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Old 12-29-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Default Coolant Change

I tried to change the coolant on my civic yesterday and it ended up being more tricky than I thought it would:

1) Is there such thing as green Honda Type 2 coolant? I've owned the car since new and have never changed out the stock fluid until now. The fluid looked green when it came out, but the new Type 2 coolant is blue. The hood also said to put Type 2 coolant into the car so I assume stock should have been Type 2 long life coolant?

2) HowTF do people get the coolant drain bolt off? I had my car on a hoist and couldn't get the bolt off even w/ an 18" breaker bar. The thing is supposed to be tightened to 58ft lb. I was sure i put over 100ft lb on it, but the thing still wouldn't crack open.

3) What's the easiest way to drain the reserve tank? i saw a 100mm bolt holding the tank but there's no room to pull the tank out. Am I supposed to pull the battery to get the tank out?

4) How do I bleed air out of the system? I couldn't find a bleeder screw (does this car not have one?). I ended up Idling the car for a long time + topped off the fluid in the rad until the level stopped dropping. It was a very slow process. Is there no better way to do this?


anyways, i ended up only changing the fluid in the radiator (around 3 liters). since my old fluid still hasn't reached the honda change interval, it should be ok to leave everything as it is then do another drain+refill 2 yrs from now?

Last edited by theineffable; 12-29-2009 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Coolant Change

1)http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread...t=type+coolant
They said it doesn't matter. But since you already did the work, nothing left to worry about.

4) http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread...ght=bleed+bolt
According to that there isn't a bleed bolt.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Coolant Change

1) That's the old formula. The new stuff is blue and I personally wouldn't use anything other than Honda coolant. Others might use something different.

2) The repeated hot/cold cycles may have caused it to cease. It should still come out, though.

3) Turkey baster. But if you remove the two bolts and push the battery aside.. the bottle should come right out.

4) There is a bleed bolt, if you think that'll help. Post #4 Click Me
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Coolant Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by theineffable View Post
2) How do people get the coolant drain bolt off?
This engine block drain bolt commonly seizes. Next time, consider trying the following:
-- Apply PB Blaster where the threads mate against the block; drive around a bit (heating may help the PB Blaster to soak into the thread area); let sit overnight.
-- From cold start, take off the radiator cap, start the engine, warm up say ten minutes. Turn off the engine. Try breaking the bolt just barely free and then return to the rest of the procedure for replacing the coolant. As a bolt warms it expands lengthwise, reducing the tension in the bolt, so it is more likely to loosen.
-- Have a perfectly fitting six-sided socket, preferably 1/2-inch drive, and all necessary extensions. Have a pipe to put on the end of your breaker bar to increase your torque arm. Be prepared for the bolt to suddenly free. If you do not anticpate and plan, you may go flying and ya know maybe lose a tooth or something god-awful that both your lover and mom may not appreciate.

Quote:
4) How do I bleed air out of the system? I couldn't find a bleeder screw (does this car not have one?). I ended up Idling the car for a long time + topped off the fluid in the rad until the level stopped dropping. It was a very slow process. Is there no better way to do this?
My 2003 Civic LX owner's manual and FS manual make no mention of a bleeder bolt; nor are there steps to loosen a bleeder bolt; nor does www.bkhondaparts.com show a bleeder bolt at the thermostat housing. I think the high point of the system is the radiator filler neck. You can search here at Honda-Tech and find that a few generations and models of Hondas lack a bleeder bolt. Those cooling systems lacking a bleeder bolt are designed so the air just bubbles up to the radiator filler neck. The drawing in the thread that "It Wasn't Me" links above is the same as that for certain Accords, for one (e.g. 1993-96, 2001-02 Accords). It is accurate for purposes of explaining the rubber seal for the thermostat, but I do not think it is accurate as far as a bleeder bolt for the 01-05 Civic is concerned.

Quote:
anyways, i ended up only changing the fluid in the radiator (around 3 liters). since my old fluid still hasn't reached the honda change interval, it should be ok to leave everything as it is then do another drain+refill 2 yrs from now?
The problem with the drain bolt you encountered is pretty common, and many do as you did, skipping full drainage of the block. Of course it is a little better to drain the block, but all should be fine for two more years.
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Last edited by honda.lioness; 12-31-2009 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Coolant Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by honda.lioness View Post
The drawing in the thread that "It Wasn't Me" links above is the same as that for certain Accords, for one (e.g. 1993-96, 2001-02 Accords). It is accurate for purposes of explaining the rubber seal for the thermostat, but I do not think it is accurate as far as a bleeder bolt for the 01-05 Civic is concerned.
It's not. I hadn't bothered to double-check by looking at the manual, or under my hood. I was confusing the "bleed bolt" with the sensor.

Click the image to open in full size.

My bad! Thanks for catching that.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Coolant Change

Yesterday I tried to do a full coolant change on my 2003 Civic Coupe. I negligently did not review my past efforts above: I did not apply the advice regarding heating the engine a bit. I could not get off the engine drain bolt. All other steps from the owner's manual went perfectly.

I had my Civic on ramps and tried to remove the engine drain bolt from the bottom. At one point I took off the oil filter. I still could not get my tools in there to get the socket to fit over the bolt head perfectly and apply a good torque.

Has anyone tried removing the interference above the drain bolt so as to apply tools to the drain bolt head from above? The interference seems to be the air cleaner case (which is easy to remove) and throttle body. How hard or annoying is it to remove the throttle body?

Otherwise, I am tempted to drain out just the radiator and reserve tank each year. This is around half a gallon of a roughly one gallon capacity system. So each year, about half of the old coolant would be mixed with new coolant.

My goodness gracious, a gallon of Type II coolant cost me $20.70 at the dealer.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Coolant Change

At $20.70 for a gallon that has already been diluted 50-50... that's $41.40 per gallon of pure coolant. Has anyone seen any other coolant that prices out over $41 per gallon.

The container said it's good for 60k miles or 5 years. The Type 1 (green) coolant didn't come pre-diluted and was a lot less than $20.70. It was good for 30k or 3 years. Sounds like Honda is padding their profits with this as well as their versions of DOT3 brake fluid and the Honda AT Fluid. The notion that adding non-Honda brake or AT fluid would require a complete flush as soon as possible sounds like a scare tactic to make sure owners fork over the extra cash for the Honda brands.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coolant Change

there's good reason to using honda ATF or even the Honda MTF as well as the blue coolant. But if you so choose to use the prestone coolant, i suggest doing a flush once a year. Honda DOT3 brake fluid and regular prestone DOT3 brake fluid probably dont differ all that much. Just so long as you flush and replenish your brake system when you notice the fluid looks like ****. or worse. haha
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