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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 10-26-2012, 09:14 AM
Austin Peregory Austin Peregory is offline
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Mein Auto: 1991 BMW 525i
Cool what is the best anti freeze/coolant for 1991 525i?

putting in a new radiator pipes and all, what is the recommended coolant for the car?
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2012, 09:29 AM
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supertech777 supertech777 is offline
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I have been using prestone 50/50 for a few years now . No signs of corrosion !

Sent from my Desire HD using Bimmer App
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2012, 01:20 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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My best suggestion is for you to use cheap, walmart coolant for your car of any brand, provided it is brightly coloured and has a strong smell. Coolant technology has evolved and the differences between them are usually not significant for our cars. I've not noticed anyone having any problems specifically traceable to the brand of coolant that they use. Secondly, bright coolant makes leak detection much easier. The oem coolant is faint blue in colour and not useful here. Thirdly, if any coolant hose ruptures while driving, a the strong coolant's smell will invade the cabin and give you early warning of trouble, long before the engine actually overheats. Our car does not have an overheat alarm so having this facility is very nice. The OEM coolant practically has no smell. This aspect proved useful for me personally on two different occasions nearly 2 years ago.

Use any brand name if you prefer but see to it that it is brightly coloured (luminescent is best) and strong smelling. And keep an extra can of concentrate in the car.

Recently, I read about redline's water wetter over here. It is better than a coolant/water mixture in terms of heat transfer and average overall temperatures. I've just flushed my radiator and dumped a bottle of it in. The observation process is in progress in earnest.


rgds,
Roberto
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2012, 03:27 PM
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Costa Costa is offline
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Why not just use BMW coolant? I've been using it the whole time I've had my car.

It's almost impossible to not notice if a rad hose blows anyway. Plus, BMW blue is odorless, so every time you turn on your heater you won't smell the stench of Prestone.

I'm not in anyway saying Prestone is a bad product, I'm saying, why not use the coolant that was actually designed for a BMW, the car you spend hundreds on and, eventually start to love?

Just a thought.
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2012, 04:09 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Costa View Post
Why not just use BMW coolant? I've been using it the whole time I've had my car.

It's almost impossible to not notice if a rad hose blows anyway. Plus, BMW blue is odorless, so every time you turn on your heater you won't smell the stench of Prestone.

I'm not in anyway saying Prestone is a bad product, I'm saying, why not use the coolant that was actually designed for a BMW, the car you spend hundreds on and, eventually start to love?

Just a thought.
That's a good point Costa. This is how I look at it.

I agree that it is impossible not to notice when a hose ruptures, but if this happens while driving, you will not be alerted to the situation except by an overheated engine. Engine overheats need not destroy the car but they are to be avoided wherever possible for obvious reasons. With a coolant that has a strong odour the situation is different. A burst hose sprays coolant in the engine everywhere. Air that enters the cabin gets sucked in through the engine in some way. So, the strong smell of the coolant that is now spewing everywhere, also gets carried into the cabin. You will instantly notice this and then begin taking action to stop the car and check. This usually does happen before the engine begins to overheat....you need to lose a fair bit of coolant before overheating takes place, although of course this can happen in 5 minutes as well depending on how bad the rupture is.

Secondly, some burst hoses are not severe. You might not notice it in a casual inspection. However, when left unfixed, a small rupture can suddenly turn into a big one and become a showstopper. With a strongly smelling coolant, you will smell the leak even if it is a small one, and then begin to check everything more thoroughly. It is a great warning device.

The reason why BMW does not have a strong smell in their coolants is because they do not design the coolants for E34s, but for their latest cars, where the probability of hoses rupturing is rather low because the cars are not as old as ours, and also because they now have all kinds of warning systems to alert the driver to pressure drops in the cooling system.

