How to completely drain cooling system

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  #1  
Old 12-20-08, 06:23 AM
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How to completely drain cooling system

I have a 92 buick skylark. Car was not heating up to proper levels so I got a new thermostat and coolant. I opened the drain valve on radiator and removed the cap. I only got 2 gallons out of system and my manual says system should have almost 4 gallons. My antifreeze is still to weak after adding 2 gal new 50/50 mix.

anything I am missing?

thx,
 
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Old 12-20-08, 07:08 AM
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Get a new anti-freeze tester. 2 gallons is 50% of a 4 gallon system, and should be plenty strong unless you live in an exterme northern climate.
 
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Old 12-20-08, 08:34 AM
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Trouble is you added a 50/50 mix to the 2 gallons of whatever concentration was in the engine when you drained it. I like to flush the engine completely with water until it runs clear, drain what I can and then add 100% antifreeze. In your case, if system is 4 gallons max, and you drained 2 gals out, then if you add 2 gals of 100% antifreeze, your system would then be 50:50.
If what was left was 50:50 and you added 2 gals of 50:50, you should still be 50:50, but get an antifreeze tester and see what it tests to make sure your system is right.
 
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Old 12-20-08, 08:51 AM
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Wink

On most engine designs it is not possible to drain all the coolant; therefore you have to do what bob22 instructed.
 
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Old 12-21-08, 08:45 AM
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I got a new tester after work yesterday and it reads good to -50.. I am going to have to drain and flush.

Still have an issue. I warmed the car in my garage to normal op temp and then once I start driving the temp drops down to approx 140 degrees. stays steady at that temp. heater blows luke warm while driving and cool air when I stop moving.

never owned a car with this steup for coolant. rad cap is on reservior and no cap/access on actual radiator. I assume the cap releases excess pressure. Is there a tell-tale sign to check to see if this works properly? How tight should the cap be tightened?

Also, with elec fan, at what temp should this engage. Car is not having an overheating prob. I am just curious

Thx,
 
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Old 12-21-08, 09:52 AM
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If it reads good to -50 degrees why swap it out?
Sounds like you've a bad thermostat (stuck open). Make sure you install it the right way; usually springy-side into the engine block side. See site:
Thermostat Replacement - How to Replace Your Car Thermostat by Auto Media

Also make sure you get the right temperature rated thermostat for your engine; one too cool or too hot can affect heating/cooling and driveability.
Autozone.com will likely also give you step by step repair info and if your owner's manual doesn't have the temperature rating for your thermostat they or any other parts place should be able to help.
 
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Old 12-21-08, 11:36 AM
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I think you have air in the system and not enough coolant
 
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Old 12-21-08, 03:44 PM
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this tool will help you to both completely drain a coolant system and remove airlocks, also sold by gates (belt and hoses co)UView 550000 Airlift Cooling System Leak Checker and Airlock Purge Tool Kit - myTriggers.com : Compare Prices and Shop Online

have seen very good reviews from the master mechanic for the GWRRA about this tool.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 
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Old 12-23-08, 06:24 PM
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Bob's method can still miss the mark.

The best way to approach it is to completely flush the system with water. That includes running the engine and opening the heater circuit to get the coolant out of the water pump and heater passages. Flush the overflow reservoir.

Drain as much of the water from the system as possible.

Using the published coolant capacity for your vehicle, refill half the capacity with 100% antifreeze.

Fill the remaining amount with water, preferably demineralized.

This is the best way to get a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water.
 
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Old 12-24-08, 11:21 AM
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kestas,
You more clearly explained the way I do it.
B
 
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Old 12-24-08, 12:18 PM
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If you didn't "burp" it, look for a nut on top of the thermostat housing. When the radiator is full, open the nut and bleed out the air pocket until only antifreeze comes out. Tighten the nut and top off the radiator and reservoir.
 
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Old 12-24-08, 12:29 PM
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Or, as I do, keep topping off with water every morning until it takes no more.
 
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