Bleeding Bongos… sorry, rephrase that… bleeding the coolant in Bongos, comes up repeatedly on Bongo social media and forums. In this section, I will continue to add some of the most useful advice, as it becomes known to me.
Water and antifreeze/summer coolant
The whole system holds about 13 litres so you will need 4½ to 6 litres of antifreeze in your system. It has been recommended to use red antifreeze – Triple QX. (Three bottles). It has also been recommended not to mix antifreezes (many other vehicles use blue), so perhaps, where necessary, flushing thoroughly, refilling, bleeding, etc.
What’s the difference between antifreeze colours?
From what I’ve read, it seems that blue lasts about 2 years and red up to 5 years. Some colours can be mixed, but apparently, mixing blue and red causes it to form sludge. Also, although frost protection may show as adequate when testing, it seems to be that the corrosion inhibitors can deplete over time, but less so in the red mixture. (The Blucol website offers some useful comparison information). You can look at an original forum thread on the subject, here.
Bleeding a Diesel or a Petrol V6 Bongo
‘Best tip is to fill through the bleed tube and make sure you give the lower hose, lots of squeezes as the van is running up to temperature.’ – Julian Rogers
Bleeding a 2.0 Ltr Petrol Bongo
2.0 Ltr petrol engines are bled like ‘normal’ vehicles. You bleed using a drain plug and fill through the header tank – none of the palaver of the diesel and V6 petrol engines. (No bleed tube, but a bypass connection back to the de-gassing tank and uses the third port at the top left-hand side to feed the gasses back into the tank directly).
To help with filling the expansion bottle, or an occasional top-up, you could keep a small funnel or a small watering can with a narrow spout. (For an occasional top-up, I found a small collapsible funnel in TK-Max and keep it attached to the inner wing).