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Sounds like the coolant you were using was degrading the metal
components in your cooling system.
I just drained 8 year old, 258k km Audi coolant from my '91 200q. The
coolant looked brand new and the cooling passages ( those I could see with
the water pump out) were spotless.
The 150k km Audi coolant I drained from my old '86 5kcstq to replace the
heater core was the same and the internal passages in the heater core were
The Audi coolant is expensive, but I think it's worth it in the long run
to avoid internal corrosion.
'91 200q 260k km
From: Huw Powell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Chris Dyer <email@example.com>; quattro group
Date: Friday, October 02, 1998 7:36 PM
Subject: Re: coolant
>> Got a '87 5cstq, wanna know what the favorite anti-freeze(s) are?
>I like Sierra. Tastes better, less hangover...
>Anyway, it's supposed to be a five year product but I just flushed the
>heck out of my system while swapping a used radiator in (& a mess o'
>powder coated bits). The two year old coolant came out looking like
>swamp water. I think a good flushing every year is on my maintenance
>list now. The car runs noticeably cooler at the dash gauge now. If
>only the heater would run hotter! Two days later the fan sensor failed
>and I had to drain the radator into cut off milk jugs and fill it back
>BTW I tried to flush everything out backwards first then forwards, to
>try to knock loose any junk in there. We're talking 20 minutes at a
>time with the garden hose on full. I figure this is not only overkill
>for cleaning but helps to dilute the residues of (safely biodegradable)
>coolant that wind up on my parking lot and in my neighbor's well.
>Then I simplegreened the engine compartment, you could eat outa there!
>the steering wheel isn't connected to anything, it's just a place to
>rest your hands