Complete Coolant Change In A Gallardo
|"Carbuff" sent me the following great
write-up. It also appeared on the Lambopower Forum.
the exact procedure to remove ALL old coolant from the enormous
Gallardo cooling system. My quest was to remove 100% of the coolant.
95% was just not good enough.
I bought my Gallardo with
green Napa coolant in the system, and I wanted to return it back to
its proper VW G11 blue coolant.
First, if you do not know
what you are doing, do not attempt this maintance yourself. You have
been warned. That being said, here are the major steps.
Round up the necessary
Empty 5 gallon
jerry can or similar container - for old coolant recycling
gallons of VW part # ZVW-237-105 G11 coolant
2 gallon jugs of
tools to remove trunk liner
Esco flat top jack
stands (from Steve at ultimategarage.com), or equivalent.
The G takes
21L of coolant. I wanted a 60% coolant/40% water mix. That means
12.6L of coolant and rest distilled water.
So off to
the VW dealer for coolant you go.
Important note: our G is an
04 car. The early cars use the blue G11 coolant, while later cars
may use pink G12 or purple G12+ or G12++, so make sure you get the
right stuff for your car.
If you live in an
area with soft water, your flush will be ideal, as flushing with
soft water is best.
Get 2 gallon jugs of distilled water for the
refill. Do not use tap water unless you live in an area with soft
water. I do not mean soft as in water softener (which just replaces
one nasty mineral for another that feels better on your hands). I
mean water with naturally few minerals in it.
Remove trunk liner. If you
do not know how, give up here and return coolant to dealer.
Raise your car. Like this, or on ramps. Securely, or you will get
crushed underneath. Use jack stands or wood with a floor jack. I
prefer to use both. Do not trust floor jack, or anything hydraulic
without a manual pin. Nobody ever returns a faulty jack or jack
sure coolant is cold. Never open a hot coolant reservoir cap, unless
you know what you are doing.
No pic taken, but locate 2 coolant drain
plugs side by side mid center rear underneath car, located on
aluminum coolant pipes. Get catch pans ready, large enough to hold
about 18L of fluid, so use 2 small or one huge.
reservoir (slowly in case there is any pressure). Remove plugs, one
at a time, and allow old coolant to drain. Do not loose crush
washers on these plugs. They are reusable.
Once drain is to
a trickle, open second drain plug. While fluid is draining, Locate
and remove 2 banjo bolts off top of the front radiators. These hold
front radiator air purge tubes leading back to coolant reservoir.
Note position of bolts and tubes. If not paint marked, place paint
marks on them to help with proper torque on replacement. Water will
also trickle out of the 2 small return tubes you just released.
Place white card behind banjo bolts. This will a) allow you to
see minute color changes of fluid, and protect the electronics
directly behind these banjo bolts
side of Gallardo with mechanics blanket, which is the same as a
rubber yoga mat. Steal your wife's, or buy one to match the color of
Remove full pans of old coolant, and dispose of into jerry can
and take to recycling. Do not dump down drain. This stuff is toxic
and will kill fish. Dogs like to lick this sweet deadly treat, so
caution here also.
Take a garden hose, and start filling up
the coolant reservoir. Control water flow so that water draining out
equals water going in.
Now old coolant/new water mix will start to pour from
underneath of car. Start car periodically while water is
running, so that the thermostat opens and allows flushing out of all
coolant passages. Cycle engine on 15 minutes/off 15 minutes.
This can take hours to fully flush the system this way. Caution:
do not allow coolant reservoir to empty while running car. This can
cause catastrophic engine overheating. Also, water must always be
on, to avoid drastic temperature changes in the cooling system.
Watch for coolant coming out of front radiators. Once water runs
clear like this, you are getting closer to having a good flush.
IMPORTANT: the water out of the air purge tubes and banjo bolts
may run clear, only to return to color when the car is started. This
is normal, and tells you that there is more coolant hiding in the
system. Repeat flushing.
Once water is crystal clear, stop water flow,
replace banjo bolts and coolant drain plugs. Now here is the tricky
You are now left with about 9L of tap water in the
cooling system. Where is the 9L hiding, nobody knows, but it is
there. It you live in an area with hard water, you have 9L of hard
water in your cooling system. Too bad.
Tilting the car or
starting it has no effect on purging the remaining water. Just live
with it. You will be diluting with distilled anyway, so it is not a
Since you have a ton of water trapped in the engine, you
will need to add your 12.6L of coolant (60/40 mix) or 10.5L (50/50
mix) first before you add any water. This is to make sure you get
the right amount of coolant in.
You may notice that the
reservoir fills up before you add 12.6 L of coolant. That is because
there is a ton of air trapped in the system.
leaks on drain plugs and banjo bolts.
Start car. You will notice that
almost immediately the level of coolant starts dropping. Add
remaining coolant. Then start topping up with distilled water. Max
level is 5cm below top of reservoir neck, so do not overfill.
Once the car is running and gets up to normal operating temp
(about 90C), check level, top up, and shut off car. Close reservoir
Replace trunk liner. Clean up the mess on your driveway.
cool down. Open reservoir cap, and fill reservoir to within 5cm of
top of reservoir neck. Do not overfill.
Run car up to temp, and repeat
step 14. By now, this should have purged most of the air out of the
Repeat steps 1-15 in 24 months.
I am sure that I
missed describing some obvious steps, but I assume that if you
tackle this job, you already have some basic mechanical experience.