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Old 12-11-2008, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Time to change the coolant

So my Elise is a December 2004 build and it has come time to change the coolant (every 4 years recommended). I searched around for DIY threads and only came up with some discussions about coolant type. Does anyone have detailed instructions on how to drain and refill the coolant?

So far I have replaced pads and rotors, put a stage II on and countless other smaller mods thanks to the great DIY instructions on LT. Thanks for all the contributions!
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Can't believe these cars are 4 years old already.....
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Can't believe these cars are 4 years old already.....

I know. I figure that may be the reason no one has done a thread on it yet. Maybe its my opportunity to contribute? I'd rather shamelessly borrow, but it has to be done one way of the other...

I just realized in look at the mfg date that my 4 year old son and my Elise were born in the same month.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I want to change mine as well. I hear that there are issues with coolant left too long in these cars.

I would like to switch to normal green coolant...but I am afraid that you cannot flush out all the old stuff.

if you mix the green and orange...you get a real mess...
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tony, I have to change mine too. I haven't done an s2 but on the s1 it's very difficult to purge all the air. If you leave air in the system, cooling really suffers. Best way appears to be placing the front wheels on the hoist and slightly elevating the front of the car, then loosening the most superior radiator hose and slightly pressurizing the overflow tank. I'll have to try the s2 when I bring it back from Florida. I'm going to use the red Toyota coolant, I'd avoid the orange Dexcool like the plague, it's horrible stuff and any leakage permanently stains floors.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The procedures are in the manual, including the locations of the purge vents (there's one up front too). Get the manual for $25 (download it from LCU). It's also been discussed in other threads - like this thread: Coolant System Flush
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Tim. I was able to find this attached doc from the manual. I will be changing it out over the holiday break and will see if I can post up a better set of instructions with pics.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Engine Cooling - KG 1.pdf (386.0 KB, 1034 views)
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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be sure to use the pump to make sure no bubbles remain in the system of air. I had last week done mine. not difficult but you have to have the pump to fill in the whole system
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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To get all the air out of the system you have to stand the car up on its nose and shake it.

xtn
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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To get all the air out of the system you have to stand the car up on its nose and shake it.

xtn
I heard that you can take it to Goodyear for this service.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I heard that you can take it to Goodyear for this service.
For the new guys that don't know what a Goodyear service job looks like:

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Old 12-12-2008, 11:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The picture is for the sport package coolant change procedure.
For the touring package you have to do the opposite (rear end up)







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Old 12-12-2008, 04:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So, does anyone know how much the dealer charges for this service? Just curious. Trying to see if it's worth doing myself or biting the bullet and paying up to have it done.
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So, does anyone know how much the dealer charges for this service? Just curious. Trying to see if it's worth doing myself or biting the bullet and paying up to have it done.
They weren't sure as they have not done one yet. They said maybe around $400
So I decided I'd take it on. That was way above my DIY threshold.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5qf3764b View Post
I was able to find this attached doc from the manual.
Although similar, it appears that the section of the manual that you posted is for the Rover engined Elise, not for our Toyota engined version. There are some differences in the hoses, the routing of the hoses, and some of the components in the engine compartment. You might want to get the manual for our version ($25 from Lotus USA's web site) - but the "meat" of the section is what's posted in the link I pointed to above.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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changes?

Hi all,

My Elise is a Nov. 2004 build and I am looking at doing the coolant change as well. Unfortunately, I don't have the resources at home to attempt this myself. (I also don't trust that I won't screw something up) - so my question is if those who were going to attempt themselves made out ok? and also if anyone has indeed taken it to the dealer for this service yet. I don't want to revisit Criswell Lotus if at all possible, but my only real alternative is a Maserati dealer who I trust, but they don't service many Lotus... Basically, I am wondering what to do/where to go lol.

In addition, with a car having 17k miles and only tracked once, is the 4 year change truly necessary considering that its "5 year coolant"? Lotus recommends the 4 year, but.... any thoughts? I know mileage is said to not affect coolant life etc... Car has also been in a warm (LA) climate since I bought it in April here in MD, so this is the first cold it has experienced, mostly in the garage though on cold days.

I'm willing to bite the bullet of course, but I would like to know what you all think.

Thanks in advance

-Will

ps - seriously, what is up with the "Goodyear service" pic ???
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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coolant flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5qf3764b View Post
They weren't sure as they have not done one yet. They said maybe around $400
So I decided I'd take it on. That was way above my DIY threshold.
Was quoted $90 for a coolant flush on my 4 year old 2005 including a wash and vacuum. Needless to say, even though I'm a DIY person, the dealer will be doing this job for me.
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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In addition, with a car having 17k miles and only tracked once, is the 4 year change truly necessary considering that its "5 year coolant"?
Yes and no. I doubt any real damage will happen if you let it slide a bit. I've been a bad owner, my coolant just turned five years old (if you look at the build date), and I'm staring at a new bottle of coolant on the workbench. I'll flush it soon, really! Replacing the coolant frequently will help prevent internal corrosion. Best to stick with the Lotus schedule if you can, but if it slides a year, probably not a big deal.


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ps - seriously, what is up with the "Goodyear service" pic ???
LotusTalk member 'Qball' took his car to a Goodyear shop for a simple tire change. Despite showing them the jacking instructions in the manual, they used the wrong jacking points and when the front wheel was removed, it was just enough to shift the center of gravity far enough rearward to result in what you see there. Car was totaled.
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