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Thread: Coolant change on 2002 VW Passat

  1. #1
    JohnM
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    Coolant change on 2002 VW Passat

    According to VW's Schedule my 2002 Passat is slightly overdue for a coolant change. I suspect the original coolant is similar to Dexcool since it's orange in color. I have Bars Leaks test strips which say it's ok. As long as the acidity is acceptable is there any other reason to change the coolant?

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant change on 2002 VW Passat

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM
    According to VW's Schedule my 2002 Passat is slightly overdue for a coolant change. I suspect the original coolant is similar to Dexcool since it's orange in color. I have Bars Leaks test strips which say it's ok. As long as the acidity is acceptable is there any other reason to change the coolant?
    I tend to look at things like this as follows:

    The cost of flushing/re-filling the cooling system per the manufacturer's recommended time/mileage intervals is relatively small. On the other hand, the cost of a new radiator, prematurely (and/or inconveniently) failed water pump (and possible major engine damage caused by overheating) could be very high.

    People who know me know I tend to be fairly obsessive about maintenance - and prefer to err on the side of caution, especially when the cost of doing so is nominal (compared with a major failure/repair that you may be risking by not doing the service when recommended).

    If VW recommends you change the coolant at "x" time/mileage, I'd do it - for the same same reason I would change engine oil/filter per the recommendations. Better safe than sorry. Remember: Service recommendations are the result of engineering durability tests and so on; they're not just picked at random.

    Another thing to consider, incidentally, is your warranty coverage. Generally, if you don't adhere to the manufacturer's recommended service intervals, you may void your coverage in the event of a failure .

    PS - Welcome to the site!


  3. #3
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    Re: Coolant change on 2002 VW Passat

    In addition to coolant, people are also notorious for ignoring automatic trans fluid changes. Some manufacturers do not have drain intervals, however, a good rule of thumb is change the auto trans every 30,000 miles to avoid problems.

  4. #4
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    Re: Coolant change on 2002 VW Passat

    >>Some manufacturers do not have drain intervals, however, a good rule of thumb is change the auto trans every 30,000 miles to avoid problems.<<

    And some recommend that you never change it----

  5. #5
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    Re: Coolant change on 2002 VW Passat

    I'm with Eric on this -- you should change your coolant every three years, even if it passes the specific-gravity tests or the test strips.

    The cost of this vs. the cost of replacing really expensive components is minimal.

    So far as enviromental costs, almost all states mandate that old coolant be recycled.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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