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What is the correct procedure for flushing the cooling system

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  • steve t May 11, 2010

    Have empty jugs of antifreeze waiting or whatever it takes to collect the old stuff, note let car cool off before removening cap!!...then remove radiator cap when cool,...then find drain plug at bottom off the radiator... should be a small-handle devise.... twist it loose.. my quickest way is to pull bottom hose off, this get the job done a lot quicker but messier....just let it pour out for a awhile..squezzes top hoses to get most or all out. Check inside radiator with faslight to make sure radiator isnt all rusty and corroded. if it is corroded it needs to be cleaned and you better do it. believe me its worth it. take it to a radiator shop they"re good at this, next run water hot hose throught all hoses going into engine till it runs clean,dont be shy, left her rip, it'll help some off the rust and crude works it way out...put eveything back together, use new clamps if nessasary and also check conditoin off hoses...this is the number one failiure of the cooling system also check the heater core lines... they go unnoticed a lot... and i've found a few bad... every so often the hoses bulge out near the clamps or semmed cracked and little thats bad. they might burst!! Start the car first empty and add water emmidiately! dont wait, and dont use cold water, use the hose if you can form a washing machine hot water tap form you house or near by laundry room, just dont let the landload see you doing this....you dont want to crack the block filling it with cold water,,,but if in a bind you can use could water.. but dont fill it up all the way let it get warm slowly and then add some more....and save room for a can of water pump lubricant. dont cost much and it will save your water pump, turn car off let set for a few. and then restart and add water to coolant resivour, after car settles and cools take radiator look back in and see if any air escapes, you might see it bubling up you dont want trapped air in the system this will cuse overheating problems...this is good because it makes more room for coolantal (purchase a premix antifreeze) if you have a newer model car toy should onlt out in the orange antifreeze DONT MiX check you manuel or as the dealer....so After running the car for a few hours recheck the levels again. then reinstall cap and let it get hot and then check check those radiator hoses for leaks, espesially the ones leading to the heater core. if all checks out it should run fine.

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Drain the radiator either by removing the lower rad hose or by loosening the petcock fill the radiator with water and flush solution and run the vehicle for 20 mins with the cap off repeat this procedure until the water is clean but only use the flush solution the first time caution water will be hot

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Does anybody have a video link on how to flush the cooling system on a GM 3.1L SFI OHV 6cyl motor? I need a vid for this particular motor cause mine is still overheating & i have looked everywhere.


flushing a cooling system is the same method as any other motor

do it without the thermostat fitted
or water pump opening

sacrifice an old radiator hose to adapt a garden hose fitting
for radiator flush

air in system fix
your thermostat housing has no air bleed valve
no top radiator cap

old school way
heater on full
run motor till thermostats fully open
burp radiator hoses
wait till water is running up into over flow bottle without bubble
replace cap
turn off heater
correct level in over flow bottle

why still over heating
you fitted everything i would have ... yet still overheat
possibles
leaking inlet manifold gaskets
hose clamps loose
cooling fans spinning too slow
thermostatic fan switch faulty
aluminum radiator is a big one
air ..fins bent or some water channels blocked

or possible head gasket leak




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Nov 02, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

Tip

How to Flush the Cooling System.


Normally the engine operates at 195F, unless you have replaced the thermostat with another one at 185F. If the temperature has a tendency to rise up, the reason is a partially obstructed cooling system or/and a bad thermostat.The first part of the cooling system that gives up is the heater core, because the coolant flowing channels are thin. It is the time for a coolant flush in your car. To do it right then you need time. Plan ahead for a weekend. With a cooled engine, start with the heater core hoses. Disconnect both of them, but the dirt has to go out of your car, so with a garden hose back flush it and let the dirt to get out of your cooling system. After you will get clean discharge,it is the time for coolant bottle, remove it, discharge the used coolant and clean it. The third to come is the radiator. Open the drain cook, or disconnect the lower radiator hose, and disposal used coolant properly. Now open the radiator cap and flush with water the radiator till discharge will be clear.You think that you are done? Not yet. There is half of old dirty coolant trapped in the system. Install everything, and connect all coolant system hoses, radiator, heater core and coolant bottle. Now you have to run your car with water. Fill out the cooling system with distilled water, start engine, turn on the heater high, and run till upper radiator hose get hot. That means the thermostat opens. Let the engine to cool down, open the radiator cap, and draining cook or lover radiator hose and drain everything. You can use flush detergent, if you wanted, at this stage, but flushing with detergent will add 4 more hours, because the detergent is colorless and you have to guess how many fill and drain processes to do, to get rid of it. I do not do it, but if your cooling system is very dirty you have to do it. After the last drain, fill the cooling system with concentrated antifreeze and 30% distilled water. The reason is because it is more water trapped inside the cooling system. The goal is to reach 50/50concentration. You need a coolant tester to find this. Start the engine and add coolant till radiator is full. Install the radiator cap and bleed the system. After driving you car for a day or so, let engine to cool down, open the radiator cap check the concentration of coolant with the tester, and add antifreeze or distilled water as necessary. It is a good idea to replace the thermostat while flushing the radiator. This procedure has to be done every 2 to 3 years. It is up to you to decide to use RED GM Dex-Cool or GREEN Prestone antifreeze. In all my cars I have replaced Dex-Cool with Prestone, but I flush the system every 2 years, and I never had a cooling system problem in all my cars.

