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Auto Antifreeze

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Wooden Head, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    I have a 2006 Malibu with a 3.5 engine. Trying to change the antifreeze. Drained the old, filled the expansion tank with water for a flush. Ran the motor, but no heat from the heater. Drained the water. Installed the new antifreeze. Still no heat from the heater. If I let the motor run long enough the temp gauge climbs to hot. I know that I probably have an air bubble in the system. Have tried higher RPM still no heat. The engine will get to temp and the fans will kick on, but no heat. Hoses are not getting warm. Everything worked fine before drain and fill.

    Any Ideas?

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  2. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Is there a vent on top of the t/stat housing?

    Gary
  3. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    If it ain't broke don't fix it. try tapping on the thermostat housing it may be stuck.
  4. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    GM engines usually have a bleeder somewhere, you crack it open and let it idle till it quits blowing air/steam.
  5. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

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    Put the front end on ramps, run the car with the air vent / cap off.

    Likewise do it with the rear end up if that doesn't help.

    Good luck!
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    This is exaclty the reason I vacuum fill every cooling system I touch these days.

    Sorry I don't have any specific advise for you, the advice given to bleed the system is good. Try starting a conversation with Amateur Cutter, I believe he owns an auto shop.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  7. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    some engines require a certain procedure to fill to avoid air pockets..............
  8. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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  9. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    Tried that. Might try again.
  10. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    What is vacuum filling? How is it done?

    Thanks
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This was the case with my Ranger. I discovered that there was an air bubble up at the heater (after replacing the thermostat twice). Bled that trapped air out and all was well.

    Can we assume that the heater was working fine before you changed the antifreeze?
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    It's done with a special tool that uses shop air to pull a vacuum in the entire cooling system. Pause for a leak check, then open a valve to allow the coolant to be sucked back into the cooling system. Since the air was removed from the system, when you re-fill, coolant rushes in to fill every part of the system with no airlock.

    I've seen tools to do it for well under $100 but here's one similar to mine.

    http://www.tooltopia.com/uview-550000.aspx


    [​IMG]
  13. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    I have always been a fan of squeezing the lower and upper radiator hoses when filling it to burp any air out. Only car I ever had that gave me a problem was a Lumina with the 3.1 Try to find the highest spot in the system if there is air causing the problem it will probably be there!

    Gary
  14. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    Yes, the heater was working fine. The only reason for the change was the antifreeze had been in there for 94K+ miles.

    Oh, Don't get me started on Rangers and antifreeze systems.

    Found the answer to problem. Will post later.
  15. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to explain this to me. I've found the answer and will post later, along with my trip to many auto parts stores that seemed more like the Land of OZ .
  16. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    I tried that ,also. Didn't work for me.
  17. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    Well, after trying all the possible solutions I was given and none worked for me, I got in the truck and drove the 25 miles to the nearest auto parts store (need a part that I broke reaching into the engine bay to feel the temp of a hose). Stop 1 was an Autozone store. Showed the guy at the counter the broken part and gave him the yr.,make and engine. He ask a co-worker what it was and then started tapping on his keyboard. he them asked another person why he couldn't find it. They explained that you had to spell purge, pur not per. I was surprised when he said they had the part in stock. I told him I'd take one. After a 20 min. search he came back with the part. While he was looking I asked another counter guy about the antifreeze problem. He told me I needed a test kit. I asked how a test kit was going to fix an air bubble in the system? He looked at me wit the old deer in the headlights look and saying to himself "They never told me a customer would ask a second question". He then asked the Senior guy behind the counter. His response was " Can't be done". I paid for my part and headed for the NAPA store 10 miles down the road. After describing the problem, after describing the problem to the counter guy, he thought there had to be a bleed valve somewhere in the system. He looked thru the resources he had, but couldn't find anything. He gave me a card of a shop about a mile from there and said they should be able to help. Headed over to this shop and described to the girl in the office what my problem was. She then went back to the shop and came back with one of the Techs. He asked me a few questions and then went over to a computer, slipped in a disc and brought up a picture of the bleed valve for my car, He printed me a copy and explained the procedure. I asked how much I owed him and said not a cent. He gave me a card and said if I had any problem with it, give him a call. I thanked him and headed home. His solution worked ask described. We have Heat.

    Thank you Guys for your help.
  18. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Heater core will fill up last and empty first. If your hitting the hot zone then the system is hot full. Pour your anti-freeze in with the defrost wide open and blowing on high.
  19. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    Another trick that I have learned is to loosen the clamp and slide a 90* pick between the hose & fitting of the heater hose, this will also bleed the air.
    heat seeker likes this.
  20. higginscl

    higginscl Member

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    I see you have fixed it but a suggestion would be next time or on another vehicle would be to leave the cap off of the expansion (newer GM vehicles call them a surge tank) and fill slowly untill the level doesnt go down any more. Then start the car with the heater on high and let it warm up to temp. Sometimes i have to squeeze the upper radiator hose to force the air bubbles out. Once its warmed up if you still dont have heat rev the engine to about 1500 to 2000 rpm and hold there till the heat starts to come out. Check the level in the surge tank and top off if needed. This method works with or without opening the bleeder valve.
  21. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I have seen where someone drilled a small hole near the edge of the heater core outlet pipe. He then slid that hose off until the hole was exposed, letting the air out. Pushing the hose all the way onto the pipe covered the hole. Using the pick is a bit simpler, though.
  22. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    Well I tried that first and didn't work for me.

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