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Discussion Starter #1
I know... Subaru and my dealer recommend using the factory coolant. That said, I've started doing my own maintainance and would like to know if there is a suitable aftermarket coolant available.

Surely one should be able to go to a local auto parts store and get some, right?
 

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The Subaru Long Life Coolant and Subaru Long Life Super Coolant are ethylene glycol-based coolants.

However, the Subaru Long Life Super Coolant has corrosion inhibitors specifically engineered for Subaru's engines. Using an alternate coolant and/or mixing an alternate coolant changes the cooling system coolant replacement interval to the one being mixed with the Subaru OEM coolant.

It is acceptable to use an alternate ethylene glycol-based coolant as far as I'm aware. Just be sure to remember the interval for changing the coolant is reduced to that of what the aftermarket manufacturer's coolant interval is.

source:
2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Owner's Manual page 11-11, Maintenance and service/Cooling system
http://techinfo.subaru.com/proxy/114696/pdf/ownerManual/114696_2014_XVCrosstrek/MSA5M1413DSTIS_17.pdf
If the SUBARU Super Coolant is
diluted with another brand or
type, the maintenance interval is
shortened to that of the mixing
coolant.

I'll contact Subaru of America and find out if there is an exacting specification that must be met for the engine coolant. I feel as if they will simply say that an ethylene glycol coolant will work, but I will probe them and ask if the Japanese JACA/JSA-JIS K 2234-2006 standard applies.
 

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This is the response I got from Subaru of America customer service:

I understand that you are requesting more information about other coolants that may be used as substitute for the OE Subaru Coolant. The only information that we have available is what you see in the owner's manual. We only recommend Subaru Super Coolant, as we have tested and approved this coolant for use in your vehicle. We do not publish specifications for other coolants that would be suitable for our vehicles, like we do with other fluids such as engine oil. I have attached all of the information available for the Subaru prediluted coolant for your model. I hope that you find this helpful.
The PDF attached is titled soa868v9270_msds.pdf

Obviously, it is an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), which shows how much ethylene glycol, water, and other substances make up the Subaru Long Life Super Coolant 50/50 Prediluted Antifreeze and Engine Coolant, part number SOA868V9270.

It is manufactured by CCI MANUFACTURING IL CORPORATION.

The makeup of the coolant is as follows
  • Ethylene Glycol - 40-50%
  • Diethylene Glycol - Less than 3%
  • Hydrated inorganic acid, organic acid salts - Less than 5%
  • Water - 45-55%

So the additives and corrosion inhibitors are proprietary to Subaru's engines, but I still believe that any ethylene glycol-based coolant with about a 50% dilution of distilled water will suffice. If you want to go a step further, you could try to find an aftermarket coolant with a similar makeup as the Subaru coolant as seen above.

But due to Subaru's history of cooling system issues on the older EJ engines, I personally wouldn't risk running a different coolant to initially save a few bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
But due to Subaru's history of cooling system issues on the older EJ engines, I personally wouldn't risk running a different coolant to initially save a few bucks.
Thanks for looking into this further. Time to start shopping for the lowest price on this stuff...
 

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Upon doing further research on the manufacturer that makes the Subaru coolant (CCI Corporation), I've found there are in fact some potential alternatives.

Zerex Asian Antifreeze? | Cooling System Fluids & Additives | Bob Is The Oil Guy

Coolant Development in Asia

The Evolution of Engine Coolant

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1536016

The Peak coolants (along with Zerex, AMSOil, SuperTech and many private labels) are all packaged in bottles identical to CCI coolants including Toyota Super Long Life Coolant, Honda Long Life Antifreeze/Coolant, Nissan Coolant, Subaru Long Life Coolant, and Mazda Extended Life Coolant Type FL22.

Lots of info, but the summary is that CCI Corporation makes the engine coolant for practically ALL the Japanese car manufacturers and that the Japanese car manufacturers are very particular about what additives should be used in their engines.

Some forum threads about CCI coolants being crucial to longevity can be found by searching for Honda water pump failures. Some failures were found to have occurred sometime after a majority of owners changed coolant to an aftermarket brand. The additives were believed to be incompatible with the seals (and other components) and the water pumps failed and Honda subsequently released information to dealers and service departments recommending only Honda OEM coolants (made by CCI MANUFACTURING IL CORPORATION).

Supposedly the Zerex Asian Vehicle-labeled coolants are manufactured by CCI Corporation and/or CCI MANUFACTURING IL CORPORATION, so that would most likely be the absolute closest one can get to an OEM-specification engine coolant that isn't an OEM specification coolant for another Japanese manufacturer such as Mazda, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan.
 

