Integrity Auto: Independent Toyota, Lexus, & Scion Specialists Blog

Antifreeze: Cooling System Flush Lexus-Scion-Toyota

Posted by Duke Bishop on Mon, Dec 31, 2018 @ 12:29 PM

Good fresh antifreeze not merely shields your motor from freezing during the cold months, however also provides for a coolant that will keep the motor from getting too hot all year round. Additionally, it's corrosion inhibitors to counteract the metal within the cooling system from getting eaten away from the water within the coolant.

Additionally, it has ingredients which behave as lubricants to extend the life span of your water pump seals. Provided that it's not diluted with water, the freeze safeguard and the cabability to cool your motor remains good permanently.

Nonetheless, the corrosion inhibitors breakdown as time passes as well as heat. Antifreeze which gets far too old will start to eat away at important inner motor components and plug up interior cooling pathways, be responsible for getting too hot and trigger further damage, cost, and difficulty.

When flushing the cooling system, we empty the radiator and also the engine block and run freshwater throughout the system until eventually there is clean water going out of your radiator and also the engine block drains prior to re-filling the system with new coolant.
Good clean antifreeze not only protects your engine from freezing in the winter, but of course also acts as a coolant that keeps the engine from overheating year round.

This might be placing a fine point on things, but Toyota stipulates the usage of deionized water (normal water that's had the minerals removed from it) in their cooling systems. This is usually a much more important concern in regions which has a really hard water supply. Deionized water (or distilled water) is suggested both for first and second generation coolants, because the minerals within the water can precipitate out and minimize coolant passages. This concern is increased with coolants which have silicates within them, because the silicates combine with the minerals and collectively they precipitate out of solution and reduce coolant passages. In cases like this, it also leads to elevated corrosion as a result of reduced concentration of silicates.

We are fortunate to obtain soft water in Portland, which is what we use together with antifreeze when we're filling up a cooling system. In systems which require Toyota Super Long Life coolant this is a moot point, because it will come premixed with deionized water.

Types of coolant: Red-colored, pink or green? The short answer: The best most straight forward professional recommendation we can make is by using Toyota's red, Long Life Coolant wherever specified, along with their pink Super Long Life Coolant wherever specified. On vehicles over the age of 1998, Toyota's recommendations are quite general. We have learned to believe that the Toyota Long Life Coolant is more suitable for these vehicles as well in an effort to minimize clogged radiators.

Types of coolant: Red-colored, pink or green? The longer answer: Concerning commonly used green coolant as opposed to Toyota's red coolant in the older Toyota's although I am happy to use either according to customer personal preferences, I have learned to have a very distinct preference for Toyota's Long Life crimson coolant. It had been developed with full engineering knowledge of the several materials (seals and alloyed metals) it has to be compatible with. It had been also intentionally developed with absolutely no silicates. Even though the silicates in other coolants supply superb corrosion protection, over the long term they have a tendency to precipitate out and bring about decreasing coolant passages. This could ultimately lead to overheating and/or needing to replace the radiator. The extra price of Toyota's coolant is minimal if you take into account that the cost is amortized over the 2 to 3 year period of time which the superior coolant may well help save needing to replace your radiator.

I ought to note a balancing concern: On some motors in which the timing belt operates the water pump, a red coolant leak featuring a build-up of crystals could cause the timing-belt tensioner bearing to seize up at the pivot. This can lead to the timing belt going slack and hopping out of time. Generally this occurs in instances where the timing belt was over due for replacing anyway. I have never witnessed that happen using the green coolant. Clearly there is a trade off of considerations at play here.

The older Toyotas and Lexus (through 1998) (that we suggest Toyota's Long Life red coolant) simply require ethylene glycol coolant. Ethylene glycol is the primary antifreeze and heat-transferring ingredient to all three generations of Toyota coolant. To specify ethylene glycol does not say anything at all about which additives and corrosion inhibitors might be best. Even though Toyota distributed their own red stuff, I am not aware they published any requirements that could overtly drive people from utilizing the common green generic alternative. Nonetheless, my latest understanding is the fact that even during that time Toyota was working with absolutely no silicates within their coolant.

