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Old 05-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
ls1fan74
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At-home coolant flush

Wondering if this is a bad idea due to both not being able to get in all internal parts of the engine, and having hard water?

Was thinking I'd empty the radiator and reservoir, then use a garden hose to flush them (and the engine) out - but we have 'hard' tap water; we get those white mineral deposits on the dishwasher, faucets etc and use a Brita for drinking - would that have a noticeable negative effect on aluminum block & heads?
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Distilled water is cheap ($.89) a gallon.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radkon...View Post
Distilled water is cheap ($.89) a gallon.

Oh I know - that's what I would definitely use to fill it...I mean just to flush it out with pressure....shops use a machine AFAIK (I only have a garden hose)
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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And yes, I am being cheap....2 gallons of Dex-Cool and 2 or 3 of distilled water is like $35 - shops around here want between $110-$140 for a flush/fill. Just wondering if that's definitely the better way, to spend the $$
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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Get rid of the dex-cool...
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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I flush with garden hose water, and then drain as much as possible, then refill with mix distilled/dexcool. So far no rust, no gunk, no drama.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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i always use the prestone flush kit that you can
buy @ vatozone. i have never used distilled water.
just flush thoroughly, then add the premix coolant.
have done this for years with no ill effect.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miker...View Post
Get rid of the dex-cool...

You think so? It's not gunking or anything, but only been in there 3 years, which is why I kind of want to do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waka Flocka Flame...View Post
I flush with garden hose water, and then drain as much as possible, then refill with mix distilled/dexcool. So far no rust, no gunk, no drama.

Is there a drain plug on the block? Or just the rad hoses
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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04 has no drain plug. Yank the hoses. Everyone has a an opinion about Dex-cool, my opinion is its fine.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waka Flocka Flame...View Post
04 has no drain plug. Yank the hoses. Everyone has a an opinion about Dex-cool, my opinion is its fine.

I know it sucks if left in for GM's recommended 5 yr/150,000 miles, but changed semi-frequently I haven't had issues either. I should probably get new hoses & hose clamps too, then
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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I just installed a new radiator.

What are the downsides to Dexcool? Why don't people like using it?
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:34 PM   #12
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I just installed a new radiator.

What are the downsides to Dexcool? Why don't people like using it?

It deforms baby fetuses and punches Mother Nature in the ovaries. It's purported to be a "plastic eater" ... whether or not it's true, nobody can really say with tangible certainty. There are plenty of cases for and against it. Probably has more to do with the shitty quality of the plastic used more so than the actual coolant used.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:40 PM   #13
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It deforms baby fetuses and punches Mother Nature in the ovaries. It's purported to be a "plastic eater" ... whether or not it's true, nobody can really say with tangible certainty. There are plenty of cases for and against it. Probably has more to do with the shitty quality of the plastic used more so than the actual coolant used.

What would be used instead? Just plain distilled water?
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:07 PM   #14
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I opted away from Dexcool after flushing my s10 with only 55,000 miles on it. Could not believe how much Solid black gunk came out of it. But like was said before, everyone has their own opinion on it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by adiocassette...View Post
I opted away from Dexcool after flushing my s10 with only 55,000 miles on it. Could not believe how much Solid black gunk came out of it. But like was said before, everyone has their own opinion on it.

Hey, hey, now....that "solid black gunk" is keeping the coolant IN my s10
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:42 PM   #16
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I opted away from Dexcool after flushing my s10 with only 55,000 miles on it. Could not believe how much Solid black gunk came out of it. But like was said before, everyone has their own opinion on it.

