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#4696051 - 03/15/18 07:48 PM ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected
HampsHump Offline


Registered: 03/01/18
Posts: 10
Loc: TX, USA
Today I decided the flush my 2011 ES 350, 58K miles and replace it with fresh Asian red from Walmart. Here is what I did:

1. Drained the coolant by opening the valve under the radiator.
2. While draining I started the engine with heat on full blast till the radiator fan kicked in.
3. It was blowing cool air although the temp was set to 85/high.
3. It took a while but was able to drain the whole thing.
4. Flushed it with 2 gallons of distilled water using step 2

5. I started filling with fresh coolant- again using step 2. It took forever. At this point
I suspect air in the system. I located and unscrewed the bleed off valve just enough for air to escape.
6. I was able to fill it with just 1 gallon- the car requires 2.37 gallons.
7. I let it sit for a while and tried to refill with no luck. I could see fluid/air coming out of the bleed off valve.
Note: I heard an intermittent squeaking sound while i had the engine on filling with fresh coolant. The noise subsequently vanished

I took the car for a spin and the temp gauge was in its usual position- almost center. Everything looks normal, the AC heat was behaving accordingly.

What am I doing wrong? Is there something I am missing?
Thanks.

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#4696063 - 03/15/18 08:00 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3062
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
You probably should have removed the thermostat which would have made the draining easier.

Not sure where your thermostat is located. Did you get the full capacity added after the initial drain and fill?
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#4696075 - 03/15/18 08:21 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: JC1]
HampsHump Offline


Registered: 03/01/18
Posts: 10
Loc: TX, USA
Don't know where the thermostat is as well. Does anybody know? A schematic or drawing would help.
Did not get the full capacity added.

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#4696092 - 03/15/18 08:42 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 3025
Loc: USA
You can follow the radiator hoses to find the thermostat. More often than not the thermostat is where the upper radiator hose meets the engine block. The lower radiator hose typically feeds the water pump since gravity works in our favor.

A trick for bleeding the air from a coolant system is to jack the car up so that the overflow tank is the highest point in the system. Once it is jacked up you can lightly rev the engine to spin the water pump to push the bubble out.

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#4696102 - 03/15/18 08:45 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19311
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Some engines do best when vacuum filled, this sounds like one of them.

Edit: This one will do a good job and is good quality.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-schwaben-parts/coolant-refill-air-purge-tool/003466sch01/


Edited by Trav (03/15/18 08:47 PM)
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#4696135 - 03/15/18 09:18 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
Snagglefoot Offline


Registered: 12/31/17
Posts: 1908
Loc: SE British Columbia, Canada
Originally Posted By: HampsHump
Today I decided the flush my 2011 ES 350, 58K miles and replace it with fresh Asian red from Walmart. Here is what I did:

1. Drained the coolant by opening the valve under the radiator.
2. While draining I started the engine with heat on full blast till the radiator fan kicked in.
3. It was blowing cool air although the temp was set to 85/high.
3. It took a while but was able to drain the whole thing.
4. Flushed it with 2 gallons of distilled water using step 2

5. I started filling with fresh coolant- again using step 2. It took forever. At this point
I suspect air in the system. I located and unscrewed the bleed off valve just enough for air to escape.
6. I was able to fill it with just 1 gallon- the car requires 2.37 gallons.
7. I let it sit for a while and tried to refill with no luck. I could see fluid/air coming out of the bleed off valve.
Note: I heard an intermittent squeaking sound while i had the engine on filling with fresh coolant. The noise subsequently vanished

I took the car for a spin and the temp gauge was in its usual position- almost center. Everything looks normal, the AC heat was behaving accordingly.

What am I doing wrong? Is there something I am missing?
Thanks.


Iím not sure why you started your engine while draining your radiator. Never heard of that. Fill me in.

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#4696150 - 03/15/18 09:30 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: Snagglefoot]
JamesBond Online   content


Registered: 12/13/06
Posts: 862
Loc: midwest
Yeah I've never heard of draining or filling with the engine running, this does not sound like a good idea to me. Was the coolant that you put in a pre-mix? It's difficult to get all the coolant out through the radiator drain so there was probably some water left in the engine.

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#4696232 - 03/15/18 11:46 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: JamesBond]
ford46guy Offline


Registered: 06/01/13
Posts: 525
Loc: Albany, NY
Originally Posted By: JamesBond
Yeah I've never heard of draining or filling with the engine running, this does not sound like a good idea to me. Was the coolant that you put in a pre-mix? It's difficult to get all the coolant out through the radiator drain so there was probably some water left in the engine.


