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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've ran into a dilemma. The Honda insight service manual tells you to remove the drain bolt on the back of the engine block. But that sucker is really in there. It feels seized up. And I can feel a small gap ( hopefully the previous owner didn't cross thread it ) .

Should I man handle that bolt in order to get it out or just throw in the towel and go through the normal engine coolant replacement process without that drain bolt being removed

I also have a torque wrench to torque it down to the proper amount.
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If you're doing that take this opportunity to install a block heater. They really help with MPG if you plug in before you drive. It doesn't need to be freezing out to see an improvement. I live in a "humid subtropical" climate (Atlanta) and I still use it for over half the year.

If you absolutely gotta get the coolant done ASAP you can do it without removing that plug. I've never removed that to drain coolant.
 

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Recently found myself at the same crossroads. According to the FSM it is supposed to have sealant applied to the threads prior to being torqued, so between that and maybe some corrosion it's a struggle. I had a 18" breaker bar on it, and then another 24" of cheater bar on top of that and it wasn't budging. The next step would have been this comically huge 3/4" drive ratchet that i've used for some really tough crank pulley bolts on other cars...but I decided to just leave it alone. Prior to my ownership, someone else had already chewed up the 1/2" drive on that plug and I just wasn't sure the juice was gonna be worth the squeeze here.

I was keen on doing it because I was switching the car from whatever generic green glycol back over to Honda Type II, but even with that plug out you're not getting 100% of it, still have to worry about residual (albeit minimal) old coolant in various places. So I just let it drain overnight and if I need to change the coolant again in 50k, no biggee.
 

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I agree with Natalia, I have two block heaters (one on the radiator hose, one engine block, total 800w) and in 30 minutes at 60 degrees or an hour near 40, it's up to temp in 2-3 minutes, which is when I pull out of my subdivision. Really helps with cold start wear and mileage for short trips.

If you're just replacing the coolant with the same color, it's not worth the bother. It's tight because it's a 22mm thread that's sat for 20 years. I used a 30in breaker to get mine off. Once the threads broke loose, it came off nicely.

I went from green to red so flushed it maybe twice to clear it all out. Probably the heater core was the hardest to flush without unplugging it but otherwise, it flushed and filled pretty easy even without the funnel out the vent hole on the upper coolant passage. Had the car parked on an incline, so the rad fill was level with the vent and just kept adding coolant until it came out the coolant passage vent.

Watch your temps through an obd scanner while driving just to be sure. Supposedly these engines are hard to fill without trapping air.
 

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I was keen on doing it because I was switching the car from whatever generic green glycol back over to Honda Type II, but even with that plug out you're not getting 100% of it, still have to worry about residual (albeit minimal) old coolant in various places.
+1. I would not mess with that bolt. If you are really worried about residual coolant, you can flush it with water before filling up with new coolant. That way, whatever residue will be there it will be just water.
1. Drain coolant
2. Disconnect top radiator hose, i.e. the inlet
3. Fill radiator with water, it can be plain water from a garden hose
4. Prepare to catch the fluid coming out of the disconnected inlet hose.
5. Start the engine and flush the system adding fresh water to the radiator as you go along.
6. Once there is just water coming out of the disconnected hose, stop the engine, let it cool off and drain the water.
7. Fill the radiator with new coolant.
8. Reconnect the inlet hose, start the engine check for leaks and call it a day.
9. If you are really picky :) do not reconnect the inlet hose but flush out the water until clean coolant comes out of the disconnected inlet hose. Then reconnect, check for leaks and be done with it.
 

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Another option if you really want to get all the coolant out is a coolant evacuator that uses compressed air to create vacuum to suck all the coolant out. I do this when the engine is running, yet cold. Once the thermostat starts to open or the temp begins to increase I shut it down. Or, using the same tool, I relieve the vacuum on the tool, and the engine literally sucks in new coolant.

 

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AFAIK, most coolants are compatable with each other now days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone with the replies. love this community. Changed the coolant and did the burp process. Sadly Just saw some of the comments today so didn't remove the hose inlet. I'm sure it'll be fine because the coolant was the same color as the Honda type 2 coolant

Again Thanks everyone!!!!

Wish you all well
 

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^^ Truth! Gotta be careful with the Red Long Life Toyota stuff too.


Another option if you really want to get all the coolant out is a coolant evacuator that uses compressed air to create vacuum to suck all the coolant out. I do this when the engine is running, yet cold. Once the thermostat starts to open or the temp begins to increase I shut it down. Or, using the same tool, I relieve the vacuum on the tool, and the engine literally sucks in new coolant.
Those are super cool. Definitely on my shop wish list.
 