That's the stop-leak GM used to put in their vehicle's cooling systems. They seemed to have stopped ... shit does more harm than good. That had nothing to do with Dexcool.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #17
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I just flushed mine, and did the following:
Drain all coolant
Replaced components (radiator had a leak, so along with the radiator, I went ahead and replaced the water pump, thermostat and hoses since I was in there)
Refill with distilled water only, start and warm up until normal temp, making sure to cycle the heater.
Refilled with Preston premixed (50/50) all makes and models.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:28 PM   #18
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What do ya'l recommend for coolant then?
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:31 PM   #19
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8ball...View Post
That's the stop-leak GM used to put in their vehicle's cooling systems. They seemed to have stopped ... shit does more harm than good. That had nothing to do with Dexcool.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm fairly sure that's what caused the nightmare of the lower intake manifold gasket leaks on the 3400 V6 N-Bodies, circa 98-05 (Regal, Grand Am, Alero, 3.4L Impala/Monte & GM Minivans) aside from just a bad gasket design.

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Originally Posted by Falco21...View Post
What would be used instead? Just plain distilled water?

Noo, don't ever use straight plain water in your cooling system; water boils @ 212 F, and also creates steam which can expand/distort engine parts and cause warping, and head gasket leaks. I believe (again corrections, please) the MINIMUM antifreeze/water mixture is 70% water/30% coolant.

Last edited by ls1fan74; 05-17-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:19 PM   #21
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It deforms baby fetuses and punches Mother Nature in the ovaries. It's purported to be a "plastic eater" ... whether or not it's true, nobody can really say with tangible certainty. There are plenty of cases for and against it. Probably has more to do with the shitty quality of the plastic used more so than the actual coolant used.

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:35 PM   #22
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What do you recommend using and the ratio? I'm curious because I need to refill my system after the new radiator install. I always used Dexcool in it, but now I'm leery about it
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #23
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To answer your question about what to use in place of Dexcool, those that follow the conspiracy have been known to flush thoroughly and replace with the 'green' old-school AF.

Aside from the reasons above, one does not run straight water because:

1) Promotes rust in (non-GTO) iron block motors.

2) Freezes, and then your wallet suffers.

3) Is fine for short tests (post-head gasket changes, finding an elusive leak, etc) so to spare you from dumping fresh AF and buying more.

Lastly, I tend to side with 8ball. I haven't been convinced there's anything wrong with it. My 220k mi LT1 camaro has never had an AF-related breakdown and that's all I ever fed it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #24
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drain and refill and you'll be fine.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #25
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To answer your question about what to use in place of Dexcool, those that follow the conspiracy have been known to flush thoroughly and replace with the 'green' old-school AF.

Aside from the reasons above, one does not run straight water because:

1) Promotes rust in (non-GTO) iron block motors.

2) Freezes, and then your wallet suffers.

3) Is fine for short tests (post-head gasket changes, finding an elusive leak, etc) so to spare you from dumping fresh AF and buying more.

Lastly, I tend to side with 8ball. I haven't been convinced there's anything wrong with it. My 220k mi LT1 camaro has never had an AF-related breakdown and that's all I ever fed it.

Excellent call, I didn't even think of freezing...that would cause more damage than steam. Also, how much did you change it on the LT1??
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:47 PM   #26
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Don't need to worry about freezing here LOL
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #27
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drain and refill and you'll be fine.

+1
Drain what you can, refill with 50/50 mix of coolant of your choice and distilled water. If you want, do it again at the next oil change.

There's nothing wrong with dexcool
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:43 AM   #28
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Excellent call, I didn't even think of freezing...that would cause more damage than steam. Also, how much did you change it on the LT1??

On my LT1, I was "forced to" whether I liked it or not.

1 radiator, 1 water pump and 3 optisparks (WP has to come off), all at different times, ensured I always had pretty fresh Dexcool.

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Old 05-18-2012, 10:07 AM   #29
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Gotcha. That sucks...I thought the optispark was the thing in the Transformers movie



I may just have it done, called around and found a few chain shops that were cheaper than I thought...one was $82.95
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:28 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJJONESIVS...View Post
drain and refill and you'll be fine.

This. I use Dexcool and drain and fill every 2-3 years. Saves the trouble of getting hard water in the system.
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