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Coolant Flush and Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Coolant Flush and Replacement

Tom Morr

Time:

2 hour2 hr

Tab:

$25

Talent:

**

Tools:

19mm, 10mm, 8mm socket, flathead screwdriver, large bucket

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz SLK230 (1998-04)

Parts Required:

New coolant, thermostat gasket

Hot Tip:

Get a really big bucket

Performance Gain:

Fresh coolant

Complementary Modification:

New hoses

Mercedes recommends replacing your coolant every three years. This is also the perfect time to give you cooling system a complete flush. While it is next to impossible to get all of the coolant and contaminants out of the system without removing the heater core lines and blowing out the heating system this method will get the system as clean as possible and more than good enough for the next three years.

A couple of safety precautions/instructions you may want to observe before beginning:

Allow cooling system to cool down. Open the cap of cooling system slowly; turn a conventional coolant cap as far as the first detent and turn a screwed coolant cap approx. 1/2 turn and release the pressure. Wear protective gloves, protective clothing and eye protection. NEVER pour coolant into beverage bottles, cups, etc. Someone might accidentally pick that cup up and start to drink.

Begin by safely jacking up and supporting your car. With the car safely off the ground you will need to remove the engine tray. There are four 8mm bolts holding the tray on.

With the tray removed you will see the radiator drain plug on the lower left front of the car. Place a catch bucket or tray under the plug and use a large flathead screwdriver to open the drain plug. The fluid drains out a small spigot facing rearward and not through the red plug. If you attach a drain hose to the spigot it will make safely capturing the coolant easier. Drain the radiator completely.

Remove the front engine cover; it just pulls straight up.

Disconnect the hose from the lower right side of the radiator.

Disconnect the large hose from the thermostat to the radiator at the thermostat. You can leave the coolant tank overflow hose in place.

Place your garden hose in the radiator hose and completely flush out the radiator. Run your hose until the water comes out clear.

Move to under the engine and loosen the drain plug on the right side of the engine block with a 19mm wrench or socket. Use caution here to make sure you do not get coolant on you.

Use a 10mm socket and extension to remove the three bolts holding the thermostat to the housing. Pull the thermostat directly up and off the housing. You can see in the picture below that unless the coolant is hot the thermostat remains closed and trying to get water into the engine by the upper hose will do nothing but push the water back out all over you. With the thermostat removed you can place your hose directly into the thermostat housing which will flush the engine block. Run your hose until the water comes out clear.

Make sure you remove the old gasket, as it has a tendency to stay stuck in the housing body. Always install a new gasket, when reinstalling the thermostat.

Reattached all the hoses; close the radiator and engine block outlets, and install new coolant. Remember if you are using concentrated coolant to make sure you mix it with the right amount of distilled water.

Begin by safely jacking up and supporting your car.
Figure 1

Begin by safely jacking up and supporting your car. With the car safely off the ground you will need to remove the engine tray. There are four 8mm bolts holding the tray on (red arrows).

With the tray removed you will see radiator drain plug (yellow arrow) on the lower left front of the car.
Figure 2

With the tray removed you will see radiator drain plug (yellow arrow) on the lower left front of the car. Place a catch bucket or tray under the plug and use a large flat head screwdriver to open the drain plug. The fluid drains out a small spigot facing rearward (red arrow) and not through the red plug (yellow arrow).

If you attach a clean drain hose to the spigot it will make safely capturing the coolant easier.
Figure 3

If you attach a clean drain hose to the spigot it will make safely capturing the coolant easier. Drain the radiator completely.

Disconnect the hose from the lower right side of the radiator (green arrow).
Figure 4

Disconnect the hose from the lower right side of the radiator (green arrow).

Remove the front engine cover (yellow arrow), it just pulls straight up.
Figure 5

Remove the front engine cover (yellow arrow), it just pulls straight up.

Disconnect the large hose from the thermostat to the radiator at the thermostat (yellow arrow).
Figure 6

Disconnect the large hose from the thermostat to the radiator at the thermostat (yellow arrow). You can leave the coolant tank overflow hose in place (red arrow).

Place your garden hose in the radiator hose (green arrow) and completely flush out the radiator.
Figure 7

Place your garden hose in the radiator hose (green arrow) and completely flush out the radiator. Run your hose until the water comes out clear.

Move to under the engine and loosen the drain plug on the right side of the engine block (green arrow) with a 19mm wrench or socket.
Figure 8

Move to under the engine and loosen the drain plug on the right side of the engine block (green arrow) with a 19mm wrench or socket. Use caution here to make sure you do not get coolant on you.

Use a 10mm socket and extension to remove the three bolts (yellow arrows) holding the thermostat to the housing.
Figure 9

Use a 10mm socket and extension to remove the three bolts (yellow arrows) holding the thermostat to the housing. Pull the thermostat directly up and off the housing.

You can see in thisPicture that unless the coolant is hot the thermostat remains closed (yellow arrow) and trying to get water into the engine by the upper hose will do nothing but push the water back out all over you.
Figure 10

You can see in thisPicture that unless the coolant is hot the thermostat remains closed (yellow arrow) and trying to get water into the engine by the upper hose will do nothing but push the water back out all over you. With the thermostat removed you can place you hose directly into the thermostat housing (green arrow) which will flush the engine block. Run your hose until the water comes out clear. Make sure you remove the old gasket (red arrow), as it has a tendency to stay stuck in the housing body. Always install a new gasket, when reinstalling the thermostat.

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