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Old 07-11-2004, 09:03 AM   #1
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Radiator Flush.

Hello All,

I pull the 0908 and 0203 codes from the Max, and I'm going to change the thermostat as well as the sensor. (Thermo first and see if that clears all of the codes). I want to flush my raditor fluid but I cant fully remember the proceedure.

Does anyone know how to flush the radiator fluid. I thought it was something like drain all the fluid, fill with all water, run car for 5 mins. not too sure.

Also how often is this suppost to be done? And I think I already know the answer but what are the benefits from a Radiator Flush? Is it more than better fluids in the car and keep the car running cooler than the older fluid thats been in there recirculated for how ever many miles is been in the car?


thanks
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:38 AM   #2
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Radiator fluids change in acidity over time and this eats away at certain parts, hence the flush. Get the prestone kit, its like 10 bux. It has everything you need and intstructions
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:41 AM   #3
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You open the petcock on the bottom of the RAD and you drain it. Re-fil with water, run car and repeat til no more green coms out. Then add coolant or just run all water in the summer. You're done.
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:00 PM   #4
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It should be flushed every 2 years or 30,000 miles whichever comes first. When in doubt take your car to a rad shop and get them to pH test the coolant in the rad. They use a strip of paper to show the fluid condition. And as far as running straight water in the summer is concerned, that makes absolutely no sense to me. Isn't antifreeze supposed to act as a coolant, consequently it should be used year round to ensure a) no freezing under cold conditions, and b) no overheating under hot conditions. Some people recommend using a lubricant for the water pump but I'm not sure if that is needed in the Maxima.

Also a 50/50 distilled water/coolant mixture is recommended, not 100% water or 100% antifreeze.
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmurdoch
It should be flushed every 2 years or 30,000 miles whichever comes first. When in doubt take your car to a rad shop and get them to pH test the coolant in the rad. They use a strip of paper to show the fluid condition. And as far as running straight water in the summer is concerned, that makes absolutely no sense to me. Isn't antifreeze supposed to act as a coolant, consequently it should be used year round to ensure a) no freezing under cold conditions, and b) no overheating under hot conditions. Some people recommend using a lubricant for the water pump but I'm not sure if that is needed in the Maxima.

Also a 50/50 distilled water/coolant mixture is recommended, not 100% water or 100% antifreeze.

anti freeze is less efficent than pure water. Ive never heard of anyone running pure water, but I do know that people that run 70/30 water to coolant. Also, there are additives like water wetter that will make it run cooler too.
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:13 PM   #6
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Atifreeze is there so the water doesn't freeze in the winter, hence the name, and so that there isn't as much rusting and corrosion. Compared to water, antifreeze sucks at cooling.
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HybriDSM
anti freeze is less efficent than pure water. Ive never heard of anyone running pure water, but I do know that people that run 70/30 water to coolant. Also, there are additives like water wetter that will make it run cooler too.
It's a shame the moderators don't step in as this thread is full of erroneous advice. If it were my car, I would never go below 50% antifreeze.

Never run straight water, the coolant provides anti-boil properties. When you flush yourself, it's difficult to get the proper mixture (you're flushing with water and reach a condition where your system has 100% water), and coolant is a nasty substance. Tell me, just exactly where is all that flushed material going, certainly not down the drain or onto the driveway into the street, right? Because there is gonna be a lot of waste material from a system flush.

Running straight water is as unintelligent as using 100% antifreeze. The maximum 70/30 is 70 antifreeze, not water. It's about heat transfer properties. Water boils at 212 deg F, 70/30 at 270 F. It's not rocket science, but it is physics.
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:38 PM   #8
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Yeah, it is a shame that people like you give wrong info to the public. Why would they want you to run 70/30 antifreeze to water in the summer if water is the better coolant? Here, maybe this will help, straight from the Nissan FSM, Click the image to open in full size.
Like I said, antifreeze is only there to prevent freezing and corrosion of the "cooling" path.
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Old 07-11-2004, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big D
Yeah, it is a shame that people like you give wrong info to the public. Why would they want you to run 70/30 antifreeze to water in the summer if water is the better coolant? Here, maybe this will help, straight from the Nissan FSM, Click the image to open in full size.
Like I said, antifreeze is only there to prevent freezing and corrosion of the "cooling" path.
50/50 is very optimum.

