A DIY Guide for Car Radiator Flushing

Once you turn the key, start your vehicle’s ignition, and then begin to drive, your internal combustion engine starts producing a substantial amount of heat.  In order to remove this heat and prevent your engine from overheating, a functional radiator is needed.  A car radiator uses thermal heat exchange to eliminate high temperatures and heat to keep a vehicle’s engine in working condition. This means that larger vehicles require larger radiators to facilitate the same effect.

For radiators to be effective and stay cool, they must be cleaned regularly by means of flushing.  Solid deposits, residues, and other sediment buildup can cause a cooling system to clog or fail entirely. Flushing a car radiator is one of the most important routine maintenance jobs and must be done to keep vehicles operational over time. Fortunately, it can be done on your own.  It’s also quick and inexpensive to do. 

Continue reading to learn some tips that can help you when it comes time to flush your car radiator.

Louisville Junk Car Buyers 502-804-5605
Louisville Junk Car Buyers 502-804-5605

Start By Acquiring the Correct Supplies

The first thing to do when it comes to flushing a car radiator is gather up all the necessary supplies and materials.  It is never a fun situation to get halfway through your project, only to discover you are missing a key element.  Going back to the store could pose a problem; especially if the radiator has already been drained.  Ideal provisions for radiator flushing jobs include a funnel, cloth rag, coolant, radiator flush solution, Phillips screwdriver or wrench, separate container for old coolant, and extra rags for accidents and spills. When you have determined that all your supplies are in place, you can begin the process of flushing the radiator. 

How to Flush Your Car’s Radiator:

Before you remove the radiator cap, be sure the car engine is COMPLETELY cool; otherwise you run the risk of spilling hot coolant on yourself. And this really burns!

Next, flush the used coolant out of the radiator. Do this by locating the radiator drain plug. It is typically located at the bottom of the radiator. If you have trouble finding it, refer to your owners’ manual or look online for pictures and instructional videos. You can also contact a professional mechanic for over-the-phone assistance.

Once you find the drain plug, place the container for old coolant under the drain and open it up. Let the old coolant flow out for a few minutes; if it seems to be moving slow, check to see if the plug is all the way open.

When the radiator is empty, replace the drain plug and open the radiator cap. 

Next, pour the flush cleaning solution inside. Fill the remaining space inside the radiator with room temperature water. 

Now you are ready to replace the radiator cap; just be sure it is screwed on tight.  It is possible for caps to fall off, which allows coolant to escape from the radiator. 

Let the car engine run until it reaches its normal driving temperature.  Then turn it off and let it cool completely. 

Once the car engine is cool again, you are ready to flush the solution from the radiator and add fresh clean coolant.  Use the same emptying process as before.

Use a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to get optimal and safe results.  You can find pre-mixed coolants at your local auto store.  This is sometimes more convenient. 

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Louisville Junk Car Buyers 502-804-5605
Louisville Junk Car Buyers 502-804-5605