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2003 Toyota Camry I4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...olant-change-toyota-camry-2003-le-2az-fe.html

see this thread, esp the last 2 pages
the thread got closed

anyways, they suggested that I take my car to the dealer to get it checked out or to go to an "indy shop"

i went ton an "indy shop" and they used that prestone coolant tester (so no super expensive equipment/refractometer) and they said my coolant was "full strength" rated at -34, which means maybe I don't have issues and that my coolant is fine and that I flushed most of the water out.

I also scheduled a toyota dealership appointment on tuesday (in a few days) for them to check out my ratio and to maybe buy toyota red or have them top it off for me

but I'm thinking because the air bled out, the reservoir was pretty empty, so I added some pink (just a small amount) so the reservoir has coolant, but it's far from the "full mark" and I did this so I could leave some room for a top off with full strength coolant.

I saw Pentafrost A1 was 25 bucks just as toyota red is, but is the pentafrost the same as toyota red? I put zerex 50/50 after a water flush, and some ppl warned me of its dangers, but after going to the indy shop , they said my coolant was 50/50 and that I didn't have a low amount of coolant.

peak global is cheap as well. could i just skip going to the toyota dealer and add some peak global with the zerex pink I put in?

Also, it's only been a week since I did the flush and I noticed there were already black bits/pieces in my overfill reservoir. When I did the flush, I flushed out a LOT of black flakes you could see in the old coolant, but why are the flakes appearing again?

I used to have toyota red mixed with peak in my system before I did my flush last week, but 3 months or 4000 miles ago, prestone was added, and I heard that was bad for toyotas and that prestone is a disaster and leads to water pump failure

are the black flakes a bad sign?

and is peak global a good solution for a top off, or should I just top it off to "full" with my zerex asian vehicle coolant, or should I use Pentafrost A1 or Toyota red? Or is peak or zerex fine?
 

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2004 Camry LE Ltd Ed
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:wtf:

I suspect that this thread will soon be closed, just as the other one was.

Whatever you use in your system already, use the same to top it off. You are making this so much more complicated than it needs to be.

Here is an old acronym to help you remember how to do it:

K.I.S.S.

That stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

(and no, I am not calling you stupid, so relax)
 

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:wtf:

I suspect that this thread will soon be closed, just as the other one was.

Whatever you use in your system already, use the same to top it off. You are making this so much more complicated than it needs to be.

Here is an old acronym to help you remember how to do it:

K.I.S.S.

That stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

(and no, I am not calling you stupid, so relax)
Alah Occams Razor
 

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2003 Toyota Camry I4
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
if you look at the earlier thread
they said i need to go to the dealer because of water left in the system
which is dangerous because that lowers my coolant ratio and makes it inappropriate, as in it'll be lower than 50/50
 

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I know you may still have concerns. But let's see if we can avoid repeating the same questions and answers over and over and over.

I'm also concerned that you'll be spending a lot more money doing it on your own than than just getting a standard cooling system flush from the dealer (really just a fluid exchange).

So let's try again on a few things:

If you have Zerex Asian 50% premixed, just use it to top off the reservoir. If your description is correct, the coolant level should now stabilize (radiator full when cold, and coolant in the reservoir above minimum mark in the coming days). So you may be able to delay taking it into the dealership for a complete fluid exchange. I wouldn't recommend mixing Red and Peak like you did (mainly with the Peak) so a flush is in your future. But when it doubt, take it in or have it towed in.

The black bits can be either rubber hose breaking down, in which case it's pieces of soft rubber. Or it can be aluminum oxide, which is hard and abrasive. You can feel for it. You have more coming out because it wasn't flushed clean probably. In either case, you need to do more preventative maintenance in the future. A simple drain/refill of the coolant on a "clean" system every 3 years should do.

Coolant level. It's possible that when trapped air exited the newly filled system and the engine cooled down, it sucked all the coolant back from the reservoir. If the coolant level is full in the radiator (when cold) and the newly filled reservoir is full and stabilizes in the coming days. You should be fine. That's why it's important to "burp" the system. Often all it takes is to run the engine until the upper hose gets warm/hot, then shut it down for 3-4 hours for it to cool and suck back the coolant from the reservoir. (I think this was what you did without knowing?)

I'd change out at least both radiator hoses, if not other coolant hoses. I highly recommend Gates hoses. Verify your application and check rockauto.com for prices. Upper hose $7.55 #22827, lower hose $7.55 #22826.

And you can cut open the old hoses length wise to see if the inside is rough in some areas (typically the upper hose, top). Yes, I've seen black rubber bits from OEM hoses.

http://navigates.gates.com/Parts.as...enger+Cars+&+Light+Trucks&Type=Passenger+Cars
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...84-rockauto-discount-code-10.html#post6850538

Upper hose:

Lower hose:



Some people feel better using Toyota Red, especially if it's the same price. Pentofrost A1 is like Toyota Red. Both are full strength. These two need to be mixed with 50% distilled water.

