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Old 11-09-2008, 08:13 AM
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Default Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

Say you're on top of a mountain resort and down at the bottom of the hill there's a store with antifreeze. You open your owner's manual and it says to only use volvo coolant. There are no volvo dealerships within 4 hours' drive and none of them are open anyway.

Is this a situation in which I want to be stranded, as Volvo roadside assistance has suggested, so that they can tow the car 4 hours away to allow a dealership to add coolant tomorrow? Or do I drive downhill and throw some Prestone and distilled water in the tank? There will be no fadiator flushing happening today.

Basically, anybody think I'll kill the engine by adding antifreeze/water 1:1 and drive 400 miles home this week without flushing?
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

How low are you? I would just add water, and no coolant. are you worried about it freezing? it is the pressure cap in the radiator that keeps the water from boiling at 212degrees, not a funny blend of antifreeze.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

Put some water in and go home. Once there, take your ride to a radiator shop and have him flush the radiator. Then have him install the antifreeze he recommends. I suspect there's not a damned thing so special about Volvo coolant that can't be found in a much cheaper over-the counter product ...
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

There's nothing special about a Volvo engine. Its probably aluminum so just use a coolant that is safe to use with aluminum engines. That's all.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

how did it get low to begin with. Coolant doesn't get used up. YOu must have a leak somewhere.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

Do not mix different kinds of coolant. Some of the different kinds will gel when mixed together, with the potential to cause serious problems. See: http://www.popularmechanics.com/how_...e/1272436.html

In your situation, just add water for now and you should be okay. When you get back to civilization, find and fix the leak, then have the system flushed and filled with the proper antifreeze.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

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Do not mix different kinds of coolant. Some of the different kinds will gel when mixed together, with the potential to cause serious problems. See: http://www.popularmechanics.com/how_...tive/1272436.h...

In your situation, just add water for now and you should be okay. When you get back to civilization, find and fix the leak, then have the system flushed and filled with the proper antifreeze.
The correct answer.

I once had a leak and the coolant got low at about 2:00 AM out in the sticks. I used a hub cap to get water from a nearby creek to fill the radiator. I flushed the system the next day and fixed the leak.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

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Say you're on top of a mountain resort and down at the bottom of the hill there's a store with antifreeze. You open your owner's manual and it says to only use volvo coolant. There are no volvo dealerships within 4 hours' drive and none of them are open anyway.

Is this a situation in which I want to be stranded, as Volvo roadside assistance has suggested, so that they can tow the car 4 hours away to allow a dealership to add coolant tomorrow? Or do I drive downhill and throw some Prestone and distilled water in the tank? There will be no fadiator flushing happening today.
You could carry extra Volvo coolant just in case. I do on my boat. And as others have suggested, if you don't have extra coolant, use water, no Prestone or such.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

An excellent reason not to buy a volvo. Just think how many places in the us you could be and be 500 miles away from a mechanic with volvo parts. I'm not saying they are bad cars, but you have to think about being stranded due to a bad whatever. For the same reason, I would never buy a bmw motorcycle, there is no one to service them except in metropolitan areas. They are, however, very nice bikes.

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Old 11-17-2008, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

The various types of coolants are easily distinguished by their color : red, yellow or green . don't mix the colors !
The water you add may have an extreme mineral content .

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Old 11-17-2008, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

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mattie - 11/16/2008 6:48 PM

An excellent reason not to buy a volvo. ...........
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

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mattie - 11/16/2008 3:48 PM

An excellent reason not to buy a volvo. Just think how many places in the us you could be and be 500 miles away from a mechanic with volvo parts. I'm not saying they are bad cars, but you have to think about being stranded due to a bad whatever. For the same reason, I would never buy a bmw motorcycle, there is no one to service them except in metropolitan areas. They are, however, very nice bikes.

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That's similar to saying I better not go offshore because the boat might sink.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

Quote:
mattie - 11/16/2008 3:48 PM

An excellent reason not to buy a volvo. Just think how many places in the us you could be and be 500 miles away from a mechanic with volvo parts. I'm not saying they are bad cars, but you have to think about being stranded due to a bad whatever. For the same reason, I would never buy a bmw motorcycle, there is no one to service them except in metropolitan areas. They are, however, very nice bikes.

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Old 02-10-2009, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

Bottled water would be the best thing if you don't have coolant. Distilled is the proper water and Shell makes a coolant that mixes with them all.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Let's say you're semi-stranded with low coolant level

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fldmax - 2/10/2009 8:16 PM

Bottled water would be the best thing if you don't have coolant. Distilled is the proper water and Shell makes a coolant that mixes with them all.
Distilled water is available at Wallmart and most any grocery store. Bottled water should be OK as a second choice.
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