Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Discuss any maintenance you've done to your Vibe & Matrix and ask how to perform maintenance on your vehicle
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calivibes55
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Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by calivibes55 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:24 pm

Hi all, I recently completed the coolant change procedure on my '07 base Vibe after researching it to death. Most of the information you need is out there on GenVibe and youtube, including this excellent video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7WAO2_Ztk4

HOWEVER - there are a few bits and pieces missing, and a few useful tips, that I wanted to include for y'all.

1. What coolant do you have? As we all know the manual is not accurate. Most Vibes are filled with Toyota coolant at the factory, so you need to figure out what's in there before you go refilling it. Hint: if your vibe has never been serviced before, it's probably not DexCool! Take a turkey baster or similar device and remove a small amount of coolant from your radiator (WHEN CAR IS COLD) for inspection. Put it in a clear plastic or glass container so you can see it. If it's Red or Pink, you have the Toyota long life coolant. If it is Orange, you have DexCool. If it is a weird brown color, or green, or sludgy, or what have you, you have who-knows-what and should perform a full flush with distilled water vs a drain and fill.

2. Draining the overflow reservoir the easy way: Leave the radiator cap on. Open the radiator petcock drain. Assuming there are no leaks in your cooling system, the vacuum will cause the fluid from the overflow reservoir to drain back into the radiator first. After the overflow bottle drains completely, THEN open your radiator cap to help speed up the rest of the fluid drain.

3. The pesky engine block drain. It's on the back of the engine. You can jack the car up to get it to it, which is still tricky, (see the previously mentioned video) but you can also reach it by hand from the top of the engine. Standing in the front of the car, reach down behind the back of the engine (AGAIN WHEN CAR IS COLD) slightly to the right of center (towards the driver's side), just below the exhaust manifold's right hand side. You can see the exhaust manifold if you bend over the engine, and you want to reach down just beneath the right edge. For some extra help, use your phone's video camera with flash on and stick it down there while recording. Watch the video and you'll see the drain! You can then reach down with your hand and find it by feel. You'll feel the drain plug and the small spout directly below it. You can use a 10mm socket and extension with a small 3/8" ratchet to open the drain. I found a 3" extension slightly too short.

4. Engine block drain splatter prevention: Buy 4ft of vinyl tubing, 5/16" inner diameter, from your favorite big box hardware store. $0.37 a foot or so, very cheap. Attach this to the engine block drain spout, it will slide on tight enough that it will stay secure on its own. Thread it down over the exhaust manifold and out a hole in the splash shield. Look under the car for the tubing and put your drain bucket under it. This keeps your coolant from going everywhere when you open the block drain.

5. Do you need to drain the block, it's such a pain....? If your car does not have weird mixed coolant, is within the required service interval and the removed coolant appears ok and/or still tests ok, then you can arguably skip the engine block drain. The additional coolant removed from the block drain is small. If you are filling with the same type coolant, you can most likely skip this step without worry, assuming your old coolant and cooling system is still in good condition.

6. Lisle Spill-Free Funnel. Just get it. Seriously. Best $25 you will ever spend and makes the bleeding/burping process so incredibly simple, mess-free and effective. It took me about 15 minutes to bleed the system and I did not have to rebleed it. No problems with air bubbles or overheating. Watch the video I linked to see how it works.

I hope this helps you with your coolant drain and fill!

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joatmon
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by joatmon » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:53 pm

Nice tips

Here's one I remember from here. Once, someone here had a problem getting the air out of the heater core after a coolant change, with symptoms of no heat or no heat only on one side, they burped the core by swapping the heater hoses, so the coolant flow through the heater core was reversed

jasonvibe
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by jasonvibe » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:52 am