Zerex Asian 50% premixed is, well, already mixed. You DON'T dilute it with more water, which was the concern after you flush the system with water because you may still have about 2qts of water left in the system. And that typically brings the concentration down to 33% or so if you just fill a water-flushed system with a 50% mix.

It DOESN'T make sense for the shop to say "full strength" coolant protects down to -34. Because the correct 50% mix protects down to -35 deg F (-36 deg C), but 70% mix protects down to -90 deg F. You should NOT use 100% concentration of coolant in the system.

Walmart has a coolant tester for about $12. But I'd prefer a more accurate "antifreeze refractometer" from eBay for about $30 shipped. Compared to that, $12 is a waste of money.

If you still have questions, feel free to send me a private mail.





i went ton an "indy shop" and they used that prestone coolant tester (so no super expensive equipment/refractometer) and they said my coolant was "full strength" rated at -34, which means maybe I don't have issues and that my coolant is fine and that I flushed most of the water out.

I also scheduled a toyota dealership appointment on tuesday (in a few days) for them to check out my ratio and to maybe buy toyota red or have them top it off for me

but I'm thinking because the air bled out, the reservoir was pretty empty, so I added some pink (just a small amount) so the reservoir has coolant, but it's far from the "full mark" and I did this so I could leave some room for a top off with full strength coolant.

I saw Pentafrost A1 was 25 bucks just as toyota red is, but is the pentafrost the same as toyota red? I put zerex 50/50 after a water flush, and some ppl warned me of its dangers, but after going to the indy shop , they said my coolant was 50/50 and that I didn't have a low amount of coolant.

peak global is cheap as well. could i just skip going to the toyota dealer and add some peak global with the zerex pink I put in?

Also, it's only been a week since I did the flush and I noticed there were already black bits/pieces in my overfill reservoir. When I did the flush, I flushed out a LOT of black flakes you could see in the old coolant, but why are the flakes appearing again?

I used to have toyota red mixed with peak in my system before I did my flush last week, but 3 months or 4000 miles ago, prestone was added, and I heard that was bad for toyotas and that prestone is a disaster and leads to water pump failure

are the black flakes a bad sign?

and is peak global a good solution for a top off, or should I just top it off to "full" with my zerex asian vehicle coolant, or should I use Pentafrost A1 or Toyota red? Or is peak or zerex fine?
 

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I browsed through your previous threads. Here are my comments for you:

1) I bought this refractometer from amazon. Tested it against known concentration, and it seems to be pretty accurate. I think it would be handy if you're doing a lot of coolant change or are in an area where temperature can go below freezing.

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GDH4YCO/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]

2) regarding antifreeze concentration, here's an article that provides some pros and cons

http://doclibrary.com/MSC167/PRM/Reichert%20Why%20Use%20A%20Refractometer3641.pdf

Note that it points out that you should not go above 70% antifreeze, and that water actually has good properties for use as a heat conductor. You should look at the chart and see if even a 40% antifreeze concentration is good enough for your region.

3. I would not take the time to think about coolant chemistry when different coolants are mixed. So I would recommend that you just stick with one coolant type. If you already have mixed coolant type, read what the instructions say. I know there is a Toyota advisory stating that the red and pink coolants can be mixed. See if Zerex has similar statements on the package.

If you use coolant that comes in 50/50 mix, you will end up with less than 50% concentration if you have already flushed your system with water. But maybe that's not that big of a deal if you can flush and fill with 50/50 mix twice (or more). Check the concentration with the refractometer afterwards.

4. I don't think you've messed up your car. You are just one or two drain and fill away from finishing.
 

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The previous thread was closed as OP clearly did not follow the directions patiently provided over 6 pages by members here, possibly causing problems that could not be identified properly on the internet....and in the final post said,
"Im 2 miles away from a toyota dealer. I think i can drive there [with no water in the overflow reservoir] without any issues. A towtruck for 2miles is a little much"

That would be contrary to the advice given on that thread and as a result no one here should be expected to be responsible for OP's actions or the future condition of the engine. No one here knows why there's no water in the overflow reservoir....we can surmise possibilities, (cracked hose, loose drain plug...etc.) but we can not say for sure...

...AND IF THERE'S TOO LITTLE COOLANT (OR NONE AT ALL) IN THE SYSTEM, THE ENGINE CAN OVERHEAT AND LEAD TO THE WORST POSSIBLE DAMAGE...THE DREADED HEADBOLT FAILURE...AS SUCH THE CAR, IN MY OPINION, SHOULD NOT BE DRIVEN, BUT RATHER TOWED TO THE DEALER...

