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Author Topic: How to flush out the coolant system?  (Read 7211 times, 9 Replies)
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bludevl80
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« on: November 20, 2010, 06:10:49 PM »

Guys/Gals,

The Acadia needs the system flushed. Looks like it overeated and somehow it had NO antifreeze whatsoever. So my wife without knowing any better put regular antifreeze. I need to flush that out and put out the 50 water /50 dexcool mix.

So, how do I flush it out.. does anyone know?Huh?

I don't want to pay the dealer 200+ dollars to do it...

thanks!!!
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2010, 09:48:33 PM »

I wanted to flush mine the other week.  I just ended up doing a drain of the radiator and refilled, but mine wasn't "contaminated" like yours.  The drained coolant visually was OK.

There is no drain petcock for the radiator so you have to remove the lower radiator hose to do it (works, just make a little more of a mess).  The thermostat looks ok to get at.  It looks as though the thermostat housing has cover that connects the lower radiator hose, the engine and the heater lines.  For a good flush, you would remove the thermostat (suggested, but not mandatory).

If I had to flush, I think that I would remove the thermostat housing, attatch a small hose to the housing and then use a T at the other end and connect that to the heater hose.  Then when your done, you didn't cut any heater hoses and they will be easy to reattatch.
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2010, 09:50:46 PM »

Guys/Gals,

The Acadia needs the system flushed. Looks like it overeated and somehow it had NO antifreeze whatsoever. So my wife without knowing any better put regular antifreeze. I need to flush that out and put out the 50 water /50 dexcool mix.

So, how do I flush it out.. does anyone know?Huh?

I don't want to pay the dealer 200+ dollars to do it...

thanks!!!
Figure out what is wrong with your cooling system before you bother with the flush or refill
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 09:55:17 AM »

+1 with mikemu

Sounds like a leak somewhere; did you get a reduced engine power warning as well?  How long did the overheat condition last?  Your engine oil might need to be replaced as well depending on the length of time the engine was in a reduced power state.
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2010, 12:05:31 PM »

AA is right...
when you lose coolant-- and overheat...
THe oil is now the main source of cooling.
Though not as effective as the coolant...
but- this is why the OLM will degrade the oil life severely in such a case.
If you do get the reduced engine power-- it does bring oil life t 0....
the oil should be changed
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 08:37:08 AM »

The Acadia needs the system flushed.
Other good replies but try to make some order. Do you have base warranty & or engine left?
Can you see any leaks, reason for loss. It might be a blown head or intake gasket. Then it is on the engine warranty, all covered. If radiator, likely only on base warranty. Document "no leaks' and take to dealer. Let them know that wrong coolant was added as an emergency after overheat. It might be a defective thermostat sticking intermittantly. Let them diagnose.
Did she add coolant before shutting down? Or cool down? Cold coolant entering engine can crack block &/or heads. Really bad. Unsure of coverage unless damaged before adding coolant.

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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 08:58:30 AM »

Should you decide to proceed with flush, it can be rather lengthy to be done correctly. Flush agent does not work well with coolant, so you have to flush with water first. Removing thermostat helps and don't forget to put in heat mode/engine running to flush heater core. Running water in at radiator and thermostat housing and engine run for short if possible should get very clear water. Drain plug likely exists, just hidden up inside a hole. Refill with water & flush & run appropriate time. Drain & flush w/water. Drain. Adding straight coolant sometime won't reach proper mix because of water in engine block. Does block have drain? If no, I slowly add coolant at radiator/fill with thermostat housing open and watch as water is pushed out. As color change occurs I continue until it appears to be strong. Finish closing sytem up and add straight coolant until filled. You may have special vent valves to purge any air in engine. Run and top off with straight coolant. Check that you have used at least 50% coolant of system capacity and read freeze point if you have proper tool.
Before draining system, consider saving a sample which might show exhaust gases from blown gasket &/or oil upon testing. This might be needed to validate claim.
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mikemu
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 09:29:04 AM »

I don't believe conventional green coolant will harm the system anyway.  Some folks say it's actually better.
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 10:58:03 AM »

I don't believe conventional green coolant will harm the system anyway.  Some folks say it's actually better.
But it is an absolute to not mix with other colors, at least. It will form a gummy goo that is near impossible to remove. Removing from radiator will require removing radiator & special treatments at shop.
Some have warranty only if coolant free of some ingredients is used. Those ingredients would likely be in the green. And green is supposed to be changed annually, $$$.
I would think the issues of Dexcool & gaskets would be solved or overcome by now. They have certainly had time enough to fix.
It appears that cooling sytem may only be covered under base warranty, not powertrain. That is dirty deal. You get leaky radiator at say 50mo/50K miles. You have 5yr/100K coolant. Is it just a false sense of security? The aftermarket Dexcool, 5yr/150K, really. Who puts that many miles on? Or if changed at initial 100K, who gets 250K without other major motor issues. I strongly suspect a lot of advertising hype.
My 2011 has pink coolant in reservoir & calls for Dexcool & not mixing colors. I have not found any pink Dexcool.
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mikemu
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 11:26:00 AM »

But it is an absolute to not mix with other colors, at least. It will form a gummy goo that is near impossible to remove. Removing from radiator will require removing radiator & special treatments at shop.
Some have warranty only if coolant free of some ingredients is used. Those ingredients would likely be in the green. And green is supposed to be changed annually, $$$.
I would think the issues of Dexcool & gaskets would be solved or overcome by now. They have certainly had time enough to fix.
It appears that cooling sytem may only be covered under base warranty, not powertrain. That is dirty deal. You get leaky radiator at say 50mo/50K miles. You have 5yr/100K coolant. Is it just a false sense of security? The aftermarket Dexcool, 5yr/150K, really. Who puts that many miles on? Or if changed at initial 100K, who gets 250K without other major motor issues. I strongly suspect a lot of advertising hype.
My 2011 has pink coolant in reservoir & calls for Dexcool & not mixing colors. I have not found any pink Dexcool.

True you cannot mix.  I'll change my dexcool probably around 75K or when the car reaches four years old.
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