I WANT everyone to know...you must use the rear drain when engine is cold because the thermostat is closed and 30-40% of your coolant will still be around the engine block after the rad. drain is opened. I did this all 5 years back. It's due again. Memory has faded... BUT Has anyone had issues with loosening the rear coolant drain bolt ??? I tried this time with small box wrench, no movement. I am afraid that it might be stuck. Or should I have simply used a 6 sided socket ? How stuck is the scary part ? Up here in corrosive/salt etc. north country. The spigot seems threaded into block and I think an o-ring on its body too. Anyone had a bad experience...ie- like the whole spigot turning :?: :roll: ?
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ctgottapee
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by ctgottapee » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:10 pm

jasonvibe wrote:I WANT everyone to know...you must use the rear drain when engine is cold because the thermostat is closed and 30-40% of your coolant will still be around the engine block after the rad. drain is opened. I did this all 5 years back. It's due again. Memory has faded... BUT Has anyone had issues with loosening the rear coolant drain bolt ??? I tried this time with small box wrench, no movement. I am afraid that it might be stuck. Or should I have simply used a 6 sided socket ? How stuck is the scary part ? Up here in corrosive/salt etc. north country. The spigot seems threaded into block and I think an o-ring on its body too. Anyone had a bad experience...ie- like the whole spigot turning :?: :roll: ?
Often with expired coolant drain/refill, the thermostat is replaced so it kinda solves that issue.
If you run a cleaner though the system, it helps to have the thermostat out as well so it circulates, but some cleaners need the higher temps to work so leaving the thermostat in is necessary.

not sure about the drain on 1st gen ;(
Last edited by ctgottapee on Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jasonvibe
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by jasonvibe » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:28 pm

I did replace thermostat when I did water pump. And was just scared that some significant amount was left behind. I did get the rear drain properly unscrewed/loose and put never-seize on the threads before tightening. Got basically the same as doing the thermostat and rad drain when I did water pump. FYI- the drain bolt on rear is STAINLESS steel. But the fitting it threads into is just standard galvanized steel. Also NO WAY this system holds 6.9 quarts. It's MUCH less. Closer to 4 quarts in Rad and engine. The overflow res. holds maybe another quart... I am sure some coolant is still in nooks somewhere. But not 2+ quarts worth.
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blue_can
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by blue_can » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:11 am

Great post by the OP. My 07 Vibe was overdue for the coolant change which I finally got around to doing about 2 days ago. I did come across this thread a bit earlier and remembered the part about the spill free funnel. Never heard of it but decided to get it and it did make things much easier.

On the day I popped open the hood and then spent a little while scratching my head trying to figure out how to drain the radiator. Looking at it, it was not really obvious at all. Went to the factory, manual and that was equally unhelpful - no description of where the drain exactly was. Came back to this thread and watched the Youtbe video linked and everything became clear. The factory manual fails to mention the engine block drain.

I have to agree with jasonvibe about the capacity - I ran the engine to temperature, drained the coolant out of the radiator, overflow tank and the engine block and ended up draining and refilling about 4-1/2 qts. Even if a little bit was left behind I cannot see it being more than about 1/2 qt. I find it hard to believe there was another 2+ qts left in the system somewhere.
'07 Vibe

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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by lannvouivre » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:39 pm

The engine block drain hardly drains anything. Removing the thermostat gets much more out with less effort. The one time I opened the engine draincock, I got about a tablespoon out (mostly directly onto my face) and it was probably the least-satisfying sensation I have experienced in my life.
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jasonvibe
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by jasonvibe » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:19 am

I can say I did get more coolant out when replacing T-stat vs. rear drain and rad drain. But replacing thermostat requires alternator removal & disconnect of battery too. Many don't do 'stat replacement for cars who's coolant is just old and not many miles. At 5 years I had about 65k, So T-stat stayed. Then at 10 years and 130k+ it's a safety thing and made sense. Doing just the radiator when engine is cold...you get only 2.5 to 3 quarts out. Doing both drains it's 4 quarts. Doing rad drain + thermostat...it's more than 4 quarts...maybe 4.5 to 5
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by lannvouivre » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:53 am

