'99 camry coolant flush clarification

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 06:59 pm   #1 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default '99 camry coolant flush clarification

The Haynes for the '97-'01 is different from the manual for the '93-'96
Camry... the new Haynes says that to flush out the old coolant, you
drain the radiator and engine block coolant, remove the thermostat,
re-attach the thermostat housing, detach the UPPER hose from the
radiator, turn the climate control to Hot (to flush the heater core),
use a garden hose to force water into the top of the radiator, and
collect the old coolant from the upper radiator hose into a bucket or
basin until it runs clear. (Then drain everything again to get the
tap-water out of the system, re-install the thermostat, and apply
Toyota coolant plus distilled water.)

Question - does simply turning the climate control to Hot allow
flushing of the heater core? Does the key have to be in the ignition /
does it have to be set to ACC or ON to allow heater core flushing? The
Haynes didn't elaborate on this point...

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 07:44 pm   #2 (permalink)
justinm930
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification

vehicle should be on with temp gauge on heat controls set to hot for
complete flushing of heater core

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 08:16 pm   #3 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification

Justin. Run a car while flushing, I dont see why or think it is safe at
all for the cilinder heads will have air in them.

The heater control valve is at the firewall under the hood, it just
opens the valve when it is set to hot to circulate water through

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Old 26 Mar 2006, 09:06 pm   #4 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification


m Ransley wrote:
> Justin. Run a car while flushing, I dont see why or think it is safe at
> all for the cilinder heads will have air in them.
>
> The heater control valve is at the firewall under the hood, it just
> opens the valve when it is set to hot to circulate water through


So the key doesn't even need to be in the ignition, setting the climate
control to HOT is enough to open the valve?

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Old 27 Mar 2006, 12:47 am   #5 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification

Unless your radiator is really dirty and plugged up, I would not
suggest using flush chemicals and garden hose on it.

Normally, all you need to do is "drain and refill," with 50% distilled
water and 50% concentrated factory red coolant. Or just 100% the new
pink coolant with distilled water already added (good way to jack up
the price).

Tap water has loads of minerals. And Toyota's coolant with phospheric
acid rust inhibitor (or the pink organic acid), minerals will settle
out of the coolant and plug things up fast. I wouldn't introduce any
tap water into the system. But if you have to, I'd suggest flushing
with distilled water afterwards. That is, running the engine with the
system filled with distilled water for 3 minutes (all rad hoses
connected of course and no garden hose here). Drain and refill two more
times. After draining add the proper amount of coolant, accounting for
the distilled water remaining in the engine block/radiator. (This is
the standard VW method for changing from the old coolant to the new G12
coolant).

If you have electronic climate control, the key need to be ON for the
motor to turn the heater valve to allow you to get to the heater core.
But if you have the manual type, you don't need the key, just slide the
temp selector to full heat. You should not run your engine at all with
the garden hose method.

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Old 27 Mar 2006, 01:02 am   #6 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification

BTW, on the 4cyl it's not worth it to even touch the engine drain bolt.
Little to none will come out.

Also, if your cooling system is in good working order, I would leave
the thermostat until it's time to change the water pump (with the
timing belt). Then you can do both at the same time.

Do check the radiator cap when changing coolant. If it is still the
type with the hanging plastic vacuum valve, consider getting one with
spring loaded metal valve ($7.99 at Kragen Prestone RR42). The plastic
vacuum valve that allows the coolant to return from the reservoir is
easily affected by contaminants and may not seal right. It's a poor
design that nobody should be using these days.

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Old 27 Mar 2006, 10:31 am   #7 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification


johngdole@hotmail.com wrote:
> Unless your radiator is really dirty and plugged up, I would not
> suggest using flush chemicals and garden hose on it.


Gotcha. The car has 67k miles on it, I got it from a dealer. I
finally got a hold of an itemized list of what the mechanic had done
prior to selling... it doesn't list a coolant changeout. I'm going to
have to assume the car needs a coolant change. At least, though, it
has pink coolant in the reservoir...

That's the bad thing about buying a used car from a dealer - citing
"privacy concerns", the dealer can't release any records which has the
previous owner's name on it...


> Normally, all you need to do is "drain and refill," with 50% distilled
> water and 50% concentrated factory red coolant. Or just 100% the new
> pink coolant with distilled water already added (good way to jack up
> the price).
>
> Tap water has loads of minerals. And Toyota's coolant with phospheric
> acid rust inhibitor (or the pink organic acid), minerals will settle
> out of the coolant and plug things up fast. I wouldn't introduce any
> tap water into the system. But if you have to, I'd suggest flushing
> with distilled water afterwards. That is, running the engine with the
> system filled with distilled water for 3 minutes (all rad hoses
> connected of course and no garden hose here). Drain and refill two more
> times. After draining add the proper amount of coolant, accounting for
> the distilled water remaining in the engine block/radiator. (This is
> the standard VW method for changing from the old coolant to the new G12
> coolant).
>
> If you have electronic climate control, the key need to be ON for the
> motor to turn the heater valve to allow you to get to the heater core.
> But if you have the manual type, you don't need the key, just slide the
> temp selector to full heat. You should not run your engine at all with
> the garden hose method.


