• How to Change Your Radiator Fluid

    Changing you radiator fluid is one of the many basic maintenance tasks that need to be attended to on a regular basis.

    Tools and Materials:

    • Extended Life Coolant
    • Premix Coolant
    • Super Flush
    • Funnel
    • Distilled water
    • Storage containers
    • Bucket
    • Cloth

    Step 1: Turn Engine Off

    Turn the car’s engine off and ensure that the vehicle’s engine has cooled down completely. An ideal time to perform a radiator change, is prior to the car been taken out for the first time that day.

    Step 2. Locate the Radiator and Remove its Cap

    Find the vehicle’s coolant reservoir tank, which is located near the support frame and behind the bumper of the car. Now, locate the radiator. Once located, remove the cap of the tank. Under no circumstances remove the radiator’s cap if the engine is not cool, as the escaping steam and fluid will cause serious burns.

    Step 3. Locate the Radiator’s Drain Plug

    Find the drain plug and position a suitable container beneath it. Remove the plug and allow the fluid to drain into your container. Replace the plug once all of the fluid has drained from the radiator. Ensure that you do not get radiator coolant on your skin (wash the affected area well with warm water and soap, should this happen). Place the used coolant in a sealed container and mark the container clearly. Ensure that children and pets cannot gain access to the container before you dispose of it.

    Step 4. Check for Damage

    Check the hoses for signs of brittleness and damage such as cracks and tears. Replace any piece that is damaged.

    Step 5. Clean Cooling System

    Add a suitable engine flush to the radiator to clean the cooling system of accumulated sediment and rust. Fill the radiator and reservoir with clean water and replace both the caps.

    Step 6. Let the Engine Cool

    Allow the engine to run until its operating temperature is reached. Switch off the vehicle and wait for the engine to cool.

    Step 7. Refill Water

    Remove both caps and drain the entire system once the engine has cooled down completely. Thereafter, refill the system with clean fresh water and allow the vehicle to run for at least 15 minutes. Allow the system to cool once again and replace the drain plug tightly.

    Step 8. Add Coolant

    Add sufficient coolant to equal half of the system’s volume. Fill the remaining volume with distilled water and replace the radiator and reservoir caps.

    Step 9. Check Coolant Ratio

    Allow the engine to run until it reaches optimal operating temperature. Switch off the vehicle and allow the engine to cool. Using an A/F checker, ensure that the coolant concentration is correct.

    Step 10: Test

    Observe if the coolant level as marked on the reservoir tank is correct. Coolant should sit at the maximum level as indicated on the outside of the plastic container. Consult your vehicle’s manual to confirm if it is necessary to bleed the system of air. If so, locate the one or more air bleeds. Open each (if more than one is present) and allow any trapped air to escape.
    Radiator maintenance is an important part of your regular maintenance regime and should not be forgotten.