Edmunds Answers



  • karjunkie 10/21/09 2:32 pm PST

    First, if you change your coolant every 2 years or the coolant is clear and clean, you don't need a chemical flush. A chemical flush should not be left in the cooling system for days. It is meant to be run for a short period and immediately flushed out. I always drain, fill with 100% tap water and bring the engine back to operating temperature with the heater on full hot and THEN drain again and fill with a 50/50% mix of coolant and distilled water. I always use distilled water to avoid mineral contamination. If you follow this process, the entire system will be flushed clean. Some cars require you to open a bleeder valve to let the air out on the final refill. Check your owner's manual or get a Chilton or Haynes repair manual to be sure. Those manuals only cost 20 bucks and make DIY repairs MUCH easier! Good luck!

  • imidazol97 10/25/09 10:53 am PST

    The coolant should have been drained every 2-2.5 years. Then refilled with DexCool to be compatible with what was left in there.

    In your position, I would drain the coolant using the drain on the bottom of the radiator (there's a hole in the air deflector underneath to allow you to put a tool up to turn the plastic spigot to drain. Clean off underside of radiator cap with toothbrush and dish soap (an old one of course!)

    I would refill with water and run to operating temperature to get full circulation. Then I would drain again, cool, and refill. Then repeat once more. I would refill with DexCool of the proper amount for the volume cooling system you have then add water to top off. Run to operating temperature and refill radiator after cooling. Then next time at operating temperature (lower radiator hose warm from water circulating through radiator) run engine at 2500 rpms for 10 seconds or so and repeat 5 times to remove air bubble from heater core. Let car cool so you can take off radiator cap. Have someone run motor after it idles to operating temp at 1500-2000 while you fill radiator. When engine speeds up the level in radiator will drop and you can add more coolant. Then while motor is still at speed, put radiator cap on. Then open bleed screw on top of thermostat housing to let air out. Fill reservoir.

    I would repeat in one year since coolant hadn't been changed in timely manner.

  • paddy5 10/26/09 11:48 am PST

    Thanks. Do you know what the cooling system volume is? - I can't find it in the operators manual.

  • imidazol97 10/26/09 3:34 pm PST

    Volume will be in the owners manual in the glove box. In the back.

    When you drain the radiator, you may not drain all. My leSabre is 12 quarts. I took off the lower radiator hose at the motor to drain. I put in the 6 quarts amount of pure antifreeze before I added any water. I did multiple rinses on mine.

    But the drain on the left front bottom of the radiator is the best way to do it. Someone said a socket of a certain size fits over the two prongs and turns them.

    You might want to take off the air dam under the car. Lots of screws but it makes it easier to see what you're doing on the bottom of the radiator.

  • paddy5 11/02/09 1:09 pm PST

    Did the coolant change this wkend - everything worked well - flushed out everything 3 times. For anybody who's interested you can undo the radiator plug with a 3/4" socket - using a 6" extension on the ratchet - coming up from the hole in the wind deflector - no need to take off the wind deflector.

  • karjunkie 11/02/09 1:18 pm PST

    Glad to hear it all went well! Thanks for the tips on the drain plug!

  • imidazol97 11/03/09 6:07 pm PST

    Thanks for reporting back.

    I always worry about the drains, especially now that they're plastic.

    Glad it worked for you.


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