Many people seem to believe more is better, be it water or coolant.

You don't have to be a physics major to see applied physics. For example, you need to chip onto the green, which wedge do you use? Pitching, Sand, or Lob? Depending, they can be 46, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 degrees. You don't have to study physics to see why a wedge exceeding 64 degrees isn't even going to work at all.

mix it up
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Old 07-11-2004, 04:38 PM   #10
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I'd still rather use 70/30 for the summer cause of the 90*+ days. How is having a cooler engine worse? The anti-freeze is still there to resist corrosion and stuff. Thanks for the golf lesson Arnold.
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Old 07-11-2004, 04:54 PM   #11
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wow, thank you all for the information.

Will definately check the coolant I have to make sure its quality and flush the system, I dont think its been flushed for a while (just a hunch from the way I got her in, from the bastard who had her before me).

thanks a lot again, lots of wonderful knowledge
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big D
I'd still rather use 70/30 for the summer cause of the 90*+ days. How is having a cooler engine worse? The anti-freeze is still there to resist corrosion and stuff. Thanks for the golf lesson Arnold.
Actually I think you are mistaken on a couple points.

The people who sell antifreeze recommend 50-70%, they caution about going less or more than those thresholds. Anyone who would do >70% would buy more of the product, but would be dissatisfied with the results. If you want to do something that isn't recommended, hopefully there is some rationale behind it. But you shouldn't advise others to do as well.

The cooling system's temperature is regulated by the thermostat--whether you run straight water or 100% antifreeze that temp is not gonna change. You seem to think less antifreeze means the motor runs cooler. Why do you believe that? Cooler is not better either--the motor should run at the temp at which it was designed.

The 50/50 mix boils at around 265 degrees, which is higher than 212. So you get some antiBOIL protection too. I certainly hope that in Mexico and TN Nissan isn't putting a 30 antifreeze / 70 water mixture in their cars, that's silly. Luckily, at least I've never seen it, nobody on this forum has asked how to recharge an air-conditioning system. Can you imagine the crazy responses there would be???? Because once again it's about thermal transfer.
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:30 PM   #13
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Thank you for your lucid comments. It pleases me to see someone refute the infinite wisdom of one Big D who once again has proven that a little knowledge is dangerous! For someone so young, I question how he could have such heartfelt opinions of something he knows so little about. Ruin your own car Big D but don't lead other young, mechanically-challenged owners down the garden path!
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:40 PM   #14
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Thanks murdoch but who asked you? I run 50/50 so not sure how that pertains to me. I just said what was mentioned in the FSM. Go pet a sheep or something. Again I'm not sure when I advised others to use what mixture, I said what I'd use. I know it works according to the thermostat but wouldn't the mixture with more water trigger the stat later or sooner than the mixture with more coolant? I'm still don't understand why Nissan and EVERYONE else says it's OK to use 70/30 but Frank is against it? Hope you didn't get offended by the Arnold Palmer comment.
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Old 07-11-2004, 06:18 PM   #15
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I'll stake my 30+ years of working on and around cars on the 50/50 mix working best. and, besides nobody wants to have to flush twice in a year, just because the second time will be done to correct an earlier mistake. NEVER run just water unless it's an emergency, and then only until you make it to a service shop or home!! (drag racers exempted). yes water is actually a better coolant, but antifreeze potenuates it's cooling ability, as others have stated, raising the bar (boiling point). do it right the first time 50/50, and forget it.
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Old 07-11-2004, 06:34 PM   #16
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So let me make sure I understand: Frank, you're recommending that we not flush ourselves? Just take it to the dealer? I'd be happy doing that as long as they don't charge a ridiculous amount. Anybody know what their Nissan dealer service charges for a radiator flush?
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Old 07-11-2004, 06:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDeezy
I dont think its been flushed for a while (just a hunch from the way I got her in, from the bastard who had her before me).
I don't think my Max's cooling system has been flushed for god knows how long, since my brother didn't tell me any maintenance items done to the car, I may as well have to do this on my next oil change or when I bring the Max in to find out why the SES light is on again
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Old 07-11-2004, 06:52 PM   #18
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Do yourself a favor and don't get your radiator flushed at the stealership. Check around and find a reputable radiator shop that has been in business for some time. In May my local Nissan stealership had a spring special on, C$99.95 plus tax (and likely environmental levies), plus tax (7% on labour and 14.5% on materials where I am from). So I would have gotten out of there for C$110 -120. I found an independent radiator shop who pressure tested the cooling system, flushed and backflushed the cooling system, and replenished the coolant to a 50/50 mixture good to -40C (which happens to be -40F) for C$40 cash (no tax, no environmental levy).
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Old 07-11-2004, 06:53 PM   #19
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Frank, about recharging the A/C. It has been asked quite a few times in the last month or so and every response to that was just to read what it says on the can or some expalined how to do it from reading the can. Would that be the wrong way?
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Old 07-11-2004, 07:02 PM   #20
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What I was getting at Big D was your inane suggestion to use 100% water in the summer! Give your head a shake - that is the bad advice I was alluding to. You said nothing about 50/50 up to that point.
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Old 07-11-2004, 07:10 PM   #21
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I'm getting the impression that trying to flush myself maynot be the best thing to do, rather take it somewhere to have it flushed and refilled 50/50.

