VW Coolant Antifreeze

Wondering about VW antifreeze change intervals or how often you should flush your coolant? Important tips when filling or topping off your coolant expansion tank? We've taken our years of VW antifreeze service experience and put it to work for you! Blauparts provides basic overviews on how to drain and flush VW coolant antifreeze antifreeze.

This VW coolant antifreeze post discusses the following topics:

  • VW Coolant Change Intervals
  • Filling & Topping Up VW Coolant
  • How To Flush VW Coolant - Basic Overview
  • Types Of Audi Coolants

VW Coolant Change Intervals

The combination of chemical additives contained in coolant and the base of the coolant (even long-life coolant), responsible for lubricating seals, retaining alkalinity and inhibiting corrosion within the engine's cooling system, over time become depleted. Like oil, coolant eventually breaks down, becomes weak, and "gets dirty." For maximum corrosion and prolonged engine life, flushing VW coolant antifreeze every 4 to 5 years (50,000 - 60,000 miles) is important.

Tip: Thoroughly flushing your VW's coolant is most convenient when done during timing belt replacement or when changing the engines water pump.

Draining and Flushing VW Coolant

Pictured Example. Blauparts purchased a used 1997 Audi A4 1.8T (same engine as a VW Passat 1.8T) with approximately 90,000 miles, which had 1 previous owner. The previous owner had every service record from the date of sale, regular oil changes, preventative maintenance, and took really good care of the car. However, note the sediment or contamination of the G12+ coolant that was removed when we thoroughly flushed the system. Even when using approved coolant, years of continuous circulating through the engine causes a measure of sediment to buildup.

Do you want your VW to reach 150,000 miles and beyond; or your new water pump to last 60,000 to 90,000 miles? Then, it is important to replicate the cooling system to a like new factory condition. Simply draining is not enough. Draining alone can leave as much as 30 to 50% of the old coolant in the engine block. It is imperative that the VW cooling system be thoroughly flushed of all accumulated silt and sediment buildup. Especially if any aftermarket cooling system additives or stop leak products that may have been added to the cooling system. You cannot be lazy when it comes to coolant flushing and water pump replacement! Cutting corners now adds time, labor, and money later.

It's the installers responsibility to take the necessary time to thoroughly flush the cooling system. It has been noted that due to time constraints, inconvenience, and profit, many individuals, mechanics, and repair shops do not take the extra time needed to thoroughly flush the entire cooling system. Thoroughly flushing the coolant involves the engine block, radiator, heater core, and hoses.

Premature water pump failure (bearings and seals) can occur if you don't take the time to flush the entire cooling system and its related components. Often when problems arise, such as an coolant leak, the new VW water pump is blamed as the cause when in fact the opposite is true. It's usually because the installer neglected to follow this important step.

Only use tap water to flush the entire cooling system. Do NOT use cooling system flush products. Many of these agents contain muriatic and/or other acids. Remnants of these acids left in the cooling system can cause your new VW water pump to prematurely fail.

Filling & Topping Off VW Coolant

How To Fill or Top VW Coolant Video

Blauparts recommends topping off your expansion tank with the same type of coolant that is currently in your VW cooling system. This ensure the purity of your cooling system.

Use ONLY Audi VW G13, G12++, G12+, or G11 approved VW coolant antifreeze specifications. Do NOT use regular store-bought coolant, which typically doesn't correspond with the specifications of a VW cooling system. Most VW coolant antifreeze comes in a concentrated form. If using concentrated coolant, you MUST dilute the coolant to a 50/50 concentration. DO NOT mix normal tap water with coolant. Tap water varies in pH, mineral, and chemical content and depending on these factors can adversely affect your new coolant and the cooling system.

Owners who are currently using G12++ or G12+ coolant may wish to upgrade to the latest G13 purple coolant the next time they thoroughly flush the cooling system (i.e. during timing belt replacement). Even though the latest G13 coolant is backward compatible, Blauparts recommends thoroughly flushing your cooling system, when upgrading to a different type of coolant. This maintains the purity of the cooling system.

