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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to replace my water pump and I'd like to backflush everything in the process-- the thing is, I'd like to backflush it outside so I don't get stuff all over my garage floor. Would it do any harm to run a cold engine for a few seconds without coolant to pull it out of and into the garage?
 

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All Around Great Guy
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no... You'll be just fine. Remember to remove the thermostat if you want to get everything... It is closed until the temp reaches approx 190
 

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You do know it's illegal to drain that stuff on the ground, right?
 

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All Around Great Guy
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I would recommend getting a 5 gallon pail and then starting it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You do know it's illegal to drain that stuff on the ground, right?
Well that depends where you are-- the stuff is biodegradable so different states and localities have different rules. Anyway, I'm planning to fully drain the system first (into a container), including the rear heater lines and block drains. As for the little that will remain, the solution to polution is dilution.

Funny how it's so easy to find people to take your engine oil, but no one takes used antifreeze.
 

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Funny how it's so easy to find people to take your engine oil, but no one takes used antifreeze.
Yes, antifreeze is very toxic and not really re-usable. The engine oil can be used for synthetic oil again and again, just needs processing, so it has some "value", not so for the coolant. I wouldn't let any of it anywhere on the soil, danger to pets and eventually will show up in the water we drink.
 

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We have a local shop that will take used antifreeze. It costs a few bucks but much more responsible than dumping it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I'm planning to save the bulk of the stuff in bottles until I can find a proper way to dispose of it.

This did get me curious though-- it turns out that ethylene glycol is the main component of what they use to de-ice jets before take off, which of course is poured right onto the ground.

The biggest danger seems to be if there are pools or containers of the stuff that animals or children can get to. This kind of got my curiousity going-- the EPA does not consider Ethylene Glycol to be a toxic waste unless it has absorbed other toxic things like lead (from the solder in older radiators) or oil, etc. Many localities allow it to be poured into their waste treatment system since it gets diluted and then is broken down within hours in those systems. I found some info about studies that say the stuff biodegrades into carbon and water in about 6 to 21 days if it is in the soil. Less time if in river water.

Not planning to dump it in any of these places, but thought this was interesting info.
 

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Glad to hear your collecting it. Airplane deicing fluid is actually propylene glycol which is much less toxic than ethylene glycol. RV antifreeze is another example of propylene glycol.
 

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Ethylene GLycol on its own is a killer. Cause severe acidity in the blood and it also forms crystals that cause kidney failure.

On a side note; I have a bad radiator cap the other weekend and lost lot of coolant. In the process of trying to figure where my coolant is going, I was just topping it off with watre. Yesterday I decided to drain and refill the system with Zerex to get the coolant ratio back to where it should be.

1- I got around 2+ gallons out, so you need a large pan.
2- A lot of crud/rust sediment in the system, last refill was 25KM before this, is this normal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is rust and crud normal? I don't think it is "normal" if the system has been cared for properly, but it is certainly not unusual. As it turned out, I didn't have any rust or crud in my system and probably didn't need a flush, but I have flushed systems with plenty of that stuff in them. It can be the result of waiting too long between antifreeze changes or of running the system without antifreeze in it (the antifreeze has corrosion inhibitors.

In the case of my van, I've owned it since about 38K and I have changed antifreeze a couple of times though this was the first time I thought to flush it-- so it has always had the proper ratio of fresh antifreeze in it. The vehicles that had a lot of crud were a 94 ford explorer I bought a while back that had about 100K on it, and a Chrysler Sebring that had 120K on it-- who knows what service history either of them had, but from the looks, the antifreeze had never been changed in either.
 
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