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Thread: Coolant

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    Coolant

    it's been over two years since I changed the coolant in my Chevy. What negative result will occur if I were to delay changing it further, maybe another year or so ?

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    it's been over two years since I changed the coolant in my Chevy. What negative result will occur if I were to delay changing it further, maybe another year or so ?
    Regularly changing of the coolant/antifreeze should be carried out in order to protect your engine from internal corrosion. Antifreeze contains different chemicals to maintain the pH levels and prevent corrosion of the different materials in your engine block and head. Over time, these chemicals are depleted or precipitated and your engine and cooling system no longer get the right level of corrosion protection. Over time, this can lead to leaks and component failures.

    Replacing your vehicle’s coolant is the best way to prevent future cooling system problems. I have mine drained, flushed and renewed every year, certainly I would not want to go more than eighteen months to to years without doing this. This will ensures that any depleted antifreeze, precipitants or by-products of corrosion are removed from the vehicle’s cooling system. With the old coolant/antifreeze removed the new coolant will be able to properly resist corrosion and with the old precipitants and corrosion products flushed out, heat transfer will once more be restored to its maximum.

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    Thanks much, Ken. The changing will be done ASAP.

    Tried that this morning. Even with radiator cap in the "off" position and the petcock "open" all the way, I couldn't get the coolant to flow as rapidly as I want. Why is that? I gave up.
    Last edited by ChevyMan; 10-02-2014 at 10:46 PM.

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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    it's been over two years since I changed the coolant in my Chevy. What negative result will occur if I were to delay changing it further, maybe another year or so ?

    With current coolants, you need to change your coolant every 2-5 years. I generally change mine every 4 to 5 years. The major companies (Prestone, Peak and so on) have changed their formulas for longer periods of use.
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    I always changed every 2 years as far as I can remember with Prestone brand. I haven't lately checked the recommended change intervals on the premise you change it every two years.

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    Thanks much, Ken. The changing will be done ASAP.

    Tried that this morning. Even with radiator cap in the "off" position and the petcock "open" all the way, I couldn't get the coolant to flow as rapidly as I want. Why is that? I gave up.
    With the radiator cap removed and the petcock fully open the only thing that should stop coolant flow is a blockage. My first suggestion would be to remove the drain tap completely and see if that helps. If it does, clean the tap thoroughly before refitting after draining and flushing. If still blocked try clearing the outlet with a piece of wire, if that fails then I guess it is a case of removing all the hoses one by one looking for a blockage.

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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    Thanks much, Ken. The changing will be done ASAP.

    Tried that this morning. Even with radiator cap in the "off" position and the petcock "open" all the way, I couldn't get the coolant to flow as rapidly as I want. Why is that? I gave up.

    Off position? If it's laying on the fill port, vacuum will suck it down and cavitate it. Take it off and set it to one side. It should flow just fine then. If it's still trickling and looks like mud, do like Ken said and remove the petcock completely.
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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    Off position? If it's laying on the fill port, vacuum will suck it down and cavitate it. Take it off and set it to one side. It should flow just fine then. If it's still trickling and looks like mud, do like Ken said and remove the petcock completely.
    Good point, Grouch - maybe I should have clarified my 'with the radiator cap removed' comment as I did pick up the point that CM may only have loosened the rad cap.

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    I've decided not to change it at this time upon the recommendation of my repair guy, who says this coolant can last up to 5 years.

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    I hear what you say but; Have you established why the system would not drain? - if the coolant would not flow out with the petcock open and the radiator cap fully removed from the radiator then something, somewhere, is blocked. It may only be the petcock itself but is it worth taking the chance, I certainly wouldn't?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    I hear what you say but; Have you established why the system would not drain? - if the coolant would not flow out with the petcock open and the radiator cap fully removed from the radiator then something, somewhere, is blocked. It may only be the petcock itself but is it worth taking the chance, I certainly wouldn't?

    Ken.
    All I know is when the mechanic replaced a leaking radiator a few years ago, it began leaking somewhere and he did something to it. Then, when I told him about the radiator not able to drain with the petcock fully open and the radiator cap removed, he explained that he poured a "stop-leak" additive and If I wanted to drain the radiator I had to drain it un-clamping the lower hose. Anyway, as mentioned in a previous post, I decided not to change it for another year or two.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    That explains a lot Chevy.

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    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    it's been over two years since I changed the coolant in my Chevy. What negative result will occur if I were to delay changing it further, maybe another year or so ?
    I NEVER change coolant in anything until there is a problem with the cooling system. That even includes motorcycles.

    The cooling system is the least reliable system in any motor vehicle. Usually, in a few years, you will need a water pump, thermostat, hose, radiator cap or radiator or something else that causes all or most of the coolant to leak out. That is about the only time my vehicles get a coolant change.

    An example:

    Last year on my 1984 Venture (motorcycle) on the way to VA City, I noticed a large coolant leak. Bad radiator cap was all. Put in new fresh coolant and cap and all was fine.

    And just last month, I had to change the radiator in one of my Jeeps, as I mentioned in this forum. In the last few years, I also changed three water pumps (Dodge truck, Saturn car and same Jeep).

    Those are examples of the times when my vehicles get new fresh coolant. I never change it just to change it.

    Two years is nothing, IMO. In Hawaii, your two year old stuff is probably as good as the new, IMO.

    BTW, I am more likely to change a thermostat every few years. Then I will change the coolant. But the idea is to change the thermostat, not the coolant. When was the last time you replaced your thermostat? That's MUCH more important than changing the coolant. So if you decide to change your coolant, also change your thermostat and check your hoses and such.

    A stuck closed thermostat can leave you stuck with an overheated engine. I never heard of old coolant causing such a problem.

    IMO, to just change coolant is a FWOT&M. If the rest of the cooling system were more reliable, I would then probably change coolant every five years or so. I own a dozen motor vehicles, so I don't like to do too much unnecessary work on them, or else I would never have time for much of anything else!

    -Don- Reno, NV
    Last edited by DonTom; 10-15-2014 at 01:20 PM. Reason: FWOT&M, not FWOF&M

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