VW Coolant Concentration

Remember to check the concentration (pH) of your VW coolant antifreeze on a regular basis. It's especially important to maintain the correct VW coolant antifreeze concentration during winter to protect your system against freezing temperatures. If your coolant concentration is weak, change it. Over time, weak or contaminated coolant (incorrect pH) can cause serious engine problems (i.e. water pump failure, as mentioned above).

Never fill or top off with full concentrate G13, G12++, G12+, or G11 VW coolant antifreeze. Your VW coolant antifreeze should never exceed an coolant ratio of 60%. If it's over 60%, an inefficient VW cooling system will result, decreasing flow through the radiator along with poor heat transfer through the engine block.

What Happens If You Don’t Use the Correct OEM Approved VW Coolant?

Inferior coolant has an adverse reaction within a VW cooling system. Poor quality coolant contaminates the system and eats away at metal, rubber, and plastic components. Obvious external indicators are bulging coolant hoses and white calcified residue oozing from coolant hose clamp mating areas (See Image 2). Not so obvious is lime and scale deposits that begin to build-up in the radiator core, restricting coolant flow and causing the engine to run hotter (especially in summer and warmer climates). All this eventually causes serious engine problems (i.e. water pump failure - See Image 1). You'll notice similar warnings in your owner's manual under the coolant section.

Warning: Make sure that your local quick lube or mechanic isn't adding or topping off your system with incorrect coolant. Mixing OEM VW approved coolant with any other coolant will cause an adverse chemical reaction with the existing coolant and contaminates the cooling system, thus affecting the longevity of the VW water pump. If your coolant is green or brown in color thoroughly flush your cooling system immediately! You'll notice similar warnings in your owner's manual under the coolant section. Read the warnings on the coolant antifreeze bottle regarding improper use being harmful or fatal.

How To Flush VW Coolant - Basic Overview

Changing your VW coolant antifreeze isn't as difficult as you think. We've taken our years of VW engine coolant service experience and put it to work for you! Blauparts provides some basic overview on how to flush VW coolant antifreeze.

  • 4 Cylinder Models
  • 5 Cylinder Models
  • V6 Models
  • V8 Models

Flushing your VW's coolant is most easily done when replacing your timing belt.

Refer to the factory service manual for VW cooling system capacities and mixture ratios. We recommend having an A.S.E. certified VW mechanic change your VW coolant antifreeze. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when handling VW fluids.

The below information is a basic overview of what is involved when flushing VW coolant antifreeze. It is not intended to replace the factory manual. Please refer to the factory manual for detailed instructions.

How To Change Engine Coolant On Most VW 4 Cylinder (1998 - On)

1. When the engine has cooled down, remove the VW coolant antifreeze tank cap.

2. Draining the VW coolant antifreeze from the 4cyl cooling system:

3. Remove the lower radiator drain plug from the lower front of the radiator (Vw Passat). Remove the passenger side lower radiator hose. Remove the outer VW coolant antifreeze hose that connects to the oil cooler. To drain the heater core you'll need to remove the hose on the coolant flange or transfer pipe located on the back side of the engine. This hose goes from the cylinder head to the heater core.

4. After the system is done draining, put the VW coolant antifreeze tank cap back on. Carefully work off and remove the smallest hose that is connected to the top of the VW coolant antifreeze tank. Be careful, the tank nipple likes to crack and break off.

5. With a blow gun and compressed air on low, carefully insert the blow nozzle into the small hose. Wearing safety goggles, carefully force the air out so that any VW coolant antifreeze that's still trapped in the cooling system is released.

6. Reinstall the VW coolant antifreeze drain plug. Reinstall the coolant tank hose(s). Fill the VW cooling system with deionized or distilled water. Start the car and air bleed the cooling system as outlined in the factory manual. Run the car until the cooling fan comes on.

7. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until the water comes out clean.

8. Verify that you have the correct anti-phosphate anti-amine G13, G12++, or G12+ VW coolant antifreeze. If it's full concentrate, mix a 50/50 ratio per the Bentley manual. Fill your VW cooling system with this 50/50 mixture. It is recommended to use DEIONIZED water (because it has a perfect neutral PH) and if that is not available, you should use at the very least DISTILLED water to a 50/50 concentration. DO NOT mix normal tap water with coolant. Tap water varies in pH, mineral, and chemical content and depending on these factors can adversely affect your new coolant and the cooling system. Note: Some factory VW coolant antifreezes sold by dealers are already premixed and do not require further dilution.

