clues, written to the E39, should apply for the most part to the E46 also:
- Cooling system date stickers & radiator date codes & markings (1) (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
But it is not recommended to mix coolant types.
Exactly. BMW says you can mix brands - but not certain types.
- BMW fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)

Here's what we have in the BMW E39 glovebox printout for cooling system summaries (which uses the same engine as the E46 so the cooling system threads should apply):
- Coolant, for engine, automatic transmission, power steering, and AC evaporator cooling (1)

See the last line regarding mixing brands versus types (more details in the aforementioned thread).
Quote:
E39 Engine coolant: phosphate free (for Europe's high-mineral-content water), amine & nitrite/nitrate free (for USA long-life requirements), & low-silicate or silicate free (for Japan requirements) 50:50 mixture of ethylene glycol & water (the Bentleys say distilled water (Bentley 020-11), aka de-mineralized or de-ionized water, some call it purified water, and the BMW AG TIS 12.11.2007 18:56 specifies water with a pH from 6.5 to 8.0, maximum total hardness of 3.6 mmol Ca++/liter, maximum chloride content 100 mg/liter, and maximum sulphate content 100mg/liter; interestingly the BMW TIS says "potable tap water usually fulfills these requirements". EPA reports show San Jose & NYC tap water easily fulfill these requirements. The BMW TIS expressly states additives are not helpful and are not recommended. BMW lists a score of recommended coolants in their BMW AG TIS 12.11.2007 18:55 which meet the BMW N 600 69.0 standard, some of which are BMW PN:81.22.9.407.454 1.5-liter; BMW PN:88.88.6.900.316 1 gallon; Castrol Anti-Freeze NF; BASF Glysantin Protect Plus G48, & Havoline AFC (BD04); but most of which are not easily found in the USA. Many Bimmerfesters recommend BMW coolant; however other Bimmerfesters recommend Prestone Extended Life 5/150, Valvoline Zerex G-05, and Service Pro Universal Formula. Others (e.g., chiefwej, aioros), have tested Evans NPG+ but be aware propanol entails a different maintenance philosophy than the aqueous fluids listed above and is not compatible with them. [Total Volume: 1997 I6=10.5 quarts (2.6 gallons), 1997 V8=12.0 quarts (3.0 gallons), 1998-2002 I6=11.1 quarts (2.8 gallons), 1998-2002 V8=12.7 quarts (3.2 gallons), 1997-2002 V8 with latent heater=13.5 quarts (3.4 gallons)]. Prestone says the only reason for phosphate free is the extremely high mineral content of water in Europe - and that in the USA, it's not needed. Replacement Interval: Every three years (Bentley page 020-9) or every four years (aforementioned BMW AG TIS) starting from date of manufacture (except for M-Power vehicles which have 3-year intervals). Note: Mixing BMW-recommended coolant brands is permissible; but mixing types is not permissible unless it's an emergency.
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Last edited by bluebee; 12-09-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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