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2012 Nissan Versa owner here in CA. My coolant is black. I had the radiator flushed and a cooling fan replaced in June so this is particularly troubling. Since that repair was done my engine also sounds like its gargling balls. Here is a recording for you to ponder.

Vocaroo | Voice message

If I lifted the hood I imagine it would sound even worse.

So, if anyone has experience with this sort of thing I'd appreciate any insight. Thank you for reading this.
 

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Black could be aluminum corrosion since most of the system is made of that. Might be it never got properly rinsed out, I'd be doing it again..........maybe they used an acid based cleaner and never got it back out.

Can't tell anything from the audio, mine sounds exactly like that and runs perfectly.
 

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thank you so much for the audio analysis. That is a big help. So the coolant looks black staring down into the reservoir, but when I took a sample with a straw it was blue... is like coke or red wine where it looks black in large masses but then shows its real color when you spread it out? I can't really take a picture in there without some kind of special light
 

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You know, it might be from mixing different colors of coolant that without considering color are totally compatible. Mine came OEM with red and somebody (my son) has put green in I think, while not black it IS pretty dark looking. I know because I most likely picked that green but so many things, so small a hard drive............I'm running the dog out of it.

if it was dissolved aluminum the color thinned out should be like dark grayish, it will not be blue at all.

There are so many colors of coolant now, with as hard as it is to make money at shops now they grasp at coolant color as 'you are not running the correct coolant color and it is damaging your stuff' as an excuse to scare the crap out of customers to buy overly inflated coolant at ridiculous prices. I sold the stuff and what most don't realize is that other than using a few more plastics than they used to there is absolutely nothing to have really changed coolant specs as the materials are still highly the same. I personally use OLD school antifreeze as the long life stuff takes up to 6 months to get to full strength and I've had issues with rust in that 6 months. As well the regular lasts much longer than the makers would have you think, I use it routinely for at least 3 years and not an issue yet doing it but it's only supposed to last one year. Hooey if you ask me.

You have no idea how much crap the OEMs are now telling people to get them to come back to them and them only.
 

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Black? Better than milkshake or mud color. I dont know about the guys here, but I typically use the garden hose during the flush process and a few bottles of preston radiator flush. WHen it comes to refilling the system after a second flush I use 50-50 premixed as they say tap water is bad due to the minerals it can contain vs bottled distilled water. To flush I do use the hose, then drain fill, drain.

Yes, distilled water as most bottles water comes from another city water supply and others have extra minerals added for taste and extra electrolytes.
 

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WHen it comes to refilling the system after a second flush I use 50-50 premixed as they say tap water is bad due to the minerals it can contain vs bottled distilled water. To flush I do use the hose, then drain fill, drain.

Yes, distilled water as most bottles water comes from another city water supply and others have extra minerals added for taste and extra electrolytes.
And you are sure the water used in your pre-diluted is not from another city water supply?
 

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Absolutely not. Maybe its filtered by the same plant that fills the bottles? Most soda and drink factories use filtered local water.

I had a lady in the parts dept at a toy dealer tell me she used bottled water she was drinking for her radiator when she had a leak on a road trip. :surprise
 

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It all boils down to you having to have some idea of the local water quality. I have used city water in rads and batteries for 45+ years here and no issues from it ever. I use distilled in nothing at all.
 
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