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Flushing coolant?

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Old 01-28-2005, 08:21 PM
fordtruckin fordtruckin is offline
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Flushing coolant?

I was just at Jiffy Lube and they told me I need a coolant flush. As we know, you don't get your truck serviced at Jiffy Lube other than oil changes, so I said no thanks. My question is how hard is it to flush coolant yourself (if it can be done) and how much should it cost to get it done by a professional? Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2005, 08:54 PM
geodiver81 geodiver81 is offline
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Coolant Change/Flush

Changing and flushing are quite easy. First is to make sure you have a container to catch old coolant. You can buy a flush kit from a parts place for a few dollars to install in the lines running to the heater core. Remove the lower hose from the radiator to release the coolant. Once it is finished draining reattach the hose. If you want to you can use a flushing solution such as prestone or other brands. The usually require the contents and then fill with water and run the motor for so many minutes, then release the water with the lower hose then reinstal. If you opt for the flush kit for the heater core line it has an adapter for a garden hose. Take of the rasiator cap, attach the garden hose and turn it on. This will circulate clean water and remove the nasties. The once again drain that water out. To refill i prefer a 50/50 mix antifreeze and DISTILLED water. Using distilled water will keep minerals from depositing in your system unlike ordinary tap water. Hope this will be of some help.
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Old 01-28-2005, 09:20 PM
fordtruckin fordtruckin is offline
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Great, so basically drain the old stuff out, fill with garden hose, run the engine to circulate and flush the system, then drain again, then refill with 50/50 distilled water and antifreeze. I'll do that, thanks alot! They wanted $70 at JL, can you believe that? Oh and how much coolant does the 300 hold? Using a 50/50 mix, how much antifreeze do I need?
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Old 01-28-2005, 09:43 PM
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924x2150 924x2150 is offline
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Pay for it, it is a time-consuming messy job, and you will get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that all the crud is out of the cooling system. I think the pros do a better job at removing all of the old fluid and sediment. A good tech will have you in and out in one hour, 70 bucks is a fair price..providing they do good work. If you can find a good shop(not a franchise, but a local business that needs to keep a good rep) that is known for radiator repairs and cooling system work you should go there. I would rather pay a pro to flush my cooling system, and I'll do the oil changes. Cooling system maintenance is just as important or even more important than oil maintenance. The coolant is often overlooked and left in the block too long. You may consider having a new thermostat installed, and always get a new radiator pressure cap when changing coolant.

Another good reason to use a shop is they will pressure test the system, and will be able to perform any other repairs, such as replacing the radiator or heater core if they should fail before, during, or after during the flush. Sometimes cleaning the system will result in leaks. After the flushing sometimes leaks occur because the inner walls of the tubing had corrosion that washed away. You may get mad at the guy for wrecking your cooling system, but, all they did was expose a defect that would have stuck you 200 miles from home on a 95 degree day. I do believe there are times to use a pro, although I rarely trust any of them. Ask alot of questions when you visit them, and if they don't seem like they want to talk to you, then walk away.

Last edited by 924x2150; 01-28-2005 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:00 PM
fordtruckin fordtruckin is offline
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Originally Posted by 924x2150
Pay for it, it is a time-consuming messy job, and you will get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that all the crud is out of the cooling system. I think the pros do a better job at removing all of the old fluid and sediment. A good tech will have you in and out in one hour, 70 bucks is a fair price..providing they do good work. If you can find a good shop(not a franchise, but a local business that needs to keep a good rep) that is known for radiator repairs and cooling system work you should go there. I would rather pay a pro to flush my cooling system, and I'll do the oil changes. Cooling system maintenance is just as important or even more important than oil maintenance. The coolant is often overlooked and left in the block too long. You may consider having a new thermostat installed, and always get a new radiator pressure cap when changing coolant.

Another good reason to use a shop is they will pressure test the system, and will be able to perform any other repairs, such as replacing the radiator or heater core if they should fail before, during, or after during the flush. Sometimes cleaning the system will result in leaks. After the flushing sometimes leaks occur because the inner walls of the tubing had corrosion that washed away. You may get mad at the guy for wrecking your cooling system, but, all they did was expose a defect that would have stuck you 200 miles from home on a 95 degree day. I do believe there are times to use a pro, although I rarely trust any of them. Ask alot of questions when you visit them, and if they don't seem like they want to talk to you, then walk away.

You've got a point there. There's a garage in Costa Mesa where my grandma goes to get her car service. My grandpa financed their startup 50+ years ago and they never forgot it. I know I can trust them, so maybe I'll take it by there and see what can be done. I just don't know, the first guy made is sound real easy...
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:09 PM
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The first guy is right, it is easy, but you have to have a very good idea of what is going on. It is easy for someone familiar with cooling systems and knows the little telltale signs of trouble. After you do it once or twice you can speed things up.The whole operation is messy and you get stuck with a pail of old anti freeze that should be properly disposed of...not dumped in the sewer or storm drains.
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:52 PM
fordtruckin fordtruckin is offline
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Originally Posted by 924x2150
The first guy is right, it is easy, but you have to have a very good idea of what is going on. It is easy for someone familiar with cooling systems and knows the little telltale signs of trouble. After you do it once or twice you can speed things up.The whole operation is messy and you get stuck with a pail of old anti freeze that should be properly disposed of...not dumped in the sewer or storm drains.
Well I am very handy and have fixed alot of things, just never flushed the coolant before that's all. Wanted to get a play by play just so I know I'm doing it right.
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:19 PM
Silver Streak Silver Streak is offline
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As a pro, I say pay to have it done for all the reasons listed above, plus a few more. First of all, the little flush fittings that go in your heater hose are a joke. They don't do a very good job, and they tend to split after they are exposed to an underhood environment for a while. Another reason is that the best flush is one that pushes water through the system in the direction opposite what it is when the engine is running. As the engine runs, junk rides along in the coolant until it reaches a restriction like the heater core or radiator. It all collects on the inlet side and restricts coolant flow. When flushed in the reverse direction all the crap will get cleaned out. The third reason is that you need something that is strong enough to push a thermostat open to get good circulation during the flush, or you need to remove the thermostat and replace it with a new one.

I use and recommend BG products for all services. If you go to the BG Products web site you can easily find a shop that uses them with the BG Find a Shop search tool.
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Old 02-01-2005, 01:38 AM
fordtruckin fordtruckin is offline
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Well just to wrap up the story, I'm going to take it to the garage I talked about earlier. We spoke to the owner (the guy who knew my grandpa) and he said at the most it should cost $50, so if they can do it for fifty I'll be happy. Thanks everyone for the help!
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