When should I fill radiator?

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  #1  
Old 08-01-07, 08:44 AM
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When should I fill radiator?

EZLube said the radiator fluid is low and needs to be flushed (for $69.99 minus $15--every price they gave me required doing math). I asked a mechanic at a repair shop about it, and he said you only flush a radiator if there's something wrong with it. I told him I couldn't see the fluid and he didn't seem concerned. My 2003 Toyota Echo (about 34,000 miles) doesn't display any warning lights. Should I fill it? With what?
 
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Old 08-01-07, 08:57 AM
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You should only have to flush it if the system is contaminated. Most of these lube joints always upsell these types of jobs.

Look in your owners manual for type of anti-freeze. I think Toyotas take the red type, but they are all the same.

Most anti-freeze comes premixxed now so you don't have to mix anything.

If you do not have a radiator cap, then when engine is cool, add the anti-freeze to the fill line. If you do have a radiator cap, and with engine cool, remove cap and fill up the radiator until you see the fluid from the cap.
 
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Old 08-01-07, 11:18 AM
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Proper Coolant

Use only what the manufacturer specifies. There are important differances in types of coolant. Your owner's manual, your vehicle dealer or a label under the hood should specify the type of coolant to use.
 
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Old 08-01-07, 01:56 PM
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I think Toyota now rates their antifreeze as being good for five years. Check with a dealer.
 
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Old 08-01-07, 02:23 PM
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Just to jump on the band wagon, a cooling system flush on a 4 year old vehicle with 34,000 miles on it would be overkill to say the least. Personally I would find someone else to do my vehicle services; one that does what's needed and doesn't continually try to upsell you on unneccessary procedures.
 
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Old 08-02-07, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for the information. I was concerned because the guy opened the cap and the level looked extremely low. I read the manual and found that that isn't how you determine whether you need more coolant. It took some looking around till I found where I could see the actual level, and it isn't near Full, but it's well above Low, so I don't even need more coolant yet. They just figured out how they can get unknowledgeable people to think they need to buy something when they don't.
 
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Old 08-03-07, 07:00 AM
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If everything is working properly all you should need to do is maintain the level in the overflow reservoir (should be a "hot" and "Cold" line for reference depending on whether you are checking it hot or cold). The coolant goes back and forth based on the expansion and contraction of the fluid as it heats up and cools down. Having said that, when you remove the radiator cap the level should be near the top.
 
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