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Depends on the tech. Blue and red iirc are both HOAT (Hybrid organic acid tech) but red is a 5 year and blue is 2 year. Mixing them means you'll need to change it in two years.

Other cars like the BMW I have use a teal coolant that's OAT but sulfate free. Basically, do your research before changing coolants. It's like running unleaded in a leaded car. It'll run, but the gaskets go bad. And vice versa, the O2 and cat get poisoned.
 

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suck all the coolant out. I do this when the engine is running
Thank you very much @Tekuno Ichigo for pointing out this tool! I had no idea it existed!!!!

This looks like it could be a useful tool. It raises some questions in my mind. I think from your other posts you are skilled mechanic so perhaps you can help me out.

I think you mean "suck all the air out"? (if so, you may want to edit your post for future readers.) I watched the video. The tool creates a deep vacuum. In the video, very little coolant came out during the evacuation. Coolant is then sucked in by the negative relative pressure of the vacuum until the pressure inside and outside the block equalizes.

If there is an exhausting of fluid during depressurization will it not remove fluid below the level at which the tool is attached? Then if the engine is running, is there a risk of the cylinder head, at the high point in the system, losing enough coolant that it can possibly overheat locally? I probably fear that running the engine could lead to violent overheating from cooling boiling in the head. (The burping of a car that had a lot of air in the block because of a failure of the coolant capture tank tube and would overheat very quickly after engine start caused quite energetic expulsion of air and coolant early in the process using the burp method.) I'm confused about the merits of running the engine during the process?

I can imagine ways to get more coolant out using air but I hesitate to speculate about them because they may damage the systemif not done correctly.

The vacuum source may not be deep enough to remove all air. The video author admits this saying "you may have to top off the radiator" at the end. This to me is a message that this is a great tool for reducing the amount of time it takes to burp the engine and would avoid the violent burping I experienced by pre-filling the engine with as much coolant as possible. Until I have used this tool I can't say whether there is enough air remaining end of the process that a final burp is not necessary? It probably depends on the depth the vacuum system can take the vacuum. I can imagine that if there is any leak in the system, this will be less effective. I wonder how safe it would be to pull a deep vacuum on an old system. Will seals hold? The head gasket? (one thinks it should...) What else might collapse at -14 PSI? Maybe it is a good way to find weak components in the system? (LOL) Will the crushed old tubing cause failures? Should one plan to replace 20 year old radiator hoses at the same time?

It sounds like the tool may not be necessary if you have the patience and skill to do a proper burping? Or can it potentially remove more air?

I really like the idea of flushing with distilled water. I wonder if there is another way to release coolant other than remove the big seized plug. The only issue I can think of is that the Honda coolant comes premixed to 50%, so any distilled water remaining is going to dilute the coolant further.
 

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Removing that plug drains less than half a quart after you have drained the radiator, so it's not totally necessary to remove if you are doing numerous drain cycles, but I think it helps if you put a garden hose into the radiator opening to speed flushing.

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The vacuum tool works great and it's used with the engine off.
 

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Thank you very much @Tekuno Ichigo for pointing out this tool! I had no idea it existed!!!!

This looks like it could be a useful tool. It raises some questions in my mind. I think from your other posts you are skilled mechanic so perhaps you can help me out.

I think you mean "suck all the air out"? (if so, you may want to edit your post for future readers.) I watched the video. The tool creates a deep vacuum. In the video, very little coolant came out during the evacuation. Coolant is then sucked in by the negative relative pressure of the vacuum until the pressure inside and outside the block equalizes.

If there is an exhausting of fluid during depressurization will it not remove fluid below the level at which the tool is attached? Then if the engine is running, is there a risk of the cylinder head, at the high point in the system, losing enough coolant that it can possibly overheat locally? I probably fear that running the engine could lead to violent overheating from cooling boiling in the head. (The burping of a car that had a lot of air in the block because of a failure of the coolant capture tank tube and would overheat very quickly after engine start caused quite energetic expulsion of air and coolant early in the process using the burp method.) I'm confused about the merits of running the engine during the process?

I can imagine ways to get more coolant out using air but I hesitate to speculate about them because they may damage the systemif not done correctly.

The vacuum source may not be deep enough to remove all air. The video author admits this saying "you may have to top off the radiator" at the end. This to me is a message that this is a great tool for reducing the amount of time it takes to burp the engine and would avoid the violent burping I experienced by pre-filling the engine with as much coolant as possible. Until I have used this tool I can't say whether there is enough air remaining end of the process that a final burp is not necessary? It probably depends on the depth the vacuum system can take the vacuum. I can imagine that if there is any leak in the system, this will be less effective. I wonder how safe it would be to pull a deep vacuum on an old system. Will seals hold? The head gasket? (one thinks it should...) What else might collapse at -14 PSI? Maybe it is a good way to find weak components in the system? (LOL) Will the crushed old tubing cause failures? Should one plan to replace 20 year old radiator hoses at the same time?

