Engine coolant replacement

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LittleStevie
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 4:32 am
Location: West Palm Beach, FL

Engine coolant replacement

Postby LittleStevie » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:58 pm

My '05 has about 47k miles on it, and it's a little early but I'm starting to think about engine coolant replacement (due at 60k). Called the Nissan dealer parts dept. about getting the vacuum/refill tool mentioned in the service manual (J-45695) on pg. MA-15. The basic idea is that you drain the fluid, vacuum the system, then the system draws in whatever coolant needed to fill itself.

Nissan's answer was #1) They don't sell the tool and wouldn't know where to buy it, and #2) They believe that the vacuum method is excessive and that a simple drain/flush/fill is fine...the guy said that's what they do in the Nissan shop.

I was surprised to not be able to buy a tool referenced in the Nissan service manual from Nissan. What is your experience with buying specialty tools from Nissan? I found the tool online for $400, which far exceeds any savings I'd get from doing the replacements myself for the next 10 years. So it goes unsaid that I'd only do it myself if #2 above was true.

What are your thoughts on simply draining the system, maybe flushing once or twice with 50/50 coolant/water, and then refilling the system? The service manual talks about filling to the appropriate levels, even after going through the deal with the vacuum tool, making me think that simply filling the reservoir until it's full (after the engine heats up) is sufficient.

Also, the manual says to use Nissan long-life antifreeze "or equivalent." I'm thinking I'll probably go with Prestone as the "equivalent."


Gray
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Postby Gray » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:01 pm

Here's a coolant fluid element analysis that I had done on the factory fill at 33500 kms. As with most Japanese car coolants it is silicate (Si element) free but has a high concentration of corrosion inhibitor package phosphates (P element). When I get to that mileage I'll probably just buy the Nissan coolant and do a drain and refill to avoid any problems with seals, pump lubrication, scale build-up and internal corrosion.

Image

From the Prestone site;

"Prestone® Extended Life 5/150 Antifreeze/Coolant is phosphate, silicate, and borate free"

http://www.prestone.com/carcare/faq.php

The Preston Extended Life 5/150 might be OK in a Nissan application but I'd like to know and compare things like pH and what the anti-corrosion package is.

.

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blink32
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Re: Engine coolant replacement

Postby blink32 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:29 am

LittleStevie wrote:I was surprised to not be able to buy a tool referenced in the Nissan service manual from Nissan. What is your experience with buying specialty tools from Nissan?
For me that is quite typical. In-fact no dealership I have ever dealt with has ever sold the tools. Parts yes, tools no. This includes GM and Ford. You probably were looking at tool number J-45695 no? Most tools are given a Kent-Moore number. All of Nissan's specialty tools can be bought from them via their Nissan/Infiniti outfit via http://www.nissantechmate.com .

When it comes time and what I typically do is use a Prestone "kit" they have out there that hooks into your radiator hose and allows you to attach a garden hose for an extended flush time. There are also radiator flush solutions that you would drain your system, add this in, top off with water, bring to operating temp, then flush the system several times with fresh water, then add your correct coolant mix back into the system. I will probably also give a go at doing something with compressed air and try to "blow" the block out to get as much of the pockets of coolant from in there also.

I'll be sticking with Nissan brand coolant though in hopes that it is chemically engineered to work better with our engines metallurgy. Pricing difference is negligible to me.

LittleStevie
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 4:32 am
Location: West Palm Beach, FL

Postby LittleStevie » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:06 pm

Thanks for the info on the different chemistries...you're probably right in that the risk to the engine isn't worth the few bucks I'd save...Nissan coolant it is.

I might consider the Prestone kit, but I hate the idea of cutting into perfectly good heater hoses...I think I'll do it the tedious way of drain, fill, run, heat up, let cool, repeat.

Thanks also for the web address for tools...might come in handy when the cost of the tool is justified by the savings.


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