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Discussion Starter #1
With a littel over 6k miles and almost 2 years old (May), I decided it was time to change the coolant before the brutal Arizona summer begins. I have done this many times on my Accords, so I am pretty familar with the process on Hondas. I whipped out my trusty Helm manual and read the procedure before I began. Of course I was using Honda brand coolant just to be sure there would be no warranty issues. To my surprise I noticed that there was no "bleeder" screw on the thermostat housing as is the case with the Accords. Reading further I came across a part that mentions that after draining the radiator, it is necessary to drain the engine block! I know many of you old timers may recall how older cars used to be equipped with freeze plugs that were impossible to access so you could drain the engine. But what was interesting here is that Honda was suggesting this. To Honda's credit, they at least installed a "bleeder" screw which made the job substantially easier. In fact, I noticed after crawling under the vehicle with my work light, it was the same style bleeder screw used on the Accords thermostat housing! The most difficult part is getting to it. It is to the right of the exhaust pipes and way at the back of the block. The only way to get there is to jack up the van slightly and turning the wheels to the right make getting to it easier. After loosening it you need to attach a tube or hose to help direct the fluid into the drain container. No matter how you try, be prepared to get wet. Its impossible to rotate the bleeder screw with the hose on, so by the time you rotate the bleeder screw out sufficently, coolant is flowing pretty well before you can get the hose over it. Anyway, after its drained and you retighten it, the rest is straight forward, close the petcock on the radiator and refill with 1 gallon of coolant and the rest water. Don't forget to change the resovoir bottle too. This is the easiest part as the bottle pulls straight up and out. Fill the bottle half to the max line with water and up to the max line with coolant. Install the radiator cap loosly (only turn on it half way). Run the engine with heater set to high until the cooling fan comes on twice, wait for the engine to cool down and open the cap to make sure you have enough, if not top off with water and you're done.
 

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Just got my Helm manual today and noticed that the 2001 only require the first coolant change at 120K miles (normal or severe) or 10 years. Thereafter it is every 60K miles or 5 years. The '99 and 00' require a change every 45K miles or 3 years. I wonder what changed. Looks like it is still the type 2 Honda coolant being used.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hip:
...Of course I was using Honda brand coolant just to be sure there would be no warranty issues. ...and refill with 1 gallon of coolant and the rest water. Don't forget to change the resovoir bottle too. This is the easiest part as the bottle pulls straight up and out. Fill the bottle half to the max line with water and up to the max line with coolant. Install the radiator cap loosly (only turn on it half way). Run the engine with heater set to high until the cooling fan comes on twice, wait for the engine to cool down and open the cap to make sure you have enough, if not top off with water and you're done.</font>
I notice in the Helm manual that there is a note (page 10-11)which indicate that "Honda All Season Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 is a mixture of 50% antifreeze and 50% water. Pre-mixing is not required." If that is true and type 2 coolant is what you got from your Honda dealer, you may have over diluted your coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by exindenver:
I notice in the Helm manual that there is a note (page 10-11)which indicate that "Honda All Season Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 is a mixture of 50% antifreeze and 50% water. Pre-mixing is not required." If that is true and type 2 coolant is what you got from your Honda dealer, you may have over diluted your coolant.</font>
That's strange, I just reviewed my '99 Ody Helm manual and it makes no reference to a Type 2 coolant. In fact, my manual only makes mention to use "Genuine Honda Antifreeze/Coolant." I just checked the container and it also says to mix with 50% water. Nothing said about "pre-mixed" or "Type 2" appears anywhere, apparently some change has been made to the coolant specs between 99 and 01?

[This message has been edited by hip (edited 03-28-2001).]
 

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I got the '99 to '01 manual. Maybe it is because of the type 2 coolant that allows the '01 to go 120K miles before the 1st required coolant change. Probably uses DI water. Haven't had to buy coolant from Honda yet so I don't know what they are selling.

Having the new Helm manual is kinda neat since I can tell some differences between the different model years.
 

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Pardon my ignorance, but is the Helm manual the only Ody manual, or does Honda publish its own but the Helm is more user-friendly? What's the scoop on manuals as I will want to get one once my Ody arrives. Thanks!

------------------

Steve
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hgani:
What do you guys think about the Havoline DEX-COOL coolant? Supposed to last 5 years/150,000 miles.
Here is the link to their website: http://www.havoline.com/Products/antifreeze/antifreeze.html
</font>
Sounds alot like Honda coolant.

"...eliminates the need for silicates, phosphates, borates, nitrites, and amines. " Isn't that what makes Honda coolant special?

I'm sure Honda does not make their own coolant. Must be subcontracted out to one of the major manufacturers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hgani:
What do you guys think about the Havoline DEX-COOL coolant? Supposed to last 5 years/150,000 miles.
Here is the link to their website: http://www.havoline.com/Products/antifreeze/antifreeze.html
</font>
When GM first introduced this product for their new cars they were very careful to point out that the product was not backward compatible with older models. Apparently it only worked with virgin cooling systems, possibly due to contaminants during the combustion process. Seems like this product as well as Honda's new Type 2 are both ok to use on older vehicles. The question is how can you be sure when the formula starts to break down and is still working after several years? Are conventional test kits adequate or is there some other more specialized testing necessary to know if this will work? To my way of thinking, I have always replaced coolant on my cars every year before summer. This may be appear unnecessary, but its small insurance to pay considering the consequences from the long, brutal Arizona summers. Extended service intervals rarely are what they seem. They typically advertise the optimum conditions necessary with an asterisk and tiny print buried somewhere informing you that severe conditions will require more frequent service.
 