I have heard for many years that 50/50 is the optimial mixture.
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Old 07-11-2004, 08:34 PM   #22
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You can flush it yourself. Like I said above. Mix the 50/50 in a milk jug or something.
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:39 PM   #23
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what Big D said. 50/50 premixed in a container.
Add Redline Water Wetter. From Redline's www

"WaterWetter« is a unique wetting agent for cooling systems which reduces coolant temperatures by as much as 30║F. This liquid product can be used to provide rust and corrosion protection in plain water for racing engines, which provides much better heat transfer properties than glycol-based antifreeze. Or it can be added to new or used antifreeze to improve the heat transfer of ethylene and propylene glycol systems. Designed for modern aluminum, cast iron, copper, brass and bronze systems. Compatible with all antifreezes, including the latest long-life variations."

It works.

3 points to make here.
1) H20 to A/F ratio can be varied depending on what your weather is. Here in Houston 70/30 (water/AF) works quite well, especially with Water Wetter. The A/F essentially provides some corrosion protection. It never gets below freezing here long enough to be a concern. The shorter the flush interval the less you need. Most of us do coolant every 2yrs or so. A friend of mine runs pure H20 + Water Wetter in his SCCA club racer. Thats 16 -25 laps of essentially WOT with no boil overs ever. Corrosion protection is irrelavent in a race engine and the "coolant" gets changed every 2-3 race weekends.
2) ALWAYS use Distilled Water. Never use tap water.
Figure it this way. You drain the rad and get 1/2 the coolant out, unless you are brave and very handy and pull the rear manifold to get at the rear block plug. About 4 of the 8 quarts. This means several fills/runs/drains with tap water to fully flush the system. 6 repeats will get you close to pure H2O (98.5%). Then Repeat the whole damn thing with several gallons of distilled H2O to flush the tap water. Then after the final drain add your 100% coolant to the nearly pure distilled H2O left in the system. This will give you roughly 50/50 in the system. Run the car, purge the air in the system then top up with your 50/50, 60/40, 70/30 mix. Dont forget the overflow canister. Be sure to flush it well and half fill it with new mix.
3)Frank Fontaine was worried about the toxic mess we're creating. Beyond the obvious.. No you dont dump it in the driveway for the critters to lick up.. A/F, AND the flush water, needs to be disposed of properly. Here in Houston the folks responsible for Hazardous waste disposal told me "dump it down the toilet". Amazing. I couldnt do that so I stored the 10 gal's or so until they had a Hazmat collection day and dropped it off for them to "dump it down the toilet"!!!
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Old 07-12-2004, 01:35 AM   #24
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wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkl77
what Big D said. 50/50 premixed in a container.
Add Redline Water Wetter. From Redline's www

