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Discussion Starter #1
I finally have gotten around to doing the coolant flush that I've said I was going to do when I bought my RL last May. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the coolant, but since I didn't know the last time it was changed, I knew it would be a good idea to reset the clock. My Sky had 60k on the odometer when I bought it and I'm currently over 62k currently, so I haven't put too many miles on in the almost 6 months that I've owned it. The car would run a little warmer than what I've seen others state, usually around 205-209ish, but it's been the summer here in Texas and it has been in the 90's and 100's since purchased. Now that the temps have dropped in to the 70's finally, I noticed it was still running in this temp range. So I drained the coolant today and added the flush and water. I ran it 15 minutes or so and noticed that there was some steam coming out of the exhaust pipes and some drips also the engine temp was now pushing 215 idling. Also with the heater control set to high, it wasn't blowing hot air either. Since I purchased it in the heat I never noticed whether or not the heat worked as the outside air was plenty hot to fool you. I tried the heater control reset and it is still not blowing hot air, so I'm not sure what's up with that. I'm about to drain the flush and add the new coolant and I will see if that does anything with the engine temps, but I doubt it and I'm guessing I have a bigger issue here that I didn't notice before. I've never had a coolant leak the whole time I've owned it, but I did add coolant when I first brought it home as it was slightly low.
 

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Did you use a vacuum system or follow one of the procedures for getting the air out of the system?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did you do this only once!? As I recall, Tim mentioned having to do it multiple times.

You might still have air in the system...
Since it was just a flush I figured it was only 15 minutes and didn’t bleed it well enough. I probably could of done a better job of bleeding the system, I just flushed it a second time with just water and I made sure to do do each line multiple times with air until the water ran very smooth. That seemed to do the trick. The heater is blowing plenty hot now. And temps are now sitting at about 185. I’ll wait for this to cool and then pour the dexcool and hopefully that’s all it was. The vapor from the exhaust still concerns me though as the humidity is very low today at 32 percent. Is it possible I have a leaking gasket?
 

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Thanks guys, I think I had a moment of panic with the issues I have heard people have had after coolant flushes. I've flushed plenty of cars and have replaced a bunch of water pumps and radiators over the years and have never had an air pocket bad enough to cause those issues while flushing. I need to remind myself this car likes to make things difficult by design.
 

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Is the condition of air in the cooling system after coolant replacement, a challenge with both the Redline and Base?
 

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Thanks guys, I think I had a moment of panic with the issues I have heard people have had after coolant flushes. I've flushed plenty of cars and have replaced a bunch of water pumps and radiators over the years and have never had an air pocket bad enough to cause those issues while flushing. I need to remind myself this car likes to make things difficult by design.
The kappa is special, it needs a few bleeding's before all the air is out, the beauty of gm's design...
 

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The kappa is special, it needs a few bleeding's before all the air is out, the beauty of gm's design...
Stupid GM. If they had only made the hood four inches higher they could have eliminated this horrible problem that causes so much trouble every five years.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is the method I used to bleed the system and it worked great. In truth, when I did the flush I only pressurized the system just the once since it was just a flush and it was only going to be in the line 15 minutes or so. I didn’t expect the results I got and that is why I panicked a bit. After I drained the flush and did a second flush of just water I made sure to pressurize it several times on each side of the line to get out all of the air. This did the trick and I subsequently followed the same procedure for the coolant bleed. It’s amazing how much a small air bubble can affect this systems behavior. Since most of my wrenching over the years was on Jeeps, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles, I guess this has never been an issue. Even with reading how finicky the coolant system is on our cars I guess I still didn’t expect it to be so drastic.
 

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62K mileage, no history of fluid change, resetting the internal clock...
Sort of like US this past weekend with the time change.




IF your fluid has more than 5 years worth of usage, since it's last change
it might be a good idea to change it recommended by GM even if you're not having
any problems with it, like high temps, vast differences in ranges, low level in
the reservoir, leaks on the motor/frame/ground.

Brought in May with no heat like IN Texas where it has been 90's-100's during the
now gone summer temps to 70's in Oct./Nov. the temps ranges you quoted are not
all that high for our car imo.
Yes-this car does run/idle warmer than other cars, that we are used to.
Took me awhile to get use to the higher than normal comfort zone level when compared to
other GM & some foreign cars I've owned in the past. 205-209 is close to normal temps
in our cars, they do vary by car/owner. 215 at idle is not a big concern, as we have seen
other owners in the upper 235-245 range before.

