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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought my R about 6 months ago, and just within the last month I have been needing to top off my coolant quite a bit (using distilled water). I noticed the overflow tank is so dark you almost can't see through it. So just because, I bought a new tank, and 2 jugs of the OEM blue Volvo coolant. I don't want to keep on just topping it off because I know it will just start to need it more often.. I thinkk the coolant in the car now is a light greenish and needs to be changed soon.

I have done some reading here on this but still have these questions.


1.How thorough of a flush/change do I need to do for the new and different color OEM coolant? As in is it safe for some of the old and new fluids to mix or will there be some sort of bad reaction I don't want?

2. Is this job possible on the ground without a jack even? I do have a jack but would lifting the front end only for clearance issues cause less fluid than normal to drain?

3. Would running a gallon or 2 of distilled water through the tank and out the radiator be enough to flush enough of the old coolant out?

Reason I'm asking is I don't really have access to a lift to get to the engine plug or any time during the day to take it to a shop.
 

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If you can just jack the car up you can get to the block drain, it's not that bad. It's basically right behind the water pump above the passenger side axle. I've never tried to access it with an angle gear so someone with AWD can correct me if it's somehow harder than that.

An easy but tedious way to flush like you're asking is to drain as much as you can and then fill with clean water, drive to mix, and then repeat. If you started with 50/50 and assume you're draining half the system, then the first time you do that you're at 1/4 antifreeze, then 1/8 the second time, then 1/16 and finally 1/32. You can keep going as long as you want but after 4 times you're at less than 3 percent antifreeze, two more and it'll be 1.5% and finally under 1%.

Once you have a nice low percentage of old antifreeze, drain a gallon and add a gallon of blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you can just jack the car up you can get to the block drain, it's not that bad. It's basically right behind the water pump above the passenger side axle. I've never tried to access it with an angle gear so someone with AWD can correct me if it's somehow harder than that.

An easy but tedious way to flush like you're asking is to drain as much as you can and then fill with clean water, drive to mix, and then repeat. If you started with 50/50 and assume you're draining half the system, then the first time you do that you're at 1/4 antifreeze, then 1/8 the second time, then 1/16 and finally 1/32. You can keep going as long as you want but after 4 times you're at less than 3 percent antifreeze, two more and it'll be 1.5% and finally under 1%.

Once you have a nice low percentage of old antifreeze, drain a gallon and add a gallon of blue.
Cool, that makes sense. So after about maybe 4 drain and fills with just distilled water it should be good to go? That SHOULD be easy enough. Thanks for the reply! I will attempt later today hopefully and see how it goes.

how bad is mixing the different color coolants though really? Even if I only used water once or twice would I still be ok?
 

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I can't figure out how the green stuff ever got in my car. It was only ever serviced by Volvo dealers or myself (except one time an Indy took care of a leaky angle gear). Swapped back to the blue stuff a few months ago as well.
 

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I think the coolant in the car now is a light greenish and needs to be changed soon.

No it should be all blue. No Greeninsh tint. This means that green glycol was added to the OE coolant at some point

1.How thorough of a flush/change do I need to do for the new and different color OEM coolant? As in is it safe for some of the old and new fluids to mix or will there be some sort of bad reaction I don't want?

Very thorough. It may take a while

2. Is this job possible on the ground without a jack even? I do have a jack but would lifting the front end only for clearance issues cause less fluid than normal to drain?

YES. Lifting frm front subframe w/ jack + 2x4 might work if youre ok with bending the subframe a bit.

3. Would running a gallon or 2 of distilled water through the tank and out the radiator be enough to flush enough of the old coolant out?

NO. Remove thermostat then hose and flush for hours.
.
http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/electrolysis.htm
^good read!

http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/VoltageDrop/flush.htm
^analysis of flush methods ... damn
 

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I followed this exactly, except I only used distilled water to flush the system the whole time. It's CHEAP, why not?


I liked this process instead of guessing how diluted your coolant mix is. So at the end you will see on the last gallon of distilled water, you just allow as much to continue draining. Then close the petcock back up and fill the expansion tank with exactly half of the system capacity. Then watch it after a few drives and make sure to top off with distilled water until you are right at the max line. This method you know there's exactly half in there, no guess-work.

First time took me about an hour but now that I've done it once, I think I could easily do it again in 30 minutes, including prep and all.

My PO had the green sh*t in there and it took about 6 gallons of distilled water before it started running perfectly clear.
 

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Just to be on the safe side, during my break in procedure I'm going to run the heater a bit to mix out everything that is in there and then when I change the oil after the break in period I will drain and fill the coolant system one more time. Heater system keeps a bit of water trapped in the system if its not used so if you are flossing make sure to use it.
 
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