The issue here is that OP complicated a simple procedure by ignoring the members' advice and since no one here sees the car, in this case "flakes", OP needs to have the system physically inspected, including the hoses, yes, to determine what further work may need to be done, and done properly...before any damage is done.

The value of advice is in the trust one has in it, as evidenced in the following of it....at this point OP should have the car taken to a trusted professional that can repair any "damage" OP may have done through actions taken contrary to the advice offered here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
if i don't want to buy a refractometer, if I test the voltage is that okay? less than 3 mv right?
what was it again? i have access to a DMM which can test the voltage
 

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I will just take the OP's posts at face value. So if his reservoir is empty after doing a coolant flush, I would suggest opening the radiator cap to see what the coolant level is. If it is close to the top, it is possible that the reservoir fluid was sucked in when engine cooled down after an incomplete coolant fill to the radiator. Just add fluid to the radiator and reservoir tank.

It appears that the OP is very concerned about costs. Towing this car to have the dealer check it is very costly. I would recommend just adding the fluid and then checking for leaks, as the first option.

Don't drive the car if there is no coolant and keep an eye on temperature guage as you're driving. If there is a coolant leak, and you don't know how to fix it, bring it to the dealer or an indy shop. If you don't feel comfortable with deciding if you have a coolant leak bring the car to a shop. If you don't feel comfortable with knowing whether you have coolant in your car, then you should probably ask a friendly mechanic to educate you so you can ask questions face to face.

As far as getting the right coolant brand and concentration mix, it is very easy to correct this, even at this point. Worst case, you write off the $40 (or whatever costs) from the coolant used so far, and flush everything out and fill with the desired coolant brand and mix. I am assuming the OP is sincere in wanting to do it right, and cost effectively. If so, after deciding on the coolant brand (and accounting for whether it comes in 100% or diluted), you would flush and fill, as needed, using an appropriate method. Even if you spend the $30 for a refractometer, it would still be cheaper than having someone else do it.

From looking at the previous thread, I can see how people get frustrated trying to help the OP. I think it would probably help if the OP is more systematic in his questions. For example, first ask and then decide on what coolant brand you want, then asking about the proper flush method for the brand, etc.
 

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I will just take the OP's posts at face value. So if his reservoir is empty after doing a coolant flush.....
This is the only fact we know....any other is conjecture...and anyone suggesting that OP drive the car is making assumptions we should not make....
 

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Well, the point is moot because he has already added fluid and driven his car to an indy shop--if I read his post correctly. The OP's questions were a bit scattered, but it seemed to me that he would know how to check his radiator fluid level--if he were told that rather than told to have his car towed to a dealer.
 

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Well, the point is moot because he has already added fluid and driven his car to an indy shop--if I read his post correctly. The OP's questions were a bit scattered, but it seemed to me that he would know how to check his radiator fluid level--if he were told that rather than told to have his car towed to a dealer.
Conjecture.... Please stop making assumptions about others' knowledge and skills, and practices....the 1st thread makes clear that we shouldn't do that...and that in this case, we can not do that without risking being blamed for any damage done to that engine.
 

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Well, the point is moot because he has already added fluid and driven his car to an indy shop--if I read his post correctly. The OP's questions were a bit scattered, but it seemed to me that he would know how to check his radiator fluid level--if he were told that rather than told to have his car towed to a dealer.
Why would you assume he knew anything, and with his continued requests for advice and information and his continued pattern of disregarding same, why do you think he would follow any advice?

Still, the point remains that nobody has seen his (her?) vehicle, and we certainly did not get a clear picture of what is going on, so I find myself agreeing with kitacamry in saying that the car should be towed to someone who can cut through the BS and actually determine what is going on with the vehicle.
 

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Why would you assume he knew anything, and with his continued requests for advice and information and his continued pattern of disregarding same, why do you think he would follow any advice?

Still, the point remains that nobody has seen his (her?) vehicle, and we certainly did not get a clear picture of what is going on, so I find myself agreeing with kitacamry in saying that the car should be towed to someone who can cut through the BS and actually determine what is going on with the vehicle.
He said he had drained radiator and added new coolant so I thought he would know how to open radiator cap and look inside. I am assuming he is on the up and up. If he is, I don't think he may be as lost as he appeared--if you also give him the benefit of a doubt and that he didn't fully understand that 1) not all coolant is drained and 2) coolant comes in 100% and 50% diluted. His initial (and still main?) concern was whether different coolant brands could be mixed and maybe there was a disconnect between him wanting to get answer to that questions and other info people were providing.

Anyway, to me, as was pointed out to him many times, his issues were not that complicated. I didn't think he needed to bring the car into a shop for having used 50/50 mix after water flush and because his reservoir was empty after flush and fill.
 
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