coolant top-off?

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by CR EV, Nov 26, 2020.

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  1. CR EV

    CR EV Active Member

    Went to top-off my windshield wiper fluid today and noticed that my coolant level has dipped below the min. mark. 2nd time, I've seen this. 1st time, they checked the system and topped it off telling me that there was not leak or other problem with the system. No charge, appreciated.

    This is the only vehicle I've had (OK unique in lots of ways) where I have been told that low coolant level necessitates a trip to the dealer.

    Wondering why and whether there is an a source of the required coolant.

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  3. Hedge

    Hedge Member

    It is coolant for the battery. It is doubtful that it contains anything that you have reasonable access is likely proprietary and is the same for every EV that has a battery temperature management system.
  4. IanM

    IanM New Member

    There are two battery coolants used in the Niro EV, green and blue, depending on the model year.

    The green you may top up yourself but the blue is a special fluid and Kia reserve that to themselves (and charge an arm and a leg to change it every three years).
  5. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    You can buy blue coolant at your local auto parts store. It an extended life coolant for Asian cars.

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  6. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I don't think that's true. You can buy it at your local auto parts store. The Chevy Bolt uses the orange extended life coolant for everything.

    You just don't want to use the green coolant as it's not an extended life coolant and may not have the additives of the extended life coolants.

    The main issue you are going to have if you want to change the coolant is turning on the coolant pump. You may need special equipment to do that.
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  8. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    If you have low coolant, then you have a leak or air in the system. I would want it fixed under warranty.

    I would kept after it. Either they find the reason for the coolant loss and fix it or you lemon law the car and get another one.
  9. IanM

    IanM New Member

    There are a number of reports of Niro EVs having air locks which have worked their way out over time thus showing low coolant levels in the first couple of months of ownership. Once they have gone and the coolant topped off correctly there is no further problem. Give it a few weeks until you worry overmuch, especially if there is no external evidence of a leak. Just get it topped up at Kia’s expense.
  10. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    If there is air in the system, then the technician should hook up their computer to run the coolant pump long enough to burp the system under warranty.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  11. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    If it is the same thing Hyundai uses in the Kona, it is a special low-conductivity coolant - probably not the same thing. The instructions say to not dilute with water, and I was told that it has a limited shelf life (which is sort of weird in that you would leave it in the car for several years before you need to replace it).
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  13. IanM

    IanM New Member

    Unfortunately the Prestone brand of blue coolant appears not to be approved by Hyundai/Kia who insist that only their brand of blue coolant is usable due to its non-conducive properties. They specify that any other coolant used will void the guarantee and might destroy the HV battery.
  14. IanM

    IanM New Member

    Yes, you would think so. Perhaps it is just simpler and cheaper to top off the reservoir and send the happy customer on their way. Especially if there is no discernible leak.
  15. Zerex blue meets Kia specs. I traced it down from the Kia spec.

    Air bubbles can come out after a while... "burping" the system is not simple, judging by the others that have had air bubbles.

    Some cars need to be tilted at extreme angles to do this for their ICE cooling system.

    A big leak would have a puddle of fluid, and run dry (that's not what you descibed)
    A small leak would run down slowly, but KEEP going down
    A trapped air bubble would be at one level, stabilize for a while.... then suddenly jump down, and stabilize again

    If you have either of the 2 cases, go to the deal.

    If you have the 3rd case, fill it up and watch it.

    Think it through, you will see this makes sense.

    CR EV likes this.
  16. IanM

    IanM New Member

    Good stuff. I have totalled failed on locating the original Kia spec, all I get is "buy it from the spares department" and it is not on the bottle. Here it is reputedly £75 a litre and 13.5 litres is required every three years. £1,012.5! ($1,400) Kia have said the price will drop over time as demand increases. Happily I don't need it for a couple of years but I am keeping taps on the price and availability.

    Would you mind letting us see the spec and more importantly the direct Kia source of the info so I may try to source it here in the UK?
  17. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I find that quantity hard to believe, but it's what it says in the owners manual. That's an incredible amount of coolant.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  18. apu

    apu Well-Known Member Subscriber

    For ICE Kia vehicles perhaps, it is not the correct coolant for your Kia EV. As it has been mentioned the blue coolant is an unique(at this point expensive dealer only product) non water based low conductivity coolant that has to be used in late model Kia/Hyundai EVs. Water based coolants are definitely not interchangeable. Its main claim to fame is to prevent battery fires in the event of a coolant leak related short circuit.