Then we come to the question of coolant itself. Is cheap coolant worse than OEM coolant ? Well, it is fairly clear that nothing can go wrong with OEM coolant. That being said, the complex elements of coolant chemistry are in the "bouncing the rubble" category of life for our car. Any modern coolant being sold in the market will do the job as well as any other, and certainly brand name coolants would have no issues. Any exceptional coolant will probably not give you any benefits that are worth having or can be felt, practically speaking. I wouldn't trade my normal coolant with a strong smell and bright colours for an exceptional odourless coolant. That smell and bright colours sir is important, in my experience, when you're driving an old car and especially when you're the person looking after it primarily.

You should not be smelling prestone in your cabin if everything is fine. I do not smell my cheap $3.50 coolant concentrate in my cabin, and I've had to replace practically everything related to the hoses etc in my car. So, if you are smelling any kind of coolant in your cabin, and if you have properly washed off any spilled coolant after you topped up your radiator, I would say that you need to look for any small leaks somewhere, or perhaps tighten up some hose clamps or something. Please open your hood in a windless area, and begin sniffing. Do you smell prestone? If you do, you really should find out why. In any case, check to see all hose fittings are tight and inspect hoses as best as you can. Hoses that are hard are prone to cracks (major or minor) so those need to be checked more carefully and replaced if a suitable opportunity arises naturally. You rad cap and bleed screw ought to be new - since they cost less than $15 in total.




cheers,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-26-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2012, 05:52 PM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
That smell and bright colours sir is important, in my experience, when you're driving an old car and especially when you're the person looking after it primarily.

cheers,
Roberto
That is just plain retarded. You do it so you really don't have to check the car over all the time? If something is leaking, it almost certainly ends up on the garage floor. I don't need smelly, cheap green coolant to see or smell a leak, it appears some do

The oem coolant is best for the car.
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2012, 06:10 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Well well, interestingly, I flushed my radiator and dumped in redline's water wetter yesterday. While driving today, guess what ? I noticed an odd smell in the cabin. Stopped the car and took a quick look. Drip drip drip...coolant was dripping from the main radiator hose....one drop every 10 seconds, and that's at high pressure so its not much.. Looks like I didn't tighten it up properly. Tightened the hose clamp, rinsed off the excess coolant and went on my way. No further smells after that. Stopped later and checked again. No drips.

I'm glad to use a coolant that has a strong smell. You can use BMW coolant if you like. I'm sure if a small leak springs somewhere, you will just feel it in your funny bone, or you car will be polite to hold its water until you reach home and then dump it all on the garage floor so that you can see it clearly.
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2012, 07:19 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Well well, interestingly, I flushed my radiator and dumped in redline's water wetter yesterday. While driving today, guess what ? I noticed an odd smell in the cabin. Stopped the car and took a quick look. Drip drip drip...coolant was dripping from the main radiator hose....one drop every 10 seconds, and that's at high pressure so its not much.. Looks like I didn't tighten it up properly. Tightened the hose clamp, rinsed off the excess coolant and went on my way. No further smells after that. Stopped later and checked again. No drips.

I'm glad to use a coolant that has a strong smell. You can use BMW coolant if you like. I'm sure if a small leak springs somewhere, you will just feel it in your funny bone, or you car will be polite to hold its water until you reach home and then dump it all on the garage floor so that you can see it clearly.
It seems with every new post you bring us more proof of how little you really know about cars bobby. Thanks for the entertainment
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2012, 01:11 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
It seems with every new post you bring us more proof of how little you really know about cars bobby. Thanks for the entertainment
Considering that you're as human as I am, and that humans both designed and maintain this vehicle, and that even individuals otherwise competent in the task at hand however simple it is, can make mistakes, it only goes to demonstrate the value of having backup warning systems in the loop. Using brightly coloured, strong smelling coolant is one such example of a backup system.

Unless you've found a way to do a cross country vulcan mind meld with snowsled who is incapable of making an error with E34s and can't understand how others can, I suggest to the gentle reader that following my specific suggestion here and my approach in general would be an act of prudence.

