This is OT, but I asked in my Chrysler mailing list and no one in the
usually busy list has answered in 18 hours, except one who tried, only
wrt the last, unrelated line.
Well, I can't believe it but I've forgotten how to change the
anti-freeze. This must be the start of Oldtimers Disease.
It was 70 degrees in Baltimore yesterday, and a good day to flush the
cooling system. Lebaron, ''95, 3.0L V6.
I ran the engine until it was hot or at least warm.
The petcock opens with no tools -- that's nice.
I drained the coolant into one of those rectangular bottles that lie
in their side; I removed the thermostat and flushed for 5 minutes with
a garden hose in the radiator neck until the water ran clear. Let it
drain, put back the petcock, put back the thermostat, filled the
radiator with 50/50, but it took less than a gallon.
Ran the engine a minute or two until I realized that maybe I had only
filled the radiator.
Went to see if I could add more coolant, but I couldn't. Usually I
can keep adding and adding, even when it starts way above empty.
I added about 3 quarts, when the capacity is 8.
After sitting all night, today I could add a 3 or 4 ounces more.
Could it be I never drained the engine after all? How could that be
when I removed the thermostat and the petcock and after flushing let
it sit until nothing was coming out of the petcock hole.?
P.S. I also got a Felpro gasket for the thermostat and it has a
brown plastic ring on the inside circumference on one side. But
nothing on the card to say which side of the gasket goes up. Which
Explain how not even coming close to an answer to the OP's question
helps him. You might, for instance, be at least aware that a 95
LeBaron has a coolant recovery system before offering an update on
what YOU normally do, to say nothing of the techniques for draining
and then "burping" a 3.0L.
It's not a bad idea to flush a cooling system occasionally. You can make
your own hose fitting to reduce the hoses to 3/4 water hose with little
trouble. Remove the thermostat and replace the housing. Flush into the
housing and collect the coolant from thew bottom hose or valve on the
bottom or side tank. I've done this on a 2003 GM to get rid of the Dex-
Cool antifreeze known to destroy intake manifold gaskets, with standard
green Prestone. You have to flush the Dex because if the two mix it forms
solids that could clog coolant passages. That was 4 years ago and at 80K
miles everything works perfect. Can't help with the gasket issue, call a
parts store or service department and find out from them .
you only drained the radiator, not the block. There may or may not be
a block drain. It probably isn't a petcock but a pipe plug (although
you can replace it with a petcock if you can find one the right size.)
When refilling, you should always use concentrated antifreeze, put 1/2
the printed capacity of your cooling system in there then fill with
water. Reason being you never can drain the entire cooling system,
and you want to make sure that you have the proper mixture in there.
Right now, you probably don't - you probably have mostly water because
you flushed it.
3 or 4 years ago, I was going to get the long-life antifreeze, 5 years
iirc, until I read the label and it said that there couldn't be any of
the regular kind in the system for it to be long-life, that if there
was some, the new stuff would only last 2 years.
AFAIK everyone diligent still changes their antifreeze every 2 or 5
Old antifreeze is as good as new antifreeze about not freezing, but
there are anti-corrosion and lubricating additives, and maybe others
that they say deteriorate. I would think that the anti-corrosion
additives combine with whatever causes corrosion and thus gets used
up. Just came across a web page that claimed the increased number of
aluminum parts required more continued anti-corrosion strength.
Me too. But I only added 3 quarts.
Yes, I've run it for a couple minutes with the cap off. Before, this
was always enough for the level to go down so I could add more, and
There is an overflow hose and bottle, but I haven't run it with the
cap on and haven't run it long enough to get hot and overflow, so
whatever is there was there before.
It gave one bubble while I was watching, but the fluid level went down
little if anything. When the engine is cold the thermostat is shut,
so I figured the new fluid would enter through the bottom and the air
would escape...somehow. But if the air could escape, the air could
also enter when the engine was draining, and the engine would have
drained when the radiator did. And it would take 8 quarts to fill it.
There's a big chuckhole in the road near here. Maybe I should go
drive over that.
