Radiator Cleaning With Washing Soda

Written by jack burton
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Radiator Cleaning With Washing Soda
Early car owners did not have the convenience of service stations on every corner. (old car image by pearlguy from Fotolia.com)

Preventive maintenance has always gone a long way toward keeping an automobile engine running at peak performance for several hundred thousand miles. A quick and easy way in the old days to ensure the radiator system kept up was to clean and flush it periodically. This removed the scale build-up and allowed the radiator to keep the engine cool instead of overheating. Even as far back as 1913, the New York Times was advising motorists to use common washing soda to do the trick. Many car enthusiasts do the same with older model cars.

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Things you need

  • Draincock wrench
  • 1/2 pound washing soda
  • 2 large containers with lids to hold liquid
  • Funnel

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  1. 1

    Open up the draincock under the radiator and let the antifreeze drain into a container. Replace the draincock.

  2. 2

    Boil enough water to refill the radiator. When removed from the heat, thoroughly mix in about a half pound of washing soda. Stir until it is completely dissolved.

  3. 3

    Pour the mixture through a funnel into the radiator. Replace the cap and start the engine. Let run for several minutes or until the engine is hot. Turn off the engine and let cool down.

  4. 4

    Drain the mixture in the same manner as the original coolant.

  5. 5

    Refill the engine with the proper mixture of antifreeze.

  6. 6

    Dispose of the used antifreeze and washing soda mixture through a local automotive service operation that accepts antifreeze for recycling,

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