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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Cooling system flush

I haven't flushed out the coolant since 4/21/07. But, I've only driven 20K miles since then. I've checked the coolant with test strips, and everything seems to be fine. The color is still that bright green.
Should I flush it or not?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laminarflow View Post
I haven't flushed out the coolant since 4/21/07. But, I've only driven 20K miles since then. I've checked the coolant with test strips, and everything seems to be fine. The color is still that bright green.
Should I flush it or not?
Coolant isn't like oil where it degrades over time. Coolant only degrades as it picks up garbage. If the test strips test good, it shouldn't be a huge worry, but coolant is still fairly cheap and it's an easy job to do yourself.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 10:30 AM
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My 1991 has less than 90,000 miles. When I had my oil changed a few months ago they tested it with the test strips. They said it was at 80% good and I could wait awhile.

They had a special going on that day for $59.00 for a coolant flush. The machine removes all the old coolant from the radiator and overflow bottle and replaces it with new Prestone Antifreeze.

I went ahead and had it done. Just didn't want to worry about it later on.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laminarflow View Post
I haven't flushed out the coolant since 4/21/07. But, I've only driven 20K miles since then. I've checked the coolant with test strips, and everything seems to be fine. The color is still that bright green.
Should I flush it or not?
Your mileage is low, but age is also a factor. After almost 10 years, I would flush it, myself. I no longer trust anyone to flush my cooling system (I've been burned). It's time consuming to do it right, but it doesn't cost much.

I've had good results doing a "turnpike flush" with Prestone Flush+Cleaner and many gallons of distilled water.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 08:58 AM
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Keep it fresh to delay having to do your heater core. IMHO
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2016, 01:49 PM
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I change fluid on running cars every three years; If the fluid was fresh, I can't see why it would degrade if it were garage kept, and low mileage.

I would use the flush, which includes driving it a bit to circulate the flush, then drain it well.

There's a plug on the side of the block that helps, if you want to be thorough in draining it. Search for photos.

After I drain it carefully, I remove the thermostat housing, upper and lower hoses, hook a hose to the system, and backflush everything for a while. Move the hose around

I loosen the heater core from the valley line, and flush thru there as well. The lines at the manifold and the HCore are fragile, I don't dink with those.

I fill the antifreeze first, then add water; corrosion inhibitor is in the AF, lol.


BTW:
A lot of businesses have Thermal IR cameras these days; Use one and look at the radiator and see if it's blocked off; it should be fairly even all the way across, top to bottom.

Otherwise is bad areas, They're easy as hell to see.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 12:15 PM
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Lower radiator hose replacement...

Okay, I finally got done with replacing my lower radiator hose (Wow, was that clamp on the engine side hard to access!) late last night, so now I'm considering flushing it a little more thoroughly since all of the old coolant has been drained. I put a water hose into the radiator and the thermostat spout and did the most minimal of flushes before darkness took hold.

Are the following steps alright?

Put everything back in place sans the thermostat, fill it with distilled water and Peak radiator flush, run until hot, let it cool, then flush out.

Once cooled down: Re-install thermostat. Replenish with new 50/50 coolant (Right?). Check for leaks. Done.

By the way, do I want the heater "On" while the engine is running?

Thanks.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 01:10 PM
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Always want the heater on high during flushes.

I would never go the trouble of removing the T-stat and all that stuff for a flush. I used to use those Prestone backflush kits, but since they are hard to use on most new car's systems, just a drain and fill is all they get.

Besides, when you do a hose flush, it's tough to get all the tap water out. Drain it, fill it with 50/50 Prestone and distilled water, and you're good to go. Just change it more often.

The only cars that benefit from an extensive flush are one's that have sat for years and have visible crud in the system. Then you want to buy the heavy duty stuff!

Al

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
Always want the heater on high during flushes.

I would never go the trouble of removing the T-stat and all that stuff for a flush. I used to use those Prestone backflush kits, but since they are hard to use on most new car's systems, just a drain and fill is all they get.

Besides, when you do a hose flush, it's tough to get all the tap water out. Drain it, fill it with 50/50 Prestone and distilled water, and you're good to go. Just change it more often.

The only cars that benefit from an extensive flush are one's that have sat for years and have visible crud in the system. Then you want to buy the heavy duty stuff!

Al
Thanks for the response. Well, I figured since I was replacing both the top and bottom radiator hoses, I might as well got for the trifecta and give it a (good, not great) flush so removing the thermostat wasn't too big a deal.

By the way, I could only get two Prestone gallons into it with the idiot light reminding me of a "low coolant level". Does this closed system eventually "burp" itself of its air pockets, or is there a quick way to force them out?

Thank you again.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 07:07 AM
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Yes, run the car up to temp with the cap off, heat on high, and the front end still jacked up from working on it. They are pretty easy cars to burp. 2 gallons is a lot.

Replace the t-stat o-ring, and even though it doesn't call for it, I like to put some Permatex on the flanged surface. I have had them weep a little. They make a grey Permatex for coolant, t-stats, water pumps, etc.

Al

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