Drain radiator in 2005 Chevy Colorado Pickup

jerry_njDecember 14, 2011

It seems I was right, there is no cooling system drain plug on the 2005 Chevy Colorado pickup truck. Mine is the lowest model with manual transmission and 4 cylinder...not that that matters.

What I found was the recommendation to drain by removing the lower radiator hose. This sounds pretty messy to me.

Years ago, and many cars ago, I installed one of the "Back Flush" taps in the heater hose to flush the cooling system. Here I figured this was an improvement over draining and then filling and draining several times to get an almost complete change in coolant. So, I am thinking I will install a Back Flush. Any advice? What am I overlooking?

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jemdandy

You are not missing anything.

At times past, draining the cooling system through the little valve on the bottom of the radiator was a chore and took a long time. Several people found it was much faster and gave a more complete drain to disconnect the bottom radiator hose. Make sure you relieve the coolant pressure first!

Automotive manufacturers saw this as a cost saving boon. Leaving that little dohickey off the radiator eliminated losses from broken and/or manfunctioning drain valves. Professional auto shops were draining the radiators by hose removal anyway.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 3:36AM
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jerry_nj

Thanks, I assumed it was a mfg and warranty expense driven item...I did wonder if just on the lower cost products, or all, by all or most manufacturers. Not an important point.

From the end-user perspective:
1) I am concerned about wear-and-tear on the lower hose on earlier leaks there - suppose with a 5 year flush interval one should expect to replace the hoses on the second change anyway.
2) I read a discussion elsewhere that raised, even when using the lower hose removal method, the issue of the thermostat blocking drainage. Are these real concerns? With the drip-along spigots of the past I never noticed any reduced flow as the flow rate didn't overtax the air bleed-through,or whatever is needed. I of course have the radiator filler cap off.
3) Is there any support for the installation of a "reverse flush" in the heater hose? I have used this many years ago, and didn't have any problems, but I have not continued to use it in the past 20 years of car ownership.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:34AM
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joe_mn

I bought a dodge intrepid from a friend. 4 yrs old. He was original owner. Changed coolant right away. Pulled bottom radiator hose off and brown mud came out. It looked like coco. Took off upper hose and back flushed radiator and lots more crud came out. Filled it back up with water and got some radiator flush stuff. Put that in and did the cleaning process and flushed it some more. Drove it for 5 yrs and never had any issues. Got lucky I guess.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 1:11PM
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jerry_nj

Thanks, I am encouraged that pulling the lower hose may be better than using (none exists on my pickup) drain spigot. I will be sure to do it in a location that will not block my other vehicles from getting in/out, while I'm off looking for a new hose to replace the one I damaged..all hoses are 6 years old.

I just have to wait for some warmer weather.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 1:55PM
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