Easiest way to flush coolant? 04 tb

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
I have a 04 ls, and I don't see a drain on my radiator. I'm flushing the coolant and changing from DEX Cool because I personally hate it.
So I'm assuming just pop the lower hose, drain, fill with water, repeat till clear and put in my new cocktail is easiest?
 

TangoBravo

Member
Dec 5, 2011
208
A flush kit. $5 from the auto parts store. I have a drain petcock on my 04Tb thats what I used when I flushed my system. Have you ever seen what not using dexcool does to these engines? I imagine if you had you would reconsider using anything but dexcool. I am interested to know what the past problems are that you have had with dexcool? I ask because I have never had any problem with it but would certainly want to know if there is something I should look out for.
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
I'm extremely familiar with coolants and comparability, and personally not about dex Lol. I'm going to be using Audi G12 with water wetter. Excellent for aluminum, phosphate free, and far superior.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
matts04tbls said:
I have a 04 ls, and I don't see a drain on my radiator. I'm flushing the coolant and changing from DEX Cool because I personally hate it.
So I'm assuming just pop the lower hose, drain, fill with water, repeat till clear and put in my new cocktail is easiest?

All you need to do is take off the thermostat housing which requires removing the lower hose. This will drain the coolant from the block and radiator.

The radiator and engine components were designed around Dexcool being used as the coolant. I wouldn't use anything else.
 

tblazerdude

Member
Dec 4, 2011
321
I switched to Prestone "all makes all models" It's aluminum safe. No problems and that was 50K ago.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
tblazerdude said:
I switched to Prestone "all makes all models" It's aluminum safe. No problems and that was 50K ago.

What is that? I don't see it on their website.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
matts04tbls said:
I'm extremely familiar with coolants and comparability, and personally not about dex Lol. I'm going to be using Audi G12 with water wetter. Excellent for aluminum, phosphate free, and far superior.
I'm also curious. Before I put an asset as expensive as my engine at risk of a claim like that, I'd love to evaluate some proof. Can you offer any links to persuade folks who believe the GM engineers weren't all idiots? Or your engineering credentials in the coolant studies area? Thx.
 

TangoBravo

Member
Dec 5, 2011
208
Really if you research at all you would find that both g12 and dexcool are OAT coolants and neither contain phosphates, in fact the real differance between the two is the ph# of the actual product and of course the price is more for g12(atleast where Im at) there is no true benefit to using a more expensive nearly identical type of coolant. In fact one could argue that because of the differance in PH and the differant types of aluminium used in the engines from vw or audi and chevy that using g12 where dexcool is called for could cause a slow reaction between the metals chevy use's as where it would be fine for the metals vw or audi use. Another reason there is a differance in the two types regarding the PH is because water in the countries where vw and audi are so common is alot differant then ours and so a change in the PH is needed. I can go on for some time in far more detail about the exact differances between the two if needed. Long story short it would be wise if you to stick to dexcool since that is what your TB was designed to have, especially if you plan to keep it for awhile.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Lol. Yeah I just read that long reply over at Answers.com from someone claiming to have a BS degree in chemistry. I think it would be a better bet to see what GM has to say about Dexcool and if it can be mixed with anything else.

Regardless of any claims at the very least if you use a different type of coolant make sure to flush out all the old stuff first. I would never mix different brands. The average joe doesn't know the difference between types and stating "X can be mixed with Y" is a lazy mans way of not fixing the cooling system to begin with.
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Lol I'm not really sure how to break it to you guys, but Dex-cool isn't just a magical formulation that keeps your engine together. Any proper coolant that supports aluminum engines and radiators will suffice, the only difference is the ph balance, heat transfer qualities, and lifespan. Fact of the matter is, GM and Audi G12 are basically the same, I've even used dex in my Audi when g12 wasn't readily available.
Audi has a better freeze resistance, higher boil over resistance, and doesn't turn to mud like DEX. Ever run dex through a turbo engine with the heat of a turbo? If you did you'd see how crappy dex is. I got g12 cheaper too, and having extensively used both, in my experience g12 is superior.
 