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Old 27 Mar 2006, 12:09 pm   #8 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification


johngdole@hotmail.com wrote:
> Unless your radiator is really dirty and plugged up, I would not
> suggest using flush chemicals and garden hose on it.
>
> Normally, all you need to do is "drain and refill," with 50% distilled
> water and 50% concentrated factory red coolant. Or just 100% the new
> pink coolant with distilled water already added (good way to jack up
> the price).
>
> Tap water has loads of minerals. And Toyota's coolant with phospheric
> acid rust inhibitor (or the pink organic acid), minerals will settle
> out of the coolant and plug things up fast. I wouldn't introduce any
> tap water into the system. But if you have to, I'd suggest flushing
> with distilled water afterwards. That is, running the engine with the
> system filled with distilled water for 3 minutes (all rad hoses
> connected of course and no garden hose here). Drain and refill two more
> times. After draining add the proper amount of coolant, accounting for
> the distilled water remaining in the engine block/radiator. (This is
> the standard VW method for changing from the old coolant to the new G12
> coolant).
>
> If you have electronic climate control, the key need to be ON for the
> motor to turn the heater valve to allow you to get to the heater core.
> But if you have the manual type, you don't need the key, just slide the
> temp selector to full heat. You should not run your engine at all with
> the garden hose method.



How about this method:

1. Open radiator drain plug and radiator cap,
2. Remove thermostat and replace thermostat housing,
3. Disconnect top radiator hose from radiator,
4. Pour DISTILLED water into radiator hose (into engine) until it runs
clear out the drain plug,
5. Re-attach hose, re-install thermostat, replace radiator drain plug,
fill up with 50/50?

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Old 27 Mar 2006, 05:32 pm   #9 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification

Looking into your radiator will tell alot about its condition, if you
see corosion on the fins a chemical flush is best, corosion means the
coolant was neglected and is closing the radiators cooling ability. Im
probably wrong about not running the motor when flushing with a hose.

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Old 27 Mar 2006, 08:24 pm   #10 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: '99 camry coolant flush clarification

Your method won't clean the radiator because water will come out of the
drain plug at the bottom when it passes through the engine and returns
to the radiator.

Make sure your brand of distilled water doesn't have "minierals added
for taste." Or it'll defeat the whole purpose of using steam distilled
water.

Letting water run out of the upper radiator opening will solve the
problem, but you'll have water all over the place without another hose
to guide it off safely. If any gets into your alternator or other
electrical parts without drying up completely first, then those parts
may be fried (BTW, you do know most alternators carry live battery
voltage even when off, right?)

Or with the thermostat out (everything else in place including the
gasket to prevent leaks) you can fill up with distilled water and run
the engine for a minute (before it warms up, so you don't add cold
water to a hot aluminum engine). Repeat a couple more times. The water
should be pretty clean by the 3rd or 4th time.

It's a lot of extra work if you have a pristine cooling system. I
"drain and refill" every year to year-and-a-half so everything looks
nice and clean. Be sure to account for the extra distilled water left
in the system and adjust the amount of concentrated coolant
accordingly. Use total system capacity as a guide in calculating how
much concentrated coolant to pour in.

Note: if you can only get pre-dilluted coolant (like the toyota pink,
not toyota red) in your area, then the recommended procedure is to use
the pre-dilluted coolant to "flush" your system as if you're using
distilled water!! (It must be an accountant who came up with that
idea). Otherwise you would be left with less than 50% concentration,
which is not good at all for the aluminum. The pink organic acid
coolant is pre-dilluted with 50% distilled water so the grease monkeys
at the dealer can't get it wrong or trying to get by on the cheap with
tap water, because organic acid coolants don't really like tap water.
So look before you add water to the coolant, it may be pre-dilluted.

Check where the cooling tubes are welded to the header plates when you
look into the filler neck. Make sure the solder isn't corroded and
begins to "bloom". Modine Radiator used to have nice pictures on their
web site to tell you about what to look for, but now they merged with
Transpro to form Proliance and the pictures are gone.


mrdarrett@gmail.com wrote:
> How about this method:
>
> 1. Open radiator drain plug and radiator cap,
> 2. Remove thermostat and replace thermostat housing,
> 3. Disconnect top radiator hose from radiator,
> 4. Pour DISTILLED water into radiator hose (into engine) until it runs
> clear out the drain plug,
> 5. Re-attach hose, re-install thermostat, replace radiator drain plug,
> fill up with 50/50?


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