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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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09 Redline coolant - top off vs flush

Hi folks,

I searched the forums and read a few threads on this, after getting my first coolant temp warning in two plus years owning the car. Thought I would ask fresh even though I've seen parts of the probable answer.

My 09 redline turbo just passed 50k miles in the last couple of hours, and actually right at 50k give or take half a mile, I got the coolant temp indicator and a DIC display of 252F. I pulled over to a safe off-road spot, turned the car off, listened to the fans run while I googled a bit about the issue. [Last night I noticed the fan running after shutting the car off, but didn't think to check the DIC.]

After 2-3 minutes I started it back up and the temp went from about 230 back down to my usual 194-198. Heater blew hot air, not cold. Drove to my planned destinations and back with no issues, just shopping around town mostly.

I have noticed that my coolant tank has been below the seam for a while (see attached photo), but the dealer hasn't said anything and I haven't seen any issues before yesterday/today.

I don't know the service history at all before August 2015, and Carfax history doesn't show anything useful between then and my purchase in August 2016. So I don't know when/if the coolant has been flushed.

So the question(s) be:
  1. Would it be sufficient to top off the coolant, or should I flush/replace it altogether? I've read/watched the video so I can probably handle the flush myself if it doesn't rain.
  2. Is the car past due for coolant flush/replace even though I'm not at the 150k maintenance level? Look like there's also a 4-5 year guideline and I don't know how long the coolant's been in there.
  3. What's the best coolant to use if I'm going to do it myself? I saw that Robotech uses Peak Global (O'Reilly and Autozone don't have it but Walgreens does, wtf?).

Thanks all.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gallifreyan View Post
[LIST=1][*]Would it be sufficient to top off the coolant, or should I flush/replace it altogether? I've read/watched the video so I can probably handle the flush myself if it doesn't rain.
[*]Is the car past due for coolant flush/replace even though I'm not at the 150k maintenance level? Look like there's also a 4-5 year guideline and I don't know how long the coolant's been in there.

.

I would just drain, flush and refill, whether you do it or a mechanic. You are having heating problems in cool Fall weather.
(Mine is due too as I do not know when last the PO did it.)

For my own piece of mind, I flush the radiator and the tranny oil more frequently than recommended as 'car health' insurance. ....That's just me..

It's cheaper to be proactive than reactive

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 11:45 AM
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Two things.
first since the car has been running at normal temps for its life with you and the fans are running, look for a new issue. Check the simple stuff first. Check the radiator to see if you have significant blockage of the air flow. If you sucked up a grocery bag or other debris that is blocking the fins, that would cause your problem. Check the rubber air dam. If the air dam is damaged and not doing its job, the air flow is severely restricted and can cause over heating.

Have you had the coolant fill cap removed? You can see similar issues with the air bubble.

Second, if your coolant is low, at your mileage its most likely the water pump is failing. In fact it may have failed which is inhibiting coolant flow through the system and contributing to overheating. Check the right front corner of the engine where the water pump is located and carefully inspect the weep hole for residue from a leaking pump seal.

While you are at it, inspect the oil for fuel smell. The high heat may have impacted the high pressure fuel pump seal which can inject fuel into the oil. Not likely but a good thing to check as its easy and the consequences of bad oil can be catastrophic.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rob.

Looks like nothing blocking the radiator (although if I picked something up when I started driving, and it fell off when I stopped, I guess that could be it). Oil smells like oil not fuel (changed in July, 2861 miles ago) so that's probably good.

Coolant fill cap hasn't been removed as far as I know. All I've personally opened is the blinker fluid (wiper fluid) and the oil dipstick. I'll look around to see if there's any leaking from the fuel pump--didn't see anything on initial inspection but I need to make sure I'm looking in the right place.

For what it's worth, I've driven the car about 37 miles (almost an hour) since this happened Saturday morning, and the coolant temp on DIC has stayed in the 190-200 range the whole time.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 03:41 PM
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Did you start driving the car with it cold and the temps went up to 252 before you pulled over or were you driving for a while with normal temps and THEN they shot up to 252?

I ask because my car...for whatever reason...has had a problem with thermostats sticking when the car is cold. My temps will hit the 240s before the stupid thing opens up and I watch my temps plummet back down to the 180s. I changed the thermostat and it fixed it for a while but it always, even when the thermostat was brand new, would climb a bit before the t-stat would open and temps would come down.

Once it's open, it runs fine and no issues.

It sounds so far like yours has gotten stuck once then it was fine. Make a note of when you have something like this happen in the future so you can see if there is a pattern. For now, fill your coolant tank to the mold line and monitor the system...temp and level.

Some different signs to look for:

Coolant level drops constantly: Coolant leak somewhere in the system. Most likely the water pump.

Coolant level remains stable, then drops suddenly, but stabilizes again: Air bubble in the system. When the air bubble escapes, it heads to the overflow tank. This may happen all at once (HUGE drop in coolant level) or happen at intervals.

Coolant temp fluctuates hot, then cools off, then rises up again, then quickly cools off: Also a sign of an air bubble trapped in the system. Sometimes the rise and fall is big at first gradually reducing to almost stable, othertimes it may get worse and worse as time goes on. System needs to be burped.