It sounds like the tool may not be necessary if you have the patience and skill to do a proper burping? Or can it potentially remove more air?

I really like the idea of flushing with distilled water. I wonder if there is another way to release coolant other than remove the big seized plug. The only issue I can think of is that the Honda coolant comes premixed to 50%, so any distilled water remaining is going to dilute the coolant further.
No problem. I recommend for people first getting acclimated with the tool to just use it to suck out any existing air from the cooling system with the engine off. You CAN evacuate the coolant and air with the engine running from a cold start if you wanted to, and then once the temp begins to increase (typically the thermostat starts to open), flip the lever on the tool so new coolant can be forced back into the engine from the vacuum you created in the system. If it doesn't hold vacuum, you have a leak in the cooling system somewhere you need to check before committing to refilling. Unless everything your car is rotting away I don't see full vacuum being an issue.

We did this often at the dealership (particularly at BMW and Honda), especially on engines that were notoriously difficult to burp at times (aka Honda Preludes, Pilots, and all the BMW Inline-6s). I would have the evacuating hose in one bucket to recover all the old coolant, and then another clean bucket with all the clean coolant I needed to return into the cooling system.

Not sure how our engines localize heat in certain areas. I've done this on my car once without issue and I did have to top it off after a test drive (just up to the neck on the radiator). I've done the traditional method of burping it at the small coolant tube between the cylinder head and airbox as well, but it takes quite a bit of time to burp everything out. I think next time I replace my coolant I'll try attaching the evacuating hose directly to that coolant tube and see how that works out.
 

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For what it's worth, I do not bother to do full cooling system flushes and fills anymore. Basically, each year I just do three partial changes on three consecutive oil changes with Walmart Super Tech 5 year/150,000 mile antifreeze and call it good. The 150,000 miles covers what I run in a year with 50,000 miles or so to spare, so I'm in no danger of exhausting the additive package, plus I save a ton of time not having to bleed trapped air out of the cooling system; just clamp off the upper and lower radiator hoses with hose clamp pliers, drain the radiator and coolant expansion tank, then refill, remove clamps, and you're done.
 

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For what it's worth, I do not bother to do full cooling system flushes and fills anymore. Basically, each year I just do three partial changes on three consecutive oil changes with Walmart Super Tech 5 year/150,000 mile antifreeze and call it good. The 150,000 miles covers what I run in a year with 50,000 miles or so to spare, so I'm in no danger of exhausting the additive package, plus I save a ton of time not having to bleed trapped air out of the cooling system; just clamp off the upper and lower radiator hoses with hose clamp pliers, drain the radiator and coolant expansion tank, then refill, remove clamps, and you're done.
Don't see how doing 3 partial changes each year saves time vs. doing one major flush and change that is good for 10 years or 120,000 miles using the correct antifreeze for the car. Bleeding air isn't difficult. Doing 30 quickie changes is still going to take longer and you will still have some of the old fluid mixed with the new compared to doing a complete flush and have 100% fresh antifreeze.
 

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@Tekuno Ichigo
Thank you very much for the additional information. I'm still confused:
You CAN evacuate the coolant and air with the engine running from a cold start if you wanted to, and then once the temp begins to increase
Here is where I am confused. I am unable to see how the vacuum can remove any liquid at a level below that of the radiator cap, where the device attaches. I can see some coolant escaping as air pockets in the head expand as the pressure drops. But elsewhere the coolant is incompressible so I think it will just sit there in the engine. What am I missing?

Also, if coolant is removed from the block, hot spots would develop very quickly and potentially cause Bad Things. I would be concerned especially about the cylinder head, since that will empty first?

I would also be concerned about the coolant temperature sensor not being covered with coolant and the thermal mass of the outer block preventing it from sensing steam in the block and even hotter internal surfaces?

How is it possible that this tool completely drains the coolant below the level it can reach at the coolant cap, and doesn't subject the engine to damage by running without adequate cooling?

Thanks!

Sean
 

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Here is where I am confused. I am unable to see how the vacuum can remove any liquid at a level below that of the radiator cap, where the device attaches.
This tool isn't for removing coolant, it's for removing air. You use it after having drained out the coolant. In the first 10 seconds of the video the guy says, Get all that air bled out of the system.
 
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