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Never change engine coolant? Really?

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:17 AM
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Never change engine coolant? Really?

My 2006 C2S has real low mileage (just over 15,000!) but after 5 years I'm starting to look at maintenance. Had the brake fluid changed (used Motul 600) and an independent mechanic perform it and check the car for any issues before it was out of the factory warranty, and I've changed the oil, oil filter, and air filters myself, etc. But after significant surfing I can't find any info on coolant change-- I read one place that the coolant is "permanent". Is that true? Most vehicles need the coolant changed after 5-6 years to keep the anti-corrosion chemicals active and working. Do we never need to change the coolant on our Pcars???
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:58 AM
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I always change mine between 30 or 60k....

+ Arizona....oh yeah, I would flush coolant system along with replacing fluid...wont hurt
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:50 PM
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I have the same question - love how the owner's manual doesn't mention much about fluids i.e. coolant, power steering fluid, etc. I also read that some Porsche models have 'coolant for life' but have not yet confirmed with a valid source.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:22 AM
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IMHO, "coolant for life" has about as much credibility as "maint free wheel bearings" that are supposedly for the life of the vehicle... coolant is relatively inexpensive in contrast to engines. Do the coolant flush and fill, and don't forget to R&R your thermostat... and don't go aftermkt on the thermostat, either.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:12 PM
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Cool Never Change Coolant. Ever??

The only reason it would occur to me that you would never have to change the coolant is if the coolant was 100% glycol-- rather than a 50-50 mixture as in most cars. That would mean that the chemicals that inhibit corrosion would be very strong and possibly remain active for a very long time, but that would also reduce the cooling capacity of the radiators as well. My understanding is that the way antifreeze works at inhibiting corrosion is by not letting the actual water contact the metal. Which limits the metals ability to transfer heat to the coolant. The way the Water Wetter products work is by allowing the cooling system water to maintain closer contact with the radiators-- thus transfering more heat, etc. Maybe Porsches have such over engineered cooling systems they can tolerate a 100% glycol coolant??

I almost believe in "mainenance free" wheel bearings. 141,000 miles and 15 years on a Tahoe that is repeatedly dunked in water to launch/retrieve a boat and still going strong with original bearings. I'm sure they will wear out some time-- but this type of lifetime almost qualifies as maintenance free with me....
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:45 PM
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I know that the older V8 Cayennes (I used to have a 2004) pimped out the coolant as being good for life. Not sure about the flat-six, I thought we had to change it at something like 60k miles. Maybe it was 80k.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:56 AM
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I look at "lifetime" coolant and similar items as meaning the lifetime of the original owner, which on average is probably 3-5 years. After the original owner (whenever the product was installed), manufacturers don't care what happens to the car. I can tell you from a mechanics standpoint that coolant definitely isn't lifetime, and changing it every couple years is the best preventative maintenance for ensuring long life out of your cooling components.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:07 PM
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Cool Final Resolution on Coolant Change Issue...(?)

Just for a followup-- I called Porsche North Scottsdale and asked a service writer (the resident 911 expert for all the exotic car dealers in Scottsdale-- I know for a fact) who acted confused and said they have never changed the coolant on a 997. He said official Porsche policy is that the coolant is, in fact, "permanent". Maybe because all the components are aluminum (block, radiators, etc.) and less susceptable to corrosion than an old iron block engines?? I called an independent shop and they said yes, you do need to change the coolant after 5 years-- and oh, we charge $250 for that-- due to the special coolant needed, etc. He also said-- in reply to my question about why Porsche would not specify that the coolant needs to be changed if it in fact does, that it is a "marketing" claim for them. I find that suspicious-- why would Porsche take that chance with owners and negative p/r if not changing the coolant would impact engine reliability and significant repair?

I guess I'm not going to worry about it for at least another 2 years or so, and then take a look at it. Wonder about BMW's-- do they specify to change coolant or is theirs "permanent" as well???
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:43 PM
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Maybe Porsche makes the claim that coolant is 'permanent' because they know full well the hose clamps will fail and you'll replace it anyway. This way they get the marketing benefits without the risks...just saying.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:31 PM
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My Audi owners manual also does not mention anything about coolant changes; however, the dealership (and other independents) have suggested changing it out every 3-4 years.

I have an appointment with the local Porsche dealership Friday for an oil change on the 997, so I'll get another opinion and post here.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:25 AM
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Talked to my service advisor at the Porsche dealership today and he also said the coolant is 'long-life' with no set change intervals. He said they will top it off as needed during service vists, but said there's no need to change it unless you get a coolant leak (i.e. busted hose)...
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:42 PM
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:31 PM
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audi/porsche coolants are indeed advertised as permanent.

if in doubt, you can always change it. i figure 5-7 yrs is sufficient since typical coolant change interval is 3 yrs. these cars take quite a bit of coolant and you'd want to use factory fill.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:37 PM
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$250? Just change it or DYI for less. Cheap insurance.

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Old 01-29-2011, 09:22 PM
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yup might as well and just change it
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:22 PM
 
 
 
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