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Old 02-11-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
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Radiator Flush

I changed my radiator coolant the other day and it was really rusty in color. I want to flush the system and have gotten a kit to do it, but where do I connect the "T" and the piece that fits into the radiator cap. This is my wife's car and this is the first time I have done the maintenance myself. I don't see a radiator cap. I was thinking of just sticking the hose in the reservoir trickling is through and leaving the radiator drain open at the bottom.

Any thoughts?

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Old 02-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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Moved to "General Technical Chat".
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #3
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That can work, the way I do it. The new coolant systems used nowadays can be problematical to tap into, I quit doing it since no real need to. Fewer connections to leak at.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:06 AM   #4
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When I do a flush I drain coolant, pull out thermostat, replace thermostat housing with no thermostat, (not necessary to tighten the housing down hard) then leave the heater bypass disconnected and put drain hoses onto each side of the bypass then use a garden hose and put the end into the coolant cap, each end of the bypass, and so on until the water overflowing from the cap, and coming out of the drain, is running clear.

Then I button everything up and pour in undiluted antifreeze. There's enough residual water that it gets pretty close to a 50/50 mixture.

I do it on a driveway that drains onto grass. Note that unlike most of the idiocy you read on the Internet, the United Nations World Health Organization studied antifreeze and has stated that it is highly biodegradable. The link is here:


It breaks down in a few days in soil. It also breaks down in the air when it evaporates. It is also safe to dump it down the house drain since sewage treatment plants can deal with it.

There are companies that buy used antifreeze now, so you may find places that will take it without charge.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:35 AM   #5
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Back flushing is the best way to clean a radiator.

1. Move the temperature gauge to red, as hot as it gets.

2. Hook up a garden hose like seen in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytszhcqK_pg
Tighten the clamps down and turn the hose on. Don't start the engine yet.

3. the water should be nasty at first, then get cleaner. Once crystal clear, start your engine and let it idle. the water may turn nasty again, but just wait for it to get clear.

4. you are done! Now fill and bleed your cooling system. Run your engine with the radiator cap off until the cooling fans turn on. you are done!

Good luck!

Here is a coolant bleeding video: https://ericthecarguy.com/videos?sta...id=Rw65VHVp7p0

Your focus has an expansion tank so there is a procedure for you to follow.

Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
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Yes, reverse flushing is actually best, but not necessary, I do it fine without doing that, if lots of sediment then yeah, backflush. If you have early Focus with the ribbed hose fitting on stat, then do not disconnect hose unless changing, those fittings do not cotton well to reattaching old hoses and often leak like a sieve if you do so. The ribs do not reline up with the grooves formed or cooked into the used hose. It forced Ford to change the outlets to one rib and smooth in later models. Taking stat loose can cause trouble too, often new stat gaskets do not compress as well (not as thick?), the old cover pulls in at the corners to slightly weep once cover is removed, another problem. Why I don't like to remove them on Focus if not leaking.

I would NEVER intentionally run an engine's temperature into the red, especially an older one. Nuff said there.

Someone should read the WHO stuff closer.

'Risks to human health and the environment will
vary considerably depending upon the type and extent
of exposure.'

Straight from the study.......the figures given for birds and the like actually show that although they consider the chemical 'low' toxicity (as say to cyanide), it is still poisonous, look at say 8000mg/liter figure, that's 8 grams worth in one quart, in 50/50 like in car that's 16 ounces/qt. or close to 450X that amount. Yeah, it biodegrades but if the cat drinks it today, he dies. Here in city it is blatantly against the law to dump it, another issue to deal with even if it isn't poison.

The youtube video is done by idiot. He clamps on hose which is a mistake, when stat closes because he wastes time talking you turn on water and 75 psi at the water main blows out your hose. The hose should NEVER be positively clamped there. You allow for a pressure leak. If water is cold enough I've seen the stat close and stay that way even with motor idling. Not enough heat to open it. You cut back on water amount flowing through hose and the combined leak helps to meter water at a rate so that stat opens and stays that way. Simply cutting back on water but hose still clamped firm again makes 75 psi, it will do it with low or high water supply, pressure is pressure.

If one has oil dispersed in system simply clean water flushing will not remove all of it, it clings all inside motor and bigger flow areas allow the water to simply stream over it. You need solvent or a flush chemical there, don't and hook it all back up and look at coolant in a week, surprise, more oil in coolant. BTDT.

The guy is not back flushing, he's doing it in the normal direction of coolant travel. Back flushing would be having the water go in at top to come out bottom or backwards. Only really done for radiator to force flow backwards to maybe unclog trash which settles at the top of the tubes, as the engine doesn't really care. Guy also mentions 'pushing against the spring' but if using top hose as outlet he is pushing WITH the spring, not against, cold stat will still blow that hose apart with water hose clamped in place.
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