How to Flush your Radiator

Close the drain valve, and then fill the radiator with water until it’s full. Start the car and let it run for 10 minutes. Let the car cool down a little bit, and then loosen the drain valve again to flush the water, which will take some of the grime out. Repeat the process two or three times, or until you start seeing the water that’s being drained come down clear.

How to Flush your Radiator

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Flushing your radiator is critically important to the health of your engine. The radiator is designed to keep your engine cool. As the coolant flows through the engine, it gets extremely hot; it then circles through the radiator, which cools it down so it goes back into the engine cool, and that is ultimately what prevents your engine from overheating. Most car factories recommend you flush your coolant and replace the antifreeze every other year. Overtime, the coolant starts loosing its cooling substances, as well as build-up starts forming inside the radiator. This could affect the operation of your radiator, thus causing your engine to overheat, or at least run hotter than it should. Most people replace their coolant, but they don’t flush it. Flushing the radiator is important to get rid of any dirt or grime that can be blocking the flow of the antifreeze, or preventing the radiator from cooling the fluid at full potential. If you don’t remember the last time you’ve flushed the system, it never hurts to do it now. It is a great investment that could add a great number of years to your engine’s life. Once you drain the old coolant, you will need to take it to an auto-shop to dispose it. You cannot dispose it in your regular drainage system. However, most auto shops will not charge you any money to dispose any kind of fluids. The process is the same in all cars, the only difference could be the location of the radiator’s drain valve, as some cars have it on the bottom right, while others have it on the bottom left of the radiator. Once you go under the car you will not be able to miss it. If, however, you can’t locate your drain valve, you can just remove the lower radiator hose to drain the coolant. Read on to learn how to flush your radiator and keep you engine running cool.

Tools Required:

Drain pan
Socket
Philips screwdriver
Antifreeze 50/50

Step 1 – Bleed the radiator

Locate the drain valve on the bottom of the radiator. If your car is equipped with a bottom shield, use your socket or Philips screwdriver to remove it. Place your drain pan under the drain valve. If you can’t find the drain valve, place the drain pan under the lower radiator hose. With the radiator cap off, loosen the drain valve or remove the lower radiator hose and let the coolant drain out completely. Depending on your car, your drain valve could be loosened by hand or with a socket.

Step 2 – Fill radiator with water

Close the drain valve, and then fill the radiator with water until it’s full. Start the car and let it run for 10 minutes. Let the car cool down a little bit, and then loosen the drain valve again to flush the water, which will take some of the grime out. Repeat the process two or three times, or until you start seeing the water that’s being drained come down clear.

Step 3 – Fill radiator with antifreeze

After repeating step two for a few times and the water draining out of your radiator comes down clean, close the drain valve and fill the radiator all the way to the top with antifreeze 50/50, which is antifreeze mixed with distilled water.

Start the car and let it run for 10 minutes, and then add more antifreeze, because the engine sucks the antifreeze, so even though it may appear full the first time, you may still need more.

Cars’ coolant capacity can vary from six to 18 quarts, so check your owner’s manual.

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