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Volvo brand coolant

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
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Volvo brand coolant

Postby SimLyons » 13 Jul 2011, 02:21

Back in the day....Volvo Penta (as well as Cars, Trucks, Marine, Construction...ad infinitum) "required" Volvo Type C coolant. Of course no one else made "Volvo Type C", so they had a lock. I never heard of a warranty claim being rejected due to incorrect coolant brand and once I left (retired) I never used it.

Now that I have a couple of higher mileage Volvos that I intend to keep I thought I would ask if anyone has had any real proven cooling system failures traced to incorrect coolant type. I have used a Prestone brand supposedly fine with Volvos and other engines with lots of aluminum....almost all cars today.
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby Ozark Lee » 13 Jul 2011, 04:09

The blue Volvo coolant is just stupid expensive. To meet the factory specifications you need a coolant that is Phosphate Free and HOAT.

The one that I have found that meets the specs and I use exclusively is Zerex G05. It can be tough to find but most NAPA stores will have it and I have heard that O'Reilly has it but it is behind the counter. It does cost more than Prestone but it is half the price of the Volvo stuff.

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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby JDS60R » 13 Jul 2011, 04:17

I agree any turbo application should have a HOAT.

Prestone is currently an OAT.
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby SimLyons » 13 Jul 2011, 07:59

Thanks, gents: Very nice information to have. But have you personally heard of or experienced cooling system failures (and possibly consequentual damages from the cooling system failures) from any "modern" Volvo (late 850 through current models)
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby jblackburn » 13 Jul 2011, 13:20

Only when people don't change their radiator hoses/coolant when they should.

Radiator hoses blow up - I've had it happen myself - THREE TIMES on my old Honda. I changed all radiator hoses (and turbo coolant hoses) within a few months of getting my Volvo. It's something that needs to be done at this age.

Over time, antifreeze begins to get corrosive. It can eat away at the walls between transmission/oil coolers in the radiator, causing fluids to mix. Similar things also happen with the fins in the water pump and coolant jackets in the engine block if left too long.

One of these aluminum engines overheats just once, and you've got a blown head gasket/warped head. Take all the precautions you should, though, and that should never happen.

Oh, btw, I use the Zerex G-05 on my car. Even the Volvo parts guy said 'the coolant is stupid expensive; just use Peak or Zerex'.
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby SimLyons » 13 Jul 2011, 19:30

I agree it is a true maintenance item. I do full flushes and change the thrermostat and coolant every 2 years/30K miles on my cars. Next to lube oil I think that's pretty well up there on the list!
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby Volvos rock3 » 13 Jul 2011, 21:18

I've done it twice on the 02, not yet on the 09. Due to the hassel of getting rid of used coolant in my area, this is one PM that I will go to the dealer for ($75.00 service w/out the coolant). When I do it, I buy a gallon of coolant (yes I pay for the pretty blue stuff) BUT it needs to be mixed 50/50, so I get an empty gallon jug from the dealer and mix it. I end up with 2 gallons for $24.00 or $12.00 a piece. The coolant will work in both and if I don't use it by the next flush date, I take it with me and they use it for the flush. This all being said there was green prestone in the 850 w/out issue during my ownership.
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby tjts1 » 13 Jul 2011, 21:47

I use whatever green coolant is cheaper in the 850. The odometer died at 206k last year but the car keeps going. I'll let you know when the coolant kills my engine. I drain and refill the coolant every 2 years.
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby jimmy57 » 13 Jul 2011, 22:19

I have no actual proof on a volvo but on Ford 6.0 diesels I have LOADS of experience with the oil cooler getting obstructed by silicates precipitating out in the oil coolers. The efficiency of the oil cooler on those can be monitored due to oil temp sensor. You can't monitor oil cooler efficiency on Volvo engines. The oil cooler that engine uses is the same as what volvo puts in radiators and on the 99 and later as engine oil cooler on sump. The internal radiator versions have large coolant passages but the oil sump mounted version DOES NOT. If you change the silicate coolants often enough the risk is low. If you use the HOAT coolants you'll get better metals protection with reduced risk of heat exchanger plugging and that is long proven on equipment where large versions of these coolers have been used for a long time.
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby SimLyons » 13 Jul 2011, 22:42

Nice infromation, Jimmy. Do you have a fav brand you use? My '06 R is coming up for a flush/change soon. And my 850 R will be done before winter. Short of the $$ Blue $$ I'd like to use one for both.
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Re: Volvo brand coolant

Postby rspi » 11 Oct 2013, 19:59

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