Coolant change fiasco


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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TomtheBomb
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Coolant change fiasco

Post by TomtheBomb »



I had the coolant changed by a service dealer on my 2015 GL1800 recently. On a long ride the next day, I noticed coolant spilled out all over the right side of the bike. After accessing the radiator cap, I noticed that the radiator cap was not fully tightened. While riding, I was evidently unaware that hot coolant must have been spraying out the loose radiator cap. There was no coolant underneath the bike. When I removed the cap, there was no coolant visible. The bike did not overheat. The dipstick showed an excess amount of coolant in the reservoir. It’s level was well over the upper fill mark. I’m very confused on what to do? I can’t add any coolant to the reserve tank. It’s over filled. Yet, the radiator must be low on coolant because of the spillage while riding with a loose cap. Shouldn’t the coolant come up to near the top of the cap when the bike is cold? Should I simply add coolant directly to the radiator?


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Rambozo
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Re: Coolant change fiasco

Post by Rambozo »

If the bike is cooled off you can add coolant to the radiator. Or just keep the reservoir filled and after a few heat and cool cycles it will transfer that to the radiator as needed.
TomtheBomb
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Re: Coolant change fiasco

Post by TomtheBomb »

It’s that simple! I guess I was just overthinking it. Thank you!!
The Original Eggman
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Re: Coolant change fiasco

Post by The Original Eggman »

When your coolant heats up, it expands and builds pressure, which is good, because water under pressure has a higher boiling point. Ideally there shouldn't be any air in your cooling system to maximize the radiators cooling capabilities. The expanding coolant has to go somewhere. It goes into the coolant overflow bottle or reservoir through that little hose that is supposed to be attached to the filler neck of the radiator. Being at the top it will push any air out first and then coolant if need be. When your coolant cools down, it contracts and causes a vacuum to form in the radiator which in turn sucks coolant back into the radiator from the reservoir through that same little hose. If you notice there is a fill mark on (cars) or a dip stick for the reservoirs. This is to prevent air from being sucked back into the system assuming your radiator cap is on tight and that the seal and spring tension are good and within specs.
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Re: Coolant change fiasco

Post by GoldWingrGreg »

TomtheBomb wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 10:49 pm I had the coolant changed by a service dealer on my 2015 GL1800 recently. On a long ride the next day, I noticed coolant spilled out all over the right side of the bike. After accessing the radiator cap, I noticed that the radiator cap was not fully tightened. While riding, I was evidently unaware that hot coolant must have been spraying out the loose radiator cap. There was no coolant underneath the bike. When I removed the cap, there was no coolant visible. The bike did not overheat. The dipstick showed an excess amount of coolant in the reservoir. It’s level was well over the upper fill mark. I’m very confused on what to do? I can’t add any coolant to the reserve tank. It’s over filled. Yet, the radiator must be low on coolant because of the spillage while riding with a loose cap. Shouldn’t the coolant come up to near the top of the cap when the bike is cold? Should I simply add coolant directly to the radiator?
It is probably best to start by cleaning up most of the mess first. To do that, remove the lower center cowl, and right panel cover the expose the radiator cap. With a gardon hose, rinse down the area under the cap, then rinse through the radiator grill from the right side spraying inward, and from the front, rinse down the top right side of the engine. Then centerstand the Wing and let sit overnight. After the cooling system is at ambient temperature, remove the radiator cap, and add coolant to the fill line. Start and run the Wing and let run 3-5 mins while snapping the throttle several times. Turn the engine off and remove the radiator cap. Under the cap, fill to the coolant fill line.

Then start and run until the fans come on ... probably 10-20 mins. Once the fans come one, place your hands under the headlamps and verify that the heat and blow are equal. Now check the reservoir level. In your case, you'll probably need to suck down, instead of adding. The reservior level is usually highest just prior to the fans coming on. Make sure that the reservior is filled to high fill mark on the dip-stick just prior to the fans coming on. Adjust the level accordingly, and reinstall the resevior's dip-stick. You might need to rinse down the dip-stick area.

After doing all that, if you still have a coolant smell, you have a coolant leak. Many shops don't have the proper tools to check for them. If there was a coolant leak, and if it was not detected and fixed prior to changeing the coolant, new coolant will clean out leaks and make them worst.
Terry D
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Re: Coolant change fiasco

Post by Terry D »

I know this thread is almost a month old but. Also to add: Make sure you hose from radiator to reservoir bottle is not cracked with age. You could get antifreeze seeping out the hose causing the smell.


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