I found a lot of webpages about changing antifreeze, and all but one
said nothing about the thermostat, not even to consider changing the
thermostat when changing the antifreeze. Lots of webpages about
flushing the engine and not a one about removing the thermostat to
help this. Even though one page went into the fact that the
thermostat closes when it's cold. -- They all seemed to talk about
flushing the radiator and not about flushing the engine.
---And I couldn't have added more than 3 quarts. I only went outside
with 7 quarts of 50/50 and I haven't opened the bottle that I had
filled, so that leaves only 3 quarts or less that are in it now.
Someone gave me two part-filled bottles of 50/50, so I'm using them.
Usually when it is empty, I put in a whole gallon of 100% antifreeze,
then finish off with water, about a gallon.
a friend refused to fush his cooling system till one day his car
overheated he was on a trip and had to be towed in to a garage.
his coolant had turned to mush, it was 15 years old and congealed to
mush that wouldnt flow.
it clogged his radiator, he ended up with one day at the dealer.
new radiator, all new hoses, well they were 15 years old, new water
pump, basically a cooling system rebuild....
normally he does all his own repairs, so the cost over 1500 bucks had
him mad, but he was 90 miles from home and was too cheap to spend the
extra for AAA plus 100 mile towing...
he now admits coolant should be changed every couple years, theres a
flush and fill adapter that fits on the heater hose to make it
You really are the village idiot. No one said antifreeze ceases to be
antifreeze anymore than they said than engine oil ceases to be oil.
Or tranny fluid ceases to be tranny fluid. Following
your logic, you don't need to ever change your engine oil either.
It's a 15 year old car. IF it were mine and the antifreeze hadn't
been changed in many years, I'd change it too. Why? Because,
as others have pointed out to you, antifreeze has additives that
help prevent corrosion and lubrication. Those additives interact
with the metals and contaminants and don't last forever any more
than additives in engine oil do.
I'd also like to see any basis for your claim that only antifreeze
evaporates, and not water. It's a blend and the ratio of what
evaporates will depend on the partial pressures of the liquids.
You're always going to get a mix in vapor leaving the liquid.
Even hillbilly's that run a still understand that concept. And I'd
suspect that in the case of engine coolant, plenty of water
would evaporate with the antifreeze component.
On Sun, 20 Feb 2011 06:44:51 -0800 (PST), " email@example.com"
It's alcohol-based antifreeze which evaporates (more?), but they
haven't used that for about 50 or 60 years. This stuff is called
"permanent" because it evaporates little or not at all in a system
with a pressure cap.
Just for the record, I usually change it every two years. But it's
been a bad few years for me and this might be the third year, or even
maybe the fourth, I can't remember. This is also the first car I've
ever been able to keep past 14 years old, so that's another reason I
got lax. It's the stop-leak that made it look like mud.
See my other post on this. Seems like I am lucky to keep antifreeze in
my car for two years running. In my '88, opening up the engine, and
draining the coolant, is not as infrequent as I would wish!
Antifreeze is bad when it goes acidic or is electricaly conductive, an
easy test is how it conducts electricity [Google for it I dont have it
written down] but I think .04v is bad, a lead in in the antifreeze
and one on ground, or a Ohm test is possible. Use a tester to test
percentage, dont go above 50% as you can overheat in summer and not
cool the motor. Antifreeze does not transfer heat nearly as well as
water. Redline, Water Wetter is a good booster. Your motor needs
corosion inhibitors due to dissimiliar metals. You motor may need
factory or spec stuf so be carefull. Antifreezes now last longer, but
different motors may have different specs from different metals used.
Google is the best help on this.
This is all good to know. Thanks.
In this case I wanted to flush the system because it looked like
So I want to flush the engine, not just the radiator. And especially
the heater because I don't seem to get enough heat anymore, even
though the thermometer says the engine is pretty hot.
I don't want the water to just ciculate. I want it do so quickly to
wash away the mud that clings a bit to the walls, at least it does on
the radiator cap and in the neck of the radiator. Any way short of
finding a hole in the engine block to flush the engine too.
Who flushes only the radiator anyhow?
