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Car Care Extraordinaire
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2,147 Posts
who du you need to do that? the whole process
Once you drain your coolant from the radiator and reserve (car off) you fill it up with distilled water to flush the other remaining coolant out in your engine and hoses. Turn your car on with the distilled water in, with the heater on so the distilled water is circulating through the entire system. I believe you wait for the fan to turn on twice or something like that before you turn it off and drain again until water is clear indicating there is no coolant left in the system.

I've never done this, so don't quote me on it, but I believe that's the process. You use distilled water so you don't have remains in your system. When you fill it back up with coolant make sure to check the levels, and I believe you run it with the radiator cap off to 'burp' the system of any air pockets.

Distilled water can be purchased at any drug/supermarket store. It should be done to remove debris, and dirt from the system. As for when it should be done, according to the owner's manual initially it's 10 years or 120k miles. After that it's every 5 years or 60k miles whichever comes first.
 

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997 C4S
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11,065 Posts
who du you need to do that? the whole process
Electrolysis occurs which allows the aluminum to oxidize. In the case of our cars, it's everything from the radiator and engine to the water pump, throttle body, and heater cores, etc.

what do you mean by distilled water?

and at about how many miles should this be done at?

what happens if you do not flush your radiator?
Distillation is a purification process. As you boil the water, the lighter elements will evaporate, leaving behind the heavier compounds such as metals and minerals. The water vapor then condensates and is purer as a result.

I think the service interval is somewhere above 100k miles. Organic-acid coolants last a very long time, but they still decompose like any other coolant.

http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/electrolysis.htm

Not the best website but their information is accurate.
 

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997 C4S
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11,065 Posts
Buy pre-mixed coolant from Honda. This is one place you don't want to go cheap or do it wrong. The whole distilled water thing is a little overboard IMO.
I respectfully beg to differ. Electrolysis is a very real concern that affects millions of vehicles annually. Anyone within the automotive industry can verify this, especially those who've worked on cars using cast iron blocks and/or copper radiators. I know this sounds negligible at first, but the impurities within tap water give it a corrosive quality over time. A good example of said impurities is SODIUM (and we all know what salt does to metals).

Electrolysis occurs because these minerals are circulating throughout the cooling system, robbing the metal components of electrons. This is called oxidation, and can be seen when steel rusts, copper turns green, or when aluminum turns into a white powder.

To make a long story short, preventing oxidation is key, and tap water is the culprit. Every OE coolant uses distilled water, and so do the aftermarket brands such as Prestone. Heck, even windshield washer fluids use distilled water to prevent oxidation of the water pumps. As you stated "this is one place you don't want to go cheap or do it wrong." I've personally had to replace entire cooling systems ($400 radiator, $150 pump, $90 thermostat, $250 heater core, etc. etc.) because the customer kept using tap water instead of purchasing $5 worth of distilled water. The effects take longer to surface with aluminum systems such as ours, but the problem is very real.
 

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Former 240sx GURU
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809 Posts
ill 2nd the above post

and just to let you know aswell

"Burping" process

1.put on a good pair of gloves(thick mechanics gloves or a rag for the daring) and fill the rad to the top with coolant
2. Start the acr with the rad cap OFF
3. squeeze the big hose coming off the rad to essentially "pump and prime" the fluid and force out..
4. keep doing this untill the thermostat opens..
5. as soon as the fans kick the thermostate will open and the fluid will slosh quick and hot, quickly replace cap.(reason for wearing gloves;) )
6. Turn off car and wait for system to cool and then top up fluid.
 

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So I just finished doing this and after I topped off the car after the whole thermostat process a lot of extra coolant went to the coolant reservoir and passed the max marker... Showed I flush that a little bit to get it down to the max line or is it ok if I leave it as it is?
 

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Bringing this back from the dead...

Please excuse my noobishness, I had this done today, drained the old coolant, filled with distilled water, turned the car on with distilled water in it with heat on max, I wondered how long does it take for the fan suppose to kick in or stay off? because it's water in the system not coolant?
 
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