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Several new OAT (organic acid technology) anti-freeze brands are now on the market. Some (for Diesels) need be changed only at 600K, and require an additive at 300K. The manufacturers of the old type anti-freeze are set against the new technology-most likely because they aren't licensed to produce it. A lot of the new tech. anti-freezes are low or 0 silicate ands are pre-mixed 50/50. They use a filtered, demineralized water and that will help prevent scale formation etc.
I have been using an OAT AF in my truck for over 100k and have samples checked every 35K or so. The samples check fine and recommend using the same ant-freeze. The samples cost more than a change would, but I decided to try this just to see what the results would be. ( the cost would be justified in a semi.)

Regards
Al
 

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I have used the Prestone Long-Life coolant in my Dodge Caravan 3.0L. I had it in there for four years and could not stand the suspense any longer, so I drained it. What I found was the best looking cooling system I have ever had in my 45 years of doing my own preventive maintenance. The inside of the hoses and engine (as far as I could see) were clean as a whistle and lightly coated with an oily film. When I installed it, I just did a good drain, including cylinder block plugs, flushed it well with clean water and filled it.

As to the Honda stuff and the ten year interval, I am a little nervous with that. In view of the good luck I had with the other long-life product, I would not be a bit worried with half that time. Many changes have been made in the products we use and we old-timers have to adapt, I suppose, Hee! Hee!

Yes, the block must be drained for the best result when changing the coolant, since the bottom of the block is where all the "good (bad) stuff hangs out.

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX
 

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I have had several shop manuals in the past and, I must say, the Helm manual is very detailed, as far as it goes. The one thing that disappointed me is that it does not explain "how" systems work, it only tells how to fix them. In my GM, Haynes and Toyota manuals, the system operation was always described at the beginning of the section and gave one an insight as to what was going on with it.

The coolant I got from my dealer is described as "Honda Coolant Type 2", Honda item #OL999-9001 (bar code on the jug). It is a pre-mixed product which is not to be mixed with water. It already has 50% de-mineralized water in it. I think they also have concentrated coolant, but my dealer did not have that product.

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX
 

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What do you guys think about the Havoline DEX-COOL coolant? Supposed to last 5 years/150,000 miles.

I'm trading in a Chevy Blazer (uses Dex-Cool) on a new 2002 Odyssey. Check out the Edmunds.com Chevy Blazer Problems board for issues with Dex Cool. I had a coolant leak, but have read quite a few posts referring to problems with sludge forming in Blazer Coolant Systems (although it may be a Chevy problem, not a Dex Cool problem).
 

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I have used a coolant similar to Dex-Cool for over 100K in my Diesel truck. At 88k (50k on the coolant)I changed hoses and thermostat and the hoses and other visible parts contacted by the coolant were cleaner than any engine I had previously examined. I have 136+k on the truck and still have the original water pump, radiator, heater core etc. Some using other coolants have replaced some or all of these components in far less miles.

As far as the warranty issue: A manufacturer cannot deny warranty coverage soley because you use an aftermarket product unless it is SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED and so stated in the warranty. They have to PROVE the aftermarket product CAUSED the problem. If a manufacturer REQUIRES you to use a specific product as a condition of maintaining your warranty, they have to provide the product at no cost to you during the warranty period.
Magnusson-Moss (or is it Moss-Magnusson) warranty act.

Regards
Al
 

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'00 BLOCK COOLANT DRAIN VALVE ACCESS

I can get a 12mm wrench on the block coolant drain valve, but can't get the leverage or power to make it unscrew. Access seems to only allow a 6" long wrench. Does anyone have a suggestion?

I finally got it open!! The wrench has to be down at 6 O'clock to get a good pull on it. I was trying it at 3 O'clock to no avail.

Once loosened, I was able to place tubing on it, and open it the rest of the way without any spills.:)
 

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Response to Hip

Hi Hip,

I was always informed that breakdown of your coolant is more dependent on miles then on age. With only 6K miles, you probably had more life left in your antifreeze. However, I guess it's better safe than sorry. The 03's have 10 year, 100,000+ miles antifreeze. I will probably go with half that figure however. What does everyone else think?

I know my 95 Villiger with rear heat and air, the instructions explicently said to make sure that you have the controls set for heat in the front "and" rear unit, otherwise the rear unit would be off and valve shut, so the antifreeze would not drain from it. I assume the same holds true for the Ody's with rear heat and air.
 

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I have never heard of such a long mileage/duration between coolant changes (my 01 model says 120K miles or 120 months, whichever is first). Has anybody heard anything different from their dealers regarding this? I suppose the honda coolant is good, but that is a long duration.

Thanks.
 

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I'm wondering about the cooling system hoses too.
10 yrs or 120,000 mi seems a long time between
hose changes even if the coolant is good for that long.

-Mark
 
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