hi hello greetings and salutations, oh... and HOWDY, yawl.

Just acquired me a used and mysterious 1998 5.4 v8 ford van.

I didn't know much about it other than it was runnin ok, I guess.

Took her to the shop. And and they recommended a coolant flush:

"There is some brown slop on the surface of your reservoir, so we recommend doing a replacement of your reservoir and also a coolant flush."

I said, "OK !!!!!!!!!!!"

And they performed the surgery.

Then afterward, they threw me a curve ball:

"We did the flush and replaced the reservoir but now that slop is appearin' all over again in the reservoir We put yellow coolent in it and now it's darker like... orange and all rusty! we don't know what it is. We better keep a eye on it!"

Now at the time I said... "OK sure..." but some months later, I dun some work on her myself... switched out a radiator... and I noticed that same brown slop on the surfaces of the hoses, too!

And that got me thankin. Why the heyl that shop didn't look at the hoses too? Or the god dang engine??? If the slop is in the reservoir, then it's damn sure in the whole entire complete end-to-end coolant system. Just cuz the reservoir is the most literally (as the kids say now days) transparent part of the system dont mean you gotta replace that particular piece just cuz you can literally see the slop there... but don't replace none of the rest of the system. That's straight up retarded.

Why they didn't ask them selves no questions like... "could this be some kinda head gasket sealer... is it rust?" What the heyl is it? The answer to that question outta inform yer next course o' action. right?

But they just seemed ta go with the most immediately visible thang and replace it without askin no deeper questions.

Should I look to a new shop?


In my opinion, they seemed to be concerned about the antifreeze and replaced it. That was a good call. They were probably trying to clear the system. Many times on vehicles this age, multiple flushes are required to completely clear the system. They probably wanted to do more but didn't want you to go through the extra expense on a vehicle that age. If they replaced everything that was affected by the slop, you would be paying for all new hoses and radiator. This could turn into a very expensive venture, then you might be complaining how much they charged you to fix this old van. They may have changed the reservoir because it is important to be able to see to check the coolant level.

  • 10-4 good buddy! – Bubba Jun 17 '20 at 0:29
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    On an old car, I would run water during the summer months, draining and replacing it every couple days. The frequent flushes of free fluid did wonders for cleaning up the coolant system. You might try just flushing it with water instead of coolant. – the_storyteller Jun 17 '20 at 0:55
  • It is better to get a new cooling system and all the necessary hoses, thermostat and fans. Flushing just cleans the system, but doesn’t make it new. It’s already too old. How is one reservoir ripping you off? Jupiter has good advice for you here. 22 year old parts should be replaced immediately. It’s lucky the engine and transmission is still intact but these other supporting systems should be updated now. – Numair Aidroos Jun 17 '20 at 15:40
  • Well, shucks, y'all. – Bubba Jun 18 '20 at 4:49

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