Recent Topics
Toyota Power Steering filter
by 01_celica_gt
09/18/14 04:28 AM
UOA Mailing Issues
by The Critic
09/18/14 02:56 AM
just curious
by coach477
09/18/14 02:51 AM
9/17-9/30 O'Reilly Super Saver Ad
by tenderloin
09/17/14 11:57 PM
'13 WRX: Mobil 1 ESP 5w30, 6,590 mi
by WRX12tt
09/17/14 11:54 PM
New Joe Bonomassa song and album
by Jimmy9190
09/17/14 11:14 PM
Used Oil Analysis in Taiwan suddenly very popular
by Apollo14
09/17/14 10:38 PM
Kellogg 331TV Cylinder Head
by Allan_G
09/17/14 10:31 PM
TSC Sale through Sept. 21st
by SilverC6
09/17/14 10:28 PM
Havoline High Mileage?
by asiancivicmaniac
09/17/14 10:24 PM
2000 FRC Corvette
by donnyj08
09/17/14 10:06 PM
0W-20 Question
by Mathew_Boss
09/17/14 09:55 PM
Newest Members
waynesworld, Arcticfox, informme, Sherlock, Pokermatters
51330 Registered Users
Who's Online
23 registered (19jacobob93, 01_celica_gt, Eric Smith, Concours14, Doug Hillary, Franklim, 3 invisible), 557 Guests and 227 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
51330 Members
64 Forums
219401 Topics
3462264 Posts

Max Online: 2862 @ 07/07/14 03:10 PM
Donate to BITOG

Topic Options
#954683 - 07/31/07 06:53 AM Vinegar cleaning out a radiator?
82DMC12 Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Fargo, ND
Hey group,

I have a 1994 Lexus ES300 that has been getting hot lately. I bought new upper and lower hoses, clamps, radiator cap, and thermostat. I started taking parts off to replace these items, and until I decided I might as well clean the radiator fins too. I pulled the radiator out and hosed it off, then ran water through the rad. No gunk came out, just water. However, when I looked inside, I could see white deposits inside the tubes. I guess that's the calcium I hear about.

This radiator is made of aluminum with plastic end caps. It is not leaking (yet). I figure since it's probably toasted, I might as well try to clean it out since I have nothing to lose. I have read on the internet that filling a radiator up with vinegar will dissolve this stuff rather easily, since vinegar dissolves mineral deposits. So right now, my radiator is soaking in vinegar.

Has anyone actually done this and had success? Did the radiator leak afterwards? I did see that copper radiators should not be treated this way.

If this doesn't work, I'll see about getting it steamed out before I buy a new one ($300!)

Andy

Top
#954684 - 07/31/07 07:06 AM Re: Vinegar cleaning out a radiator? [Re: 82DMC12]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 6347
Loc: beaver land EH?
vinegar is too weak (typically 3% acetic acid)!

My recommendation is to go get some Prestone radiator flush that is basic (alkaline) and will not eat through your aluminium radiator core for it's much more potent than soaking in vinegar.

Q.
_________________________
"Internet discussion boards act as echo chambers for conspiracy dittoheads" A.Allen

Top
#954685 - 07/31/07 10:06 AM Re: Vinegar cleaning out a radiator? [Re: Quest]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17699
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Prestone Radiator Flush isn't very strong. Use Prestone Super Radiator cleaner, it worked quite well for me. Do run it for the full 4-6 hr over a week.

If you are desperate, you can always try some TSP...but it might destroy your radiator. But hey, if you are going to get rid of it anyway...

Top
#954686 - 07/31/07 08:13 PM Re: Vinegar cleaning out a radiator? [Re: 82DMC12]
Tempest Offline


Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 10448
Loc: Las Vegas NV
RMI-25. Check the coolant section.
_________________________
“Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.” --- Henry Rosovsky

Top
#954687 - 08/01/07 01:07 AM Re: Vinegar cleaning out a radiator? [Re: 82DMC12]
gomes512 Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 582
Loc: Chicago, IL
Vinegar? Yeah that is to weak. I use Muriatic acid found at hardware stores. It's basically hydrochloric acid, I dilute it to 50/50 with water and dump it then run it for an hour or less. Then I run the system twice more with distilled water to fully flush out the acid and dissolved minerals.

I've done this in three different vehicles. '94 grand cherokee, '00 Chrysler sebring, and a (can't remember year '98 or something) Mercury sable.

I've had great results, especially with the Jeep, since previous owner used tap water to dilute coolant instead of distilled water.

Have had no problems since, I dump the radiators of the two above vehicles at scheduled intervals and all I see is green Prestone come out and I put new stuff in.

Top
#954688 - 08/01/07 01:46 AM Re: Vinegar cleaning out a radiator? [Re: gomes512]
pidster Offline


Registered: 12/11/06
Posts: 548
Loc: ontario canada
Just replace the radiator. Nothing else will give the same results if its that gunked up.
_________________________
2010 Ford Ranger Sport 4x4, 4.0L Manual 5 speed
All Motorcraft Filters
Current fill: Mobil 1 0w40 with Lubro Moly MoS2

Top
#954689 - 08/01/07 04:06 AM Re: Vinegar cleaning out a radiator? [Re: pidster]
widman Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 3052
Loc: Bolivia
Use the radiator cleaner. Too many different metals to play with, The Prestone or Winns stuff should clean it up while circulating. I've cleaned out some really messed up radiators that way
_________________________
Richard's Car Restorations

Top
#954690 - 08/01/07 11:33 PM Re: Vinegar cleaning out a radiator? [Re: widman]
shoz123 Offline


Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Illinois
Vinegar will work and the hotter the better. You don't want to use it in copper because it will dissolve the lead in the solder.

HCL and aluminum will tear things up fast.

Top