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#4331939 - 02/17/17 11:58 AM Radiator flush
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 10489
Loc: NH
Have a 3 day weekend and I'm contemplating doing the timing belt on my Camry (eek!). One thing I need to do is change the coolant--some prior shop put in green stuff, and I want it to be Toyota Red. I know I am going to drain some of the block, and can drain the radiator; but once the belt is done, how much water should I run through it to flush the heater core? [I'm assuming it won't drain on its own.] I figured I would flush with distilled water, so I need to pick up a few gallons on the way home.

It's a '99 Camry with 5SFE.
_________________________
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 130k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 135k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 145k, his

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#4331944 - 02/17/17 12:04 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 11637
Loc: The Motor City
I typically flush with a garden hose for a complete flush, then try to displace as much tap water as I can with distilled water.

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#4331962 - 02/17/17 12:19 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 10489
Loc: NH
It's been a couple of years since I bought bottle water, but it used to be 50cents/gallon. Figured I'd skip on having to flush water with water, before flushing yet again with coolant.

I was kinda tempted to not flush--just drain as much as i could, then refill with proper coolant, and then try to flush that out (run a bit of the good stuff through, until I thought it was clean enough. Whatever is left in the bottom of the block and in the heater core can't be that much... but it seems better to run some water through, as I have no idea what is in it at the moment (other than it never froze up).
_________________________
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 130k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 135k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 145k, his

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#4331984 - 02/17/17 12:47 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 1717
Loc: The Right Coast
When I last did a coolant flush, I used 5 jugs of DI water. I had good heat so I didn't feel the need to mess with old hoses and flush out the heater core separately. I had the heat running the entire time so the old stuff in the HC got cleaned up enough to me. Final fill was with Rechochem Asian concentrate.
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#4331991 - 02/17/17 12:53 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 2444
Loc: California
Timing belt and water pump is child's play on those.

It's an iron block/Al head motor, and if the conventional green left behind silicate dropout a flush with citric acid shouldn't hurt things. The block drains on many Toyotas does a decent job of draining most of the block, and the heater hoses are easy to access - I think it holds a quart in the heater core.

If you want to play it safe and do multiple drain/fills, I think the cooling system holds a little more than a gallon and a half.

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#4332008 - 02/17/17 01:04 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
SirTanon Online   content


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 1251
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona - USA
You should definitely perform a flush - Don't want to mix those coolants, or the overall functional life will be greatly reduced, and you could potentially be risking precipitation of the chemicals.

Drain
fill from the hose and run the engine for a couple minutes
drain again
fill with distilled water and run for a couple minutes
drain again
fill with Toyota red to get to 50%.

Done. Should be plenty to get almost all of the green stuff out.
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2010 Ford Fusion SE - 2.5 liter/6F35 Trans - 227,000mi
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#4332056 - 02/17/17 01:41 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 602
Loc: Waco, TX
I use only distilled water, as drinking water has calcium chloride (a corrosive salt) added to it for taste.

1) drain as much as I can,
2) fill with distilled, drive one full day
3) drain hot and
4) filled with distilled again, drive one full day

Drain out,

then add full strength coolant to mix with existing distilled water.
Usually about 1.25 - 1.5 gallons gets trapped,
so 1.25 - 1.5 gallons of full strength gets me very close to 50/50

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#4332121 - 02/17/17 02:52 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
JamesBond Offline


Registered: 12/13/06
Posts: 657
Loc: midwest
Do the oil pump seal and "o" ring while you're there.

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#4332123 - 02/17/17 02:59 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 7795
Loc: Midwest
How hard is the thermostat to get to?

How warm is it up there? 65 here today.

Can you remove the tstat and fill with distilled, run for a bit, drain, repeat?
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#4332131 - 02/17/17 03:04 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
Reddy45 Online   sleepy


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 1153
Loc: USA
If there's one great piece of advice I've learned over the years about radiator fluid changes/flushes:

Buy 100% concentrate. Take the vehicle's coolant capacity and divide that number by 2. Put that amount of 100% concentrate into the system. You'll get a perfect 50/50 mix.

The rest of the equation is figuring out if you're going to only use distilled water or you're OK with garden hose water -- and figuring out how to get all of the old stuff out.
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#4332132 - 02/17/17 03:05 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: dlundblad]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 10489
Loc: NH
Originally Posted By: JamesBond
Do the oil pump seal and "o" ring while you're there.