"WaterWetter« is a unique wetting agent for cooling systems which reduces coolant temperatures by as much as 30║F. This liquid product can be used to provide rust and corrosion protection in plain water for racing engines, which provides much better heat transfer properties than glycol-based antifreeze. Or it can be added to new or used antifreeze to improve the heat transfer of ethylene and propylene glycol systems. Designed for modern aluminum, cast iron, copper, brass and bronze systems. Compatible with all antifreezes, including the latest long-life variations."

It works.

3 points to make here.
1) H20 to A/F ratio can be varied depending on what your weather is. Here in Houston 70/30 (water/AF) works quite well, especially with Water Wetter. The A/F essentially provides some corrosion protection. It never gets below freezing here long enough to be a concern. The shorter the flush interval the less you need. Most of us do coolant every 2yrs or so. A friend of mine runs pure H20 + Water Wetter in his SCCA club racer. Thats 16 -25 laps of essentially WOT with no boil overs ever. Corrosion protection is irrelavent in a race engine and the "coolant" gets changed every 2-3 race weekends.
2) ALWAYS use Distilled Water. Never use tap water.
Figure it this way. You drain the rad and get 1/2 the coolant out, unless you are brave and very handy and pull the rear manifold to get at the rear block plug. About 4 of the 8 quarts. This means several fills/runs/drains with tap water to fully flush the system. 6 repeats will get you close to pure H2O (98.5%). Then Repeat the whole damn thing with several gallons of distilled H2O to flush the tap water. Then after the final drain add your 100% coolant to the nearly pure distilled H2O left in the system. This will give you roughly 50/50 in the system. Run the car, purge the air in the system then top up with your 50/50, 60/40, 70/30 mix. Dont forget the overflow canister. Be sure to flush it well and half fill it with new mix.
3)Frank Fontaine was worried about the toxic mess we're creating. Beyond the obvious.. No you dont dump it in the driveway for the critters to lick up.. A/F, AND the flush water, needs to be disposed of properly. Here in Houston the folks responsible for Hazardous waste disposal told me "dump it down the toilet". Amazing. I couldnt do that so I stored the 10 gal's or so until they had a Hazmat collection day and dropped it off for them to "dump it down the toilet"!!!


thank you, I get what your saying also didnt know about tap water, I surely would have used tap water, but I have a gallon jug laying around and can fill it up with distilled for a quarter at the grocery. thanks for the info guys will use it wisely and get my system flushed and the right mixture in.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:31 AM   #25
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Late to the party, - but doesn't anti-freeze also provide some lubrication to the water-pump etc... or maybe I should just keep my mouth shut since I'm not sure
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:50 AM   #26
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For the insignificant amount a radiator flush costs, I think I would prefer to take it to a competent radiator shop and get it done properly, which includes backflushing the system and pressure testing the system. Has anyone ever watched a radiator shop properly flush the system?
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Old 07-12-2004, 01:48 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmurdoch
For the insignificant amount a radiator flush costs, I think I would prefer to take it to a competent radiator shop and get it done properly, which includes backflushing the system and pressure testing the system. Has anyone ever watched a radiator shop properly flush the system?
Yeah, those things have like 125 psi in and cost 2-3 grand. Again, I can't imagine anyone having one at home. Doesn't matter how rich you are, would be very hard to justify 3 grand on a machine you'd use once every 50 to 150 thousand miles. Flushing is flushing, and eventually you may or may not get the same job done with a garden hose, but again, where are all those gallons of waste going? It's different than motor oil where you are simply draining, not flushing. I mean it's all over the Philly news how some NJ chick poisoned her bro'in law by making a fruit drink with antifreeze in the blender, the drink killed him--it's such a nasty substance.
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Old 07-12-2004, 02:14 PM   #28
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125psi???
That would be a very good reason NOT to use their service. Cooling systems are designed to run at around 15psi. I would think 125psi could or would cause harm to every gasket, seal, and hose in the system.
I agree with you Frank that the A/F waste is really nasty stuff. Disposing of it properly is essential. Where do the Rad shops dispose of it? I'm sure the rules will vary from state to state.