The only reason why I slap you down each time snowy is because others less confident then you would simply listen to you without thinking. And yes, if you have the misfortune of experiencing a small coolant rupture that turns into a big one under high pressure that leads to a catastrophic overheat that warps the head because it took too long for you to stop your car in the middle of a busy freeway once you finally notice the temp guage going way up, instead of around 5-10 minutes earlier via something as simple as a sudden coolant smell in the cabin, one can sit there and channel snowy vast automotive repair skills for the fixup.

Hmmm......snowy, mean50, down1999 and my other personal groupies (my apologies if I overlooked anyone specifically ! ), there is something to be said for extreme fear and gloom and doom as a motivator. Brings back fond memories of the Bush years....." mushroom cloud wooo wooo ! "....never mind the obviously fake intel, the near zero probability of a convential/non-conventional threat and the extra 150k non-american lives to be sacrificed. It is fun indeed !



rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-27-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2012, 08:18 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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Tanya- 93 uses extended life coolant 5 year- Orange color, some oder and 1 qt redline water wetter, needed it this Summer. Willow- 06 uses OEM Blue.

Last edited by luckydog; 10-27-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2012, 03:18 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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I use OEM. If you inadvertently use a high phosphate coolant it will stuff up your radiator (given time). For me OEM works very well.
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2012, 06:59 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Considering that you're as human as I am, and that humans both designed and maintain this vehicle, and that even individuals otherwise competent in the task at hand however simple it is, can make mistakes, it only goes to demonstrate the value of having backup warning systems in the loop. Using brightly coloured, strong smelling coolant is one such example of a backup system.

Unless you've found a way to do a cross country vulcan mind meld with snowsled who is incapable of making an error with E34s and can't understand how others can, I suggest to the gentle reader that following my specific suggestion here and my approach in general would be an act of prudence.
If people follow your advice, they will need extra prudence. You just do not know what you are talking about. Please, tell us how many cars you have owned and for how long rather than your glaring genralities of "years".

You are simply not qualified to give the advice you do. In another thread you tell a poster that the sensor in the bottom of the radiator is the coolant level sensor.... errrrr, not! Yeah bobby that is where they put it to tell you when you were completely out. OR, it could be in the resevoir on the high side of the cooling system to detect small level drops. Just ONE of many potential examples.

Quote:
The only reason why I slap you down each time snowy is because others less confident then you would simply listen to you without thinking. And yes, if you have the misfortune of experiencing a small coolant rupture that turns into a big one under high pressure that leads to a catastrophic overheat that warps the head because it took too long for you to stop your car in the middle of a busy freeway once you finally notice the temp guage going way up, instead of around 5-10 minutes earlier via something as simple as a sudden coolant smell in the cabin, one can sit there and channel snowy vast automotive repair skills for the fixup.

Hmmm......snowy, mean50, down1999 and my other personal groupies (my apologies if I overlooked anyone specifically ! ), there is something to be said for extreme fear and gloom and doom as a motivator. Brings back fond memories of the Bush years....." mushroom cloud wooo wooo ! "....never mind the obviously fake intel, the near zero probability of a convential/non-conventional threat and the extra 150k non-american lives to be sacrificed. It is fun indeed !



rgds,
Roberto
Slap me down? Seriously, do you read the posts? You are way out of your league and everybody can see it. Keep talking though clown boy, it definately is fun.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2012, 08:21 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
I use OEM. If you inadvertently use a high phosphate coolant it will stuff up your radiator (given time). For me OEM works very well.
I think this article is relevant on the question of phosphates in coolants :

http://www.prestone.com/enmx/learn_m...sked_questions
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2012, 08:28 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
If people follow your advice, they will need extra prudence. You just do not know what you are talking about. Please, tell us how many cars you have owned and for how long rather than your glaring genralities of "years".