AbsoluteZero

Member
Nov 21, 2011
211
I think over the years there have been some issues with Dexcool but related to keeping air out of the system. Of course the internet brings out all the "experts" and any problems take on a life of their own.
My first experience with Dexcool was in a 98 Montana. Never a problem. I did find an article suggesting a difference radiator cap with a more positive vent... again to prevent air from entering the system. I did replace the cap with the one recommended. My son still has the van.
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
matts04tbls said:
Lol I'm not really sure how to break it to you guys, but Dex-cool isn't just a magical formulation that keeps your engine together. Any proper coolant that supports aluminum engines and radiators will suffice, the only difference is the ph balance, heat transfer qualities, and lifespan. Fact of the matter is, GM and Audi G12 are basically the same, I've even used dex in my Audi when g12 wasn't readily available.
Audi has a better freeze resistance, higher boil over resistance, and doesn't turn to mud like DEX. Ever run dex through a turbo engine with the heat of a turbo? If you did you'd see how crappy dex is. I got g12 cheaper too, and having extensively used both, in my experience g12 is superior.

G12 has been known to clog heater cores and gel all on it's own, without being mixed with anything else. You can read threads all day long about it on passatworld.com (and I'm sure any other VW/Audi forum).

I personally switched my VW over to Dexcool when I had to flush my clogged heater core because it was cheaper.

In my opinion, both coolants suck, but what else are you going to use?
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Can't say I'm familiar with passats, but I've had my share of MK4 VWs and a few B6s with zero cooling issues other than the plastic impeller water pump. I've run G12 or BMW coolant in almost everything I've built, and I work for a very well known Audi/Vw and BMW tuner and I tend to know my products extremely well :wink:
Bottom line, I'm no coolant expert or chemical analysts, but I know what has worked for me....And what hasn't. I've built cars that have run 9 second ets, with over 600HP. I've done euros, DSMs, SR20s, and I've run G12 or BMW coolant, at 60/40 ratio with water wetter, and it's not bit me in the ass yet lol.
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,420
Delmarva
matts04tbls said:
I'm going to be using Audi G12

Without the use of a flush machine, I don't know of an easy way to get all of the old coolant out. In other vehicles I've separated the system into three parts - rad, block, and heater core and flushed them individually. I haven't had to drain the block manually in one of these so i don't know if there are drain plug(s) in the block.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
matts04tbls said:
Audi has a better freeze resistance, higher boil over resistance, and doesn't turn to mud like DEX. Ever run dex through a turbo engine with the heat of a turbo? If you did you'd see how crappy dex is. I got g12 cheaper too, and having extensively used both, in my experience g12 is superior.

Right. And I'm gonna run out and drain my dexcool from my Buick regal turbo. Come on guys.
 

hockeyman

Member
Aug 26, 2012
726
I'm going to be switching coolant on my 03 Envoy soon, and I'm really interested in what's going to be advised here.

I too had an issue with Dex a few years back when I had a 96 camaro, which I bought brand new. After a few months of owning, I popped the hood and noticed that the Dex formed brown, silicone clumps in the overflow. I then removed the radiator cap and noticed (what I thought was) some new life-form growing in the rest of the coolant! I never added anything to the coolant prior to that discovery. From that point on, I swore never to use Dex again if/when I were to do a radiator flush.

Funny thing is that there were other people that I talked to about it. They had the same car and engine as me, and never had an issue with it forming brown clumps...?? I could never figure that out.

I know it's a long-shot, but I hope the majority of opinions here come to an agreement on a specific brand to use...other than Dex.
 

tblazerdude

Member
Dec 4, 2011
321
Well at first I was very skeptical, so I was just like all of you. Then I did some research on what makes up dexcool and found that the new prestone universal coolant is extremely similar. The main factor when buying it over dexcool was price, $5 difference per bottle and I was doing an entire flush (along with cts and thermostat). I cant find my dexcool msds so if someone could post that it would be great. Here is the data on the new prestone universal stuff. In no way am I saying this prestone stuff is better, or "high performance". Im saying its essentially the same, and makes little difference to our engines.

Preston Antifreeze

http://www.shamrockchicago.com/MSDSPrestAf.pdf

Use what makes you most comfortable. Reading this thread really made me think of going back to dexcool. I don't think I will though, since everything has been fine since I used the prestone stuff. I switched to it in September of 2010, 50k mi ago.

All About Dex-Cool® - GETAHELMET.COM
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
From what i have read there were issues early on starting in 95-96 with cast iron blocks and when air got into the system it reacted and formed a brown goo. The iron basically oxidized and the goo was rust. We have an aluminum engine with plastic overflow however. Should have zero problems.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
matts04tbls said:
... I've run G12 or BMW coolant in almost everything I've built, and I work for a very well known Audi/Vw and BMW tuner and I tend to know my products extremely well :wink:
Bottom line, I'm no coolant expert or chemical analysts, but I know what has worked for me....And what hasn't. I've built cars that have run 9 second ets, with over 600HP. I've done euros, DSMs, SR20s, and I've run G12 or BMW coolant, at 60/40 ratio with water wetter, and it's not bit me in the ass yet lol.

