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Old 06-27-2005, 09:24 AM   #1
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flushing radiator

I asked a shop how much they charge to flush my radiator... they said $80. Is this something I can do? I felt the price tag slap me in the face on this one, lol. I'm cheap... thus, how hard is it to do, and if I can't do it, what's a good price to pay?
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:38 AM   #2
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i beleive it pretty easy but i just have never had to do it.
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Old 06-27-2005, 12:04 PM   #3
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Its easy do it yourself
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Old 06-27-2005, 12:08 PM   #4
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all you do is drain the system, then put the new stuff in slowly, the coolant lines will open up when the car gets XX degree and suck the coolant on though, then you poor more before it starts sucking air, after a couple of these it will be fine, then drive a little bit and take the top bolt out in front of the upper intake (highest point on teh coolant travel ) and this will get rid of any air thats trapped. Its very easy to do... clean the overflow bottle, take it out there is black nasty crap that builds up so take it out and clean it with hot water good.

fill it up and hook up the little hose as well, when the car needs coolant if the cap is on the readiator and its all full it will suck it out of the overflow, if the cap is not on it will just suck air though.

its not hard to do, use DISTILLED WATER just buy the premix stuff.
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:33 PM   #5
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Re: flushing radiator HELP???

I see a lot on here about changing coolant in a v6 3.8L Mustang. but im new to working on cars and im kinda not financially able to have a pro take care of my car right now. so my question....

Can someone please give me step by step instructions on how to drain my coolant and put more in? the right way lol...and where are these two bolts ppl are talking about on the bottom of the radiator...maybe i just missed them when i was lookin lol
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:24 PM   #6
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Re: flushing radiator

Ok first off I am quoting all of this directly from a haynes manual which I suggest all rookies to get if not everyone as it is contains a ton of knowledge and shows pictures of the follwoing.

Draining:

1. Apply parking brake and wait a few hours to allow the engine to cool off.
2. Remove the radiator cap or expansion tank cap (4.6L engines) once the engine is cool.
3. Move a large container under the radiator drain fitting to catch the coolent. (the drain fitting on the radiator is on the lower corner/side and may have a white or gray color).
4. Attach a 3/8inch diameter hose to the fitting and using a wrench or pliers open the drain fitting.
5. After the coolent stops flowing out of the radiator move the container under the engine block drain plugs (the block drain plugs are generally located about 1 to 2 inches above the oil pan rail (there are 2, one on each side of the engine block)).
6. While the coolent is draining check the conditions of the radiator hoses, heater hoses, and clamps and replace as needed.

Flushing:

1. Once the system is completely drained flush the radiator with fresh water from a garden hose until water runs clear at the drain. (This will ensure that sediments from the radiator are removed, however if the radiator is severely corroded, damaged, or leaking, remove it and take it to a repair shop or replace it).
2. Remove the overflow hose from the coolant recovery reservoir. Drain the resivoir and flush it with clean water, then reconnect the hose.

Refilling:

1. Close and tighten the radiator drain and reinstall and tighten the block drain plugs.
2. Place the heater temperature control in maximum heat position.
3. Slowly add new coolant (50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze...just buy premixed) to the radiator until it is full. Add coolant to the reservoir or expansion tank up to the "FULL HOT" mark.
4. Leave the radiator or expansion tank cap off and run the engine in a well-ventilated area until the thermostat opens (coolent will begin flowing through the radiator and the upper radiator hose will become hot).
5. Turn off the engine and let it cool. Add more coolant mixture to bring the level back up to the lip on the radiator or expansion tank filler neck.
6. Squeeze the upper radiator hose to expel air, then add more coolant mixture if necessary. Replace/reinstall the radiator or expansion tank cap.
7. Start the engine, allow it to reach normal operating temperature and check for leaks.
8. Be careful not to get antifreeze on you as it can burn and especailly when its 150-200degrees.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:24 PM   #7
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Re: flushing radiator

wow, I never realized there were that many steps... I just do it
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:16 PM   #8
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Re: flushing radiator

Quick stupid question as it is my first time doing this. Once i drained and flushed my car i refilled it to the rim and turned the engine on. When the car got hot I assumed it was normal for the coolant to overflow with the cap off? Once this happend I shut her down and let the car cool. Refilled it once more and expelled the air and was done with the job and put the cap back on. Does that sound about right? I test drove it and everything seemed fine, but its just one of those things that eats at you when your doing it for the first time. Thanks.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:22 PM   #9
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Re: flushing radiator

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Originally Posted by runvsofthisbull View Post
Quick stupid question as it is my first time doing this. Once i drained and flushed my car i refilled it to the rim and turned the engine on. When the car got hot I assumed it was normal for the coolant to overflow with the cap off? Once this happend I shut her down and let the car cool. Refilled it once more and expelled the air and was done with the job and put the cap back on. Does that sound about right? I test drove it and everything seemed fine, but its just one of those things that eats at you when your doing it for the first time. Thanks.
honestly, this is what I did/do...

drain the overflow tank. Plug it, fill the tank with distilled water. Turn the car on, and let the engine warm up enough to open the t-stat and the coolant/water to start mixing. After that has happened a couple times, your overflow should be full of old coolant/water mixed. Shut the car off... drain overflow. Refill with distilled.

Repeat that until you don't get the crappy brownish coolant in the overflow. Distilled water is damn cheap. $0.64 a gallon at Wal-Mart. After that, drain the overflow, and add in half concentrate, half pre-mix... or just 2/3 concentrate 1/3 water, and let that mix with the motor warmed.

After it's cycled some, test the overflow tank and if it needs more coolant, add more coolant, if it needs water, add water. I usually find I'm adding coolant, and a lot of it. It's worked out well for me.

I always fill to the "full" line and no more. No point in putting that stuff all over the ground. Always collect it in a bucket or something. If you're lucky, you can flush the coolant (check your city laws).
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:32 PM   #10
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Did you guys use a 50/50 mix?


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Old 08-26-2014, 04:56 AM   #11
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You most definitely should and yes I did....wow talk about an old post.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:41 AM   #12
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A true flush also involves installing a cleaner to remove any buildup or scale that builds around the tube openings within the radiator. This scale can build up if the coolant was old, or if non distilled water was added in large quantities over time. It also takes at least two flushes to remove the old fluid, add the cleaner, flush, then add in the new coolant. About an hours work, so $80.00 was reasonable when you consider the labor cost, antifreeze, cleaner, and disposal fee (government thing).

But it can be easily done at home for those who don't mind doing a little work.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:23 AM   #13
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I could be wrong but you shouldn't have to change your coolant for 2-3 years from the last change. $80 for 2 years worth of peace of mind is fine with me. as bucko said, price the coolant and cleaner and after that your probably looking at paying someone 40 dollars to do the work. Depends how lazy you are I guess or if your even in a situation where you have somewhere to do the work.
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