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Experience with Low-Tox Coolant Anyone?


Jun 26, 2020
Colorado USA
First post here in some time. Let?s start a fluid debate. [anyone maskdebate? (Hint: say it aloud)]

I?m looking at using either Prestone Low-Tox or Peak Sierra in a b230. They are Propylene Glycol based and the Sierra looks closer to what Volvo Specs. Also for anyone in CA (California or Canada) is the antifreeze sold out there low toxic or contain a bitterant by law? Mainly I?m worried about animals but also that the PG based stuff has less of an impact to the Earth I?ve read.
Not aware of any CA-specific regulations but all major ethylene glycol brands should contain a bittering agent: link

Unfortunately there's no information about exactly what is in the corrosion prevention packages, but the MSDS for Lowtox shows the primary ingredients - propylene glycol (mostly nontoxic) and sodium nitrite (found in curing salt) which is somewhat toxic. Peak Sierra does not list the sodium nitrite but there may still be a little bit in there.

I don't know about any reason one of them would be less environmentally friendly to manufacture. In practice the best handling will be to dispose of correctly after changing, and make sure you aren't leaking. ;) Performance wise they should be comparable to generic green antifreeze, which many people use in their B230s no problem. Corrosion resistance is supposedly up to the standard. Be sure to run some water through the system when changing coolants (esp if you are currently using a fancy coolant) to prevent any weird interactions.
Very informative, thank you very much. The links you provided are great as well. I will do some more reading and let you know how everything goes. I may have conflated some points while reading. Funny to me is anytime I see LD50 my mind only reads LSD-25.

Even though I keep up with maintenance and take any used fluids to the Hazardous waste facility I do worry about a catastrophic loss. Thanks again
I've used Sierra and it's worked fine. The only caveat I had with it was that it's wasn't what you would call 'long service life' antifreeze. It needed to be changed after about a year or so. But it wasn't expensive at the time so I used it for a few years but ended up going back to using e glycol coolant.

Typically propylene glycol is used as the antifreeze for RV and such to protect the pipes over the winter. In that application it's changed out every year so long service life isn't needed.
Excellent thank you for sharing your experience. Looks like Amsoil is in the running now as their website says 5 years or 150K miles if I remember. 5 years for us anyhow. It?s pricey but looking at Volvo type C for 2 yr interval vs. Amsoil at 5 yr it?s not that bad.

I was reading some old threads here and it sounds like Toyota is long life as well. If I could safely go 10 years on that, and if the bitterant would actually stop animals from drinking it, that sounds like an option as well. Think out loud here I guess
Thought I would update this. I went with the Amsoil PG low tox coolant ~2.5 yrs ago after running Prestone rad flush stuff. Also got their "coolant booster" Dominator I think it's called

Engines temps in the hot summer w/ a/c running are cooler and more stable via the mechanical gauge sensor I put in the upper rad hose than previous years with Type C. Good the rest of the year too so I'm happy so far.

Did have an older off brand rad hose come apart shortly after flushing and adding the PG coolant. Don't think it was related to the fluid though, 10 y/o URO (I'm guessing) lower rad hose. Topped off with some g-05 I had (Amsoil states their PG stuff is compatible with any coolant, so far so good)

I'll try and post back if anything comes up or at 5yr when I change it out.