9. Run the 4cyl engine and check for any VW coolant antifreeze leaks.

10. Top off the coolant tank to the fill line. Do not overfill.

11. Using a permanent marker, write 'G13, G12++, or G12+ Coolant Only' on the VW coolant antifreeze tank.

12. Be environmentally responsible and dispose of your old VW coolant antifreeze properly.

How To Change Engine Coolant On A VW 5 Cylinder

1. When the engine has cooled down, remove the VW coolant antifreeze tank cap.

2. Begin draining the VW coolant antifreeze by remove the lower radiator hose. Only about 75% of the VW coolant antifreeze will drain, the rest is in the engine block and heater core. To drain the heater core you'll need to remove the hose on the coolant flange or transfer pipe located on the back side of the engine. This hose goes from the cylinder head to the heater core. You can also drain the engine block by removing the thermostat housing or the small 6" hose adjacent from the thermostat housing. This hose connects to the steel tubing that runs alongside the engine block to the back of the engine.

3. Reinstall the hoses. Fill the VW cooling system with deionized or distilled water. Start the car and air bleed the cooling system as outlined in the factory manual. Run the car until the cooling fan comes on.

4. Repeat steps 2 through 3 until the water comes out clean.

5. Verify that you have the correct anti-phosphate anti-amine G13, G12++, G12+, or G11 VW coolant antifreeze. If it's full concentrate, mix a 50/50 ratio per the Bentley manual. Fill your VW cooling system with this 50/50 mixture. It is recommended to use DEIONIZED water (because it has a perfect neutral PH) and if that is not available, you should use at the very least DISTILLED water to a 50/50 concentration. DO NOT mix normal tap water with coolant. Tap water varies in pH, mineral, and chemical content and depending on these factors can adversely affect your new coolant and the cooling system. Note: Some factory VW coolant antifreezes sold by dealers are already premixed and do not require further dilution.

6. Run the 5cyl engine and check for any VW coolant antifreeze leaks.

7. Top off the coolant tank to the fill line. Do not overfill.

8. Using a permanent marker, write 'G13, G12++, G12+, or G11 Coolant Only' on the VW coolant antifreeze tank.

9. Be environmentally responsible and dispose of your old VW coolant antifreeze properly.

How To Change Engine Coolant On a VW V6

1. When the engine has cooled down, remove the VW coolant antifreeze tank cap.

2. Begin draining the VW coolant antifreeze system by locating the drain plug in the engine bocl. There is a 8mm Allen drain plug on the back side of the subframe cross member offset to the driver's side. It is recessed about 1 inch into the casting of the engine block. You'll probably need a flash light to find it. To drain the heater core you'll need to remove the hose on the coolant flange or transfer pipe located on the back side of the engine. This hose goes from the cylinder head to the heater core.

3. After the system is done draining, put the VW coolant antifreeze tank cap back on. Carefully work off and remove the smallest hose that is connected to the top of the VW coolant antifreeze tank. Be careful, the tank nipple likes to crack and break off.

4. With a blow gun and compressed air on low, carefully insert the blow nozzle into the small hose. Wearing safety goggles, carefully force the air out so that any VW coolant antifreeze that's still trapped in the cooling system is released.

5. Reinstall the VW coolant antifreeze drain plug. Reinstall the coolant tank hose(s). Fill the VW cooling system with deionized or distilled water. Start the car and air bleed the cooling system as outlined in the factory manual. Run the car until the cooling fan comes on.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until the water comes out clean.

7. Verify that you have the correct anti-phosphate anti-amine G13, G12++, or G12+ VW coolant antifreeze. If it's full concentrate, mix a 50/50 ratio per the Bentley manual. Fill your VW cooling system with this 50/50 mixture. It is recommended to use DEIONIZED water (because it has a perfect neutral PH) and if that is not available, you should use at the very least DISTILLED water to a 50/50 concentration. DO NOT mix normal tap water with coolant. Tap water varies in pH, mineral, and chemical content and depending on these factors can adversely affect your new coolant and the cooling system. Note: Some factory VW coolant antifreezes sold by dealers are already premixed and do not require further dilution.