Heater not blowing hot air. The heater core itself, the thermostat, the radiator,
the coolant sensor, the duct door actuator, the HVAC system control reset all in combination
could affect the reading in the DIC when monitoring your temps under operating conditions.
IT might take more than one bleeding of the system to completely remove any air pockets in
our systems, part of the grand design by the GM engineers with our model.
It is what it is and WE have to deal with it as owners. One of the many quirks with our car.

IF- you are deep into the major fix of our cooling system- the WP replacement, then while everything IS apart time to do the full reset on everything, before conducting testing on the temps in the future. Thermostat, hoses, belts, sensors, can and do go bad over years of usage.

Might cost more up front for you the owner but, it will give you a base line at a certain odo reading to revaluate any major variance in your temp patterns.
The DIC read out can vary by as much as 2-4 degrees.
Extra added heat from the turbo can change this again, varies from owner to owners car.
We have the same car & systems but looking alike and being the same are two different things here just say'n.

I could have... famous last words- Socrates I drank what? done a better job. You don't say?
Many mechanics have said the same thing over the years.
Well you must have done something right cause the temps are now at 185, hot air is now blowing out of the vents, just before winter time how fortunate.
I always like it when a good plan comes together for me- keeps me smiling but that just me.
I have seen my car as low as 187-189 before, the DIC reading can be off by a few degrees.
My highest temp ever was 217 on a hot day, under strain going up hill.
Did I worry some? You bet.
The temps dropped back fast below 201-203, 30 secs. to 3 minutes worth.
I have been down this road before with the Kappa. Takes some getting use to.
Will add gray hairs to any receding hair lines, and more wrinkles to your facial features.
We just want smiles, Miles and Miles of Smiles for Us- pretty much.

The tail pipe smoke, condensation is or could be a problem. That I would keep an eye on. Blue-ish in color? White? Black? Combination of all three?
Any increase after this fluid flush will be worth an investigation on your part, comes with the territory of the Kappa, any used car purchase for that matter.
Head gasket, valve seals, fuel in oil smell, a texture condition change loss/consumption rate, lack of performance, uneven idling will/ might be indicators of "other" conditions.
- IT was a strange morning when I went to fire up the ole gal .. it did "this" when it has never done "that" before is concerning to say the least to any owner. Things like high heat, loss of oil pressure can warp heads, bend valves creating piston like holes in the engine block, it has been known to happen before.

Keep an eye on it just case you have " one of the those mornings " in your future.

Yeah gang once again I did type waaay toooo mmmmuuuccchhh- my bad.

LAC
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Try replacing the thermostat and the coolant sensor.
It looks like I have my original posted issues resolved with purging the system of air. Thanks

62K mileage, no history of fluid change, resetting the internal clock...
Sort of like US this past weekend with the time change.




IF your fluid has more than 5 years worth of usage, since it's last change
it might be a good idea to change it recommended by GM even if you're not having
any problems with it, like high temps, vast differences in ranges, low level in
the reservoir, leaks on the motor/frame/ground.

Brought in May with no heat like IN Texas where it has been 90's-100's during the
now gone summer temps to 70's in Oct./Nov. the temps ranges you quoted are not
all that high for our car imo.
Yes-this car does run/idle warmer than other cars, that we are used to.
Took me awhile to get use to the higher than normal comfort zone level when compared to
other GM & some foreign cars I've owned in the past. 205-209 is close to normal temps
in our cars, they do vary by car/owner. 215 at idle is not a big concern, as we have seen
other owners in the upper 235-245 range before.

Heater not blowing hot air. The heater core itself, the thermostat, the radiator,
the coolant sensor, the duct door actuator, the HVAC system control reset all in combination
could affect the reading in the DIC when monitoring your temps under operating conditions.
IT might take more than one bleeding of the system to completely remove any air pockets in
our systems, part of the grand design by the GM engineers with our model.
It is what it is and WE have to deal with it as owners. One of the many quirks with our car.

IF- you are deep into the major fix of our cooling system- the WP replacement, then while everything IS apart time to do the full reset on everything, before conducting testing on the temps in the future. Thermostat, hoses, belts, sensors, can and do go bad over years of usage.

