How To Drain Radiator Coolant

Radiator coolant keeps your car’s radiator in top shape by protecting it from overheating. It is a mixture of anti-freeze ingredients and water with the active ingredient called Ethylene Glycol. As with anything having to do with cars, maintenance is needed. Every so often you have to drain radiator coolant and replace the coolant with a fresh infusion. If you do this, your car’s cooling system will function at its best.

Here’s how to drain radiator coolant:

1.    Prepare what you need. To make the process easier, it would be wise to have everything you need before you begin:

  • Pair of latex gloves.
  • Screwdriver or wrench.
  • Rags.
  • Radiator Flush.
  • Coolant.
  • Funnel.
  • Radiator cap.
  • Draining pan.

2.    Place your car on an elevated ramp. If you don’t have one, you can use a lifter to do the job. This is usually stashed in your car’s compartment in the back. Positioning your car in an elevated position will make the draining process easier. Keep in mind that though that despite your car being in an elevated position it should still be in a level or flat position.
3.    Make very certain that your engine has sufficiently cooled. Not warm to the touch but really, really cool. This is a safety measure to avoid your skin from being burned or scalded. Pressurized contents of the radiator will most likely shoot up in the air if you insist on opening the cap while the engine is still hot. Ergo, not a good idea.
4.    Look for the radiator plug. Now’s the time to wear your latex gloves because you are ready to begin the draining process. Feel the radiator plug underneath your car.
5.    Take the draining pan. Place it directly underneath the radiator plug.

6.    Tug the radiator plug loose. You will then see that the coolant is now draining into the pan. Once the coolant is collected in the pan, do not dispose of it as you would dirty water. Anti-freeze is bad for the environment. Keep within environmental laws and collect the liquid refuse in a sealed bottle and turn it over to the proper waste management venue. Keep in mind that Anti-Freeze is harmful to your skin so make sure none of the liquid refuse touches your skin.
7.    Observe the consistency of the liquid refuse. If you see metal flakes and other tiny debris, this is a clear indication that your cooling system might need the hand of a professional.
8.    Proceed to remove the radiator cap. This allows the air to circulate freely into the radiator tubes and helps speed along the draining process.
9.    Check to see if the radiator cap needs replacing. Part of the reason why your radiator needs draining is that sediments and dirt coming from the cap directly mixes in with the Anti-Freeze and water in your radiator. If your radiator cap clearly shows wear, tear, and dry rot, replace it with a new one, pronto.
10.    Tighten the radiator plug. After the initial draining process, tighten the radiator plug then fill the radiator with water to shake loose remaining Anti-Freeze in the radiator tubes.
11.    Replace the radiator cap. Once you are done filling the radiator with water, replace the radiator cap.
12.    Turn on the engine. This allows the remaining Anti-Freeze to be shaken off your radiator. Allow the engine to run for five minutes.
13.    Turn the car’s engine off and allow it to cool.
14.    Repeat the flushing process until the water runs clear. Use the flushing agent this time to make sure your radiator is truly clean. You will know it’s over when the water runs clear.
15.    Pour in the new coolant. You may have done this many times over but it still always pays to read the instructions of the coolant product before proceeding. The rule of thumb is 50/50 which means 50% distilled water and 50% coolant.
16.    Tighten the radiator cap.

There you go. It isn’t so hard, is it?


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