Cleaning the inside of a radiator? OK to use detergent in a running engine?


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Posted by NoEcm (71.212.72.178) on 22:34:43 02/05/08

Just replaced the lower intake manifold gasket on my 96 Tahoe. I noticed that the inside of the radiator has a oily substance in it.

In searching the web I found a couple of postings that suggested running a little detergent inside th radiator to clean it:

"Step #2 - You need a degreaser, preferably non-sudsing one. Shout will work as will some dishwasher detergents (properly dissolved in hot water completely first) or get Some Prestone radiator flush from the parts store. This will degrease however is too wimpy to do much more than that. How much is enough? I would use a 17 - 20 once container. Better to err or the side of too much than too little and not degrease the system enough. This is a critical step as the Citric acid will not do its job with any oil or lubricants from the antifreeze in the system. Since you are taking the time and expense to this then it would be best to do it properly. Mix the degreasing agent of your choice and fill the radiator full of water, and run the car at least 20 minutes after it is up to operating temp. It is easiest to do this with a short drive. Allow to cool down and flush several times until the water no longer feels slippery that you are draining. Three times should be enough."


Anyone have any thoughts on using detergent to clean the inside of a radiator while the engine is running?

17 - 20oz of detergent seems like a lot of detergent. Thats like a pint of detergent!!!

Will the detergent harm any of the seals or gaskets?





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