Author Topic: Car maintenance question - coolant  (Read 581 times)

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1317
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Car maintenance question - coolant
« on: January 23, 2019, 11:52:19 AM »
So I'm a marginally mechanically inclined individual.  I used to change my own oil when you could do that, and I've replaced brakes a few times.  My Sonata is approaching 90K miles and when I went to schedule at the dealer for the oil change I always look at the recommended maintenance.  I saw they recommend a coolant flush every 30K miles after 60K.  I am up in the frigid north, so certainly do not want any issues but I also am not so familiar with car maintenance that I know how needed this really is.  Transmission and coolant flushes are money making endeavors for the quick stop oil change places and they recommend them far too often so thinking even the dealer may press the schedule more than mechanically necessary. 

For those gear heads out there your input would be appreciated.

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 05:58:34 PM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.

Roots&Wings

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1007
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2019, 06:05:51 AM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.

Yes indeed. I stupidly didn't know that coolant was part of timing belt replacement, and ended up paying for it again within a 2 month span.

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 07:55:25 AM »

Yes indeed. I stupidly didn't know that coolant was part of timing belt replacement, and ended up paying for it again within a 2 month span.
You weren't stupid.  You were conned into a rip-off.

SnipTheDog

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2019, 08:45:00 AM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.

You can still change your own oil/fluids with one of these:  Mityvac 7201 Fluid Evacuator Plus (https://www.amazon.com/Mityvac-7201-Fluid-Evacuator-Plus/dp/B0002SR7TC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1548344429&sr=8-4&keywords=fluid+extractor+automotive).  Make sure you can dispose of the oil properly before buying it.

If you feel comfortable going to the dealer, then good for you.  I use an independent guy that I trust 100x more than the dealer for fixing the car right the first time.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1317
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2019, 09:24:22 AM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.
2015 Sonata (Limited if that matters)

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1317
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2019, 09:26:28 AM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.

You can still change your own oil/fluids with one of these:  Mityvac 7201 Fluid Evacuator Plus (https://www.amazon.com/Mityvac-7201-Fluid-Evacuator-Plus/dp/B0002SR7TC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1548344429&sr=8-4&keywords=fluid+extractor+automotive).  Make sure you can dispose of the oil properly before buying it.

If you feel comfortable going to the dealer, then good for you.  I use an independent guy that I trust 100x more than the dealer for fixing the car right the first time.
We actually have a very responsive a reasonably priced dealership.  I have had the opposite issue here where the independent guys end up causing more issues.  I tried doing brakes and an independent and had issues with them about six months later.  If I could find a solid independent I'd be there in a heart beat, but only one or two in the area, everything else are large national chains like Midas and NTB.

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 06:48:40 PM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.
2015 Sonata (Limited if that matters)
Hyundai does NOT call for a coolant (or trans) flush.  It also doesn't call for the timing belt to be replaced (it must have a timing chain).  https://www.hyundaiusa.com/maintenance-schedule/index.aspx

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8244
  • Registered member
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2019, 07:11:49 PM »
There are some supposed ways to determine if you need a flush.  Note that modern systems are pretty self contained so if you have to frequently add more coolant you've got bigger problems going on.  The coolant chemistry is also really good these days... expensive but good.  I spring for the real OEM stuff or similar (I've used Honda coolant in a Subaru but they are both aluminum blocks, etc.)  Too many horror stories about the Autozone cheapo stuff. 

One thing I read is to use a voltmeter to check the charge difference between the coolant and the negative battery terminal (https://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/car-maintenance/coolant-testing-with-a-multimeter/view-all/)  Supposedly a reading under .4v means your coolant is ok as far as corrosion.  Over .4v and you've got some galvanic problems forming.

A drain and fill is pretty simple on most cars.  My honda has a drain plug in the radiator and you can just refill.  If you want to get more serious, you can remove the lower hose at either the radiator or the water pump... depends on how it's set up but I'm sure there's a youtube video for a sonata. 

I'm no car expert, but a flush sounds like way too much work.  Most engines you're never going to get it all out anyways.  That's why most manufacturers have a very long interval on the first change (say 100k) then the next change is half the time (say 50k).  That's because you never get it all out and it's not really worth trying anyways.  Just start drain/filling more often given how easy it is.  Draining the radiator gets like 75% out. 

