How to bleed a caravan's radiator air lock

Written by dan ferrell
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Any time you remove the coolant from your Dodge Caravan's radiator and refill the unit for service, pockets of air can get trapped in the cooling system. If not removed, the air locked inside will cause the engine to overheat. If you overlook the problem, components closest to the air pockets may crack or warp. However, you can prevent expensive repairs to your Caravan by purging the air from the system right in your driveway and save in auto-service costs at the same time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Antifreeze
  • Distilled water

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  1. 1

    Park your Caravan in a well-ventilated area, open the bonnet and remove the radiator cap.

  2. 2

    Top off the radiator with an equal mixture of antifreeze and distilled water, if necessary, and replace the cap. Also, add coolant to the coolant reservoir to bring the level up to the "MAX" mark, if necessary.

  3. 3

    Start the engine for about 20 minutes so the engine reaches operating temperature.

  4. 4

    Turn off the engine and wait about 20 minutes for the engine to cool.

  5. 5

    Add coolant to the reservoir to bring the level up to the "MAX" mark again. As air is bleeding out of the system, the coolant level will go down.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 2 through 5 two more times so the coolant level in the reservoir stabilises and then close the bonnet.

Tips and warnings

  • Never remove the radiator or coolant reservoir cap once the engine has reached operating temperature. At this point, the coolant is extremely hot and under pressure and will spray out and burn you, if you remove either cap.

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