Coolant flush gone bad. Please help - Saturn Forum - Saturn Enthusiasts Forums


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Old 08-31-2018, 06:23 AM
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Default Coolant flush gone bad. Please help

guys, I really need your help here. I pulled my radiator drain plug out, and now that I put in back in coolant is still pouring out as if it wasnít even there!!!

Ive been having coolant shooting out from under my coolant reservoir cap, so I replaced the cap, which didnít stop the problem, and I ordered a new coolant temp sensor with the pigtail, and a new thermostat that should be here this coming Monday and Friday.

I also read read on the forums here that another guy had a similar problem, and replaced the parts I mentioned with no luck. Another suggestion was to flush the cooling system and get some new coolant in there. Fine.

After work tonight i got the coolant system flush detergent, a bunch of coolant, and I was ready to go.

I pulled the the radiator drain plug, let it drain, put the plug back in, and went up to put the detergent stuff in, and as soon as I dumped the bottle in it started draining right out the bottom! Iím so screwed if I donít get my car back on the road guys. Please help me out.
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:39 PM
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Did you screw the petcock all the way in? It’ll be a little stiff for the last couple turns...
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:39 PM
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So when I unscrewed it initially it just came out just using my fingers, and when I put in back in I used some pliers to give it some extra oomph than I could do with just my fingers. I can try to use pliers to tighten it some more, I just really donít want to break that plastic plug off in there or something.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:17 PM
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Well Iím officially completely screwed. I tried tightening it tighter using pliers, but I got it too tight, so when I tried to loosen it back up I broke off the plastic pieces.

Now I need to figure out how Iím going to get that drain **** out, and if Iím able to use the push in and twist type that my local parts store has or if Iíll have to order a new one.

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Old 08-31-2018, 08:20 PM
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Is you radiator still massively leaking at the petcock? If it is sealed, do you really need to be able to remove it?

Could probably hammer a groove/ slot in it and get with a fat flathead. But that puts stress on the aluminum it mates to.

Could use a small punch to put a dimple in the petcock, then angle the punch or other tool so that when you tap it with a hammer, it imparts a counter clockwise rotation of the petcock.

You could use an easy out but that destroys the petcock and I'm not sure if they work on plastic.

What vehicle is this?

Was your cooling fan under the hood on when the antifreeze was pissing out from the reservoir cap?

Also, how soon after you start the car does it overheat?
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Old 09-08-2018, 03:32 AM
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Sorry, Derf, Iíll update my signature info so you guys know what kinda cars Iím driving.

The saturn has been sitting since this epic fail. I blew through the reservoir to drain the coolant faster because I was getting impatient. When I did that I blew out the rubber o-ring that the petcock sits against to seal the lower drain hole (thereís the hole the petcock threads into, and a hole on the bottom that Iím assuming is used to slowly drain coolant?)

luckily I was able to recover the o-ring, thatís a whole other story.

Now im wondering, does the o-ring go over the shaft of the petcock? Or does it go inside the drain hole around the opening for the lower drain hole?

Ive tried ever major parts outlet trying to find this particular petcock, but none of them have the same shaft length, or they are the push-and-turn type, rather than the threaded petcock my radiator has.

I even went as far as to call the shop that replaced my radiator to ask them where they got my radiator, then I called advanced auto parts where they got the radiator, they didnít have it, and I even asked the guy to pull the radiator for my car they had, and check the petcock to see if it matches mine - no dice.

I work at autozone, so I didnít feel too bad asking the dude at advanced to do that because I wouldíve totally pulled down a radiator and checked the petcock for a customer haha.

After work tonight Iím going to get a torch, heat up a flathead screw driver, melt a slot into the petcock, and try my darndest to get it outta there.

My car has just been sitting without coolant for a week, which Iím sure is not ideal, so I really need to get this going and get my car back on the road.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:47 AM
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If there's an O-ring, it should fit into a groove on the petcock, not inside a hole in the radiator. One of your co-workers at Autozone should have been able to tell you that. I worked for the Zone for 5 years and got fed up with all of their bull**** policies and quit. They were more concerned with how their stores looked back in those days than they were about customer service. I raised hell about it as long as I could put up with it. When I quit the last store I was in and went to work at Advance, a lot of my customers switched over too. Dude at Advance should have his *** kicked for not doing you that favor. None of their stores are ever that busy.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:21 AM
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Oh my bad, you misunderstood the way I phrased that part. He was really cool about it and had no problem with pulling the radiator. He pulled it and the petcock was the same as the Dorman petcocks they sell for my vehicle.

I dont mind autozone, it’s just my second job so I don’t take it too serious. I just try to do a good job and help my store the best I can.

There’s no groove on the petcock for the o-ring to sit. Im gonna be front to back busy tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll have time to figure out this petcock situation before work.
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:53 PM
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Alright guys, update time.

I heated up a flathead and melted it into the petcock, got the thing out, now I’m continuing with my coolant flush. My having to use the old petcock because none of the 5 parts stores in my town carry the type of petcock my radiator has. I’ll have to track it down.

I have ave a question though, whenever I’ve ever taken a reservoir cap off either of my Saturns while the engine was hot (not hot enough to flash boil, I’m smarter than that) there’s always some steam that comes out of the reservoir, is this normal?

Anyway, here are some pictures to give you guys a visual.

Drain petcock, completely cheesed.
O-ring, it’s a miracle I found it.
Type of petcock, sorry, I didn’t realize this picture was so bad.
End of the petcock I melted into with a screw driver.

Petcock reinstalled. You can see what I mean by the hole the petcock goes into, and the hole on the bottom I’m assuming is used to drain coolant a little bit at a time.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:29 PM
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Fairly sure that o ring sits in some type of groove near the tip of the petcock. Based on size that is one of two explanations. The other you mentioned earlier, that it rests in a channel in the entry hole of the radiator where the petcock goes in, and a flat face portion of the petcock seals against it to avoid leaks.

As for steam at the reservoir, no that is not normal. If you've already tried replacing the cap with a quality one, then your reservoir is warped and doesn't seal at the threads anymore (alot of heating cooling cycles on that puppy or your system has a restriction in it and is over pressurized and the cap is venting as designed. Do a loan a tool at Auto zone or similar for a cooling system pressure tester and do a pressure test once you put it back together. Could be as simple as a thermostat stuck mostly closed. If it within spec and not indefinitely increasing, porb not the thermostat. If it shows a pressure leak, it is probably a warped reservoir.

Where on the temp gauge does the needle sit at operating temp?
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