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Genie47

Maintaining your car's cooling system

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This should be a sticky. Any mods with powers here can do it.

 

Prepare thyself!

1. Distilled water. Lots of it. Maybe 20-30L if you are anal. If not, tap water will do.

2. Soft Nylon brushes.

3. Readily available tap and hose.

4. Low bucket.

5. Wear a long-sleeved workshirt or if you can, have a special heat resistant gloves that extend up to the entire length of your lower arm.

 

Cleaning the radiator system

1. With the hose connected to a tap, spray water onto the radiator and the fans. Don't worry the system can be wet. Some dead bugs and stones might be stuck on it. Remove them with the soft nylon brushes.

2. You might like to use a bucket of soapy water. Engine bay degreaser might help too.

 

Draining the system

1. Firstly locate the petc0ck. Some are the most difficult positions to reach. Make sure you are wearing long-sleeved T-shirt or something. Your arms don't need Shaolin temple dragon scars.

2. Open the radiator pressure cap. For some cars, the pressure cap is the expansion tank cap.

3. Place a low bucket that can fit under the petc0ck position. Open it and let the coolant leak out. Dispose the coolant down a toilet bowl. Do not pour it down any drain.

4. Remove the expansion tank and empty it of coolant. Wash it and reinstall it back to the system.

 

Rinsing the radiator

1. Close the petc0ck. Fill the radiator with water. Distilled or tap depends on your anality.

2. Once filled. Place the low bucket under the petc0ck position. Open the petc0ck and drain. Discard this waste down the toilet bowl as above.

3. Repeat the above steps 3 more times. You can let the waste be dumped into the drain this time.

 

Rinsing the engine block

1. Close the petc0ck. Fill the radiator with water. Again, distilled or tap depends on your anality. Leave the radiator pressure cap off.

2. Start the engine to bleed the system. Let it run until it reaches operating temperature (when fan kicks in).

3. Turn on your heater and set temperature control to hot. This will circulate the water to the heater core.

4. You will notice that the coolant level has dropped. Don't worry about this. Stop the engine.

5. Place low bucket below the petc0ck position. Drain and discard down the toilet bowl.

6. Repeat the above steps 3 more times. You can let the waste be dumped into the drain this time.

 

Filling and bleeding the system

1. After the last drain from the engine block rinse, close the petc0ck and fill the system with 1/2 the total volume with 100% antifreeze.

2. Start the engine to bleed the system. Let it run until it reaches operating temperature (when fan kicks in).

3. Turn on your heater and set temperature control to hot. This will circulate the water to the heater core.

4. You will notice that the coolant level has dropped. This means the air has bled out of the system. New cars have self-bleeding cooling systems. Fill with water until full.

5. Replace the pressure cap tightly.

Edited by Genie47
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There are people asking why use 50% EG content. Here is the reason.

 

Raoult's Law

From a molecular view if we introduce non-volatile solute particles, ions or molecules, into the pure solvent, some of the solute particles will take the position of solvent molecules on the surface of the solution. Evaporation is a surface phenonmenon. Molecules or ions can not enter the vapor state when immersed beneath the surface. The submerged particles have other particles surrounding them and forces between the particles are suffcient to prevent the submerged particles from overcoming these forces with the available Kinetic Energy at their disposal. However surface particles have only the particles below them holding them in the liquid state. Therefore, it is the surface molecules that have he best chance of overcoming these inter particle forces and enetering the vapor state. If solute particles take the place of solvent molecules and these solute particles are non-volatile, they succeed in only blocking solvent molecules from vaporizing. Hence the vapor pressure of the solvent will be less as a result of the presence of the solute particles. The more solute particles in the solution (ie concentration increase) the more surface positions will be blocked.

 

Taken from here: http://members.aol.com/profchm/raoult.html

 

Applying Raoult's Law to Boiling point variation

Boiling point can be defined in terms of the vapor pressure of the solvent. It is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid or solvent in a solution is equal to the external pressure. Since vapor pressure increases with increasing temperature, increasing the temperature until the vapor pressure reaches the external pressure will allow the boiling to occur. We have seen in Raoult's Law that increasing the solute in a solution will depress the vapor pressure. This would result in having to increase the temperature even higher so that the depressed vapor pressure might become equal to the external pressure. In other words from a molecular view we might expect the boiling point to be elevated when solute is increased in a solution.

 

Taken from here: http://members.aol.com/profchm/bpelevat.html

 

Trouton's Rule

Click here to find out how pressure modifies boiling point. http://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/magnus/boil.html

This is why the cooling system is pressurized. This is to raise boiling point.

