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Discussion Starter #1
Drained the coolant out of the rad drain and refilled today and noticed a bunch of small white particles in it all.... looking for some input but I think I might know what happened.

Here's some background. 2015, got it new. I've done all my own maintenance for the most part so I have very good control over what has happened. Used nothing but FL-22. Drained the coolant to install a block heater when the car was new, refilled. Then had the old recall that coolant mixture might not be right. Dealer said it wasn't, even after installing the heater. I was skeptical but hey why not. They changed the coolant. Didn't touch it until September of last year. Had an accident on the highway with some unknown animal, posted about that long ago. Had a shop fix it because insurance paid for everything. New rad and I insisted on FL-22 but these guys did a total hack job. Some ass figured the pre-mixed coolant needed to be mixed again and watered it down. Result was a freezing point of -12C when it should be around -45.

At that point I had lost all confidence in those clowns and took over fixing it. Drained and refilled 4 times giving a few hundred kms between to ensure it was mixed well. Got the freezing point down to -43. I decided to do another drain and refill but put it off until today.

Drained and didn't notice anything unusual until I refilled. Lots of little white particles floating around. I have attached a pic.

At this point I'm wondering if that shop watered down the coolant with tap water. Wouldn't put it past them. But on the other hand I did catch the coolant problem very promptly.

So what do you guys think? I'm guessing I'm up for a full flush. However, since there's no drain plug on the block I can't get it all out and FL-22 only comes pre mixed. If I flush with deionized water, I won't be able to get it all out by far. This is why I've done drain and refill so many times.

Any suggestions on how to tackle this job? Maybe pull the rad...Got a few ideas but would like some shared experience.

Thanks.

Oh and I managed to jam the climate control knob. Won't go to full AC and springs back. Had this before when the dealer flushed, but they replaced the cable under warranty and a TSB. I'll have to look up the details in the tech manual but open to input there too. Maybe some way to fix it without buying parts. This is the manual climate control by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
if anyone thinks a cleaner image will help, just ask. i can always get out my camera and macro lens. i was using my cell here.
 

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I don't know what it is exactly but I've seen this in other cars as well. I worked on some old Volvos that the stuff had gotten bad enough that they'd overheat @ idle but cool normally once you started moving.

Personally, I'd use a flush kit to flush it all out then refill normally. You can get the kit at the parts stores or bg (what I use) has a kit if you go to the dealer.
 

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2018 Mazda 3 GT called Coffee.
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That is a very helpful first post.
Thank you @Imlosthere
CK
 
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Discussion Starter #7
so to update, i've concluded that the shop i spoke of must have diluted the coolant with tap water. i can't see any other reason why this would happen. things don't go wrong for no reason after all...

since then, coolant is back to normal so the tap water should be removed. this is likely calcium and magnesium deposits that are now breaking loose. they will continue to do so until most of it is gone. i want to stick with the FL-22 coolant so doing a flush is problematic. remember, this stuff comes pre mixed so you can't just flush with deionized water as any remainder would throw the mix off. i'd have to flush with several jugs of coolant, not the easiest setup nor is it cheap. ideally i'd also have to remove the thermostat to get good flow through the block and head.

i've also used my stethoscope on the water pump to check for any bearing noise.....nothing.

my solution is to filter the coolant. drain to clean pan and then run it through coffee filters. this has been quite successful in removing the sediment but it takes time. i plan on repeating this throughout the summer until there is no more sediment and then doing 2-3 drain/refills with new coolant giving running time between changes. so far it's already looking much better. sediment is not yet completely gone but is far less than it was.

i thought of building a pump and filter setup. small pump, fittings, tubing and a particulate water filter (no charcoal) so i could just plug it in and walk away. this would be very convenient and should be quite effective, but there's two problems. one is i'm too lazy to remove the thermostat. second is this is far more expensive than a few paper coffee filters.
 
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