You can remove the thermostat without unbolting the alternator. My alternator's stud on the regulator got melted pretty savagely, so when I did mine, I just left it all bolted up and pulled the intake manifold. You may be able to do this from under the car as well, although I'm going to give the sensations from coolant in your eyes and nose a solid 5/7 on the pain scale.
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jasonvibe
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by jasonvibe » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:09 am

UNBOLT the intake manifold ????....jeezzzz. ...That's way beyond needed. But you do say the plus terminal was melted. Time for a new alternator ??Mine is still completely good after 140k. The Alternator is only 2 bolts and the positive terminal nut. And always disconnect battery.
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lannvouivre
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by lannvouivre » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:20 pm

jasonvibe wrote:UNBOLT the intake manifold ????....jeezzzz. ...That's way beyond needed. But you do say the plus terminal was melted. Time for a new alternator ??Mine is still completely good after 140k. The Alternator is only 2 bolts and the positive terminal nut. And always disconnect battery.
This was about two years ago. I still have the same alternator; the issue was the fastening nut for that cable coming a bit loose. As alternators from Denso are over $120 new, I have left it alone. There's nothing else wrong with it, and I cleaned up the threads sufficiently.

Unbolting the intake manifold is honestly much easier than reinstalling the serpentine belt, for me. If it comes off the power steering pump, and it ALWAYS does, it is a big pain to get back on to all of the pulleys again if you have to do it all alone and you have t-rex arms. I do think, however, you can probable remove the lower splash shield and unbolt the thermostat housing by itself, but it's snug.
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jasonvibe
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by jasonvibe » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:27 pm

Denso Alts ARE CLOSER TO $300. It's the Autozone and Advance China junk at $120. That gasket on the intake MUST be replaced once removed. Been there done that for other issue. The serp hose is a skill....which is easy with someone else there is doable :D
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PonchoGT
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by PonchoGT » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:08 am

If you remove the thermostat, you can use the blower port connection of your Shop-Vac hose to force ALL the coolant out (radiator and block) through the petcock. That's the fastest way I know to flush it all out.

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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by jasonvibe » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:30 am

Connecting a SHOP-VAC to the lowest point of this system(thermostat hosing removed) and lower rad hose area & will only work good if on suction. Not blowing and rad cap off . Fastest way is actually getting the car hot enough so the fan turns on...then opening the drain. This way the thermostat is open and the block drains w/o using the back drain. After draining... you must wait an hour for the whole block to cool before refilling.
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Re: Coolant drain and fill tips -1ZZFE / 2007 base

Post by Bookworm » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:38 pm

I'm going to necro this post to point out something that makes life a lot easier.

You can flush your system out WITHOUT the agony of cramming yourself in/around/underneath the engine. It uses more water, but a lot less stress.

1) Drain the radiator completely, then fill with distilled water. Leave the cap off of the radiator.
2) Pop loose the TOP radiator hose from the radiator, and jam another hose into it. Drop it into a bucket, or if you live in the country, into the grass. (they even make kits for doing this, mostly by cutting into the hose and adding a T)
3) Start the engine, turn on the heat. Move back to the engine compartment, and wait until you start getting water out of the top hose. That means the thermostat opened up, and water is moving through the engine.
4) Keep pouring water into the radiator until the water that flows out of the top hose is clear. Shut off the engine.
5) Reconnect the radiator hose, or my preferred - replace it. The top one gets more abuse than the bottom (from heat).
6) Drain the radiator, then fill with undiluted antifreeze. If you can't fit the full 2.5-3 quarts in there, you can unhook the hose from the radiator, start the engine, and let out a bit more water, then shut the engine off again.
7) once everything's in place, leave the cap open, get the overflow filled to the right amount, and start the engine up again. You'll find that you really won't have to burp much of anything, because at no point did you _leave_ anything filled with air other than the top radiator hose, which is kind of designed for that purpose.
8) close everything back up, and run the engine for another 10 minutes or so to mix everything in reasonably well. It'll finish fully blending over thirty minutes of driving, or so.

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