Coolant Flush Issues
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    1. #1
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      Coolant Flush Issues

      I attempted to flush my coolant 2016 XC60 T6 3.0 Platinum this evening and I ran into this problem. I suctioned most of the the coolant from the reservoir tank with about 2/3 of the capacity removed. I then tried to drain at the coolant at the radiator at the drivers side port and no coolant drained out. The tab on the drain only turned 90 degrees and I performed this task a number of times with no success for about ten minutes. I have no issues with the engine running warm and it seems to run well with 75K miles on her. Could there be some type of sediment blockage or internal pressure not allowing the engine to drain by gravity from the radiator from this drain port? Are there any relief valves on the engines to help the coolant drainage process? I was going to flush the system with distilled water and then refill with Pentosin coolant.

      Any help would be appreciated.

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    3. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by xchauler View Post
      I attempted to flush my coolant 2016 XC60 T6 3.0 Platinum this evening and I ran into this problem. I suctioned most of the the coolant from the reservoir tank with about 2/3 of the capacity removed. I then tried to drain at the coolant at the radiator at the drivers side port and no coolant drained out. The tab on the drain only turned 90 degrees and I performed this task a number of times with no success for about ten minutes. I have no issues with the engine running warm and it seems to run well with 75K miles on her. Could there be some type of sediment blockage or internal pressure not allowing the engine to drain by gravity from the radiator from this drain port? Are there any relief valves on the engines to help the coolant drainage process? I was going to flush the system with distilled water and then refill with Pentosin coolant.

      Any help would be appreciated.
      Was the cap on the reservoir open? I'd try pulling the lower rad hose or putting a 5-10 PSI on the system. I'd be surprised if there was sediment in the system.

      Best you can do for a flush is to drain the system as much as possible, and fill with 50/50 coolant. Otherwise, you will have an unknown water/coolant mixture in the system, and the coolant passages with these cars are fairly convoluted.

      Just use Volvo coolant. Cheap in the US. As good as anything out there. It should be Pentosin. In fact, a lot of BMW folks will run Volvo coolant since it doesn't have BMW pricing.

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by xchauler View Post
      I attempted to flush my coolant 2016 XC60 T6 3.0 Platinum this evening and I ran into this problem. I suctioned most of the the coolant from the reservoir tank with about 2/3 of the capacity removed. I then tried to drain at the coolant at the radiator at the drivers side port and no coolant drained out. The tab on the drain only turned 90 degrees and I performed this task a number of times with no success for about ten minutes. I have no issues with the engine running warm and it seems to run well with 75K miles on her. Could there be some type of sediment blockage or internal pressure not allowing the engine to drain by gravity from the radiator from this drain port? Are there any relief valves on the engines to help the coolant drainage process? I was going to flush the system with distilled water and then refill with Pentosin coolant.

      Any help would be appreciated.
      Just did this on my 2012 with the same engine, but 200,000 miles. The screw at the bottom of the radiator is an absolute beast. I ended up calling my best friend (A mechanic by trade) and he came over with the biggest pair of pliers I'd ever seen in my life and even he struggled. It should turn a lot more than 90 degrees. It never even dripped until 180 degrees. My friend was able to remove it completely. RyanR is correct about drain and fill. I intended to flush it out like you did, and when I brought in the hose, my friend stopped me. "You'll never EVER get all the coolant out this way. There's some in the heater core, the lowest point in a bent hose. It's best to just fill it back up with 50/50 and call it a day". Now I have no idea what I'm going to do with the 3 leftover gallons of coolant I have.
      Last edited by catfish93; 05-14-2020 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Needed to add more information

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    6. #4
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      Coolant Flush Frustrations

      Quote Originally Posted by catfish93 View Post
      Just did this on my 2012 with the same engine, but 200,000 miles. The screw at the bottom of the radiator is an absolute beast. I ended up calling my best friend (A mechanic by trade) and he came over with the biggest pair of pliers I'd ever seen in my life and even he struggled. It should turn a lot more than 90 degrees. It never even dripped until 180 degrees. My friend was able to remove it completely. RyanR is correct about drain and fill. I intended to flush it out like you did, and when I brought in the hose, my friend stopped me. "You'll never EVER get all the coolant out this way. There's some in the heater core, the lowest point in a bent hose. It's best to just fill it back up with 50/50 and call it a day". Now I have no idea what I'm going to do with the 3 leftover gallons of coolant I have.
      I ended up going to a local Indy shop and he quoted me a price of $289. My dealer, Borton Volvo was going to do for $220, so just might let them do it and have them look at few other things that I hope are covered under my extended warranty to 100,000 miles.


