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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my '05 Elise was due to have the coolant changed and seeing as winter is here and I am not driving the car, I decided to tackle the job today. Draining the coolant following the service manual instructions was very easy and having a lift at my disposal made it even easier. It was simply a matter of removing the radiator hoses from the coolant pipes under the front of the car as well as opening up the block drain after removing the access panels. I was even able to contain the draining coolant by strapping some 5 gallon buckets to the sway bar up front beneath the hoses and one to the right side intermediate axle for the block drain. Doing this allowed me to not only avoid a slippery mess of coolant on my floor, but also to measure exactly how much coolant was actually drained. I was able to remove 9 liters of coolant which left 3 liters not removable (most likely trapped in the heater matrix/pipes/hoses) which is also described in the service manual and Lotus says to ignore this residual amount.

Now here is where things got interesting. Before reattaching the radiator hoses to the coolant pipes again, I inspected the insides of them with a shop light and found a layer of yellow slimy sludge in the right side pipe and hose, but none in the other pipe or hose. I also used some compressed air to get the last of the coolant out of the radiator by blowing it through the left radiator hose and the residual coolant that came out was milky instead of clear like the rest that just drained. I have read various reports of DexCool causing sludge and corrosion and seeing as the Havoline XLC used in our cars is a similar product if not the same, I'm not too thrilled with the sludge I just found in my coolant pipes.

I know switching coolants to a different brand or type is not allowed according to Lotus and it is not advisable to switch to the standard yellow/green coolants due to incompatibility, but I am not ready to put the XLC back in there if I don't have to. There are now coolants available that claim they can be mixed with DexCool type coolants with no adverse effects. Have any of you tried these new coolants in your Lotus or any other car using DexCool as the original coolant? Are any of you running another type/brand of coolant in your Lotus right now with good results?

I have all winter to think this one through, so I am in no rush to refill the cooling system and I am also conducting a little test to check the compatibility of the XLC with some "any make/model" Prestone. I have the two mixed right now in a canning jar along with a piece of aluminum. The two mixed just fine and the mixture is still clear, but I intend to leave the mixture sitting until next spring to see what happens. I will also heat and cool the mixture on the stove at least once a week to see if that makes any difference over time.

If anyone has any insight or experience with this, please post what you know.
 

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I am going to do the same thing this winter...so let me know what you find out......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Will do.

If I don't get a response here I will try contacting the manufacturers of these new "compatible with all" coolants. I was looking at converting to Evans waterless coolant, but they said there was no way to effectively decontaminate the cooling system in our cars of the XLC unless you were to disassemble the entire cooling and heater system and individually clean out all the components. :crazyeyes They actually recommended switching to one of these new "compatible with all" coolants and to keep changing the coolant every 6 months for a couple of years to fully rid the system of the XLC because of the destructive problems associated with the DexCool type coolants.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

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Somebody put dexcool in my Seven while I did not have it. First thing I did was completely flush the system...simple in a 7....and put in the green stuff.

I am afraid to look at my Elise....I hope we have not done too much corrosion to it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am afraid to look at my Elise....I hope we have not done too much corrosion to it...
I think we will be OK as far as the corrosion goes. I wiped out the layer of yellow scum from inside the aluminum cooling tube and the tube was still nice and shiny. I am more afraid of the radiator and heater matrix getting plugged up with the sludge deposits right now than corrosion, however, I am sure if left long enough, corrosion could be an issue too.
 

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I think that cycling it as mentioned before is your best option in order to clear the system out and move on to something else....I know I will be switching over whenever my radiator decides to fail and I purchase a ProRad from Sector111...I was also thinking of flushing my system 2 or 3 times a month for a few months to speed up the process instead of doing it once every six months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just got off the phone with a tech rep from Prestone and he guaranteed me that their new green/yellow extended life antifreeze/coolant is completely compatible with the XLC in our cars. It turns out the new Prestone coolant is a silicate free OAT product just like the Havoline XLC and that is why it mixes just fine. He recommended a complete system flush with tap water and a flush kit to remove the sludge and as much of the XLC as possible and then flush it again with distilled water. Finally, he said to fill the system with 3 liters of straight Prestone to offset the 3 liters of trapped distilled water and then top up the system with a 50/50 mix of Prestone/distilled water.

Again, he is saying there is not a compatibility issue and the chemistry of the new Prestone extended life is the same as the XLC without the corrosion/sludge problems associated with the DexCool products. Any thoughts on this? :popcorn:
 

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A couple of things...

First, apparently the Havoline that is used in England is not the same as the Havoline that we have available to us. Our Havoline is apparently DexCool, their's is not.

Second, some one on this forum (one of the more knowledgeable people although I don't remember who at the moment), reported that he contacted LCU and they recommended that we use Peak brand coolant in our systems. It is the proper type and compatible with what is in our cars from the factory. It is what I plan on using when I get to it. Note that there appears to be a couple of types of Peak, and I believe it is the "original" that we are supposed to use.

Don't use DexCool... :shrug:
 

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I dont see why it would cause a Problem if you do the complete flush as described above. Seems like it would be a complete reset for the system
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't use DexCool... :shrug:
I absolutely agree and would never put DexCool in any of my cars. I lost the cooling system in my Chevy pickup due to OEM DexCool and I don't want to have that happen again to any of my cars especially my Lotus.

Good information on the Peak antifreeze. Can anyone verify if it is the old formula or their new "any make/any model" that we should use?
 

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If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you to flush the coolant?
 

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When my coolant system is flushed/filled, I'm going to use the Peak Global Lifetime coolant, unless tesprit uses it first with poor results :popcorn:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you to flush the coolant?
So far I have only drained it which took about 30 min. once I had the car on my lift and that includes removing the closing panels and strapping on the 5 gallon pails to catch the old coolant. I would imagine the flush job will take at least a couple of hours with having to fill and purge the system, start up the engine and get it to normal operating temperature, then draining it and then doing the whole flushing process over again with distilled water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When my coolant system is flushed/filled, I'm going to use the Peak Global Lifetime coolant, unless tesprit uses it first with poor results :popcorn:.
Nice!!! I really appreciate your recommendations and support now. :rolleyes:
 

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:) Sallah: "Asps. Very dangerous. ... You go first".
 

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Flushing collant system

My MasterCraft Prostar has an in-line hose connector that you can hook up the trusty garden hose to and turn on the engine and flush hose water through. Could you not do this with the hoses of the Elise? Do one hose as intake and one hose as output. Turn the hose on, start the car, wait till it warms up and the thermostat is open and then turn on the hose and open the outflow and start flushing. As long as everything is open and circulating, I don't see that this would pose problems. You'd have to do it on the drive but as ther is no coolent after you have drained it this shouldnt pose any environmental problem.:shrug:
 
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