There are many ways you can help avoid costly problems and auto repairs.  Maintaining you car or truck on a regular schedule is one of the best ways to do this.

Flushing your radiator is something that should be worked into your regular automotive maintenance schedule.

In order for your radiator and cooling system to work at its best, it needs to be kept clean.  Your radiator builds up solid matter and residue that can eventually clog your cooling system, resulting in necessary auto repairs.  You should always change your antifreeze seasonally. Performing a radiator flush by yourself at home is really very simple.  It is low cost and it will remove all of the harmful build up and help keep your auto running smooth and efficiently.

Getting Ready

Since you will be completely draining your radiator, I strongly suggest that you check and then double-check that you have everything you will need for the radiator flush before you start.  Depending on your specific radiator drain, you will need either a Phillips head screwdriver or a wrench.  You will also need to have enough coolant to completely re-fill the radiator when you are done. A Radiator Flush solution will also need to be used.  A funnel, cloth rags and a receptacle or container that you can use to capture all of the used coolant you are removing will also be needed.

Safety Tip:  Be sure that your motor has completely cooled before even attempting to open the radiator cap.  A system that is too warm still has enough pressure built up to create a very painful injury.  Never work in or around a radiator or any cooling system component until the motor is entirely cooled.

Draining your Cooling System

You will need to begin by draining out all of the used coolant from your radiator.  Locate the drain plug found somewhere along the bottom of your radiator.  Before you open the drain, make sure you have an adequate container or receptacle to catch the toxic fluids you will be draining.  Be sure that you are prepared to catch every drop of this fluid as it is very toxic to both humans and animals.

Never let any coolant remain anywhere that a child or animal could even get close to it!

With your receptacle underneath, unscrew the drain and completely remove it.  Let all of the coolant empty entirely from your radiator.

Adding your Radiator Flush Solution

With the radiator fully and completely drained, you should put your drain plug back in.  Now open the radiator cap to add the contents of your radiator flush solution.  Once it is in, add enough water to fill it to the top.

Next replace the cap and start the car.  Let the car run until the temperature gauge rises to the normal operating temperature.  At that point, turn on your heater to the hottest setting available and leave your vehicle running for another 10 minutes.

After that, you can turn off the car and take a break.  You will need to let the motor cool completely once again before you can safely continue working.  A good rule to use is if your radiator cap does not feel completely cooled off when you touch it, it is not cool enough to proceed with the draining.

Draining your Radiator Flush Solution

When the motor is completely cool again, you will need to have your fluid receptacle in place directly under the drain.  Make sure that you have enough room to accommodate the amount of fluids you will be draining into it.  NEVER let any of your radiator fluids to make it to the ground!  When you are prepared, open the radiator drain once more, allowing all of the solution to completely drain out.

Refilling the Radiator

Now that you have completed the flushing portion of the Radiator and Cooling System Flush, you can get ready to add the new, fresh coolant to your system.  Don’t forget to replace the radiator drain plug before adding any new coolant.  Be sure the drain plug is securely in place.  Using a funnel, you can now re-fill you radiator.  If you are not using one of the premixed types of coolant, you will need to make a half-and-half, or 50/50 blend of concentrated coolant and water.  Refill your radiator back to full using the mixed coolant.  If there is a plastic coolant reservoir tank with a cap, you will also want to refill it to the proper level.

Be sure to tighten down any of the caps you have had open and you are done!  Be sure to check your coolant levels again in a day or two to be sure no air bubbles have worked their way out.  If they have, you may need to top off the system just a little.

If you are not comfortable performing an auto repair or maintenance task, do not do it.  We will schedule your auto repair or auto maintenance right away at our Columbia, SC auto repair shop.  Sanford’s Automotive Service is always here for you!