As I wasn’t too sure when the coolant was last flushed, I thought I may as well do it today, just so I know what’s in there.
Obviously, being the idiot that I am, I didn’t even bother WATCHING any videos or RTFM’ing any more than ‘Oh, there’s a drain on the bottom of the engine to drain the coolant!’, so I started by trying to jack the car up. Problem 1. My trolley jack doesn’t fit underneath the car!
So I then had to pull the scissor jack out of the boot, and then use THAT to lift the car high enough to get the trolley jack in. Success! The car was then up on stands.
Then I pulled the plastic shroud off the bottom of the engine bay. Anyone who’s done this before would be going ‘Wat? Why did you do that! You don’t need to do that!’. Yes. I discovered, AFTER I’d pulled it off, that I didn’t actually need to remove it at all ,and I could have quite happily left it in place.
After realising the foolishness (but, in hindsight, I’m glad I did – as I discovered a bunch of missing fasteners), it was then time to replace the coolant. Penrite encourage you to use their quasi-magic ‘coolant flush’ thing, which is alkaline and is meant to clean out the cooling system. I just drained it, flushed it with water, and then filled it up again.
After that (and, taking quite a few breaks to warm the car up, ensure all the air was out of the system, and let it cool down), it was time to reassemble everything. At this point I had read the manual, and I discovered that most of the fasteners were missing under the car! Not only that, the left hand side had totally fallen off at one point, and had ground itself away when it was flapping around loose.
I’ve bolted it back in place so it’s slightly more stable, but it’s not doing anything good for the car at the moment, so it needs to get replaced. There’s a couple of them in Russia for about $60 delivered to Australia, so I may just invest in that. I also ordered a bunch of replacement fasteners on eBay, too, to replace all the missing ones, but I need to get Tharyn’s blessing before I import MORE parts for this car!
I also discovered that the aftermarket cross member was loose, when I happened to grab it and it moved! So, a bit of Locktite fixed that right up.
Then, after putting the car back together, I took it off the jack, and scurried back inside to sit in the aircon.
It’s now ready for its trip to Dr Mazda on Tuesday to get the Airbag Cover and the un-roadworthy tail lights replaced!