Lessons learned changing coolant on 2006 Federal Elise - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Lessons learned changing coolant on 2006 Federal Elise

My lessons learned from changing the coolant on my 2006 Federal Elise (non-SC).
1. If youíre not getting fluid out of the radiator bleed, you may not have circulated enough fluid. I started the Elise hoping it would push the fluid through, but instead it just got hot really quickly.
2. I had to apply pressure to the header tank. I used an inner tube, with a kitchen bag closer to seal off the overflow pipe. The first few times I filled and pressurized, the tank level dropped and I could hear the gurgling of air. After a few goes, and over half a gallon of extra fluid the fluid would flush around and the level remained stable.
3. Running the engine to flush the fluid took quite a while to get hot enough to active the fan. (Mine started at 206f, shut off at 200f.) I could tell the fluid was circulating from the color change as I was using Peak Global Lifetime, a different color from the OEM.
4. I only got about 1.5 gallons/6 liters out, which was less than I expected. Next time I might use the air pressure to flush more out. (Thoughts?)
5. Opening the block drain is a real pain (literally). I only got less than a pint/0.5 liter out, and it was nice and clear. I took off the lower aero cover, which the shop manual doesnít mention. I suspect that thereís so little coolant lost you could skip that.
6. Overall, the coolant that came out was clear, which Iím hoping is a good sign. (My Elise had no history, so the coolant could have been in their for 9 years.)
7. I tried the trick of accessing the radiator bleed via the top grill, but in my model itís really hard to reach, so I ended up taking off the wheel arch liner as well.
8. I didnít flush the existing coolant with water, which Iíve seen some folks do. I didnít want to leave an unknown amount of water in the system, and I could only find pre-mixed coolant so I couldnít compensate anyway.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 08:34 AM
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I replaced my radiator recently. I think the cooling system capacity is around 3 or a little more gallons. I was able to remove a little over two gallons by removing the radiator hoses at both lower chassis tubes at the front of the car. I had the back of the car up in ramps and the front low.

When refilling I had the front of the car jacked up and used very low air pressure from my air compressor to push fluid into the system from the short overflow hose on the plastic coolant tank. I did the same, fill the tank, put on the cap, apply low pressure until almost empty, repeat until coolant came out of the open bleed screw next to the radiator. Then I bleed the rear bleed screw.

I then idled the car until the thermostat opened and raised the rpm to ~2,000 for a few minutes to help circulate coolant and get any air bubbles out. I did this for a few cycles.
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