Toyota required a coolant change every 2 yrs or every 30k miles. We really encourage the same, although I am comfortable with 3 years or 30k. For many years I actively favored the green antifreeze to the red as a result of my strong impression that the red coolant more actively finds its way past seals and gaskets. I continue to have no question that I see red crystallized coolant deposits oozing past gaskets and seals more frequently than I see indications of the green coolant leaking. However, Ryan here recently brought up the probability that the red coolant may not leak anymore aggressively, but might basically leave a lot more noticeable tracks. This might be the situation, and actually appears likely to be so. I am aware that on older water pumps we usually see some staining underneath the weep-hole on vehicles which use green coolant. This staining may possibly signify the same amount of leakage that may have shown up as a mass of crystals on the water pump that was utilizing red coolant. I really cannot say for sure—in either case it is a slow seepage that dries out as it emerges.

Within just the 1st year after Ryan came aboard he pointed out that since he'd left Lexus in which they solely utilized Toyota coolant he was discovering far more radiators plugged up. He said he'd virtually never witnessed clogged radiators even on vehicles which had more than 200k on them. The clincher came for me personally when we came across a radiator that we had changed maybe 30k prior which was already displaying observable clogging of the passages. On that day I came to be a believer in making use of Toyota's Long Life red coolant, and that is what we promote to all our customers now that have vehicles that are 2003 or older.

In 1999 Toyota and Lexus announced their red long-life coolant, which is definitely what we want to use within these vehicles. They still recommended coolant replacement every two years or every 30k, which is the recommendations we adhere to, even though I am comfortable with 3 years and 30k. Toyota calls for coolant with zero-silicate, zero-amine, and zero-borate content. They designate that "use of improper coolants may possibly damage the cooling system" and stipulate that their coolant was created in order that it "will not clog radiators from silicone gelling" and "will not corrode aluminum surfaces like coolants which contain borate." When I have seen charts displaying the chemical profiles of brand new coolants, the Toyota long-life coolant is plainly different than Prestone's green-colored alternative, with the Prestone coolant plainly having the silicon and borate content that Toyota engineers specifically want to stay away from.

In 2004 Toyota and Lexus announced their pink super-long-life coolant. This is exactly what we use for these vehicles. Their endorsement on this coolant is it get replaced the 1st time at ten years or 100k miles. Their professional recommendation thereafter is it get replaced every 5 years or 50k miles. This puzzles me, and even though I am not usually cynical, I have discovered that a cynical part of me questioning that perhaps Toyota has taken this course as part of an attempt to maintain their advertised expense of ownership lower so they can improve new car sales. This coolant arrives premixed with 50% of it being deionized water. I've not observed any chemical profiles evaluating this coolant to the prior generation Toyota red long-life coolant, however they aren't incompatible, because Toyota specifies that you can add the Toyota red long-life coolant to top off systems that have the Toyota pink super-long-life coolant. Different dealers have selected different schedules on flushing this coolant. Some do it precisely by the book with the very first being at 100k and the second at 50k. At the time of this writing, the Lexus car dealership I am acquainted with was promoting coolant being flushed every 30k, and noticed that they normally get some particulate sediment coming from the system using the coolant.

Toyota's recommendations assume a perfectly managed coolant system, i.e. appropriate mixture, correct pressure, and consistently full. Clearly if the mixture is off—diluted from adding water—that will reduce the performance of the corrosion inhibitors and reduce the effective life of the coolant. Same goes with pressures: too low a pressure as a result of a defective radiator cap will increase the probability of internal metal erosion due to cavitation. Even allowing the system to go small grows corrosion, because the combination of air and steam in the system is a lot more corrosive than staying consistently bathed in coolant. This really is apparently more especially so for coolants with organic-acid-technology based corrosion inhibitors, that is the class of inhibitors that Toyota's Super Long Life coolant uses.

Concerning the service interval, I'm significantly impressed that simply to examine it, the coolant generally doesn't look bad even at 100k. If customers choose to go exactly with Toyota's recommendations, We have no quarrel with that, although I at this stage I still have some concerns that it is ultimately for the best to wait 100,000 miles and/or ten years before replacing the coolant for the first time. Time will tell.

There appears to be some reasoning for flushing the Super-Long-Life coolant every five years or 50k miles. It isn't a hard recommendation, but I think it may make sense in light to the fact that: Toyota makes the same recommendation of five years and 50k miles from there on after the very first 100k, and also simply because Toyota recommends coolant changes at 30k with their older (not-premixed) coolant that is chemically similar enough to be used as a top-off coolant.

Note: The Super Long Life coolant should not be utilized in the older Toyotas that included brass & copper radiators, as it's organic-acid-technology corrosion inhibitors are not effective for these particular metals or even the soldering utilized in these radiators.

Topics: Lexus service, Scion Service, Toyota Service