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I have the service schedule for my car (2008 2.0TSI) but its silent on the interval for coolant change. Is it every 5 years or is a 2008 likely to be "fill for life" coolant? Is it possible to test it in a similar way eg brake fluid can be checked? (Its perfectly clean looking).

On the side of the reservoir is "G12".

I know the type of coolant to replace it with, no worries there.
 

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It depends on what type of coolant mix was put in before. If you can't be sure it's probably best to change it. Coolant mix can be either short life cheaper methanol propanol based - these mixes evaporates over time and increase risk of freezing. Or it is or longer life ethylene glycol based, often sold as concentrate or these days sold at a ripoff price with water ready to use. Both require the anti corrosion additives for mixed metal engines and it is those that deplete over time. In addition, the coolant mix can absorb the different metals in contact with it and once the corrossion inhibitors are exhausted, corrosion can start.

Garages may have some tests they can do but you can do your own freezing test with a sample in a freezer. At 5 years I would suggest replacing the coolant. Take note of any V.W specs but you may find these on 'other' brands. IMHO I buy concentrated glycol based coolant and dilute to what I want.

Read up on replacing coolant because it's not so simple as drain out old and add fresh to the header bottle.
 
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