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Proper coolant flush #4566359
11/06/17 10:28 PM
11/06/17 10:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
ny
llmercll Offline OP
llmercll  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
ny
Hello,

I am wondering what a proper coolant flush consists of. Do I just drain, fill up with distilled water, run engine with heater on, and then drain once more?

We've been using dexcool in our 03 jetta and the radiator needs to be replaced. I am just contemplating whether or not to flush and fill with g12 or just fill with dexcool.

Thank you!

Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4566409
11/07/17 02:11 AM
11/07/17 02:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 413
D/FW Metroplex
The_Nuke Offline
The_Nuke  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 413
D/FW Metroplex
The method of flushing largely depends upon the system's current state. If it has not been maintained well or poorly over its previous life, you'll want to do the most aggressive flush you are comfortable doing or able to do, e.g. drain coolant, refill with water and a chemical flush, drive a couple days, drain, fill, drain, fill, until no color in what comes out. Then fill with proper coolant/water mix.

If the system has been well maintained over its previous life, you don't necessarily have to do a flush at all. Just drain the system and refill with proper coolant/water mix.

You say your radiator needs to be replaced, but you don't say why. Is it clogged, leaking, or what?

If it's clogged or doesn't flow properly, you can take that as a sign that the system has been maintained poorly and adjust your maintenance tasks accordingly.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.62 (215mm)
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4566480
11/07/17 06:30 AM
11/07/17 06:30 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,135
Michigan
ZZman Offline
ZZman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,135
Michigan
If you are going to do it why not do it all the way?
Buy a flush additive and lots of distilled water.


2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. PP HM 5w-30 and Fram Ultra
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. PP HM 5w-30 and Fram Ultra
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Motul 7100 10w-40 and K&N
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: ZZman] #4566533
11/07/17 07:50 AM
11/07/17 07:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Michigan
khittner Offline
khittner  Offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Michigan
In the Rust/Salt Belt (like NY), a common failure mode is via external corrosion of the fins, causing them to detach from the tubing, and resulting in the loss of heat transfer capacity without any leakage or plugging up, regardless of maintenance routine.

Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4566536
11/07/17 07:53 AM
11/07/17 07:53 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,121
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,121
Upstate NY
Why Dexcool in a VW? I would never use Dexcool in a vehicle unless it came that way from factory. I would flush with a mild cleaner, then distilled water and then refill with a VW approved coolant or G-05 or Peak Global.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4566576
11/07/17 08:42 AM
11/07/17 08:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,098
socal
barkingspider Offline
barkingspider  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,098
socal
Just flush w distilled water until clear then go w 50/50 ratio of whatever coolant u like best.


06 Cadillac Escalade Ext
17 Cadillac ATS (wife)
05 Toyota Camry (daughter)
11 GMC Canyon off-road (daily)
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4566656
11/07/17 09:44 AM
11/07/17 09:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,951
Illinois
SHOZ Offline
SHOZ  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,951
Illinois
I usually drain, fill with water and a cleaner. Drive a day or so. Drain and fill with distilled or demineralized water. Drive so all the coolant is good and hot. Drain and fill with a gallon of 70/30 as you cannot get all the water out. Then top off with 50/50.


2008 Hyundai Accent 1.6L 5 sp manual hatchback
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Track 2L Turbo 6sp manual
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: Donald] #4566790
11/07/17 12:15 PM
11/07/17 12:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 2,003
VW Fanboy Island
maxdustington Offline
maxdustington  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 2,003
VW Fanboy Island
Because Dexcool has the same chemistry as G12 or whatever they upgraded it to. You can get dex anywhere, G12 is dealer only. NAPA has universal euro coolant that is also suitable.


03 Jetta AWP/09A 205k kms
Edge 0W40 + Mann 719/30
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4566811
11/07/17 12:35 PM
11/07/17 12:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
ny
llmercll Offline OP
llmercll  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
ny
Ok, I think I will flush it and then add g12. Do I really need a chemical cleaner?

Is it ok if I put in one gallon of concentrate and one gallon of water or do I need to do this in a bucket outside the vehicle?

Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4566863
11/07/17 01:35 PM
11/07/17 01:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 413
D/FW Metroplex
The_Nuke Offline
The_Nuke  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 413
D/FW Metroplex
Originally Posted By: llmercll
Ok, I think I will flush it and then add g12. Do I really need a chemical cleaner?

Is it ok if I put in one gallon of concentrate and one gallon of water or do I need to do this in a bucket outside the vehicle?


