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Old 10-21-2018, 09:52 PM   #1
Hamster
 
Drives: 2009 5-Door Liftback
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 235
Need advice regarding changing coolant

Hello everyone!

My 2009 Toyota Yaris will be ten years old as of January. The maintenance schedule states that the coolant must be changed at 100,000 miles or 10 years. So, in a few months the coolant will need to be taken care of. I've done a search on this forum, and read a ton of threads about how to change the coolant. However, I'm still hesitant to do anything that I haven't seen done in person. I'm worried that something will go wrong, and I won't have anyone present to help me out. So, anyway, I have some questions:

1. Does coolant degrade with time?

2. The car, at the time of this writing, has just under 27,000 miles (the reason: I use public transportation to go to-and-from work. The Yaris is mainly used to get groceries and to do a little joyriding on weekends).
Can I get away with waiting a couple more years to get the coolant changed, or must it get done, regardless of mileage, at the ten year mark?

3. Is it best to get the coolant changed at a dealership, or could any independent mechanic shop do it if I provide the Toyota pink coolant?

4. Is a flush necessary, or is it just a drain and refill? If a flush isn't necessary, what should I do if I'm pressured into having one done?

I've never gotten my car serviced before, so I'm super nervous about. Any advice would be appreciated. Up to this point, I've done my own maintenance, like oil changes, changing the engine air filter, etc. Thank you!
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:10 AM   #2
bairjo
 

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Here is an old thread that covers your question... Be sure to use the Toyota coolant as it will not degrade the rubber hoses.

http://www.yarisworld.com/forums/sho...hlight=coolant
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:02 AM   #3
ex-x-fire
 
Drives: 2010 yaris 3 door hatch
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I'd replace the water pump too.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:25 AM   #4
Hamster
 
Drives: 2009 5-Door Liftback
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Bairjo

That thread you linked to was one of many I read, and I don't understand it completely. What does it look like when the thermostat opens? How do I know if the thermostat opens? Where would I see bubbles after refilling the coolant? I have never witnessed a coolant change/flush, so I am absolutely clueless about all this.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:03 AM   #5
tmontague
 
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Simplest and very effective way of doing it would be as follows:

- remove rad cap (make sure its not hot)
- loosen drain petcock on bottom of rad
- allow coolant to drain out (it will take a while)
- remove overflow tank hose from filler neck and push it down in the engine bay into a drain pan, it will start draining out once the hose is low enough
- reconnect overflow tank hose and close petcock
- refill with toyota long life coolant until fluid is at the top of the filler neck
- then start squeezing upper and lower rad hoses a few times to get more air out
- start the car and let it run for a 1 min.
- add coolant so that the filler neck is full and re install rad cap
- re fill overflow tank an inch or 2 above the hot level (overfill it)
- go for a 30 min drive so that the coolant get up to temp for at least 10 mins.
- recheck you overflow tank level and top up to "hot" level as needed.
- over the next week check the level in the overflow every day or two.

I've always drained my coolant this way on my yaris and I've done this at least 6 times in the past couple years and have always had great results and it wastes less time trying to wait for the thermostat to open which really won't happen unless your ambient temps are hot enough.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:20 AM   #6
bairjo
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmontague View Post
Simplest and very effective way of doing it would be as follows:

- remove rad cap (make sure its not hot)
- loosen drain petcock on bottom of rad
- allow coolant to drain out (it will take a while)
- remove overflow tank hose from filler neck and push it down in the engine bay into a drain pan, it will start draining out once the hose is low enough
- reconnect overflow tank hose and close petcock
- refill with toyota long life coolant until fluid is at the top of the filler neck
- then start squeezing upper and lower rad hoses a few times to get more air out
- start the car and let it run for a 1 min.
- add coolant so that the filler neck is full and re install rad cap
- re fill overflow tank an inch or 2 above the hot level (overfill it)
- go for a 30 min drive so that the coolant get up to temp for at least 10 mins.
- recheck you overflow tank level and top up to "hot" level as needed.
- over the next week check the level in the overflow every day or two.

I've always drained my coolant this way on my yaris and I've done this at least 6 times in the past couple years and have always had great results and it wastes less time trying to wait for the thermostat to open which really won't happen unless your ambient temps are hot enough.

That pretty much covers it. Hamster, if you still do not understand what is spelled out here, you probably should have it done for you.....with Toyota coolant.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:26 PM   #7
Hamster
 
Drives: 2009 5-Door Liftback
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tmontague
Thank you for dumbing it down for me (I mean that in a good way)! Now I get it. Sounds no more complicated than an oil change. I prefer to do as much maintenance work myself as possible, mainly because I don't trust anyone. Glad I don't have to wait for the thermostat to open. I'd be waiting forever, especially since I plan on doing this in the winter.

Your method involves way fewer steps than I've seen in other threads. Mainly because your method doesn't involve opening up the petcock on the engine block or a flush with distilled water. Because your way doesn't involve draining the engine or doing a flush, would you recommend that I do the next coolant change in less than five years? If so, how frequently do you recommend? It wouldn't be any big deal for me change the coolant more often than the maintenance schedule recommends. I've got the time, and cost isn't an issue.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:01 PM   #8
tmontague
 
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No problem, I've read the other threads and tried other methods but I often work on my car in the winter and the method I posted above is what I've found to work very well and gets rid of as much old coolant as other methods. I've done the engine block petcock and have gotten 200-300 mls out if it and typically its seized and corroded so not worth the hassle.

The filler neck is located at a high point on the 1nz so it bleeds itself very well (if you thermostat has a jiggle valve which oem ones do). It will just take coolant from the over flow as it burps air over time so just keep an eye on it for the next 100km or so after the coolant drain.

If the proper oem coolant is currently in your car then I wouldn't waste time with a flush. Just drain and fill. I would only recommend flushing if the wrong coolant was used. I have done this on family.members yaris' as well as my Vibe as the wrong coolant was used. Otherwise dont bother. I personally use deionized water not tap water as my local water is pretty hard at least compared to where I used to live.

You should be fine to change it every 5 years at the earliest, coolant doesn't really ever "wear out" per say, it just loses its ability to buffer the acidity and balance out the minerals and oxidization that happens in coolant.

Most of the coolant will drain from the engine from the rad
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:33 PM   #9
Hamster
 
Drives: 2009 5-Door Liftback
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tmontague,
My car has the same OEM coolant as the day it rolled off the assembly line. So, I'm glad I don't need a flush! One less thing I have to worry about. Also, I'm glad I won't need to drain the engine block. That would be a pain, given the location of the petcock.

I read your replies while at work. So when I got home, I popped the hood of the Yaris to see where everything is located. I'm impressed by how easy it is to access the radiator petcock, and to disconnect the overflow tank hose. No tools are required. This will be easier than an oil change. Thank you once again, you saved me the money and the hassle of taking this car to a shop!
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:39 AM   #10
tmontague
 
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You're welcome, if you've done an oil change then a coolant change is just as simple. The petcock can sometime be stuck so use pliers to loosen if you need to. Just be careful not to break the petcock as it is plastic. Try with your hands first.

You can attach a hose from the drain on the petcock to guide it into a catch basin or just let it flow out as there is a hole in the under tray to let the fluid drain.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:21 PM   #11
Hamster
 
Drives: 2009 5-Door Liftback
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Location: Columbus, OH
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I was thinking that using one of those rubber jar openers might work as well. But hopefully, the petcock won't be stuck.

Also, what hose would fit over the petcock? It'd be less messy and less of a potential environmental issue if I could drain directly into a catch basin.
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