**The radiator was leaking some, long story omitted, so I put in some
kind of stop leak. That didn't work so I put in another kind. The
second and probably the first were Barr's Leak, but they make 4 kinds
Well that stopped the leak, but a year later I notice it looks like
You have clogged up the works, so to speak. Buy a can of radiator flush
and run that through. Then disconnect the line running into your heater
core and force water through that. You'll probably want to disconnect
the lower radiator hose. You can also force water back through the upper
radiator hose into the block.
I am not a mechanic. This is just what I would do.
Yes, except for the chemicals (and maybe I can even use that if I end
up bypassing the radiator) that seems like the right idea.
I started an in-depth search tonight for my shop manual and found it
in 10 seconds, because the 2" wide yellow spine was showing, with
Lebaron written on it. Had to be sitting down to see it.
It turns out the reason the engine didn't drain is that both input and
output are at or near the top, unlike most engines. The input and
output are in the well between the two halves of the V-6. (It's not
going to siphon either, if it ever would, because I had the thermostat
It turns out the heater hoses are nowhere near the thermostat, like
they've been on my previous cars that weren't lebarons. They're at
the other end of the side-mounted engine.
It's got 6 pages for diagnosis, that I've never read before, never
looked at afaicr.
It says a plug has to be removed to drain the engine, ugh, but I"m
more concerned with the heater core. I haven't read the engine
section, but I"m not removing any engine plugs. A friend says they
are stuck in anyhow.
It recommends reverse flushing for dirty systems and partial plugging,
which is me, I think. Using air pressure, which I have very little
of (the smallest size compressor that's bigger than a mere electric
tire inflation pump), and a device attached to the themostat housing
hose, when it, the upper hose, has been disconnected from the
radiator. The themostat has to be removed for reverse flushing, it
says, but... in the daylight, like you say I'm going to look for a way
to disconnect the heater return hose, which in the sketch seems to be
held on by a hose claim, and reverse flush with a garden hose, exiting
throgh the petcock hole, or even the radiator neck. I may even get
some of the engine, all of it if I flush long enough.
I have a device I bought 40 years ago that connects a garden hose to a
metal petcock hole -- never used it so far -- and the narrow end may
fit into that heater hose and then be tighened with the same hose
There is almost always more than one way to skin a cat.
First it recommends flushing, then reverse flushing, then using
chemicals. Not that you should do all three, but expecting you to use
the first ones if they will be enough.
In 1994, it recommends 50/50 for -38F, and 56 glycol/44 for -50F. -10
is about the coldest I've seen, in Chicago.
Hey, it even says what to do about the noise coming sometimes from my
Considering all the risks and disposal problems, you can get the job
done better at a good auto service shop. They now use recycling rigs
with the right kind of additives and have some decent test methods as
well. Check around for prices and then decide if your really want to
fritter away your time on something that you can't do as well.
Thanks for replying. I know about disposal problems, but what risks?
I wish I knew a good one near here.
What additives do they have that they don't sell at the autoparts
What can they test better than I?
It's not frittering. It's repair, and that's what I like to do, home
repair, car repair, appliance repair, piano repair, radio and tv
repair, etc. I like all of it. If things didn't break I'd have
nothing to repair.
Plus I know what's been done. The trouble is I'll have to wait until
they get to my car and hope they'll let me watch, because I have no
idea if they'll do all the things you say if I'm not watching. I've
had too many bad experiences at places, including auto shops.
My main goal was to flush the heater core of the mud. We'll see what
it's like next time I need the heater.
But not to use chemicals, which I'm afraid will dissolve the Bars Leak
and cause the radiator to start leaking again.
Now my second goal is to understand how everything works, whether I
drained the block or not, and if not, why not?
Fill the radiator with the Tstat and housing removed until you see
anti-freeze in the block. Put the tstat and housing on and finish
filling the radiator. Take a drive and check again. Works for my
Nissan, Jeep and Chevy trucks
That sounds like a very good idea. And it's not too late to take off
the housing and see what the level is in the chamber below it. It
was empty of fluid when I put the housing back on**. And what the
level in the radiator is as best I can tell, before and after.
The worst can happen is that I lose what is in the hose, and the
radiator above the bottom of the hose. That's not much.
**Evidence that I had drained the engine, at least somewhat, and if
somewhat, why not all the way? So why did it only take 3 quarts.
It's supposed to be 47 tomorrow. Not my first choice, but warm
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