      • LED window switch lights, two of them don't work on the drivers side
      • Oil Puddling on top of my cylinder head. I noticed it when I replaced the ignition coils
      • Oil leaking from the bottom of my turbocharger

    7. #5
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      Ouch. I mean... the coolant in these cars is supposedly "lifetime". Volvo says it never needs to be changed. Whether or not you believe that is up to you. The coolant is very high quality, of the HOAT variety. Those types of coolants are typically good for 7 years/150,000 miles, so you're halfway there. I wouldn't worry about it, honestly. I'd spend that money on servicing the transmission if you haven't done that. That's a more important service. I bought my 2012 with 100,000 miles and it had generic coolant in it so some shop had upsold the previous owner. I ran it until 200k, then changed it using the Volvo concentrate coolant with 50/50 mix with distilled water. No issues.

    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish93 View Post
      Ouch. I mean... the coolant in these cars is supposedly "lifetime". Volvo says it never needs to be changed. Whether or not you believe that is up to you. The coolant is very high quality, of the HOAT variety. Those types of coolants are typically good for 7 years/150,000 miles, so you're halfway there. I wouldn't worry about it, honestly. I'd spend that money on servicing the transmission if you haven't done that. That's a more important service. I bought my 2012 with 100,000 miles and it had generic coolant in it so some shop had upsold the previous owner. I ran it until 200k, then changed it using the Volvo concentrate coolant with 50/50 mix with distilled water. No issues.
      Negative on the HOAT. Per the MSDS, it's still an ethylene-glycol base. It's still damned good coolant.

      I will say that it's curious that Volvo was selling the older coolant (used for decades) until 2015-ish before it was superseded to the current stuff, and most of these cars were born before that. Makes you wonder. A bit. That said, the bowels of the 3.2L in my XC90 looked pristine when I did the water pump and thermostat last fall.

      I run genuine coolant in all the cars. Have been for decades.

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
      Negative on the HOAT. Per the MSDS, it's still an ethylene-glycol base. It's still damned good coolant.

      I will say that it's curious that Volvo was selling the older coolant (used for decades) until 2015-ish before it was superseded to the current stuff, and most of these cars were born before that. Makes you wonder. A bit. That said, the bowels of the 3.2L in my XC90 looked pristine when I did the water pump and thermostat last fall.

      I run genuine coolant in all the cars. Have been for decades.

      -Ryan
      Not to argue, but... https://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/fo...ic.php?t=29159 The point is that the coolant really doesn't need to be changed yet, though you can do it if you'd like. Just use the genuine coolant as it's the best for the car.

    10. #8
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      When I changed the coolant in my 2007 S80 I opened the previously described plug on the bottom of the radiator. It was hard but from what I remember (four years ago) it came open when I assisted the twisting by also pulling on it. The flow was however ridiculously slow and I'm pretty sure I had the cap off the reservoir. If I were to re-do it I'd just pull the lower hose from the radiator and buy a large catch pan.

      I did the flush by draining as much as I could, then filling it up with tap water from a hose, started the engine to circulate and mix it with the old coolant, then did another drain, rinse and repeat a few times.

      To get the correct 50/50 mixture I checked the total coolant volume in the manual, then calculated how much concentrated coolant I needed to add to the now very diluted old coolant (this of course required knowing how much coolant I drained each time). Back then I still had my car serviced at Volvo, they measured the mixture at the next service a month later and it was within spec.

      Quote Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
      Negative on the HOAT. Per the MSDS, it's still an ethylene-glycol base. It's still damned good coolant.

      I will say that it's curious that Volvo was selling the older coolant (used for decades) until 2015-ish before it was superseded to the current stuff, and most of these cars were born before that. Makes you wonder. A bit. That said, the bowels of the 3.2L in my XC90 looked pristine when I did the water pump and thermostat last fall.

      I run genuine coolant in all the cars. Have been for decades.