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8244
  • Registered member
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2019, 07:14:09 PM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.
2015 Sonata (Limited if that matters)
Hyundai does NOT call for a coolant (or trans) flush.  It also doesn't call for the timing belt to be replaced (it must have a timing chain).  https://www.hyundaiusa.com/maintenance-schedule/index.aspx

Not sure what you are talking about.  That site says replace coolant at 60k, then every 30k thereafter

less4success

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 262
  • Location: Just moved
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2019, 10:27:22 PM »
I used to change my own oil when you could do that

What changed to make DIY oil changes no longer possible/simple?

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2019, 09:06:04 PM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.
2015 Sonata (Limited if that matters)
Hyundai does NOT call for a coolant (or trans) flush.  It also doesn't call for the timing belt to be replaced (it must have a timing chain).  https://www.hyundaiusa.com/maintenance-schedule/index.aspx

Not sure what you are talking about.  That site says replace coolant at 60k, then every 30k thereafter
Flush and replace are two totally different things.
so... duh

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8244
  • Registered member
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2019, 11:17:12 PM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.
2015 Sonata (Limited if that matters)
Hyundai does NOT call for a coolant (or trans) flush.  It also doesn't call for the timing belt to be replaced (it must have a timing chain).  https://www.hyundaiusa.com/maintenance-schedule/index.aspx

Not sure what you are talking about.  That site says replace coolant at 60k, then every 30k thereafter
Flush and replace are two totally different things.
so... duh

Although they aren’t the same thing, it’s not very helpful to merely state the website doesn’t say flush without also mentioning the replacement interval.   Replacement can, however, be accomplished via flush, and AFAIK is the only way to completely replace the fluid.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1317
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2019, 01:08:38 PM »
Need to know the year of your Sonata to look up the recommended maintenance schedule and to see if your engine has a timing belt that NEEDS to be changed.
Changing the timing belt is a no-brainer to include change water pump and coolant.
2015 Sonata (Limited if that matters)
Hyundai does NOT call for a coolant (or trans) flush.  It also doesn't call for the timing belt to be replaced (it must have a timing chain).  https://www.hyundaiusa.com/maintenance-schedule/index.aspx
Just asking cause maybe I'm looking at it wrong, but on that site there is a Replace Coolant that is checked at 90K.  I had to scroll down the list to see it, but it seems to be there (and every 30K as it shows on their service site, so next at 120K).  Just making sure I'm not misreading?


caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1317
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2019, 01:10:39 PM »
I just read the rest of the posts and see the "flush vs. replace" discussion.  I also was not aware of any other way to replace the coolant without flushing out the old.  As I said, I'm not that auto mechanically inclined so I need some education.

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2019, 06:51:35 PM »
from https://repairpal.com/coolant-drain-vs-flush

The traditional coolant replacement process is also known as “drain and fill.”  This involves simply draining the coolant at the bottom of the radiator, then topping up the radiator with fresh fluid until it it’s full. It’s quick and easy, and while it doesn’t remove all of the old coolant from your system, it is often all that’s necessary to keep your cooling system healthy.
The coolant flushing process is more complicated, and will likely be more expensive than a drain and fill.
A flush differs in the following ways:
It uses a chemical cooling system cleaner and conditioner
It uses high pressure to “power clean” your entire cooling system
It removes old coolant, dirt, rust and other deposits
Instead of letting gravity do the work, flushing uses water pressure to blast any accumulated bad stuff out of the cooling system’s passageways. Both the radiator and the engine block are cleaned out. The final step is to add new replacement coolant.

I'm not aware of any current car that has flushing in it's maintenance schedule.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1317
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Car maintenance question - coolant
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2019, 01:12:26 PM »
This is what my dealer service said.  Maybe it does not mean flush and I created a problem by inserting that word, not understanding it carried a meaning deeper than I understood.

Replace coolant - replace at 60,000 miles (96,000 km) or 60 months. After, replace every 30,000 (48,000 km) or 24 months.