Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Monday, February 26, 2007


I guess it had to happen-after a, shall we say "spirited" drive in Greta this past Thursday, her radiator fan assembly grenaded, sending shards of fan blade flying, severing a line off my radiator. Mind you, it has taken me this much time to figure it out-between the crappy weather, my inability to just crawl under the car like I used to, and the closely-installed components of the Mercedes cooling system, getting to the source was a problem. The leak may still be more than a line, to be honest the fan has to come out to be sure. Of course, there was a wee bit more bad news:

Those of you with properly adjusted monitors will notice a greenish cast to the coolant snowcone I made in my driveway. While this would, at first look, appear to be properly mixed, 50/50 consistency antifreeze/water blend, know this-Mercedes radiators are aluminum-therefore, they need coolant that is designed specifically for use with aluminum components. ANY green coolant is not an approved blend, and potentially disastrous for the cooling system. Mercedes factory coolant is a pale pink, and I would guess it's made from the blood of Black Forest Stags, like Jaegermeister...in actuality it is merely the "color code" for aluminum-friendly coolants-fortunately, a commercial alternative is available, as the factory stuff is $22 a gallon at your local friendly Mercedes dealer's parts counter, where the self-superior sneer was invented. Zerex, a popular consumer brand most of you have no doubt heard of (now owned by Valvoline Oil), offers its G-05 blend to help prevent aluminum corrosion. At eleven bucks it's half the cost of the identical stuff at the dealer-hell, it could even come out of the same tap at Zerex for all I know. For a guy unused to such things, it stings a little knowing the system was running on the wrong stuff for who knows how long. On the plus side, now I know, and can rectify the problem before any more damage is done.

Price on the fan assembly is about $325-not cheap, but actually not as bad as I thought considering the cost of some parts for my baby. I'll order this week and get a hand from my pal and neighbor Brian with the lifting and crawling-he's good that way.


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