hehehe, Yeah. I could write a small book.
If you ask five mechanics how to do this, you'll get ten different answers.
The short answer is to test, remove/replace/maintain, repeat as needed. Test
- On a cool engine, the test point should be the lowest accessible point on the system like the radiator drain or lower hose. Put a pint or more of the engine's coolant in a glass jar. Let it sit for ten minutes. The coolant should feel slick but not oily when rubbed between your thumb and forefinger. If it feels like water then it was WAY to thin. If it feels like oil AND is darker than Grass Green, then it's contaminated. If there are any visible solids or partially dissolved solids then a strong flush is recommended. Remove
- ANTIFREEZE, ETHYLENE GLYCOL, ENGINE COOLANT, THE GREEN OR YELLOW SMELLY STUFF, IS DEADLY TO PETS. PLEASE DISPOSE OF IT PROPERLY. On a cool engine, place a three gallon receptacle with a WIDE opening, under the lower radiator-to-hose connection. Loosen the clamp. Loosen the hose until coolant begins to drip. SLOWLY separate the hose from the radiator until you have a slow and controllable stream of fluid. Remove the radiator cap. Empty the system as much as possible. System capacity is 14.1 quarts. You ~might~ remove three gallons. Replace
- Reconnect the hose. Add a 50/50 mix of bottled water and coolant until the radiator is full. Add coolant to the overflow reservoir up to the COLD mark. Start the engine. Refill the radiator as needed. Replace the cap.Maintain
- Flush the system each year with an over the counter radiator flush from AutoPepZone.WARNING: most systems that have not received scheduled maintenance have interior build up. This build up often seals external leaks. PROPER FLUSHING WILL REMOVE BUILD UP FROM WITHIN THE COOLING SYSTEM AND WILL ALSO REMOVE BUILD UP FROM CLOGGED LEAKS.
Flushing may reveal previously clogged leaks. Heater cores should be bypassed with a male to male connector and flushed SEPARATELY from our engines. Thoroughly corroded systems need the thermostat removed for proper flushing. Annual flushing can be done using only a screw driver to remove the lower hose.
No. This wasn't the long answer. The long answer is http://www.polarislabs.com/coolant-analysis.php
This actually applies to any cooling system of any size. Samples can be as small as 4 ounces. Unless you've installed a five thousand dollar crate engine and a six hundred dollar radiator, you won't need to use a five hundred dollar test kit. The $5.00 clear plastic testers only accurately test for temperature protection and should only be used as a guide.
1. Allow engine to cool. Drain system. Close drain.
2. Add entire contents of bottle and refill system with water. Reinstall cap.
3. After engine reaches normal operating temperature, run engine for 10 minutes with heater on and air conditioner off.
4. Allow engine to cool. Flush cooling system and reservoir until water runs clear.
5. Close drain. Refill cooling system and reservoir with manufacturer’s recommended antifreeze / water mixture.