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Just how important is it that the BMW coolant be used when flushing the coolant system? Except for the color, What's the difference between BMW & Prestone? They're both a 50/50 mixture of water & coolant...right??
 

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I use the BMW coolant. However, something like this one,

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_extended-life-antifreeze-coolant-(1-gallon)-prestone_7020012-p?searchTerm=prestone

without the phosphates, silicates, borates should be acceptable. The cost of the BMW coolant is roughly double the cost of the Prestone linked herein (with discounts). However, considering the frequency of coolant replacement, not an issue.

However, if you do a thorough flush (at least 4 to 5 times with distilled water) of whatever you have in there now, and then refill with this one, it should be OK.
 

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I had the same question several years ago. I don't recall all the details, something about BMW being phosphate free. That is supposed to work better for aluminum alloy engines.

As Pinecone states, there is a small difference in price, so why not go with it.
 
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