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      11-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #1
N0OS3
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Angry New coolant problem...

So... this JUST happened to me (in the process of getting my car towed home)... my coolant alarm went off for "low coolant" right after i noticed steam coming out of the kidney grills... i pulled over immediately to find coolant RUSHING out of the bottom; pretty much directly where the adjustment screw is ... i'm thinking the 'Radiator Coolant Flow Adjustment Screw' came out... i'm ordering a new one right now and changing up the type of coolant i used... but my question is... why is it called an "Adjustment Screw"?

And if this is the case... it looks like i have some editing to do in my DIY video...
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Last edited by N0OS3; 11-07-2012 at 01:56 AM.
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      11-05-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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It's been a while, but I remember there was two parts to it. The outer shell of it was like a bolt and the inner was a phillips head type. I didn't think too hard when I went to drain the coolant and tried turning the bolt portion....and I heard a crack, like plastic breaking. But all seemed fine as it still seemed to stay on. Then I unscrewed it via the screw head inner portion to drain it. Put everything back together and it was fine for maybe 3 days. Eventually though, it fell out and I had to do roadside maintenance. Luckily I carry safety wire and I was able to safety wire that drain plug on, refill with water and continue driving till I got a new plug. If you tried turning the bolt outer portion, most likely you broke the clips and at that point that plug was just staying on because of friction.....which is not going to work for long.
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      11-06-2012, 01:17 AM   #3
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I see... well, turns out it was in fact the plug that fell out... i ordered a new one already and picked up some fresh coolant.
So, now that you hooked up safety wire to it, is that your final solution? I'm trying not to go about this in any ghetto fashion but i want to be sure the drain plug i'm replacing it with will stay in...

I don't recall breaking any plastic clips when i turned it when taking it off.
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      11-06-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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If you look at the pic, it's slotted on and only turns clockwise. I tried to take it out (counterclockwise) and snapped the clip. Friction was enough that I thought it was still on. It is very possible that when you tightened it with a screwdriver, you also turned the outer portion enough that the clips lined up with the slot and eventually pressure pushed it out. Examine your old one, it might be fine. Mine was diffidently broken. The safety wire worked great to make sure the old one didn't fall out, but after getting the replacement, of course I did not use safety wire for it again. Although for a few days after that I kept checking to make sure I wasn't dripping any coolant there and also carried around a gallon of distilled water. But it hasn't leaked again and it's been several thousands of miles since.

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      11-06-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casca View Post
If you look at the pic, it's slotted on and only turns clockwise. I tried to take it out (counterclockwise) and snapped the clip. Friction was enough that I thought it was still on. It is very possible that when you tightened it with a screwdriver, you also turned the outer portion enough that the clips lined up with the slot and eventually pressure pushed it out. Examine your old one, it might be fine. Mine was diffidently broken. The safety wire worked great to make sure the old one didn't fall out, but after getting the replacement, of course I did not use safety wire for it again. Although for a few days after that I kept checking to make sure I wasn't dripping any coolant there and also carried around a gallon of distilled water. But it hasn't leaked again and it's been several thousands of miles since.

So if I have a drain plug like this, do I turn it clockwise to remove it? Since it isn't threaded, how do I know when the slot lines up? Once it is lined up, do I just pull it out?
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      11-07-2012, 12:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brad from the OC View Post
So if I have a drain plug like this, do I turn it clockwise to remove it? Since it isn't threaded, how do I know when the slot lines up? Once it is lined up, do I just pull it out?
I forget, it might turn counterclockwise to the point where the clip hits a stop, lining up with the slot and then you can pull it out. When I broke it, I am sure I just cranked on it without paying any attention. Maybe when the OP puts the new part in, he can clear it up.
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      11-07-2012, 01:55 AM   #7
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I've confirmed that i broke off the tabs as shown in the picture below... i guess i just cranked on it too hard thinking it was a bolt and didn't realize it. And this isn't the type of plug that is supposed to be taken off like the old E46 one, this one is permant lock-in... if you must take it out, you HAVE to break the tabs.

If you're going to unscrew the blew part like you're supposed to, i suggest gripping the black part with a set of pliers and twisting the blue screw off with a soda can tab. The coolant draining process is supposed to take FOREVER i suppose...



before i put the new plug in, i'm going to run some plain R.O. water through the system in order to flush out the old coolant and hopefully get the broken tabs out (if they're still in there).
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      11-07-2012, 06:38 AM   #8
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The coolant DIY in the DIY section warns about removing the white nut and to only remove the blue screw.
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      11-07-2012, 09:48 AM   #9
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The coolant DIY in the DIY section warns about removing the white nut and to only remove the blue screw.
I made an annotation in my DIY video on this also.

I went strictly by the Bentley Publishers Manual; it said to remove the entire stem and replace. O_o' I even pointed it out in my video...
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      11-07-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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I don't really like that design. Seems really easy to break those tabs and you may possibly break it without knowing just by tightening the screw head portion. Think next time, I am going to plastic weld some notches right next to the opening so I can do a very clean, nice looking safety wire job on it.
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      11-08-2012, 02:17 AM   #11
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Here you go, guys...

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Last edited by N0OS3; 11-09-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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