    This is some minor variation if you have a heat pump or smaller battery, the following is from Kona EV service manual but the quantities for Kia should be very similar.
  19. We are talking about the EV of course.

    You are wrong.... (funny, you say it's not water based, they are ALL water based, what do you think it's based on oil? clearly you really have not researched any of this.)
    Read this:
    and really read it, it mentions the ev coolant, but read in the beginning that the coolant part is water... sheesh..

    There is a sheet from Kia giving the specification. Find that first.

    Then take that specification and you will find the blue Zerex meets this specification.

    Do your research, it is NOT unique and it is water based.

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  20. apu

    apu Well-Known Member Subscriber

    So its clear I am talking about the blue coolant in late model Kia/Hyundai EVs, the older pre 2020 models used a green conventional water/ethylene glycol coolant. The new ones use an engineered fluid possibly similar to 3M Novec engineered fluids that are fluorocarbon based. I am not saying I know for a fact its that exact fluid but its likely very similar.
  21. So you are telling me that the blue liquid is a fluorocarbon based compound? You do know that some time ago fluorocarbons (CFC's) were outlawed in the USA for consumer use, and the only way you can have them is in a sealed system that a consumer could not get to? This is a "perflurocarbon", so maybe they got by the law. Remember that the original Freon has been outlawed?

    The fact that you can remove a small cap and add liquid without any locks or safeguards would let you know what is going on. Any CFC evaporates like crazy, in fact that is one of the reasons they are used in HVAC systems, and why they made a good cleaning solvent, they evaporate without a trace, except to damage the Ozone layer!

    The fact that the coolant tank is not sealed should have given you a clue.

    Take a tablespoon out and see how long it takes to evaporate, it will evaporate at the same rate as water.

    Also, this stuff is not blue.

    Also if you google the "asian blue coolant" you will find many places where they specify the blue stuff and who makes it, and the Kia corporation indicates that the blue stuff contains organic anti-corrosive agents, the 3m stuff is only a single chemical, a flurocarbon, definitely different.

    Also, if it is only in the Kia, then you believe that Kia, where everything is from Korea, is buying this special 3m liquid made in the USA?

    read this:

    and in it you will find this, about the Kia battery:
    "The battery modules sit above cooling plates that channel the same type of water and glycol mix that is used for cooling conventional gasoline engines except the heat emitted from batteries is not normally as intense.

    And the battery pack has come with both the Orange and Blue liquids, documented in several places.

    From the safety data sheet:
    As aperfluorocarbon (PFC), this product has a high global warming potential and a long atmospheric lifetime. As such, its use should be carefully managed to minimize emissions.3M recommends that users of Fluorinert liquidFC-3283further limit emissions by employing good conservation practices, and by implementing recovery, recycling and/or proper disposal procedures. In general, 3M recommends that Fluorinert-branded liquids be disposed of by incineration at a permitted industrial waste facility capable of handling halogenated materials, in accordance with all applicable local, regional, national, and/or international regulations. See product SDS for further details. 3M also offers a Used Fluid Disposal Program.

    So, where is your proof that THIS in the Kia cooling system? I believe you found "unique" in the Kia literature, and extended the "don't add water" to mean it is not water based, and you went off into the weeds. This stuff is a doctored form of Freon, to get around the CFC law, this is a PFC....
  22. apu

    apu Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Yes perhaps I did go off in the weeds, the 3M coolant is more of a zero conductivity fluid vs a low conductivity fluid which still could be water based. I had a look at the Asian blue coolant. Sounds like a solid automotive coolant but I am having trouble finding any reference to low conductivity in its specifications. I wonder if you could kindly point me to this reference.
  23. This is one sheet from Valvoline, but it does not say low conductivity:

    But you do see it is certified for the Hyundai, and the Kia (owned by Hyundai)...

    See the specification number referred to? You can match that up to the Kia requirement.

    Really the low conductivity is really not the issue for us, but the lowest corrosion rate of the battery internals. (yes yes, if the battery somehow punctured maybe a low conductivity fluid would help, but really makes no sense, as you are worried about fire in a battery failure)

    But it does sound neat to non-engineers at the 50,000 foot level (read the government) about being "safer".


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