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proper coolant drain and flush?

bford4bford4 Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Ford
hello- I have a 93 Ford escort auto tran and I am confused as to the proper way to change the coolant. My Haynes book says you need to drain the radiator and also drain through the block drain plug. My Popular Mechanics CD says that there is a Ford TSB stating that you only need to drain from the radiator and that Ford will be eliminating the block drain plug on the 94 models. I would think that because the radiator drain plug is below the engine block plug that you could just drain the coolant out the radiator. The coolant block plugs look completely rusted in place. Any ideas?


  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    best way to change it is with a pressure flusher. next best way is to use a hose adaptor into the hot heater hose ala the original Prestone flush kits. you certainly can do a drain and fill off the radiator petcock, but you're unlikely to kick much rust and crud out doing it.

    getting a block drain plug to stay in there like the factory ones generally do is reported to be not fun. I would stay away unless you need to install a block heater for winter.
  • Just drain the radiator. Refill the radiator after maybe flushing it a little, using the prescribed mix of distilled water and antifreeze. Run this a while, and consider repeating this procedure several times to continue to dilute the system with fresh, new stuff. This is basically the process used (dilution) when most folks "drain" their auto trannies and replace fluid.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    still get those flush kits at the parts store? Those are the best way to properly flush the system.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,616
    Not to get into a what is best for the DIYer or any of that, but they make a flush machine that hooks in, cycles a flushing fluid thru the system and then pushes a correct mix of coolant into the system.
    This is by far the best flushing, short of using a chemical flush on the system and then pulling the radiator and having it flushed by a professional radiator shop.
  • The biggest stumbling block in your home garage tends to be the thermostat. It doesn't cooperate by opening when you want.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    if you also plan to replace the stat... take it out, reassemble with the old gasket and no stat, flush thoroughly, refill.... and then drain some off, take off the stat housing, and this time replace the stat and the old gasket.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that is exactly what I used to do. Question to you DIYers: where do you dispose of the old coolant? If I knew a place that would accept it for recycling or proper disposal, I would still do this service myself. I have tried the local recycling place, the dealership, and the parts store, as well as the Jiffy Lube. There are many places that accept oil for recycling, but I can't find one that takes coolant.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    when disposed of in the sewer of any EPA-compliant facility (lagoon or better run by non-pathological un-drunks.) not valid during torrential rains, floods, blue moons, etc.

    the same stuff is used to de-ice airplanes, and MSP airport is building their own retention lagoon as part of runway additions, upgrades, etc. because they have been cited twice for the millions of gallons of the slop they have discharged.

    this is not legal advice. check your local recycling folks or the sewer department.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    My friendly Mobil dealer tells me to pour it in the same tank as the used oil so go figure.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,616
    There are airports still using ethylene glycol?
    Our airports are using CF7 deicer and Magnesium Chloride. In fact, some of our highway crews have started using those 2 chemicals and CMA (Calcium Magnesium Acetate) as Ice inhibitors on the roads.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    they don't allow anything corrosive around commercial aircraft, and MgCl still qualifies.

    yeah, we use a tubload of glycol for deicing... just read someplace that it is only certified to -27 degrees F, so there are nights up north when they have to ground planes. they can spray down two 747/767 series planes at once on the service ramp, I think.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    where I recycle oil specifically told me not to pour antifreeze in with the oil...they use old oil for fuel, so I am not surprised they don't want antifreeze in there when they are burning the old oil!

    I have also checked with the local authorities - it is actually illegal to flush antifreeze down the sewer, although I don't know how they would catch you.

    The dealerships and repair shops must recycle it someplace, but I guess this costs them $$ probably, which is why they aren't offering to share.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

This discussion has been closed.