How to Flush Your Radiator

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Cost: Less than $30

Required Tools: Bucket for used coolant, funnel, coolant, radiator flush solution, Philips-head screwdriver, and a wrench.

Your car’s radiator actively works to help provide your engine with coolant that carries heat away from the engine block and in turn cools off that coolant. Your radiator passes your coolant through thin metal piping that both disperses the heat outside of your car and uses the air passing by your car to reduce the temperature of the liquid. Depending on your car, you will need to flush your radiator at least once every two years. Flushing your radiator is an easy process that you can accomplish in these 10 simple steps.

  1. Start by ensuring that your car is completely cool; never flush your radiator while it is hot as you can easily burn yourself.
  2. Take out your owner’s manual and find your radiator’s drain plug. Take your bucket for used coolant and place it under the drain plug, unscrew the plug and let your old coolant drain completely.
  3. Replace your radiator’s drain plug once the coolant is fully drained and remove your radiator cap.
  4. Using your funnel, add the radiator flushing solution, once you have added the appropriate amount of flushing solution, fill the rest of your radiator with water.
  5. Replace your radiator cap and screw it back on.
  6. Start your car and let it run until it reaches its normal operating temperature (should take between 10-20 minutes.)
  7. While your car is getting up to temperature, turn your heater onto its hottest position and let it blast for a good 10 minutes.
  8. Once your car has reached its normal operating temperature, shut off your engine and let your car cool off completely. Do not rush this step as you can burn yourself.
  9. Remove your radiators drain plug, allow all of the fluid to drain completely out of your radiator and then screw your drain plug back on.
  10. Remove your radiator cap and refill your radiator with fresh coolant. Screw your radiator cap back on and you are good to go. Make sure that you dispose of your old coolant safely by bringing it into a disposal location, as the expended fluid can be fatal if consumed. Coolant also tends to have a sweet smell to it that can actively attract pets and children to taste it. Never leave old coolant out in the open.

Regardless of if you just bought your first car or if you have a full fleet at home, learning how to take care of simple projects like flushing your radiator can save you thousands of dollars. If you want to learn more about simple DIY projects that you can take care of on your own, come into your local U-Pull-&-Pay today. Our expert staff will happily walk you through how to take care of your car or truck no matter the make or model.

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