That's why I'm doing this job. Nasty oil leak someplace, so I'm assuming it's the seal. otherwise I wanted to wait for warmer weather--but not only do I have a 3 day weekend but it's supposed to be in the 40's. Hopefully this goes well. The one tool I don't have is a seal puller, am hoping I can improvise on that.

Originally Posted By: dlundblad
How hard is the thermostat to get to?

How warm is it up there? 65 here today.

Can you remove the tstat and fill with distilled, run for a bit, drain, repeat?


It'll be in the 40's, or so they say. Freezing overnight. I'm not crazy about doing the job, as both my driveways are snow covered. Ground is frozen too, so any antifreeze that spills on the ground is apt to stick around.

But no real choice: I bought all the parts already, was putting the job off as long as possible. But I can't drive the car right now, due to an oil leak that is landing on the exhaust pipe. Did the valve cover gasket (which I don't recommend doing in 10F weather) to no avail. I'd like to get my 29mpg back! better than 16mpg in the truck.
_________________________
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 130k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 135k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 145k, his

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#4332133 - 02/17/17 03:06 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: Reddy45]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 10489
Loc: NH
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
If there's one great piece of advice I've learned over the years about radiator fluid changes/flushes:

Buy 100% concentrate. Take the vehicle's coolant capacity and divide that number by 2. Put that amount of 100% concentrate into the system. You'll get a perfect 50/50 mix.

The rest of the equation is figuring out if you're going to only use distilled water or you're OK with garden hose water -- and figuring out how to get all of the old stuff out.


That's a good point, wish I had thought of that. I do have concentrate; this would save me having to mix it! Thanks!
_________________________
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 130k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 135k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 145k, his

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#4332181 - 02/17/17 03:52 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 2094
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
You are doing this job outside without a garage? Have you changed timing belts before?

I changed the timing belt on a 98 V6 Sienna. It was a pita, I did it in July. I hope you've got all the right tools including a good air powered impact gun to remove the Crankshaft pulley bolt.

The 4cyl motor should be easier, but still sometimes you run into problems.

Also beware of the motor mount bolts that gave a tendency to seize and snap.


Edited by JC1 (02/17/17 03:53 PM)
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2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 PPPP/Wix Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 Mobil 1/Napa Gold Filter

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#4332192 - 02/17/17 04:08 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: supton]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 11637
Loc: The Motor City
Coolant Fluid Exchange

Here is the detailed procedure I use for every car I own
It is done on a cold engine.

1. Drain fluid
2. Remove the thermostat
3. Reinstall the t-stat housing and upper radiator hose
4. Disconnect upper radiator hose at radiator
5. Flush system with garden hose through upper radiator hose until water runs clear
6. Disconnect heater hoses, open heat valve
7. Flush heater core
8. Flush overflow tank
9. Run engine for a bit during flushing to get the fluid from the water pump and other dead spaces.
10. Drain as much water as possible from cooling system
11. Run a shorter flush with distilled water to displace the tap water.
12. Siphon water from overflow tank
13. Reinstall thermostat
14. Button everything back up
15. Refill cooling system with specified amount of antifreeze, bring up to level with water, preferably distilled. The amount of antifreeze you need can be calculated from the published cooling capacity for your vehicle.
16. Run car, top off coolant
17. Keep adding water as required every morning until system is topped off.

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#4332203 - 02/17/17 04:28 PM Re: Radiator flush [Re: JC1]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 2444
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: JC1


I changed the timing belt on a 98 V6 Sienna. It was a pita, I did it in July. I hope you've got all the right tools including a good air powered impact gun to remove the Crankshaft pulley bolt.

The 4cyl motor should be easier, but still sometimes you run into problems.


The 4 cylinder crank bolts aren't on as tight as the V6/V8 and M/JZ motors as well, Toyota specified 80ft-lbs on these. A decent air impact zipped it off when I did one for a friend. Unlike my parent's Sienna which I had to fashion an equivalent to the Lisle socket using a cheap Autozone 36mm socket welded to the outside of a black impact 22mm so that a Milwaukee 18V brushless impact can loosen it.

The tricky part might be tensioning the timing belt, it's a simple spring but it can be touchy to set the tension.

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