FYI, boiling point of water at 1 atm (101.325kPa) is 100 deg C. Assume your sports radiator cap is 147kPa, using the link above to key in you will find that if filled with pure water, the coolant will have a boiling point of 113.2 deg C.

 

Assuming 50% antifreeze coolant has a boiling point of 121 deg C. Using a normal 110kPa radiator cap, the resulting boiling point will be 123.9 deg C.

 

Assuming you used just plain water (or Waterwetter rolleyes.gif), the system will give you 102 deg C boiling point.

 

The main draw of Waterwetter is when your pump is moving at high speed from high revvs. The surfactants will help reduce cavitation and because the fluid is moving fast, the cooling is better. Yes, Waterwetter is great for high revv applications.

 

I'll leave the conclusion to you if it is good for your daily driving car stuck at traffic light, stuck at traffic jam, idling to make A/C waiting for girlfriend.

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wah lao A, your procedure so long, my wife will kill me for spending 3 hours doing that during the weekend sweatdrop.gifsweatdrop.gifsweatdrop.gif

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You pay Mr Genie to do lor while u spend time with your wife. [;)]

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haha, I got no budget for that lah, weekends are quality family time with my wife and 4 kids wink.gifwink.gifwink.gif

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Wah [sweatdrop] ... I don't live in Ang Mo Chu leh.. how to keep discarding the waste water into toilet bowl? [laugh]

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Ahbuthen! You think so easy drive to mechanic drain radiator and then refill, pay money so simple ah?

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i think the most difficult part will be the unscrewing of the petc0ck while radiator is still relatively hot.. the rest of the steps are mainly just time consunming.

 

Thanks for sharing Genie, i would definitely want to DIY a radiator flush. I dun think workshops will do a more thorough job than our own DIY. if not thorough, old coolent still mix with new coolent, defeat the purpose of changing it.

 

now the hard part is to find some old thick denim material long sleeve...

 

will have to plan schedule 1st, maybe do it this sat late night.. in case i screw up my radiator, at least i have the whole sunday to find ways to fix it up... and ask my wife to take MRT when she is going out.. now hands itchy man!

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Hi Genie,

 

I just now managed to drain out the old coolent liao! actually pretty simply... this is what i do:

1. wait for engine to cool down,

 

2. remove drain plug, remove radiator cap, then the coolent gush out like nobody's business..

 

3. then continue pouring plain water in, pour many many litres of water. poor until water is clear..

 

4. remove coolent reservoir and wash it, then pour water thru coolent reservoir..

 

5. start engine, and on aircon.. continue to pour water and water keep gushing out from below

 

6. then off engine... go eat lunch.. then come back continue pour another 3-4 litres of water into radiator..

 

7. screw back drain plug.. pour plain water into radiator..

 

8. start engine again and keep radiator cap open.. and poor more water until radiator + coolent reservoir is filled.

 

9. close back radiator cap, off engine.. and come back to type field report... hehe

 

i will run the engine with plain water later.. then go watsun this evening and buy distilled water and drain this water out and top up with distilled water.. change water ever day until next week.. then poor the Redline water wetter mixed with distilled water and end job.

 

Just now i didnt fill managed to pour 6 litre of water leh... only 4 litre+.. does it mean thet are more coolent that is still stuck inside? should i use the white vinegar method to clear any coolent residue?

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Coolant system is more than just the radiator. The jacket around the engine block is also part of the coolant system. That is why it is more than your 4L.

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finally i have drain and top up with new coolent.. 2x with tap water, 2x with distilled water, and the final one with coolent and top up with distilled water.

 

the water that was drain was clear like plain water but i can see deposits on the heater fins inside radiator..

 

I am not too sure if the Redline Water Wetter+distilled water are able to remove them. If its still there after 30000km, can i use a mixture of white vinegar+distilled water to flush radiator? will the white vinegar be safe on the fins?

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All flushes are acid. I like vinegar because as an organic acid, it is volatile.

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Once it evaporates, it's gone. Unlike the other acids that are used which are crystalline organic acids, you got to flush several times to really get rid of them.

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Just grab any white vinegar in NTUC and empty the entire bottle into the cooling system before flushing with plain water?

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Make sure it is vinegar and not imitation vinegar. BIG DIFFERENCE. Real white vinegar is acetic acid. Imitation vinegar is a mixture of malic and citric acid. These are crystalline organic acids.

 

50/50 mix with water for the flush.

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