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Topped off coolant with non-OEM...Drain immediately?

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by jlleiber, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So today I was bored at work (like most days) and found myself browsing DIY maintenance and reading a lot about coolant. I never knew it was so particular to have only Toyota OEM coolant (newb, i know). However, the last 2 oil changes I got were done at a Quick Lube place and each time they said my coolant was a little low and asked if I wanted it topped off. Not knowing any better, I said sure because I though coolant was pretty much universal.

    Now, having read all the coolant threads, I am really worried about having a non-OEM type coolant mixed in with my original Taco juice. Should I immediately drain/flush my coolant and refill with stuff from the dealership?

    I am coming up on my 90k service and will be doing it all myself (thanks to the wealth of info on here) and will continue to do maintenance myself from now on. All-in-all, my final question is: can I wait until my 90k service (about 2k more miles) or should I drain/flush my coolant ASAP?

    thanks in advance
     
  2. Mossy

    Mossy Mechanic for Honda

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    You really shouldn't mix coolant types. Chemical reactions between the 2 can cause a pudding like sludge
     
  3. EDJY

    EDJY Well-Known Member

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    you should just be adding a little water if its low
     
  4. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This is what i'm afraid of. I'm assuming it isn't something that happens quickly though, or is it? Would it be OK to wait 2k miles or just take care of it now?
     
  5. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    bump for other thoughts?
     
  6. TrdSurgie

    TrdSurgie revised

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    Rear leaf spring tsb 5000 miles, w ac fan 26k miles, windshield creaking 28k miles- not warranty. Bad upper idler pulleys 32k miles- not warranty, Toyota Quality!
    Just flush and drain. Youre only 2k early.
     
  7. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that's what I should do. Next question - the manual says my coolant system holds 10qts. Can I do 1 gallon of pure (red) coolant and top it off with distilled water? That would be a 40/60 mix and not quite 50/50. I just don't really care to pay an additional $30+ for an entire gallon of coolant when I only need 1 more quart.
     
  8. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    nvm this^^ is dumb. I'll buy one full coolant jug and then a 50/50 mix to top it off. Then I'll have an extra half gallon of premixed sitting around in case i need to top it back off sometime
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  9. TrdSurgie

    TrdSurgie revised

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    Rear leaf spring tsb 5000 miles, w ac fan 26k miles, windshield creaking 28k miles- not warranty. Bad upper idler pulleys 32k miles- not warranty, Toyota Quality!
    Yeay toyota got us by the balls on that one. Its up to you. I don't know how cold it gets in indiana. But shorting mixture can also reduce cooling.. however, I would do it but I live and san diego and do a lot of highway miles.
     
  10. maxamillion2345

    maxamillion2345 Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.

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    I'd leave it be, if they're only filling your overflow up ever so slightly. I'm sure they used the "mixes with anything kind" and it's such a small amount that you'll likely be okay. Poke around the radiator and overflow and look for anything abnormal in the coolant.

    I wouldn't hesitate to use a quart of distilled water and no red coolant if that's what you're asking.
     
  11. maxamillion2345

    maxamillion2345 Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.

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    A 60% water mix will cool more effectively than 50/50. However it raises the freezing point. In some very cold climates they will go 40/60. 50/50 is optimal for most of our purposes but you won't throw this off that much by using a little extra water.
     
  12. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The coldest it gets is typically single digits and the hottest is around 100F. I think I'll poke around a bit and keep an eye on it for now. I'll probably call the quick lube guys and see what they used also.
     
  13. TrdSurgie

    TrdSurgie revised

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    Rear leaf spring tsb 5000 miles, w ac fan 26k miles, windshield creaking 28k miles- not warranty. Bad upper idler pulleys 32k miles- not warranty, Toyota Quality!
    Doesn't coolent also add to boiling point of the water tho?
     
  14. maxamillion2345

    maxamillion2345 Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.

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    No, water is more effective at cooling than coolant but coolant has so many other useful features it's necessary even in extremely hot climates. Should never go over 40/60 or 60/40.
     
  15. TrdSurgie

    TrdSurgie revised

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    Rear leaf spring tsb 5000 miles, w ac fan 26k miles, windshield creaking 28k miles- not warranty. Bad upper idler pulleys 32k miles- not warranty, Toyota Quality!
    Cool. Thanks.
     
  16. Mossy

    Mossy Mechanic for Honda

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    You'll be fine for 2k miles. Don't sweat it. People mix coolant all the time
     
  17. OffroadToy

    OffroadToy The dog did it...I swear!

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    Since you had it done at a quick lube place you should be worried about the oil change too. :eek:
     
  18. chriss

    chriss Well-Known Member

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    Both right.
    Ethylene glycol has a higher boiling point than water. And lower freezing point.
    It also has a lower specific heat capacity of water. Meaning it cannot carry has much heat.
     
  19. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    hahah...was waiting for this comment :rolleyes:

    I feel like changing oil is such a basic task, that when I need it done I can just pop by there for convenience. However, with all the info on here, I'm now going to do all the maintenance myself and treat my Taco properly (like I should've been doing all along)

    Thanks for the input on the coolant though everyone
     
  20. jlleiber

    jlleiber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, to update. I topped off the coolant reservoir on March 29th, drove the truck on the interstate for over 2 hours, and checked the reservoir after it cooled down - still at the full level. I then left the truck parked until today (was on vacation) and drove it back and forth to work (10 minutes each way). Checked my reservoir after those two quick trips and the coolant no longer registers. Pretty sure I have a leak somewhere and that somehow it drained out WHILE I was on vacation. Does that make any sense and any ideas as to where the leak may be?
     
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