Coolant temp rises to almost shutdown levels (250-260) at a steady rate sometimes halting whenever the car comes to a stop then rising quicker when driving then suddenly starts to drop RABIDLY (240 to 180 in a matter of 10 seconds or so) and then stays stable: Stuck thermostat most likely. Usually happens most often on cold starts or when coolant temp is below 170-180 on the stock thermostat.

With my new engine build I'm going to a lower t-stat, a bigger radiator, and drilling a small hole in the t-stat to keep coolant always flowing. It's going to result in taking a longer time to heat up for the heater to work and much lower coolant temperatures but with the larger turbo and building up cylinder heat far quicker, I hope to have a pretty balanced cooling setup that stays relatively stable.


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
Did you start driving the car with it cold and the temps went up to 252 before you pulled over or were you driving for a while with normal temps and THEN they shot up to 252?
I just checked my Automatic adapter. Half a mile to Starbucks (15 minutes parked), then a bit over three miles down the expressway (~40mph) before the light went on. It was typical fall northern California weather--probably mid-50s or so--so no "winter" effect to speak of.

Quote:
It sounds so far like yours has gotten stuck once then it was fine. Make a note of when you have something like this happen in the future so you can see if there is a pattern. For now, fill your coolant tank to the mold line and monitor the system...temp and level.

Some different signs to look for:
Will keep an eye out for these things too. Temps were normal on several trips later in the day, and it doesn't seem like the coolant level is dropping noticeably on a regular basis. And I'll probably watch the coolant temp more for the near future...

Thanks much.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 09:24 AM
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Sounds like a sticking t-stat. Cold start, short distance and the t-stat doesn't open until the coolant temp gets pretty high then operates as normal.


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 05:17 PM
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AT 50k I would say flush it. If you have no clue to before if any maintenance was performed, I would just to be safe here. High temps does more damage to other things here. IF you do it yourself, new fluid, burping the system, getting the temps back to normal for now. Keep a close eye on temps in the DIC, the overfill, under the car puddles, anything out of the norm after the fluid flush and refill.

IF the WP does go out, then imho. replace everything you can within budget limits. New pump, fluid, T-Stat, hoses, belts, with limited warranty too is hopefully that your good to go for the " next" 50k of usage.

Keep some replacement fluid in your trunk, during your travels. The cold weather can and does stick T-stats. Had it happen to my 3000GT. Longer warm up periods for every fluid, but the coolant here is top dog. Any and all fluids older than dirt or 10 yrs. from the factory, should be on all owners to do list. I had my read diff, fluid changed out just recently, nasty stuff. I made a short highway cruise the other day, she runs good after 6 years of ownership. I know the manual, and service for this should take place at this mileage, by the factory or dealer... you do what's best for your car now, not what the pervious owner did or did not do, or that no one has looked at your stuff except the oil change , for some time... like the factory guys. I am doing factory brakes replacement in the spring. 41k but 10 years old stuff on my car. Coolant was done last year, rear diff this year, brakes & power steering is next up on plate to do on... my car.

Might be a one time thing, maybe not. Keep an eye on it. IF nothing else happens you might be good, then again it's 50k and 10 year old fluid here..

LAC
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 10:25 AM
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Technically the stock coolant is good for 100,000 miles but I can't remember if it is 5 years or 10 years...want to say 10.

Either way if the t-stat has to be replaced you'd want to drain the coolant for that anyway...good time to take care of both at that point.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
Technically the stock coolant is good for 100,000 miles but I can't remember if it is 5 years or 10 years...want to say 10.
Per the 2007 Owner's Manual: "Engine Coolant
The cooling system in your vehicle is filled with
DEX-COOLŽ engine coolant. This coolant is
designed to remain in your vehicle for five years or
150,000 miles (240 000 km), whichever occurs
first, if you add only DEX-COOLŽ extended
life coolant."



.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveOC View Post
Per the 2007 Owner's Manual: "Engine Coolant
The cooling system in your vehicle is filled with
DEX-COOLŽ engine coolant. This coolant is
designed to remain in your vehicle for five years or
150,000 miles (240 000 km), whichever occurs
first, if you add only DEX-COOLŽ extended
life coolant."



.
I knew someone would have the facts. Just way too busy to look it up yesterday. I believe the rating in 2004 was 100K...that was 14 years ago though so my memory may be a little off. Either way, I figured he'd be over on years rather than mileage anyway. Only nuts like me put on 20K a year and 150K in 5 years would be 30K miles a year...I can't even imagine.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
I knew someone would have the facts. Just way too busy to look it up yesterday. I believe the rating in 2004 was 100K..
That is the same number my rememberator came up with before I grabbed a manual and did a find on "Dex-", and the answer wasn't where I was expecting to find it in the manual.



.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 10:08 AM
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I don't think I have one of those handy manuals. I know you can get them online but at the moment I'm just too lazy. I still want the service manuals but those things are pricey these days.


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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
I don't think I have one of those handy manuals. I know you can get them online but at the moment I'm just too lazy. I still want the service manuals but those things are pricey these days.
A long time ago, I downloaded just about everything GM had on their site (for free) for the Solstice and Sky for each year. They are all in PDF format so searching is easy.



.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 12:07 PM
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I may need those. I still like the old fashioned book-on-the-windshield-while-I-wrench method even though my garage is setup for viewing PDFs while I work. With our hoods though, the damn hood blocks the monitor. LOL I need to either back into the garage (less light after the sun goes down) or put a monitor on the other wall (which is my eventual plan. LOL)


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