The radiator in the Toyota Rav4 houses the engine's antifreeze. As the antifreeze flows through the engine and radiator, it picks up contaminates such as small metal fragments. It also thickens and becomes less productive at keeping your Rav4 from overheating. You should flush your radiator of its antifreeze every year or every 15,000 miles to ensure your engine stays cool when you run it.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Garden hose with water supply
- Larger storage container
- 6 gallons of distilled water
- 3 gallons of antifreeze
Drive your Rav4 onto a set of front-end ramps so you can access the bottom of the radiator easily.
Place a drain pan under the radiator's petcock. Open the petcock with a pair of pliers and drain the antifreeze into the drain pan.
Remove the radiator cap from the top of the radiator. Spray water into the radiator, cleaning the shale off the sides with the hose. Continue to flush the radiator until the water coming out of the petcock is almost clear. Empty the drain pan into a larger storage container as needed.
Close the petcock using the pliers. Fill the radiator with four gallons of distilled water. Once filled, open the petcock and let all of the distilled water out of the radiator. This removes any contaminants left by the garden hose water.
Close the petcock using the pliers. Drain two gallons of distilled water and two gallons of antifreeze into the radiator.
Start the engine. Let it run until the radiator fan turns on. This forces air out of the radiator. Turn the engine off and close the radiator cap.
Tips and warnings
- Dispose of unused antifreeze properly. Contact your local auto parts store for information on recycling the antifreeze.
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