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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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muriatic acid in radiator???

When I worked at a boat yard I saw a mechanic submerge a heat exchanger in muriatic acid to remove deposites and corrosion. Has anyone flushed a Rad. with this stuff? I've also seen the acid desolve an aluminum can pretty quick and eat the bottom off of a coffee can over night. I would guess it to be VERY RISKY at best.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 04:19 PM
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I believe that radiator shops use it to clean out radiators and as a prep for soldering. Or at least they did in the past. What it's best for is removing hard-water deposits, which you shouldn't have if you've been flushing and changing regularly. Distilled vinegar will get rid of that yuck a lot more safely, and probably cheaper too.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 04:47 PM
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I certainly would NOT use it full strength. Dilute it at least 20:1 with water (always add the acid to the water, not the water to the acid.) That will give you 5% strength.

But, it's better to get stuff at the parts house designed for cleaning radiators.

Muriatic - Hydrocloric - HCL is used for etching and dissolving aluminum and brass. Is that what you want - to dissolve the tubes?

Before using it, run a cleaner through it. HCL will not dissolve grease or oil.

Full strength works great to eat rust away - it removes the oxygen from the ferric oxide (rust), then the iron particles from the rust falls off as a black powder.

You have to neutralize it - even if you rinse it good. If any is left on, it will promote corrosion. Use lots of baking soda mixed with a little water.

I had a seat track that was very badly rusted - I soaked it in HCL for about an hour, rinsed it, neutralized it - almost as good as new.

Wear eye protection!!!!!!! Dangerous stuff!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 07:04 PM
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I have no idea about muriatic acid, but my step dad uses a cheap dollar store toilet bowl cleaner to flush radiators. Im not sure what kind of acid is the toilet bowl cleaner but it works good Im pretty sure he flushes out the antifreeze before he put's it in. Now I realy feel like a redneck!!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 02:12 AM
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I wouldn't also use it purely on the radiator. It might cause some chemical reactions which is eventually not what your car needs.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:20 AM
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Use acetic acid also known as vinegar. Use the white, your radiator won’t care about the cider flavor.

Drain and flush with water. Refill with one gallon vinegar and fill with water. Drive it for a day, drain and refill.

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