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Cooling system flush help

shane10

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Hi all, i'm going to flush out the cooling system on my 02' explorer, the coolant doesn't look too dirty, but I have NO idea when the last flush was performed, and figured it would be a good idea.
Basically I want to do the simplest flush possible, while still doing the job correctly.
What I was thinking is drain the coolant from the petcock (bottom of radiator) til empty, close petcock, refill coolant overflow reservoir with distilled water, let engine run til warm, re-drain water, and replace reservoir with coolant.
I know there will still be some left over water to dilute the coolant, so I was thinking of just keeping an eye on it/testing it and adding more straight coolant to get the proper ratio.
Will this work? Other threads I have read mention removing radiator hose/removing thermostat, is this all necessary?
Thanks!

EDIT: Other threads I have read also state you can only get about 1 1/2 gallons out from the petcock, I changed my thermostat housing a month or so ago, and drained the system using the petcock and got nearly 4 gallons out.
 
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silverfox103

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Shane

I would flush the heater core also, it probably needs it also.


Tom
 
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shane10

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Shane

I would also flush the heater core also, it probably needs it also.


Tom

Thanks for the suggestion, i'm taking a 1,500 mile road trip starting tomorrow and only really have time for a coolant swap.

Another question, I was unable to find motorcraft gold or zerex G05. So I went with prestone 50/50 yellow coolant. (Now with cor-guard inhibitors), it's ethylene glycol, will this be safe to use?
Thanks
 
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swshawaii

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Zerex G-05 also at O'Reilly's, but MUCH more expensive than NAPA. At least in Hawaii.
 
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shane10

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Wasn't able to find any G-05, best I could do was the prestone 50/50 yellow coolant, already put it in so no going back for now. The only other choices were dex-cool (bad) and the green universal
 
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chefduane

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It may too late and I'm not impugning your coolant flush skills... but I always use caution when doing service before a big trip. I'd rather find out that I missed something when I'm a few blocks from home than a few hundred miles from home. That said.. a coolant flush is probably not that big a deal, but I've heard of guys doing a complete brake job and then leaving in the morning. Fine if you're REALLY confident in your wrenching, but even the best of mechanics can miss something. I caution to plan doing a service a few days before leaving on a long trip. Let things shake out a bit. I'm a pilot and there is no way I'm taking an aircraft on a long cross country the day after some A&P I don't know has just done the annual. But that's just me. :salute:
 
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jrobie79

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mbrando1994

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You performed the flush correctly but I fear you used the improper coolant. Prestone 50/50 is not recommended for Explorers to my knowledge. I got Zerex G05 at Advance Auto. I would've had to order the motorcraft gold and didn't have time. I got the concentrate and diluted it myself using empty gallon containers. It's somewhat cheaper this way if you do a lot of flushes. The problem is that the Prestone doesn't contain all of the components that Zerex or Motorcraft would. Keep an eye on your oil gauge, if you see any fluctuations stop running your car right away. You may not have an issue with the Prestone for a while but I would never put it in my Explorer. When you have the time I would swap that out asap.
 
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TechGuru

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You performed the flush correctly but I fear you used the improper coolant. Prestone 50/50 is not recommended for Explorers to my knowledge. I got Zerex G05 at Advance Auto. I would've had to order the motorcraft gold and didn't have time. I got the concentrate and diluted it myself using empty gallon containers. It's somewhat cheaper this way if you do a lot of flushes. The problem is that the Prestone doesn't contain all of the components that Zerex or Motorcraft would. Keep an eye on your oil gauge, if you see any fluctuations stop running your car right away. You may not have an issue with the Prestone for a while but I would never put it in my Explorer. When you have the time I would swap that out asap.

I use the grey bottle orange cap "DexCool" compatible Prestone to top off with because it's what is available everywhere.

prestone_dex_cool_extended_life_antifreeze_coolant_1.png


but here it what the book says:

357msg1.jpg


http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/AFZA/GO5/04188.oap

zxg051-zerexg-05gal.jpg
 
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jrobie79

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I don't think theres a big deal between the green shit and the gold shit as long as you don't mix the two...if you completely flush out the green and put the gold in, it should be fine, and vice versa.
 
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Exproblems

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So I went with prestone 50/50 yellow coolant. (Now with cor-guard inhibitors), it's ethylene glycol, will this be safe to use?
Thanks

Yes, the Prestone 50/50 coolant is safe for your vehicle/engine. I just had my radiator changed and the mechanic used Prestone. I bought an extra bottle of it at a parts store to top off the reservoir and the bottle label says "safe for all vehicles and can be mixed with all other coolants".

On a side note, if anyone needs a new radiator, I just bought one from 1-800-Radiators. The place is also called Buffalo Radiator I paid $101.00 +tax for a brand new radiator with a lifetime warranty. Pretty sure that is a great price for a new radiator. I remember checking prices a few years ago at parts stores and they wanted around $200 for a new radiator.
 
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lincolnshibuya

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the reason why Zerex is recommended (G05) is because of the silicates (it has low silicates) that protects the aluminum surfaces as well as the gaskets (and your water pump) even my Jeep uses Zerex (as recommended by Chrysler)
most asian/import cars want the phosphates in the coolant (don't care about silicates). usually the generic ones which advertises "non-phosphates/non-silicates" are the universal coolant that is only good for temporary fixing overheating issues but not good in the long run since it doesn't provide any long term protection.
IMO it's still ok to use them, just don't let them stay in the system for a long time. I have been using Zerex on my cars on my 98 lincoln and 02 mountaineer and they still have the original water pump.

the PO owner of my cougar uses the generic coolant or probably mostly water and when I overhauled the cooling system, the section where the hose meets the pipe were all swelling with white stuff, this white stuff is corrosion on aluminum. same thing with the ford taurus, coolant turned green to red because owners either replaced it with wrong coolant and killed the cooling system.
 