Might cost more up front for you the owner but, it will give you a base line at a certain odo reading to revaluate any major variance in your temp patterns.
The DIC read out can vary by as much as 2-4 degrees.
Extra added heat from the turbo can change this again, varies from owner to owners car.
We have the same car & systems but looking alike and being the same are two different things here just say'n.

I could have... famous last words- Socrates I drank what? done a better job. You don't say?
Many mechanics have said the same thing over the years.
Well you must have done something right cause the temps are now at 185, hot air is now blowing out of the vents, just before winter time how fortunate.
I always like it when a good plan comes together for me- keeps me smiling but that just me.
I have seen my car as low as 187-189 before, the DIC reading can be off by a few degrees.
My highest temp ever was 217 on a hot day, under strain going up hill.
Did I worry some? You bet.
The temps dropped back fast below 201-203, 30 secs. to 3 minutes worth.
I have been down this road before with the Kappa. Takes some getting use to.
Will add gray hairs to any receding hair lines, and more wrinkles to your facial features.
We just want smiles, Miles and Miles of Smiles for Us- pretty much.

The tail pipe smoke, condensation is or could be a problem. That I would keep an eye on. Blue-ish in color? White? Black? Combination of all three?
Any increase after this fluid flush will be worth an investigation on your part, comes with the territory of the Kappa, any used car purchase for that matter.
Head gasket, valve seals, fuel in oil smell, a texture condition change loss/consumption rate, lack of performance, uneven idling will/ might be indicators of "other" conditions.
- IT was a strange morning when I went to fire up the ole gal .. it did "this" when it has never done "that" before is concerning to say the least to any owner. Things like high heat, loss of oil pressure can warp heads, bend valves creating piston like holes in the engine block, it has been known to happen before.

Keep an eye on it just case you have " one of the those mornings " in your future.

Yeah gang once again I did type waaay toooo mmmmuuuccchhh- my bad.

LAC
Thanks for the reassurances. I definitely prematurely panicked that I had a larger issue. So far so good after the coolant flush. I've only driven it a quick trip since, so I will need to do a longer run to confirm everything is now as it should be. The coolant is now holding steady in the 190's and maxed out at 200 so most likely they coolant did need to be changed with the 10+ degree temp drop.

With the car idling for 10 minutes or so there is still some drips from the exhaust tips and some condensation build up. Exhaust does have a mild sweet smell, and no smoke. Honestly the smell is so mild that I wouldn't have picked up the smell if it wasn't for the condensation bringing my nose down to the exhaust. I'm guessing there may be a small leak of coolant into the combustion chamber via the head gasket. I hadn't noticed this before the flush, so it's possible there may have been some build up that the flushing removed and now there is some seepage. IDK. I'll drive it around a bit more and see if it persists or it's possible it's just environmental.
 

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I used the Mike Martin/Tim Ronak method with the air compressor and vice grips. It seems to work effectively.
Don't. Just buy the vacuum tool. It's about $75, is easy to use, and flat-out works. Did my Sky and my buddy's Sol last year when we did turbo upgrades. No problems with coolant, none, zero.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update: I ran the car for about 20 minutes around town real quick this afternoon and the temps were holding at around the 200* mark. I hit some stop and go traffic and the temps shot up into the upper 220's and then when I pulled off onto a side street the temp dropped right back down to the 200's. I figured I still had some air in the system. I headed back home and let the car sit for awhile to cool down. I made a note of the coolant level in the reservoir and purged the lower and upper circuits as I did previously. I didn't notice any noticeable burping this time though, but after doing both lines the coolant level dropped about a 1/4" in the reservoir. I let it idle in the driveway and then ran it again for a quick loop around town, sitting in the driveway it idled at about 194*. Going down the highway it was running 199-205. Sitting at stop lights it would get to about where it would before the flush of 209ish. Overall it seemed to want to run in the low 200's which I think is acceptable on a nice mid 70's day. I'm thinking I may pickup a set of the check valves as a just in case.
 

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Not sure if thus question was asked.
Is there a coolant drain plug in the engine block that is accessible?

About air in the system....
Is there a low-point valve to drain the radiator like many vehicles have? If so, I wonder if you attach a hose there, raise the other end of the hose 6 feet high on a ladder with a funnel and add coolant from up there. This would allow coolant to fill from the bottom up to move the air up and out the top. There has to be an easy method that we are all missing here because when on the Kappa assembly line, they couldn't afford to fuss with air in the system.
 
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