Sure don't sound good for the WP seal.
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#4696237 - 03/15/18 11:50 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4432
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: HampsHump
T
2. While draining I started the engine with heat on full blast till the radiator fan kicked in.

What am I doing wrong? Is there something I am missing?


So when you say it didn't go as expected, you mean you didn't succeed in wrecking your engine, as would be expected by draining it when running?

Can't win them all. Sometimes they are harder to kill than you'd think.

For example, my Lada suffered total coolant loss due to a water pump failure (my fault) but apparently survived my gf limping it off the motorway and parking it up, completely undamaged.

Assuming you dodged that bullet, you then "took it for a spin" knowing it was more than half empty, and apparently you dodged that bullet too.

Have you considered taking up Russian Roulette on a professional basis, Deer Hunter stylee?

You've apparently got air in it. You'll have to try and "burp" it out by squeezing the lower hose suddenly (or do a vacuum fill, as suggested, but I dunno about them). You might try the funnel in the radiator cap trick, but don't run it for very long more than half empty and don't go for any blasts down the freeway, unless you're still feeling lucky.



I THINK I had stubborn air bubbles in my car, some of which I got out with the funnel trick, but some remained, making me think I had a bad head gasket.

Or I had a bad head gasket, but it seems to have got better so it was probably bubbles.

EDIT : You get big syringe-style things here that are designed for unblocking drains. I might try one of those as a "burper" next time, though there is probably something better built for the job available in the US.


Edited by Ducked (03/16/18 12:00 AM)

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#4696252 - 03/16/18 12:18 AM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19882
Loc: CA
http://carspecmn.com/toyota-and-lexus-3-5l-v6-2gr-fe-coolant-bleeding-trick/

I usually vacuum fill these, but there is a bleed screw.

Donít mess with the t-stat, it is a pain to reach on these cars. I replace the t-start when I sell a WP.

Not sure why you are replacing the coolant. I never recommend coolant before 100k, never seen the benefit of early coolant changes on the newer Asian products with blue or pink coolant.
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#4696308 - 03/16/18 04:47 AM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10077
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
After owning several Toyota/Lexus vehicles, I never flushed the cooling systems. I ONLY drain & refilled the cooling system with either Toyota RED or PGL. I have also read and understood that Toyota doesn't recommend full flushing as it MAY trap air.
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#4696511 - 03/16/18 09:40 AM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 5204
Loc: Texas
I did a coolant change on a matrix at 100k miles, and it took like 90 minutes of idling with the radiator cap off to get all the air out of the system.

I would not mess with another toyota unless I had an air powered bleed tool.

You drained the coolant with the engine running? Wowzers, no worries about killing the engine?
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#4696658 - 03/16/18 12:09 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: JustinH]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10077
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Originally Posted By: JustinH
I did a coolant change on a matrix at 100k miles, and it took like 90 minutes of idling with the radiator cap off to get all the air out of the system.

I would not mess with another toyota unless I had an air powered bleed tool.

You drained the coolant with the engine running? Wowzers, no worries about killing the engine?


The exact reason why Toyota/Lexus only requires a drain and refill of the radiator.
_________________________
"Retired"
'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L-FOR SALE NOW!
********************************
'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
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#4696981 - 03/16/18 06:48 PM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: JustinH]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19311
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: JustinH
I did a coolant change on a matrix at 100k miles, and it took like 90 minutes of idling with the radiator cap off to get all the air out of the system.

I would not mess with another toyota unless I had an air powered bleed tool.

You drained the coolant with the engine running? Wowzers, no worries about killing the engine?


That's bad all the way round, WP bearings and seals don't get cooled (that was probably the noise) cylinder heads get hot and the worst part is if the coolant temp sensor is in the radiator it never shows got even though the engine is hotter than a pistol.
Vacuum filling is the only real quick and easiest way unless you want to start pulling hoses and housings trying to back feed the system.
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#4697528 - 03/17/18 11:46 AM Re: ES 350 coolant flush didn't go as expected [Re: HampsHump]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3985
Loc: California
If thereís two things Toyotas hate, itís running low on oil or coolant even for a few minutes. While I never had a problem with a Sienna and LS400 filling the cooling system via the factory-provided fill point, a vacuum filler like an AirLift is recommended as Trav says.

I have one for the parentís old Nissan but itís a invaluable tool for a Prius where itís imperative to have no air in the cooling loops or you risk expensive repairs.

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