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Roadster Battery Coolant

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Fluke, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Fluke

    Fluke Member

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    #1 Fluke, Nov 8, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
    I noticed that the coolant level for the battery in my roadster was low. Apart from checking whether there is a leak in the system, I need to top off the system in the mean time. I looked in the Owner's Manual and found that Havoline Extended Life antifreeze Coolant-PG (XLC-PG) is recommended. In looking around at stores and online I was unable to locate this product. There was mention in Lotus forums that XLC-PG is equivalent to DEX-Cool, but DEX-Cool is normally orange colored coolant and my roadster's coolant is definitely yellow. What are you using for coolant - is there a reason the manual calls out XLC-PG specifically?

    Sorry if this has been previously posted, I did some searching and didn't find anything.

    - - - Updated - - -

    When I posted, a related thread popped up:

    Hello, new to the forum, quick coolant question.

    Is this NAPA coolant OK to use in the 2008 roadster? This product looks like propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol - I'm guessing that is what the "PG" in XLC-PG means.
     
  2. bart513

    bart513 Member

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    I would call the local Tesla service center and see what they recommend.
     
  3. Fluke

    Fluke Member

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    I should have called Tesla in the first place, but hadn't made contact with the service center yet. I called and they confirmed that they use Peak - Sierra propylene glycol coolant in all model years of the roadster. My local NAPA store carries this, so I'm set.
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Roadster Signature #55

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    Hey, Fluke!

    I just ran into this, myself. See this thread: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/23223-The-Mystery-of-the-Vanishing-Coolant

    I also had no luck finding Havoline XLC-PG. I ended up asking at the Service Center and was told that they're using Peak/Sierra Propylene Glycol. While I was there, they topped it up, and ran a pressure check, but couldn't find a leak.

    The level stayed steady for almost a week, then it was suddenly low again. I went back to the Service Center and scheduled an appointment to leave the Roadster with them a few days (they can't fit me in until late next week), and they gave me a jug of coolant to hold me over.

    Here's the surprise - when I got home, I found that the coolant level was full again. Since then, I've found it very low some mornings, but full again in the afternoon. Looks like this is just thermal expansion of the coolant, and not a leak. The weather here in Maryland has been all over the place the past few weeks, with a few days near freezing, then back up in the 70's, and now coming down again.

    I'd say we've found something that hasn't been mentioned here before (at least I haven't been able to find it) - if the ambient temperature is near or below freezing, wait until the battery has warmed up a bit before checking the coolant level.

    Let me know what you find.
     
  5. asgard

    asgard Member

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    I can't seem to find Peak Sierra anywhere here in the Bay Area. I am a bit low on the coolant - my CPO Roadster had a defective reservoir which they replaced but did not top it off.
    Will Prestone PG work just as well?
     
  6. Curt

    Curt Roadster Signature #55

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  7. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I'd call Tesla service and arrange for a quickie top-off. Like Curt reported earlier, I've noticed over the years that my Roadster's coolant level varies a lot, so I'd be concerned about over-filling.
     
  8. psychojimbob

    psychojimbob New Member

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    Hello,

    Does anyone know if this coolant is the same fluid that is used to preheat the car as well, or is the only preheating done by the battery charging?
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The coolant would be used to heat the battery. It's the only way to evenly warm the cells. There's a resistive heater in there somewhere, which would warm the fluid to heat the pack.
     
  10. djf

    djf Member

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    asgard or other interested folks:
    Did you ever find out whether Prestone PG is OK? I am unable to get either Peak Sierra or Halvoline XLC-PG anywhere in the Bay Area. The Peak company website says two Tractor Supply stores carry it in the North Bay (farm country!), but both say "haven't seen it for 2 years - they're not shipping to CA anymore." Interesting that such a "green", environmentally sound product would be banned from CA retail stores, though I gather the Tesla Service Centers can still get it.
    Bottom line: What's a CA Roadster owner to do for an occasional top-off short of driving by the Service Center?
     
  11. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    There is nothing special about the cooling system. The battery cooling tubes are aluminum, as are the heater and A/C heat exchanger. Any propylene glycol antifreeze will work. Ethylene glycol cools better but is toxic and doesn't fit the "green" theme, which is probably why Tesla recommends propylene glycol.
     
  12. bpangburn

    bpangburn Member

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    Hopefully not hijacking, but I was about to post on this. I'm in Louisiana so my pump is running 24/7 even with the occasional OVMS cooldown. Battery pack seems to stay between 95 and 110F. Since I purchased the car back in April, I've noticed some small accumulation of coolant by the passenger rear wheel. In the past month or so I've now topped my reservoir off twice, each time with about 6-8oz of distilled water (I was told the Peak coolant needs to be mixed 50/50 with water anyway so this is OK for diagnostics).

    My coolant is VERY foamy so I'm trying to determine if the accumulation is a result of foam slowing push through the reservoir overflow or if I have a crack in the reservoir (or something else).

    Going to order a gallon of Peak Sierra from the local NAPA today.

    Any thoughts?
     
  13. bpangburn

    bpangburn Member

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  14. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    You need to have the pump off for around a half hour to let the foam subside and then check the level. If it foams up again there is air in the system. Keep cycling the pump on and off (Inhibit the APS in the service menu to turn it off) until the foam is gone. I don't understand Tesla's reasoning behind letting the pump run continually without the A/C on, as the pump itself creates more heat in the system than is dissipated to the air when temps get over 90. I turn off the APS every night when my garage gets too hot.
     
  15. bpangburn

    bpangburn Member

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    I was under the impression that without circulation, you could have heat build up deep in the battery pack, and was guessing that circulating hot water was better than heat concentrated in pockets in the pack. Again, that's me speculating.

    I do appreciate the method to shut the pump off so I can get a decent level reading on the reservoir!
     
  16. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Whoa. Hadn't even seen this thread - but received a pm from another Roadster owner, very concerned about what he was reading:

    I totally agree.
     
  17. bpangburn

    bpangburn Member

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    Thanks Bonnie. Do you think it's OK to shut it off for 30 minutes to get a decent reading on my reservoir? I hope to see a Ranger soon and the plan is to flush & pressure check. I also caved and purchased the full case of Peak Sierra. Guess I'll go through it eventually.
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    #18 bonnie, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
    So a little more from my behind-the-scenes friend :):



     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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  20. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Hmm, I learned something today. I don't think I've ever experienced the HVAC turning on when the car was off. I wish it would turn on at a lower temperature to really cool the pack rather than just running the pump without eliminating the heat.
     

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