Cooling system maintenance

Hello all, I'm going to flush/refill my cooling system ('03 Toyota truck) as part of its 30,000 mile scheduled maintenance. As I'd like to do the work myself, I'm wondering how important it is to
open the engine block drain plugs as part of the flushing process. Admittedly, I'm having a difficult time locating them, and know that they'll probably require some dexterity to reach, and if it's not crucial, I'd opt to leave them closed. The existing coolant appears to be in good condition--not cloudy and of good color. Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Mitch
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Mitch wrote:

You must flush the cooling system at least every 3 years. The coolant also has another function; it contains additives that prevent corrosion. In most cases they last for 3 years.
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Drain what you reasonably can and replace with new, then repeat every two years, you will have no trouble.
mrcheerful
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wrote:

You should check with a Toyota dealer. Many Toyotas are filled with red "forlife" coolant. Only needs replacing and flushing if it's contaminated - either oil due to gasket failure or topping up with something else other than "forlife" coolant.
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Why do Toyota owners manuals state to be changed after the first 5 years, then every 2 years ? Changed mine myself when it was about 5 years old, and it looked fine - unless the previous owner had got it done before they sold it at 3 years old but I doubt it.
Anyway, it's called LongLife now. I guess the reason for the name change is because it doesn't really last "For Life" :-/
I didn't drain from the engine drain though, just the radiator and the 2 big pipes running under the car (it's mid-engined).
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Johnny wrote:

The time limit is for the anti-corrosion additives. Different coolant products have different life expectancies from 2 years and up to 5 years.
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Are you sure it's for life? We've just got a Toyota with red coolant. I haven't seen the official service schedule, but Autodata says it is renewed every 3 years/36k miles. The handbook says that it should be topped up with ethylene glycol based coolant, ideally Toyota *long* life coolant. Doesn't that suggest that it's just a bog standard long-life (i.e. 3 year) anti-freeze, except that it's red instead of green?
The anti-freeze in the Volvo, OTOH, does not have a replacement interval. Volvo say it doesn't need replacing as long as the strength is checked every year. If you do replace it, they say you must *only* use Volvo anti-freeze. Can't see anything special about it, though. Looks just like bog-standard anti-freeze to me (probably what it is). I'm not sure I like this idea because it gives no oppurtunity to purge any contaminants out of the system.
--
Stuart Sharp

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