How To Flush A Radiator

Everyone knows that your car’s radiator plays a crucial role in keeping your vehicle running smooth and happy. More specifically, the radiator is intended to maintain your car’s engine temperature, ensuring that it doesn’t run too hot (in normal or hot weather conditions) or too cold (in extremely cold or freezing conditions). The radiator is able to achieve this goal by circulating a special fluid (radiator fluid) through the engine – this fluid picks up the heat from the engine and distributes it elsewhere where it can escape into the air outside the vehicle. As soon as a car engine reaches optimal operating temperature, the fluid is released from its housing and begins to pickup excess heat from the engine.

You should learn how to flush a radiator in order to keep it running properly. Over time, solid deposits build up in the system and can clog important hoses and other passageways if they are not flushed out. Once you know how to flush a radiator, you should strongly consider changing the fluid a couple times a year. Here’s a step by step process on how to do so (please be sure that your engine has been off for at least 30 minutes before beginning):

Tools You Need

  • Drain pan
  • A few rags
  • Funnel
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Radiator flush solution
  • Radiator coolant (preferably the pre-mixed kind)
  • Container to hold old radiator fluid for disposal

How To Flush The Radiator

  1. Locate the drain plug under your car somewhere in the vicinity of the bottom of the radiator. This drain plug will take one of three forms: a screw, a bolt, or a valve (petcock). Place the drain pan underneath the plug and use the appropriate tool to remove/open the plug completely. Wait about ten minutes to ensure all the old fluid and particles have been fully drained.
  2. Replace the drain plug and tighten appropriately. Remove the radiator cap, pour the radiator flush solution to the maximum fill line and replace the radiator cap. Turn your engine on and let your car run for about 10 minutes with all the vents open and the thermostat running at maximum heat. Please be sure you are in a well ventilated area when executing this step.
  3. Turn the car off and let the engine cool for at least 20 minutes. Once the radiator has cooled, repeat step 1 to drain the radiator flush solution.
  4. Replace the drain plug and tighten to ensure it is snug. Remove the radiator cap, pour in enough new coolant to the maximum fill line, and replace the cap. Now you know how to flush a radiator!

It is commonly recommended that you perform this procedure a few times a year!

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