matts04tbls said:
Lol I'm not really sure how to break it to you guys, but Dex-cool isn't just a magical formulation that keeps your engine together. Any proper coolant that supports aluminum engines and radiators will suffice, the only difference is the ph balance, heat transfer qualities, and lifespan. Fact of the matter is, GM and Audi G12 are basically the same, I've even used dex in my Audi when g12 wasn't readily available.
Audi has a better freeze resistance, higher boil over resistance, and doesn't turn to mud like DEX. Ever run dex through a turbo engine with the heat of a turbo? If you did you'd see how crappy dex is. I got g12 cheaper too, and having extensively used both, in my experience g12 is superior.

matts04tbls said:
I'm extremely familiar with coolants and comparability, and personally not about dex Lol. I'm going to be using Audi G12 with water wetter. Excellent for aluminum, phosphate free, and far superior.

matts04tbls said:
...changing from DEX Cool because I personally hate it.
...

Sorry. Your claims are not compelling enough to convince this electrical engineer who started off studying physics and chemistry, that replacing Dexcool coolant in a non-turbo GM engine is safe or worth the cost/benefit equation. I have a great idea - you go first, and then we'll watch. :wink:

Between this site and trailvoy (where most of use used to hang out), we have over 100K members over 8 years who have not been plagued with Dexcool issues, or else it would be discussed a lot more. Just statistical evidence of a non-issue, which I agree isn't 100% compelling either, but compared to choosing the wrong spark plug, which CAN give you issues, coolant hasn't been high on our list of worries. And I'm personally conservative enough about my engine and drivetrain to not change a fluid brand without good reason. YMMV.

So when are you going to add a turbo and tune your TB? Your experience could be a huge asset to that set of members! :biggrin:

tblazerdude said:
...The main factor when buying it over dexcool was price, $5 difference per bottle ...
For something I only do every 50K miles, $5 is not expensive enough for me to look elsewhere. YMMV.
 

hockeyman

Member
Aug 26, 2012
726
CaptainXL said:
From what i have read there were issues early on starting in 95-96 with cast iron blocks and when air got into the system it reacted and formed a brown goo. The iron basically oxidized and the goo was rust. We have an aluminum engine with plastic overflow however. Should have zero problems.

Awesome, thank You! :thumbsup:

Since owning, I haven't checked to see what's inside of my radiator because I was sorta afraid to. I will stay with Dex now that I know.

Again, many thanks!
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
hockeyman said:
Awesome, thank You! :thumbsup:

Since owning, I haven't checked to see what's inside of my radiator because I was sorta afraid to. I will stay with Dex now that I know.

Again, many thanks!

Sure thing. But remember to change it every 5 years. For most members here that would be right after buying it. And since the thermostat housing needs to come out to drain the block you might as well replace it too because the thermostats have about a 5 year failure rate.
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
the roadie said:
Sorry. Your claims are not compelling enough to convince this electrical engineer who started off studying physics and chemistry, that replacing Dexcool coolant in a non-turbo GM engine is safe or worth the cost/benefit equation. I have a great idea - you go first, and then we'll watch. :wink:

Between this site and trailvoy (where most of use used to hang out), we have over 100K members over 8 years who have not been plagued with Dexcool issues, or else it would be discussed a lot more. Just statistical evidence of a non-issue, which I agree isn't 100% compelling either, but compared to choosing the wrong spark plug, which CAN give you issues, coolant hasn't been high on our list of worries. And I'm personally conservative enough about much) engine and drivetrain to not change a fluid brand without good reason. YMMV.

So when are you going to add a turbo and tune your TB? Your experience could be a huge asset to that set of members! :biggrin:

For something I only do every 50K miles, $5 is not expensive enough for me to look elsewhere. YMMV.

1) I'm not trying to convince anyone I'm right or wrong, or to follow my path... I'm simply being straight about why I'm doing this in lieu of the question that was asked.

2) I'm not using Audi coolant as a budget solution because it is vastly more expensive to the general public. I'm using it because of personal preference. Nothing about my truck is budget. :wink:

3) I'm actually in the process of turboing it, I have a holset hx40 and a sts universal kit, and I'm probably going to run VEMS.
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
I'll give some details of what I've got going on because it pertains to my preventative maintenance lol.
I'm redoing my cooling system at the moment along with a new alternator and tensioner at the moment. I'm getting ready to have my spare 4.2 head done up with 1mm oversized valves, and big ports, custom comp cams for turbo using new billets, and a mls gasket that will slightly drop compression for boost.

Using a top to bottom flow intercooler so I can have very short route piping, and either HPTuners or VEMS for management.

