Lessons through Car

I have a 2000 Honda Accord EX 3.0L V6 and I am in love with it. At the moment I am not working so money is tight but I do anything I can in order to make sure the car is in good condition. It's a Honda and so it is reliable.

So today I did a coolant swap. The previous owner had a green coolant in there. Honda's Antifreeze is a 50/50 premixed solution which is Blue. I also noticed that the car temperature used to rise to a little more than 50 % on the gauge and stay there, so I was worried. Therefore, I decided I needed to put in the OEM one. Now, here's what I did.

  1. Loosened the radiator drain plug
  2. Had a 8 quart oil pan underneath it.
  3. Loosened the radiator plug
  4. Used a turkey baster like device to remove old coolant from the reservoir tank while the coolant from the radiator drained.
  5. Once it was reduced to a trickle I turned on the engine and turned on the heat.
  6. The temperature climbed up fast but I also so more green coolant drain out.
  7. Let the car cool down.
  8. Opened the radiator valve and put in a funnel. Started pouring the new coolant and saw it leave the radiator from below.
  9. Tightened and closed the radiator drain plug and then poured all the coolant in through the top.
  10. It took 1.25 Gallon in the radiator and another .25 in the reservoir.

Lessons learnt:

  1. Always use gloves no matter what. Get a good pair of glasses as well.
  2. Leave the phone in your car, it's a distraction
  3. Get a funnel with a stable cork to fit around the radiator cap
  4. Use a lot of newspapers beneath your car
  5. Hoist the vehicle on the left to give your hand more space to work the drain plug.
  6. Get a better jack hydraulic that works
  7. use a lot of paper towels around the container you're working (radiator or the reservoir) to avoid spilling antifreeze on your car components
  8. Always carry extra empty gallon containers to put in old coolant. At least 2
  9. Carry a big cloth sheet with you at all times, it helps a lot in many ways.

That's just the coolant part. I also fixed (well the rain will tell) a leak in the left tail light. Water used to sneak in and when I raised the trunk it used to come out of the light sockets. I was afraid it might short something but it didn't. So I took a bunch of silicone sealant and used it every where around the light itself. The light is fairly easy to take off. I used an 8mm socket with wrench and removed three screws. The weather is bad here so I will know for sure if the sealant worked.

Now to the tranmsission fluid. I did a lot of work just to find that the transmission fluid was fairly red. I mean yes it has become darker but it wasn't like the dark sludge I imagined it would be. So I just got the OEM transmission fluid ATF - DW1 from Honda (expensive) and then when I finally checked the transmission state it was not as bad. It was running a little low so I put a little more to bring it to the optimum level. I think for that I need more tools, so I am going to have somebody do it for me. I can't afford to keep piling more stuff. It will be a real problem when I move.

But now my car is running just fine. I saw that the temperature is not climing as much (fairly less than before) and I am confident that I can go on very long drives soon. Good lessson.