You are simply not qualified to give the advice you do. In another thread you tell a poster that the sensor in the bottom of the radiator is the coolant level sensor.... errrrr, not! Yeah bobby that is where they put it to tell you when you were completely out. OR, it could be in the resevoir on the high side of the cooling system to detect small level drops. Just ONE of many potential examples.
Perhaps you should recheck #13 on this diagram :

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...01&hg=17&fg=05

Its ok. Most lobbyists don't know too much about the E34's minute details unless they own one themselves. Then they spend all of their time in character assassinations, as if that will convince anyone, forgetting that the average E34 forummer is decidedly not an average joe intellectually (however ordinarily he may behave in real life).

Look. A well maintained car costs anything from $2500-$4000, depending on its engine. Its chump change compared to your retainer. Get one and just charge it to your client (you can inflate the price if you like, most clients already expect this).

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-28-2012 at 09:47 AM.
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  #15  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:55 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Well son, I do happen to own an e34, my sixth BMW in my driving career. I try to work my character assisinations into my factual replies, I think it adds a nice bit of humor especially when having to reply to your rediculous posts.

What happened to your lobbyist thread bobby? Was it just too stupid to stay? I thought so.
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2012, 05:25 AM
rdc rdc is offline
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Zerex G-O5 seems to work well.

http://www.valvoline.com/products/br.../antifreeze/42
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Last edited by rdc; 10-29-2012 at 05:26 AM.
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  #17  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:49 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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I checked out the 'phosphate' info from Prestone. They state that phosphate is of no concern in the USA because the water is better. I first read about he phosphate problem in a BMW CCA publication. I'm sticking with OEM.
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  #18  
Old 10-29-2012, 05:14 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
I checked out the 'phosphate' info from Prestone. They state that phosphate is of no concern in the USA because the water is better. I first read about he phosphate problem in a BMW CCA publication. I'm sticking with OEM.
You can't go wrong with OEM. It just might not be as right as it possibly can be.
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  #19  
Old 10-29-2012, 05:32 PM
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supertech777 supertech777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
I think this article is relevant on the question of phosphates in coolants :

http://www.prestone.com/enmx/learn_m...sked_questions
nice to know
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  #20  
Old 10-29-2012, 06:46 PM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Is it seriously being put forward that prestone or wal mart coolant would be better for the car than the coolant the manufacturer specifies?

The question was, "what is the best", not what is cheaper, or greener or stinkier.
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  #21  
Old 10-29-2012, 09:18 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Just to qualify my 'phosphate' response - I refer you all to 'BMW Enthusiast's Companion'. Bentley Stock number: GBCC. ISBN: 0-8376-0321-8. Page 81. No point in re-inventing the wheel, just following the steps of wiser men. Just use distilled water to fault find! Cheaper than coolant.
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  #22  
Old 10-30-2012, 04:44 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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The only flaw being, bobby believes he is the wiser man

The above post is correct though. BMW is far more qualified to spec coolants for their engines than even prestone. Simply easy cost effective, I agree, no reason to re-invent the wheel.
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  #23  
Old 10-30-2012, 05:25 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
Just to qualify my 'phosphate' response - I refer you all to 'BMW Enthusiast's Companion'. Bentley Stock number: GBCC. ISBN: 0-8376-0321-8. Page 81. No point in re-inventing the wheel, just following the steps of wiser men. Just use distilled water to fault find! Cheaper than coolant.
If it is not too much trouble, could you quote, take a snapshot, scan, or paraphrase what that page says ? Most people don't have the companion.
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  #24  
Old 10-30-2012, 09:33 AM
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To OP - the answer to your question is to use, OEM BMW blue antifreeze.
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  #25  
Old 10-30-2012, 01:25 PM
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I use Prestone 50/50 in all my cars never had a problem (Volvo now has 260,000 miles). Your car does not know the difference, though I respect those who feel they must use manufacturer products, such as BMW oils/coolant. As the argument goes, engines rarely fail on oil type or coolant type, the flow systems are what fails.
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