on Nov 14, 2010 | Chevrolet Avalanche Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Cooling system


Maybe time for a service of the engine along with a coolant
system flush through... a good and thourough one. Does the cooling fan cut in when appropriate iS THE THERMOSTAT WORKING CORRECTLY?

Jun 15, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

1997 ford Taurus 3.0 6cyl. Has not heat


Empty cooling system and reverse flush the heater core with water hose till water comes out clear. Then reverse procedure till water is clear. Fill system with water and turn car on, while car is running open drain plug and continue to keep radiator full while draining it at the same time turn on your heater with heat on high and blower on high When water is clear flush system and wait for engine to cool down. Refill with antifreeze and turn engine on, check for leaks and to see if you have heat. If still no heat change heat core.Let me know how you make out.

Dec 22, 2014 | 1997 Ford Taurus

1 Answer

My car is over heating and io replaced my head gaskit and its still over heatting wat could it b


There is a very specific coolant replacement procedure for the 2005, 6 Equinox. Below is a paste from another answer related to the cooling system that may help. Look for the refill procedure, but perhaps a full flush, as be in order as well.


I had a similar problem with our second 2005 Equinox. If the core is clogged, a proper flush is done by hooking garden hose adapters to both heater hoses and reversing the flow numerous times until all debris stops coming from it. Hook the hoses up again and perform a proper and complete system flush with the thermostat removed from the engine. My GM service manual suggests changing the thermostat after the complete system flush is done.
In our case, I put a flush attachment in line with the hose line that feeds the bottom of the surge tank and opened the drain plug on the bottom of the drivers side of the radiator. If you remove it, and nothing flows, use a firm yet still flexible long piece of thin round plastic to probe around the entry point until you break through the hardened sludge in there. You cannot send the probe straight in as there is a support inside of the port, probe at an angle until through. Flush very thoroughly and be patient to get it all out. Done correctly, you won't have to do it again for 150 k miles. Remember to replace the thermostat.
Important when filling, place in park, set the hand brake and chock wheels. Jack the forward right side of the car at that jacking point about 2 to 3 inches to orient the engine correctly to remove air from the system. Open the air bleed screw at the top of the water pump tower to let air bleed while you pour the correct orange Dexcool and water 50/50 mix into the surge tank. Once the air turns to steady flow of coolant with no spitting or bubbles from the tower, snug the screw down, but don't over tighten. You can lower the car at this point. Fill the tank to an inch above the seam halfway up inside of the tank, close the surge tank cap and start the car with the heater on full blast until the water has heated the surge tank very warm to the touch. Turn the engine off and wait for the engine to cool. Carefully remove the surge cap, very slowly to allow pressurized air to bleed, do not open while hot- ever!
Add more 50/50 mix of Dexcool to an inch above the inside seam of the tank. The service manual calls this process thermal cycling to remove all air pockets that remain. You are done with this process when you no longer have to add coolant to cover the inside tank seam after engine cool down.
Finally, and just as importantly, get cooling system sealing pellets from any GM dealer and the next time the engine is cool, drop all 5 pellets in the surge tank. They can be crushed before putting in the tank but I think dropping them in whole allows for a better and smoother application throughout the cooling system that avoids clogging the heater core. If you don't use these pellets after a coolant flush and change, your engine will weep coolant out of the head gasket near the #1 cylinder and will weep into the #1 cylinder. Pressurized hot gases will also leech into your water jacket at this same point which will promote solids forming in your coolant.
This whole process is pretty tedious but worth it in the long run. After I cured all of the cooling system issues with our car, I've come to really appreciate the darned good engineering that went into the drivetrain of the Equinox. Most of the problems in our car were caused by folks not following the rules when servicing the cooling system but while getting this worked out, I've picked up a good understanding of the modern fully closed high pressure GM cooling system. Best of luck!

Mar 11, 2014 | 2005 Chevrolet Equinox

1 Answer

Dose the car have to be running to bleed the coulant system


No, but I've pasted an earlier post that may help. The 2005, 6 cooling systems require a certain refill procedure. Please read down to the section you need. I hope this helps.



