QUOTE (U-96 @ Oct 26 2009, 07:58 AM)
Ok, it seems to me the question how to change [b]all the coolant (as opposed to only ~50% that one can drain from the radiator) is the best kept secret around here... I found this question being asked several times on the forum, with no intelligible answer.
How do I join that clandestine society of people who know this sacred ritual?
I bought the Haynes manual for the Sante Fe before starting some maintenance.
It's almost impossible to change all the coolant. For the v-6 engines, in addition to the plug in your radiator, there are 2 more drain plugs on the engine block. One is on the front side of the engine and the other is on the back side. To access the front drain plug on my 2.7 v-6 you have to remove the starter. You might be able to access it without removing the starter but it would be difficult. The plug is like directly over the starter. My Santa Fe is a 4wd model. For me, in order to access the rear drain plug in the other side of the block I would have to remove the drive shaft and the transfer case . The plug is directly above those things. on a FWD model it would most likely not be as hard. If you have 4wd, don't bother. It's not worth it. Just take it somewhere. They can hook it up to a machine and do a power flush of the fluid.
In the Haynes manual the steps are as follows:
Wait till radiator is cool
Set car on full heat setting so the coolant from the cabin heating system can drain also. Otherwise the valve will remain closed and that coolant won't drain.
1) open radiator cap and expansion tank cap.
2) Access drain plug under radiator and drain all the fluid out.
3) Then drain both the plugs in the engine block
4) Remove the thermostat and then reattach the housing, leaving the thermostat out.
5) Disconnect the upper radiator hose and run it to some container large enough to hold alot of water. a big bucket or something.
6) Then get a garden hose and run it into the radiator. With the thermostat removed it will allow the coolant to freely flow through the system. Run the garden hose into the radiator it self and turn it on a slow rate until it comes out the top of that radiator hose and runs clear. Once it runs clear, you have fully flushed the system.
Now repeat steps 1, 2 AND 3 to fully drain the tap water from your system.
Re-install the thermostat.
THEN Fill the radiator with your coolant mixture.
Turn the car on and let it idle until it heats up enough that the thermostat opens. Once the upper radiator hose goes from cold to hot you know the thermostat is open.
Now you have to fill the radiator again and also fill up the overflow tank.
Drive it around, let it get hot and let the coolant work through the system. Then go back home and let the engine cool. ONce it's cool, check level again and top off the radiator.
Sound like a lot of work? IT IS!!!! It took me 3 hours and I couldn't even access those drain bolts in the engine block.
Do yourself a favor and take it somewhere. I am never doing this job again.