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shane10

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I use the grey bottle orange cap "DexCool" compatible Prestone to top off with because it's what is available everywhere.


zxg051-zerexg-05gal.jpg

I thought dexcool was NOT supposed to be used in our vehicles due to it breaking down seals/hoses?
Anywho, I've already put the Prestone 50/50 (safe for all makes and models (yeah right)). I'll keep an eye on the gauges and color and change it out if there's any problems.
My bottle was the yellow with blue cap (black cap un-diluted)
 
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TechGuru

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I thought dexcool was NOT supposed to be used in our vehicles due to it breaking down seals/hoses?
Anywho, I've already put the Prestone 50/50 (safe for all makes and models (yeah right)). I'll keep an eye on the gauges and color and change it out if there's any problems.
My bottle was the yellow with blue cap (black cap un-diluted)

The orange/pinkish Prestone is ""Dexcool Approved"" actual Dexcool is a GM brand.

My Exp was about 1/3 gallon low on coolant when I got it, I saw the exhisting coolant was orange so I bought the orange Prestone at Walmart.

So are some of you saying a major coolant manufacture is limiting themselves to only older vehicles and GM vehicles by not making a late model Ford nor Chrysler approved product? :crazy:
 
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shane10

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The orange/pinkish Prestone is ""Dexcool Approved"" actual Dexcool is a GM brand.

My Exp was about 1/3 gallon low on coolant when I got it, I saw the exhisting coolant was orange so I bought the orange Prestone at Walmart.

So are some of you saying a major coolant manufacture is limiting themselves to only older vehicles and GM vehicles by not making a late model Ford nor Chrysler approved product? :crazy:

I'm obviously no expert here but perhaps the previous owner put in the wrong coolant. From what I've read in ford manuals they only take yellow or green, yellow from 7/02 up, and only switch to orange at 2013 if I recall correctly.
They aren't necessarily limiting themselves since they offer more than one product specified for different vehicles (yellow, green, orange, dex). That being said I couldn't find a definitive answer if the yellow 50/50 is approved for my car, either, which I'm sure it's not by fords standards.
 
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TechGuru

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I'm obviously no expert here but perhaps the previous owner put in the wrong coolant. From what I've read in ford manuals they only take yellow or green, yellow from 7/02 up, and only switch to orange at 2013 if I recall correctly.
They aren't necessarily limiting themselves since they offer more than one product specified for different vehicles (yellow, green, orange, dex). That being said I couldn't find a definitive answer if the yellow 50/50 is approved for my car, either, which I'm sure it's not by fords standards.

AFAIK Green and Yellow are both "Standard Life" and we're supposed to use "Extended Life".

Edit:

Ok looks like Prestone's Yellow is extended life also, weird. You know I just realized I've been using the wrong coolant in my 1991 vehicle. It's supposed to have standard green (that's all there was back then). and for years the regular yellow bottle of Prestone WAS GREEN!

I did recently replace the radiator on that car and unlike the old one which I think was copper the new replacement was aluminum so maybe I actually needed to upgrade to the yellow on it...

Another Edit:

According to this here chart I'm OK on my Exp with the grey bottle orange Prestone.

http://images.oreillyauto.com/uploads/pdf/ad/SD_672 AFZ Comparison Chart-1.pdf

Yet another edit:

After looking at that chart and scrolling down I never knew they made PINK coolant. I think my existing coolant was actually pink!

Edit:

Here is a TSB I found on Coolant.

http://files.mediahost.cf/Cooling System - Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant - Service Tips.pdf
 
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shane10

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AFAIK Green and Yellow are both "Standard Life" and we're supposed to use "Extended Life".

Edit:

Ok looks like Prestone's Yellow is extended life also, weird. You know I just realized I've been using the wrong coolant in my 1991 vehicle. It's supposed to have standard green (that's all there was back then). and for years the regular yellow bottle of Prestone WAS GREEN!

I did recently replace the radiator on that car and unlike the old one which I think was copper the new replacement was aluminum so maybe I actually needed to upgrade to the yellow on it...

Another Edit:

According to this here chart I'm OK on my Exp with the grey bottle orange Prestone.

http://images.oreillyauto.com/uploads/pdf/ad/SD_672 AFZ Comparison Chart-1.pdf

Yet another edit:

After looking at that chart and scrolling down I never knew they made PINK coolant. I think my existing coolant was actually pink!

Edit:

Here is a TSB I found on Coolant.

http://files.hyjungchao.cf/Cooling ...remium Gold Engine Coolant - Service Tips.pdf

Good find on those charts, looks like i'm alright with the yellow too according to oreilly's chart. Wish there was more standard coding to anti-freeze, such as motor/gear oil. Seems to be a lot of discrepancy when it comes to what you can use, even using the same color of coolant.
I suppose it's safest to just use the Motorcraft, but not everyone has easy access to it.
 
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Exproblems

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I suppose it's safest to just use the Motorcraft, but not everyone has easy access to it.

"Ford Premium Gold" coolant can be used. I had a new reman engine installed in my EX a few years ago and that is what the Ford dealership used. You can buy it at any Ford Dealership.
 
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