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I just drove to Florida and back and the coolant looks a little low. It's between the lines, but lower than when I left.

I was reading on here that there's a special purple coolant used in the Beetle, but mine's green. Is it safe to assume my mechanic used standard coolant and not the G12 stuff from the dealership?

If I add coolant, what is the ratio of coolant to water I should use?
 

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If you don't have G12 (G12+, G13), and based on the fact that it is green you don't, then you will want to flush that entire system and replace it all with G12 (G12+ or G13).

You cannot mix the two types. Green = Bad, Pink = Good.

The ratio depends on the climate and extremity of cold your vehicle will face, however a 50/50 blend is a safe value for use across the entire 48 states. In Canada and Alaska I would recommend using a 60/40 ratio of G12 to distilled water as that will ensure the mixture remains fluid down to -40 or lower.

If you just want to add some fluid now, then purchase some distilled water (not tap, not spring water) and add that to your coolant tank to top it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you don't have G12 (G12+, G13), and based on the fact that it is green you don't, then you will want to flush that entire system and replace it all with G12 (G12+ or G13).

You cannot mix the two types. Green = Bad, Pink = Good.

The ratio depends on the climate and extremity of cold your vehicle will face, however a 50/50 blend is a safe value for use across the entire 48 states. In Canada and Alaska I would recommend using a 60/40 ratio of G12 to distilled water as that will ensure the mixture remains fluid down to -40 or lower.

If you just want to add some fluid now, then purchase some distilled water (not tap, not spring water) and add that to your coolant tank to top it up.
From what I've read the pink stuff is the choice of dealers. I'm surprised my mechanic who usually insists on OEM parts and only works on European cars would have used the green stuff. If the pink stuff that much better?
 

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If the pink stuff that much better?
The materials used in the cooling system were designed around VW's coolant. It isn't that the green coolants are necessarily bad in general, just bad in these cars. Also, the green coolants are not compatible with G12/G13 so if there was any pink residual left in there when the green was added it will be turning to sludge soon.
 

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From what I've read the pink stuff is the choice of dealers. I'm surprised my mechanic who usually insists on OEM parts and only works on European cars would have used the green stuff. If the pink stuff that much better?
Not really better, but specific to the requirements for VW. G12 is intended for use in vehicles with aluminium engine parts from what I recall, and that is why it needs to be used.
 

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Beetleman
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The issue with coolant is that most consumer grade coolants like Prestone and other "green" coolants, is that they all contain phosphates. Phosphates react as a corrosive when used in engines that have cast iron blocks and aluminum heads. They can and do cause internal corrosion on some gaskets and parts.
VW specifically recommends a coolant that is phosphate free. Any of the Autobahn or Pentosin brand coolants can be used. You do need to be sure that you use the correct specification coolant. As has been mentioned, DO NOT mix any VW coolant with green coolant of any brand. Also, DO NOT mix G11 blue coolant with G12 pink or G12++ purple coolant. You CAN mix G12 pink with G12 purple.
Bottom line is if you have green coolant in your car now, it will require a complete and thorough drain and flush before you switch over to a VW coolant.
 
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