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How I bled my coolant system

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Old 12 May 2014, 07:59 pm
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Posts: 5
Default How I bled my coolant system

Bleeding the coolant system has been covered elsewhere in terms of how, why and when. That's what helped me through the process for the first time. What I want to add is kind of "What to look for while it's being bled. Maybe redundant, but, if so, go on to a more interesting thread.

1) I got a 6 foot piece of clear vinyl tubing from my local home renovation store and a bucket. I already had my zerex g50 and the cooling system was topped off as far as I could.

2) Starting with the engine cold, I loosened the bleeder fitting on the thermostat neck about a full turn. Mine was a 3/8" fitting and it was on TIGHT! Then I attached my vinyl hose.

3) I checked the level in my coolant reservoir and filled it to about 1/2 way between the "Add" and the "Hot full" marks, and made certain that the radiator cap was tight.

4) I turned on the engine and waited for it to warm up. My temp indicator is normally a hair below the 3 o'clock position when fully warm.

5) As I waited for the engine to warm up, a few random bubbles appeared at widely spaced intervals and a little coolant would dribble out the hose.

6) The engine fan came on as it was warming up and ran for about a minute and then shut off. Still just a few random bubbles coming out and the temp gauge was at about the 4 o'clock position, so I figured I still had a ways to go before she was up to temp. I added dollops of coolant at random intervals to keep at least a couple of inches of it in the bottom of the reservoir.

7) As the temp gauge approached the 3 o'clock position (my normal running temp), the rate of bubbles slowly increased until, all of a sudden, they turned into an agitated stream. (I figure the t-stat opened.)

8) This bubbly stream continued for maybe 90 seconds and then it just pushed a solid stream of coolant out.

9) All of a sudden, the coolant flow in the vinyl tube reversed! It started pulling coolant out of the tube and back into the engine. Soon, it would be pulling air back in... NOT GOOD!

10) So I pinched the vinyl tube (like cutting off the flow in a garden hose) and tightened the bleeder fitting, turned off the engine and check the bleeder to make sure it was good and snug.

11) Took it for a test drive and, voila!, no more overheating! Temp indicator is a hair past 3 o'clock and life is good again.

Keep reading to find out how I got in the overheating fix.

It started with changing out my radiator fan. Got that done and verified that the fan operated correctly. But in the process of changing out the fan, I loosened the radiator cap and forgot to tighten it before I set out on my fan verification test drive. Yeah, I do a lot of dumb stuff. So, I ignored the intermittent squeaks from my serpentine belt and ran just about all the coolant out of the engine. Fortunately I shut down well before the temp indicator got to the red zone (I was pretty focused on the temp indicator since it had been rising dramatically at stop lights when the fan was not working.) Got her home, cooled off, and added coolant to radiator and reservoir 'till they were full. Then I took her for a test drive and, of course, she overheated. That's when I came back to the forum and read carefully enough to discover that I needed to bleed the cooling system.

Long post. Hope it helps, though. Happy bleeding!
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Old 12 May 2014, 08:17 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Default Re: How I bled my coolant system

Pretty sure you hold the record for longest first post...
randyincctx likes this.
"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
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'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 12 May 2014, 09:13 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5
Default Re: How I bled my coolant system

Just verbose, I guess.

Actually, I get pretty stoked about fixing stuff and this fix didn't look like the bleeds I've done on other systems, like brakes. So i figured it might surprise others, as well.

In reading some other threads on overheating, I get the feeling that maybe some folks aren't bleeding enough to get all the air out. In fact, I suspect I still have a little air in my system.


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Old 13 May 2014, 04:25 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: darien il
Posts: 4,592
Default Re: How I bled my coolant system

man, you're funny.

I just press the thermostat down with a flathead and then fill it up. drive where i need to drive and top it off after it cools. works.
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Old 13 May 2014, 11:07 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 150
Default Re: How I bled my coolant system

I just use this. Lisle 24610 Spill-Free Funnel: Automotive

When I change my coolant, I do it when the engine is cold (in the morning when the vehicle has not been driven). I also turn the HVAC knob to hot to open the heater control valve and let the heater core drain. When I fill it, I use the spill free funnel and wait until there's no bubbles after that, I start it and recheck the level. I've never had to use the bleeder valve.

I like to check my radiator when the engine's cold. I also recommend Mopar antifreeze.
2008 PT Cruiser Touring 135,000 miles
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