I had a similar problem with our second 2005 Equinox. If the core is clogged, a proper flush is done by hooking garden hose adapters to both heater hoses and reversing the flow numerous times until all debris stops coming from it. Hook the hoses up again and perform a proper and complete system flush with the thermostat removed from the engine. My GM service manual suggests changing the thermostat after the complete system flush is done.
In our case, I put a flush attachment in line with the hose line that feeds the bottom of the surge tank and opened the drain plug on the bottom of the drivers side of the radiator. If you remove it, and nothing flows, use a firm yet still flexible long piece of thin round plastic to probe around the entry point until you break through the hardened sludge in there. You cannot send the probe straight in as there is a support inside of the port, probe at an angle until through. Flush very thoroughly and be patient to get it all out. Done correctly, you won't have to do it again for 150 k miles. Remember to replace the thermostat.
Important when filling, place in park, set the hand brake and chock wheels. Jack the forward right side of the car at that jacking point about 2 to 3 inches to orient the engine correctly to remove air from the system. Open the air bleed screw at the top of the water pump tower to let air bleed while you pour the correct orange Dexcool and water 50/50 mix into the surge tank. Once the air turns to steady flow of coolant with no spitting or bubbles from the tower, snug the screw down, but don't over tighten. You can lower the car at this point. Fill the tank to an inch above the seam halfway up inside of the tank, close the surge tank cap and start the car with the heater on full blast until the water has heated the surge tank very warm to the touch. Turn the engine off and wait for the engine to cool. Carefully remove the surge cap, very slowly to allow pressurized air to bleed, do not open while hot- ever!
Add more 50/50 mix of Dexcool to an inch above the inside seam of the tank. The service manual calls this process thermal cycling to remove all air pockets that remain. You are done with this process when you no longer have to add coolant to cover the inside tank seam after engine cool down.
Finally, and just as importantly, get cooling system sealing pellets from any GM dealer and the next time the engine is cool, drop all 5 pellets in the surge tank. They can be crushed before putting in the tank but I think dropping them in whole allows for a better and smoother application throughout the cooling system that avoids clogging the heater core. If you don't use these pellets after a coolant flush and change, your engine will weep coolant out of the head gasket near the #1 cylinder and will weep into the #1 cylinder. Pressurized hot gases will also leech into your water jacket at this same point which will promote solids forming in your coolant.
This whole process is pretty tedious but worth it in the long run. After I cured all of the cooling system issues with our car, I've come to really appreciate the darned good engineering that went into the drivetrain of the Equinox. Most of the problems in our car were caused by folks not following the rules when servicing the cooling system but while getting this worked out, I've picked up a good understanding of the modern fully closed high pressure GM cooling system. Best of luck!

Jan 15, 2014 | 2005 Chevrolet Equinox

1 Answer

Would like to flush the cooling system in my 2006 silverado,what is the correct procedure?


All I have done for 49 years is drain the radiator & then
refill with 50/50 or 60/40

If you do every 3 years your okey

People are obsessed with coolant & trans flushing,why?

You do not have the engine running until you have it refilled
then add as the thermostat opens & fill the degas bottle

Nov 26, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Oil in coolant


Thoroughly flush out the coolant expansion tank and cooling system, radiator , engine block ect... with a commercially available cooling system flush (Prestone or any other brand). Oil will damage the rubber cooling system hoses. Refill the cooling system with the correct amount of fresh antifreeze and drive the car after the cooling fans have cycled on and off. When the cooling system has cooled down top up as required and keep an eye on the cooling system for a few weeks to see if the problem reoccurs or if someone had inadvertently put oil in the reservoir.If not I'm more leaning toward a blown head gasket. it will run fine but you will have to keep the water clean out. to fix it buy a head gasket and surface the head..you have a blown head gasket

Jan 24, 2011 | 2001 Chevrolet Impala

1 Answer

I have a 1997 Chevy Blazer and until just the other day the heater worked fantastic...Now all it does is blow out cold air...Any idea what could be wrong?


STEP 1 :Check fluid level at reservour.STEP2:Check fluid level in radiator. if you dont remenber last time that the cooling system was flush STEP3:flush cooling system,with this step3 replace your thermostat(make sure it's the correct one).

Jan 22, 2011 | Chevrolet Blazer Cars & Trucks

3 Answers

Over heating 1998 cherokee


Yes - Your radiator not only needs to be flushed you could also have an inexpensive procedure done at any reputable radiator shop called "rodding out" and then heat flushed. If I remember correctly 98 Cherokees have a 4.0 in line 6 cylinder motor that has a aluminum radiator. If you remove your radiator yourself (drain detach hoses and unbolt assembly) and bring it to the radiator shop you could get this done really cheap. If you are not comfortable doing this, have them do it for a slightly higher fee. This should really help. NOTE: When adding radiator fluid from now on, use 50/50 premix or if you mix it yourself always use DISTILLED Water. This prevents corrosion buildup in your system. Good Luck!!!

Nov 07, 2008 | 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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