The Federal EPA antifreeze page..
http://www.epa.gov/garbage/antifree.htm
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Old 07-12-2004, 02:23 PM   #29
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I have coupons from nissan. It says on them prices subject to change after 6/30/04 so they are either expired or some might still accept them. $60 gets you a flush of the RAD, cooling system check, and a 15 inspection of something. Worth a try.
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Old 07-12-2004, 03:18 PM   #30
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http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/502
http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=278600
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:42 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaTaN
BINGO. As the website states, the front and rear plugs are difficult to access (remove the Y-pipe to get at them??????????), so not doing that leaves 2/7 liters of old coolant in the system. I suppose one can get by like that, but would you leave 2/7 = 28.6% dirty engine oil in the motor when doing an oil change? Probably not. That's why you need suction and reverse flushing to completely do the flush--unless you undo the plugs. $40-$60 it's done right, you don't touch the nasty fluid, and have time to golf or work on the house. Or spend $3000 on a coolant flushing machine and go into the radiator business.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:55 PM   #32
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I agree 100% with you. But what would the inimitable Big D (does that stand for d#rk?) have to say about a reasonable suggestion like this? As I have said all along, take the car to a rad shop and get the job done properly. It doesn't cost very much and is only done every two years or so.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Fontaine
BINGO. As the website states, the front and rear plugs are difficult to access (remove the Y-pipe to get at them??????????), so not doing that leaves 2/7 liters of old coolant in the system. I suppose one can get by like that, but would you leave 2/7 = 28.6% dirty engine oil in the motor when doing an oil change? Probably not. That's why you need suction and reverse flushing to completely do the flush--unless you undo the plugs. $40-$60 it's done right, you don't touch the nasty fluid, and have time to golf or work on the house. Or spend $3000 on a coolant flushing machine and go into the radiator business.
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Old 07-12-2004, 06:36 PM   #33
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Would you idiots stop already? Murdoch and the ghey gang is after me. Like stated above, if you keep just adding water, running the engine, and repeating you'll get rid of 98.whatever % of all the water. If you're as terrible with cars as murdork ,can't tell a difference between a wrench and your *** crack or like spending $$$ get it to a shop. It's your car and it's your money. If another one of you numb nuts asks what D stands for I think I'll go mental. Idiots. Thanks for the help Frank.
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Old 07-12-2004, 07:13 PM   #34
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Old 07-13-2004, 05:53 AM   #35
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Holy - big D is taking a bashing! Does it stand for D.... just kidding .

If those values that BigD posted came from the FSM, then those are the ranges that should be used in 4th gen maximas in my opinion. It's true that water transfers heat better than antifreeze, but antifreeze does raise its boiling point, lowers the freezing point and contains some useful anti-corrosion additives.

But how can you make a solid argument about the ratio if you don't know the required internal engine temperature, the flowrate of coolant, the size of the radiator, the heat transfer efficiency both of the radiator and of the engine block and the properties of the antifreeze?

You can't (not easily anyway), so better trust that Nissan have done their calculations right. Not many engine failures in the VQ are there ? So if you don't have mild winters use 50/50. If you do, it looks like you'll get away with 30/70 coolant/water. Nissan techs will be doing the same.
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Old 07-13-2004, 05:53 AM
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