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I am SO GLAD you posted this! See below what I discovered!











http://beckfluids.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Extended-Life-Blue-LR.pdf

http://beckfluids.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/252-1501-Ext-Blue-SDS-EN.pdf

Cross-referenced Japanese OEM coolant part numbers:
Acura OL999-9011
Honda OL999-9011
Infiniti 999MP-LP25500P
Mitsubishi MZ320125
Nissan 999MP-LP25500P
Subaru SOA868V9270

The makeup of the Beck/Arnley Premium Prediluted Antifreeze / Coolant EXTENDED LIFE BLUE coolant (P/N 252-1501) is as follows
  • Ethylene Glycol - 40-50%
  • Diethylene Glycol - Less than 3%
  • Hydrated inorganic acid, organic acid salts - Less than 5%
  • Water - 45-55%
which is exactly the same as the CCI Manufacturing IL Corporation manufactured Subaru Long Life Super Coolant 50/50 Prediluted Antifreeze and Engine Coolant (P/N SOA868V9270) which is comprised of:
  • Ethylene Glycol - 40-50%
  • Diethylene Glycol - Less than 3%
  • Hydrated inorganic acid, organic acid salts - Less than 5%
  • Water - 45-55%


















In summary, it would generally be safe to assume the Beck/Arnley Premium Prediluted Antifreeze / Coolant EXTENDED LIFE BLUE coolant (P/N 252-1501) is the absolute closest coolant in the aftermarket to Subaru OEM coolant.

I will contact Beck Arnley and ask them if CCI Manufacturing IL Corporation makes the 252-1501 coolant.

I will also contact Valvoline/Ashland and ask if CCI Manufacturing IL Corporation makes their Asian coolant.
 

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Ashland, who owns the brands Valvoline and Zerex, responded first:

Thank you for contacting Zerex Product Support. Our Zerex Anti-Freeze/Coolant is produced by Ashland and both Zerex Asian Vehicle Anti-Freeze/Coolants are exactly the same except for the color.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us via phone at 800 TEAM VAL or by email at [email protected] for assistance.

Thank you and have a great day.

James
Zerex Product Support

Beck/Arnley was also prompt in their response time:

Thank you for your interest in Beck/Arnley product! We do not in fact physically manufacture the coolant. We are however under contractual agreements where we cannot divulge the manufacturer of any of our products. What I can assure you is that all of our product has the same form, fit and function of any OE product.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I really appreciate all your effort on this AWD... shows that you are a true Subie afficionado! ;)

It's nice to see there are some options however I can't seem to find anything local thus far. Shipping costs make online purchasing prohibitive. I'll probably just stop by my local dealer and pick some up.

I should point out that both Subaru and B/A offer a coolant "concentrate" but I can't find any details on its use.
 

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If you have an O'Reilly Auto Parts store near you, they should be able to order some if they don't have any in stock.

As far as I recall, the concentrate is the old formula of the Subaru Long Life Coolant, which is the older formula of Subaru coolant. It is not engineered to be used with the newer engines, but is still safe for use. It also supposedly has a shorter change interval.

If one must insist on using Subaru coolant, I would advise members to use only the Subaru Super Coolant, as it was specifically made for the newer Subaru engines.
 

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Found this at Walmart today for 11.97/gal. Got it home and opened it up only to find it's pink, not blue. Clearly says it's compatible but I'm not sure if I want to mix it with what's in the car (my overflow tank is low which is why I originally started this thread).

(sorry... don't know why the pictures are rotated)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The Valvoline Asian coolant apparently comes in red or blue. Trying to find a local source for the blue, I came across this at AutoZone.

Pentofrost A3 from Pentosin. This appears to be the MSDS.

In stock at my local store for 16.99/gal. My run over tomorrow and grab a gallon.
 

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This thread may very well become sticky-worthy!

I looked into the ingredients of Pentofrost A3 from Pentosin, and this is what came up:

  • Distilled water - 50-100%
  • Ethylene glycol - 25-50%
  • Diethylene glycol - <10%
  • Potassium hydroxide - <0.5%
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I looked into the ingredients of Pentofrost A3 from Pentosin, and this is what came up:

  • Distilled water - 50-100%
  • Ethylene glycol - 25-50%
  • Diethylene glycol - <10%
  • Potassium hydroxide - <0.5%
In your opinion is it a safe alternative to the OEM coolant?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I returned the red Valvoline and went to AutoZone to get the Pentofrost A3 on sale for $13.99/ gal. For now I'm just going to use it to top off.

 

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I personally prefer the Beck/Arnley as an aftermarket replacement, but I see no problem with the Pentofrost A3.
 

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I think if the same research was done for all the very " Super Duper Secret Subaru Special Brew" fluids are something else pulled from general use elsewhere.
 
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