The chemical cleaner isn't a necessity, but if you have never changed the coolant or it comes out in really bad shape, it wouldn't be a bad idea to use a cleaner to clean things up a little.

You can mix the coolant and water before, during, or after...basically mix it any way you wish. The end result needs to be that once the car is running and the water pump is pumping, the liquid being pumped is mixed to the correct ratio. As long as that is achieved, you are golden.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.62 (215mm)
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4567671
11/08/17 10:52 AM
11/08/17 10:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
ny
llmercll Offline OP
llmercll  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
ny
Ok thank you for the advice.

I'm in NY and it's getting cold here. If I use distilled water for the flush and it's 40 degrees or so I don't risk it freezing right away if I put the water in and immediately go for a drive right?

Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4567693
11/08/17 11:05 AM
11/08/17 11:05 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 413
D/FW Metroplex
The_Nuke Offline
The_Nuke  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 413
D/FW Metroplex
Originally Posted By: llmercll
Ok thank you for the advice.

I'm in NY and it's getting cold here. If I use distilled water for the flush and it's 40 degrees or so I don't risk it freezing right away if I put the water in and immediately go for a drive right?


No, you will be fine. In fact, if you have a Walmart close by (or any other store that sells automotive trinkets), you can make part of that drive going there and purchasing one of those little suction-bulb testers for antifreeze to use with yours.

Before using it, you only need to make sure the engine has reached normal operating temp and begun circulating the coolant/water mixture throughout the block and radiator. That will mix it all up right nicely, and you will be good to go from there on out. But with that tester, you can actually determine where that specific mixture in your vehicle will be in danger of freezing (and boiling over). It's quite an ingenious little tool for as simple and inexpensive as it is, I wouldn't trade mine for a moving box full of monkeys!


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.62 (215mm)
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: Donald] #4567763
11/08/17 12:03 PM
11/08/17 12:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,471
California
nthach Online content
nthach  Online Content
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,471
California
Originally Posted By: Donald
Why Dexcool in a VW? I would never use Dexcool in a vehicle unless it came that way from factory. I would flush with a mild cleaner, then distilled water and then refill with a VW approved coolant or G-05 or Peak Global.

Dex-Cool is similar to G12 coolant, the Germans for the most part were OK with 2-EHA as the organic acid. Mercedes was all about G-05 but recently switched over to G-48 which is also used by BMW and Tesla. G-48 is a low-silicated HOAT using 2-EHA instead of sodium benzoate.

If the drained coolant has no visible signs or dirt or oil more than a residual slick like droplets or milkshakes/mayo-like buildup, I'd skip the flush and fill'er back up with Dex-Cool. If you want to go back to the factory magenta G12, a flush with water wouldn't be a bad idea.

What motor do you have in that A4 Jetta - ABA 2.0, the 1.8T or the VR6? I liked those generation of Golf/Jetta, not the greatest reliability but they were a huge upgrade over the A3. I've always liked how they looked. smile

Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4569635
11/10/17 08:51 AM
11/10/17 08:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 60
Ontario, Canada
AdamZ Offline
AdamZ  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 60
Ontario, Canada
I have the same generation Golf. It is a pretty decent car, some little annoyances, but otherwise it has been reliable for me (and my brother before me). The radiators are notorious for leaking. I had to replace mine. First time with a used one and then it leaked again, so I bought a new one.

I always used the proper VW coolant, it isn't that much more and is nice peace of mind. I have never flushed it but have done 3 drain/fills in the past 4 years so probably alright, lol.

Last edited by AdamZ; 11/10/17 08:54 AM.

94 Nissan Pathfinder 493k km R.I.P.
95 Nissan Pathfinder 200k km
02 Nissan Xterra SC 170k km
04 VW Golf 2.0 245k km
Re: Proper coolant flush [Re: llmercll] #4572819
11/13/17 12:53 PM
11/13/17 12:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 132
Rochelle Park, NJ
nolesfan Offline
nolesfan  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 132
Rochelle Park, NJ
FYI, G-12 and G-13 are not dealer only coolants. You can buy them online all day long and can usually have them on your doorstep within a couple days at most. I just bought some G-13 for my GLI since I'm having to top off a few ounces per year. Cost was $12.99 or something for a 1.5 liter bottle of Vaico and free shipping since my order went over $49.99. Since these are concentrates, that nets me 3 liters of coolant for $12.99 (mixed with distilled water). Not too shabby in my book! I understand it could be a cost thing for most people, but just throwing it out there...

Mike

Last edited by nolesfan; 11/13/17 12:55 PM.

2013.5 VW GLI
2013 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X

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