Over time, the coolant circulating in your engine and radiator can pick up sediment and contaminants, thus decreasing the effectiveness of the cooling system. You can go through a full coolant flush, but that will take a lot of time and some extra money. If you want to change out the coolant quickly and refresh the majority of the coolant, then changing the coolant yourself isn't difficult and should only take an hour to do.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Drain pan
- Flathead screwdriver
- 50-50 pre-diluted coolant
Allow the vehicle to cool overnight before working on the vehicle. Make sure the engine is completely cool prior to working on the car.
Place the drain pan underneath the centre of the radiator. Pop the bonnet and open up the radiator cap using your hands. Then crawl underneath the car and open up the petcock in the centre of the bottom of the radiator and allow the coolant to pour into the drain pan. Once all of the coolant is drained out, tighten up the petcock.
Remove the hose clamp on the upper radiator hose using the flathead screwdriver, then disconnect the hose from the radiator using your hands and allow the contents to pour into the drain pan. Then reinstall the hose in the reverse order of disassembly. Repeat this process for the lower radiator hose.
Fill the radiator with the 50-50 pre-diluted coolant. Then start the car and allow it to run with the heater on the high position for 10 minutes to allow the coolant to circulate. Allow the vehicle to cool for an hour, then open up the radiator cap and top off the radiator with coolant if necessary.
Tips and warnings
- Don't work on the cooling system unless the engine is completely cool. Otherwise, you risk severely burning yourself with the hot coolant.
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