8. Run the V6 engine and check for any VW coolant antifreeze leaks.

9. Top off the coolant tank to the fill line. Do not overfill.

10. Using a permanent marker, write 'G13, G12++, or G12+ Coolant Only' on the VW coolant antifreeze tank.

11. Be environmentally responsible and dispose of your old VW coolant antifreeze properly.

How To Change Engine Coolant On a VW V8

1. When the engine has cooled down, remove the VW coolant antifreeze tank cap.

2. Begin draining the VW V8 coolant system by locating the 2 drain plugs. One on the drivers side and one on the passenger side of the oil pan. To drain the VW coolant antifreeze from the radiator, remove the lower passenger side radiator hose.

3. After the system is done draining, put the VW coolant antifreeze tank cap back on. Carefully work off and remove the smallest hose that is connected to the top of the VW coolant antifreeze tank. Be careful, the tank nipple likes to crack and break off.

4. With a blow gun and compressed air on low, carefully insert the blow nozzle into the small hose. Wearing safety goggles, carefully force the air out so that any VW coolant antifreeze that's still trapped in the cooling system is released.

5. Reinstall the VW coolant antifreeze drain plugs. Reinstall the coolant tank hose(s). Fill the VW cooling system with deionized or distilled water. Start the car and air bleed the cooling system as outlined in the factory manual. Run the car until the cooling fan comes on.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until the water comes out clean.

6. Verify that you have the correct anti-phosphate anti-amine G13, G12++, G12+, or G11 VW coolant antifreeze. If it's full concentrate, mix a 50/50 ratio per the Bentley manual. Fill your VW cooling system with this 50/50 mixture. It is recommended to use DEIONIZED water (because it has a perfect neutral PH) and if that is not available, you should use at the very least DISTILLED water to a 50/50 concentration. DO NOT mix normal tap water with coolant. Tap water varies in pH, mineral, and chemical content and depending on these factors can adversely affect your new coolant and the cooling system. Note: Some factory VW coolant antifreezes sold by dealers are already premixed and do not require further dilution.

7. Run the V8 engine and check for any VW coolant antifreeze leaks.

8. Top off the coolant tank to the fill line. Do not overfill.

9. Using a permanent marker, write 'G13, G12++, G12+, or G11 coolant Only' on the VW coolant antifreeze tank.

10. Be environmentally responsible and dispose of your old VW coolant antifreeze properly.

Types Of VW Coolants

Newest Volkswagen G13 Coolant Antifreeze Specification

VW TL 774 J Coolant Anifreeze

 

Ravenol Coolant Antifreeze LGC Premix 1.5L
Rating:
100%
$14.95

1.5 Liter Bottle Premixed ready-to-use. OEM Approved (concentrated formula) Audi VW TL 744-J G13 coolant antifreeze type. Also used in Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda, Seat. See your service manual to confirm.

Learn more about G13 VW coolant

 

Ravenol Coolant Antifreeze LTC Premix 1.5L
Rating:
100%
$10.95

1.5 Liter Bottle Premixed ready-to-use. Superior quality coolant for select Audi, VW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Porsche, MAN applications. See your service manual to confirm.

Learn more about G12++ VW Coolant

 

Ravenol Coolant Antifreeze OTC Premix 1.5L
Rating:
100%
$12.95

1.5 Liter Bottle Premixed ready-to-use. OEM approved (concentrated formula) Audi VW TL 744-F G12+ coolant and MAN 324 SNF coolant antifreeze type. Also used in Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Saab, Toyota, GM, Ford. See your service manual to confirm.

Learn more about G12 VW Coolant

 

Ravenol Coolant Antifreeze HTC Premix 1.5L
$8.95

1.5 Liter Bottle Premixed ready-to-use. OEM approved (concentrated formula) Audi VW TL 744-C G11 and Mercedes-Benz MB 325.0 coolant antifreeze type. Also used in BMW, Porsche, Saab, Land Rover, Jaguar, Ford, GM, Honda. See your service manual to confirm.

Learn more about G11 VW Coolant