The HX40 will push 12-15psi
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
My friend put Prestone in his Grand Prix and now it looks like this, brown crud and bright green. Probably wasn't a good idea to save a few $.
 

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matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Again, I'm not doing this to save money....
Also I'm flushing my system. Sorry but I'm fully aware of what I'm doing lol
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Update,
Coolant is flushed to Audi G12, 60/40 with water wetter, and my engine hasn't melted down or flew apart, but it has been running 10° cooler
 

TangoBravo

Member
Dec 5, 2011
208
Congrats. Now report back in 50k, we'll see how it really does.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Unless you had a problem to begin with then I can't see how the coolant can be 10 degrees cooler.

And..technically speaking would you want cooler temps? Gas mileage will suffer. Also how would temps be any different than just using water to cool the engine? The thermostat regulates the temperature, not the coolant. The reason we add coolant to water in a 50/50 ratio is to prevent freeze and boilover protection, not for additional cooling. Something seems fishy.
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Funny... truck has a brand new water pump, tstat and cts...
Oh, 2500 miles, still perfect!
 

Mypetropig

Member
Dec 29, 2011
226
Well if you are actually running 10 degrees cooler, then the pcm is dumping more fuel in to try and heat the engine up. Which is bad news for your catalytic converter and your fuel economy. As stated before check back in 50k and see if all is well then.:twocents:
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Interesting, because per my datalog results, my injector duty cycles are the exact same as before,furthermore my gas mileage is unaffected. 10° coolant temp will not affect fuel trims....
Lol Chevy enthusiasts are far too brainwashed by dexcool...
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
matts04tbls said:
Interesting, because per my datalog results, my injector duty cycles are the exact same as before,furthermore my gas mileage is unaffected. 10° coolant temp will not affect fuel trims....
Lol Chevy enthusiasts are far too brainwashed by dexcool...

With a 195F tstat the least you will see as far as temps go at idle is about 197F-200F. It doesn't make sense that you are running 10 degrees less at 190F at the most. Regardless of which coolant you put in you will always be above 195F due to the tstat.

Now you said you replaced the tstat, cts and water pump. Any combination of any of those could account for your apparent drop in temps.

Exactly what temps is your scan tool reporting? If its well below 197F after warming up fully then I would say there is a problem.
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Temp drop is contributed to using the g12&ww, not the first time I've seen it.
Old temp - 209
New - 198
Keep in mind my truck is NOT STOCK
Now I'm getting ready to do my own custom efan, so I'm anxious to see what happens next
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
matts04tbls said:
Temp drop is contributed to using the g12&ww, not the first time I've seen it.
Old temp - 209
New - 198
Keep in mind my truck is NOT STOCK
Now I'm getting ready to do my own custom efan, so I'm anxious to see what happens next

Water wetter? Have you read the threads over at BITOG? Its labeled as snake oil by most of the vets there. There are threads all over the place stating, "Folks...save your money."
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
Water wetter isn't supposed to lower your temp. Read the label. It's supposed to increase cooling capacity. Weather it works can be debated.
 

matts04tbls

Original poster
Member
Oct 28, 2012
53
Actually it improves coolants Ability to transfer heat, I am very well versed in automotive fluids. I've run water wetter in all of my builds along with blue BMW coolant or g12 vw/audi, and I'm not convinced its anything but stellar.
People have their own beliefs, that's what makes our hobby great, we do as we please and we get to see how it works. I personally love g12 and my ll8 is doing fantastic on it.
 

JCJARHEAD

Member
Dec 7, 2011
128
I too have seen some of the horror stories on the EARLY incarnations of Dex-Cool? All I can say is that on my 03 I have always run it...and based on the parts I can visibly see...and the condition of the coolant when I drain it (I typically drop the bottom hose to drain)....nothing but good vibes!

I try to turn it over every 3 years as I live in a cold climate. I know I have been told in the past that if you are switching between any different coolants, you had best get the whole system really clean before introducing the new coolant or you get the 7th grade science project volcano! Weird foamy chemical reations and such.:redface:
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
matts04tbls said:
Actually it improves coolants Ability to transfer heat, I am very well versed in automotive fluids. I've run water wetter in all of my builds along with blue BMW coolant or g12 vw/audi, and I'm not convinced its anything but stellar.
People have their own beliefs, that's what makes our hobby great, we do as we please and we get to see how it works. I personally love g12 and my ll8 is doing fantastic on it.

Your thermostat should be regulating the temp no matter what coolant you have in there. G12 and water wetter may cool better than dexcool, but your temp still seems too low.
 

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