another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?

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Old 11 Feb 2006, 02:42 am   #1 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?

To flush old coolant, my '96 Camry Haynes manual recommends opening the
radiator drain valve, and flushing the radiator with a garden hose.
The manual stresses that this procedure will not flush old coolant from
the engine - it recommends the "chemical action of a cleaner" (p1-24)
for this.

Would it be advisable to flush out the old coolant (inside the engine)
by:

1) first draining the radiator drain valve,
2) flushing the radiator with the garden hose from the radiator cap,
3) making sure the flow rate into the radiator (from the garden hose)
is about the same as the flow rate out of the radiator, START the
engine, which would run the water pump,
4) shut down the engine after a minute or so,
5) let water drain out of radiator,
6) close the radiator plug, fill with coolant and distilled water

?

I'm guessing the engine can withstand a minute with just water
circulating inside, but want to make sure with you guys first.

Or, with the thermostat stuck in the "closed" position (from a cold
engine) would this whole procedure be pointless?

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Old 11 Feb 2006, 09:18 am   #2 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?

Sometimes Haynes lists generic recommendations for things like
batteries, tires and radiators.
imho, all you should ever put into your cooling system is genuine
Toyota coolant mixed with distilled water.
In the old days, scale and rust would form in the cooling system that
required chemical flushes.
If you stay with recommended fluids, you will never see these in your
Toyota.
imho, draining the radiator using the drain valve, is sufficient.
Do that twice as often if you wish.

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Old 11 Feb 2006, 10:09 am   #3 (permalink)
Curtis Newton
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Default Re: another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?

On 11 Feb 2006 07:18:31 -0800, "Daniel" <nospampls2002@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>Sometimes Haynes lists generic recommendations for things like
>batteries, tires and radiators.
>imho, all you should ever put into your cooling system is genuine
>Toyota coolant mixed with distilled water.
>In the old days, scale and rust would form in the cooling system that
>required chemical flushes.
>If you stay with recommended fluids, you will never see these in your
>Toyota.
>imho, draining the radiator using the drain valve, is sufficient.
>Do that twice as often if you wish.



I agree. On our 88 Camry, I did a drain/refill every 30,000 and never
had a flush performed.

Car has 305,000 miles on it now. I have usually used Toyota coolant
and distilled water.

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Old 11 Feb 2006, 10:52 am   #4 (permalink)
davidj92
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Default Re: another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?

onehappymadman@yahoo.com wrote:
> To flush old coolant, my '96 Camry Haynes manual recommends opening
> the radiator drain valve, and flushing the radiator with a garden
> hose. The manual stresses that this procedure will not flush old
> coolant from the engine - it recommends the "chemical action of a
> cleaner" (p1-24) for this.
>
> Would it be advisable to flush out the old coolant (inside the engine)
> by:
>
> 1) first draining the radiator drain valve,
> 2) flushing the radiator with the garden hose from the radiator cap,
> 3) making sure the flow rate into the radiator (from the garden hose)
> is about the same as the flow rate out of the radiator, START the
> engine, which would run the water pump,
> 4) shut down the engine after a minute or so,
> 5) let water drain out of radiator,
> 6) close the radiator plug, fill with coolant and distilled water
>
> ?
>
> I'm guessing the engine can withstand a minute with just water
> circulating inside, but want to make sure with you guys first.
>
> Or, with the thermostat stuck in the "closed" position (from a cold
> engine) would this whole procedure be pointless?


I agree with Daniel and Curtis posts. In the event you HAVE to do a chemical
flush it is faster to remove the thermostat first so you get a good flow
through engine, otherwise you have to wait for coolant to come up to temp
for stat to open on each step. It is okay for engine to run with just water,
it does cool better with antifreeze. I usually flush twice as much as the
recommended on flush instructions just to be sure. Also, when done you need
to try to drain all coolant or water from engine block if possible as there
are minerals in the water. Also, you'll need to make the mixture stronger or
add a small amount of pure antifreeze to compensate for the water in block,
judge this by how much water is left, depending on whether you can drain or
not. Finally make sure you check for appx. -30 deg on mixture after running
for a short time and letting coolant mix good through entire system.
davidj92


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Old 11 Feb 2006, 10:58 am   #5 (permalink)
davidj92
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Default Re: another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?

davidj92 wrote:
snip
> usually flush twice as much as the recommended on flush instructions

snip

What I meant is the final flush with plain water, which dilutes the acid in
the flush. If the thermostat is out you can run engine while putting water
in radiator with a garden hose and get a good flow through the entire
cooling system.
davidj92


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Old 11 Feb 2006, 12:37 pm   #6 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default Re: another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?


davidj92 wrote:
> davidj92 wrote:
> snip
> > usually flush twice as much as the recommended on flush instructions

> snip
>
> What I meant is the final flush with plain water, which dilutes the acid in
> the flush. If the thermostat is out you can run engine while putting water
> in radiator with a garden hose and get a good flow through the entire
> cooling system.
> davidj92


My Haynes gives a warning (p3-3) against running the engine with the
thermostat out: "Caution: Do not drive the vehicle without a
thermostat. The computer may stay in open loop and emissions and fuel
economy will suffer."

Anyway, a first flush with garden hose water is ok to "flush" the
radiator? Or this is not even necessary, just drain from the radiator
drain plug and that's it?

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Old 11 Feb 2006, 03:47 pm   #7 (permalink)
davidj92
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Default Re: another (dangerous) way to flush radiator fluid?

onehappymadman@yahoo.com wrote:
> davidj92 wrote:
>> davidj92 wrote:
>> snip
>>> usually flush twice as much as the recommended on flush
>>> instructions snip

>>
>> What I meant is the final flush with plain water, which dilutes the
>> acid in the flush. If the thermostat is out you can run engine while
>> putting water in radiator with a garden hose and get a good flow
>> through the entire cooling system.
>> davidj92

>
> My Haynes gives a warning (p3-3) against running the engine with the
> thermostat out: "Caution: Do not drive the vehicle without a
> thermostat. The computer may stay in open loop and emissions and fuel
> economy will suffer."
>
> Anyway, a first flush with garden hose water is ok to "flush" the
> radiator? Or this is not even necessary, just drain from the radiator
> drain plug and that's it?


If there is no build-up of minerals in the cooling system (you'll see a
white coating on the edges of the tubes in the radiator) then you don't need
to use an acid flush. A simple drain and refill is sufficient. Your Haynes
is correct as the engine temp won't come up sufficiently but you can run the
engine during flush this way or even in an emergency without the t-stat as
long as it's not for an extended period.
davidj92


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