      -Ryan
      What's HOAT or MSDS? I've always been told that coolant is coolant and as long as you get one with the same base (ethylene or propylene) as you have in your car you should be fine. What separates Volvo brand coolant from e.g generic ones? Is it worth paying extra for?
      "The top-end T8's are like 'dictator opulent'. It screams 'drive me through the Kremlin in a military parade with some ICBMs on trucks'" - TheVolvo
      "Just change all 4 tires at the same time when needed and it feels always like a flying carpet"
      "Car was dusty and dirty yet he cleaned it without using any water. It scared me and I am afraid of nothing"
      "XC70 FWD is like a beer with 0% Alc. Wtf, realy wtf."
      " I am sure I will buy a mainstream car with great mileage and a plug-in instead of a but-plug 🖤"
      - CrossingCountries

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish93 View Post
      Not to argue, but... https://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/fo...ic.php?t=29159 The point is that the coolant really doesn't need to be changed yet, though you can do it if you'd like. Just use the genuine coolant as it's the best for the car.
      Bring this back to the fine folks at Matthews. Pictures to the contrary!

      As to whether or not to flush, here's my concern: The first pic was a stroke of luck: you can see a gallon of the "older" Volvo coolant. The pic is dated 2016, and I know the old coolant was purchased in summer, 2015. I took these pics because Volvo suddenly superseded the old coolant with new. This piqued my interest. Soooo... for dealership coolant we have a changeover year in 2016. The old coolant was sold for over 30 years. Per every owner's manual in that period, this coolant was to be changed regularly. As of 2014, VIDA still had the P/N for (and only for) the old coolant, which for decades prior was to be changed regularly.

      So "what coolant" exactly went into these cars on the assembly line?... and on what assembly line? Was it changed at the dealership level for any reason? What did they use? Was there a supply lag? We don't know.

      So what's the answer? You don't know. I don't know. I would contend that Matthews Volvo Site clearly does not know. Do we err on the side of caution for $16? Even if it's just to exercise sticky drain valves?

      -Ryan
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      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Schmoyoho View Post
      What's HOAT or MSDS? I've always been told that coolant is coolant and as long as you get one with the same base (ethylene or propylene) as you have in your car you should be fine. What separates Volvo brand coolant from e.g generic ones? Is it worth paying extra for?
      HOAT is Hybrid Organic Acid Tech coolant. HOAT and OAT's can be a real witches brew. When we had Fiats in the driveway, I found that the Mopar coolants were a real moving target depending on model year. The 2012 and 2016 Fiats used different stuff.

      Ethylene glycol coolants have been around for ages and ages... you probably can use whatever, but the Europeans always seemed to have better stuff. Volvo coolant has been relatively cheap for decades. I think I saw it for $16.20 this morning. That dilutes 50-50 to be $8.10/gallon.

      An MSDS is a Material Safety Data Sheet. By law, one needs to be available for any/every "chemical". It tells you, generally, what's in the chemical so that appropriate measures can be taken if there's a spill, or if it gets in your eyes, or gets ingested. By design, an MSDS is more accurate than an internet car forum.

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    13. #11
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      Are HOATs and OATs different leagues of coolant? Or are they different applications/versions of regular coolant that is in turn either based on propylene or ethylene glycol? I have a litre of concentrated coolant I bought a few months ago at Volvo, it's the regular green one that's based on ethylene glycol according to the label. Is this one the HOAT one, or is there a different one that I don't know of? There are no mentions of HOAT/OAT or anything like that on the label.
      "The top-end T8's are like 'dictator opulent'. It screams 'drive me through the Kremlin in a military parade with some ICBMs on trucks'" - TheVolvo
      "Just change all 4 tires at the same time when needed and it feels always like a flying carpet"
      "Car was dusty and dirty yet he cleaned it without using any water. It scared me and I am afraid of nothing"
      "XC70 FWD is like a beer with 0% Alc. Wtf, realy wtf."
      " I am sure I will buy a mainstream car with great mileage and a plug-in instead of a but-plug 🖤"
      - CrossingCountries

    14. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Schmoyoho View Post
      Are HOATs and OATs different leagues of coolant? Or are they different applications/versions of regular coolant that is in turn either based on propylene or ethylene glycol? I have a litre of concentrated coolant I bought a few months ago at Volvo, it's the regular green one that's based on ethylene glycol according to the label. Is this one the HOAT one, or is there a different one that I don't know of? There are no mentions of HOAT/OAT or anything like that on the label.
      http://knowhow.napaonline.com/what-i...of%20the%20two.

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