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Ford Escort ZX2 Coolant Flush

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Drain coolant
Removed radiator cap (engine was cool of course). Located radiator drain valve on front driver side. Drained radiator of all dirty coolant. Its been a while.


Flushed water thru radiator. Closed drain valve, and filled entire system with plain water. Started car and after a few minutes turned heat on high. This supposedly distributes the water thru entire cooling system. Let run for 10 minutes. Shut down and sat back and laughed for a bit while engine cooled. Note if you have a real car I am not sure I would just use the garden hose like this, but our water is not hard or anything like that and if it was I wouldn't have cared anyways. Once engine was cool drained all water out of the system, and added Prestone flush formula to the system and topped with water. Repeated prior steps. Added water once again for a final rinse of the system. Once completed I left the valve open and flushed the radiator one last time and let dry. All coolant officially flushed out of the cooling system. You got all that right?


There was some left over dirty coolant in the overfill reservoir tank that I didn't know how to get out. I had no siphon. So I disconnected the tube from the radiator filler cap and re-directed down the engine bay into a pail. I flushed the reservoir tank with water, and magically all fluid drained out the tube. Didn't ask why, smiled and moved on.




Filled system with a mix of 50/50 Anti-freeze coolant and water. Filled reservoir tank to highest mark. I never knew that the tank where you see your coolant is just an overflow reservoir tank and really isn't supposed to ever be used by the coolant system. That coolant is just reserve and brought into play only when the cooling system is short. So if that goes down you know you are leaking coolant somewhere. Ideally coolant level should not go anywhere and stay at same level in a perfect system.

Conclusion

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I did this because I wanted to get this under my belt once, and also since this was all part of my science experiment of trying to fix the gasket leak. But just like my final thoughts on the oil change not sure this is even worth doing yourself.  If you really like your car and want the piece of mind that it was done with no BS or you just want to see the fluids for yourself than fine. I guess you don't even need to get underneath the car for this, but I think most shops charge well under $100 for this service. Also you don't have to drive anywhere to dispose the used coolant. Most recommend doing this initially at 50k miles and than every 3 years or 30k miles. So not a big expense. May make sense to just use the fired up extended life red coolant also (5 years 150k miles) so your not bothered for a while, I didn't tho I just used whatever I had in the house. Also "they" say you should use distilled water when mixing, but I didn't care. If I had a nice car maybe I would have. I will probably be dead in 5 years anyways, let alone this car.

There is supposedly another "easier" way of doing the flush that requires cutting the radiator hose and installing a backflush T-kit. But since I am a Total Chump and didn't feel like cutting hoses and installing other nonsense I just did it this way. With the T-flush kit you probably just flush it once or something and don't need to fill the system numerous times. Whatever tho, it was a good day.



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