A few easy steps to flush your automobile's radiator and coolant system.
September 1, 2005
One of the most overlooked maintenance items on your car is the coolant system. Most people don’t even think about it until they are on the side of the road with the hood up and steam pouring out of the radiator. This traffic nightmare can be avoided by some simple routine maintenance. Your coolant system should be flushed every two years and the anti freeze replaced as well. The chemicals in anti freeze begin to lose their effectiveness and rust and grime can build up in your engine and radiator. This will clog up your engine’s cooling system and cause your engine to overheat. The good news is very little mechanical skills are needed to flush your system and keep your car running for the years to come. Just follow these simple steps:
1. First of all make sure your car engine has not been running and it is cool. This is very important. A radiator can get very hot and possibly burn you. With the engine cool, open the radiator cap and relieve any pressure. 2. Next locate the drain valve on the radiator to drain it. It should be located on the bottom of the radiator. Be sure to drain the fluid into a container and not the ground. Once you have drained it, close the drain valve. 3. Now you are ready to install a back flush kit. This kit is inexpensive and can easily be purchased at your local auto parts store. Follow the instructions on the back on the kit. Basically, you have to cut the heater inlet hose going to the top of the engine. This is where you install the T section provided in the kit into the line. Slip both ends of the hose onto this fitting and tighten the clamps provided in the kit. Go ahead and connect your garden hose to this fitting. 4. Now place the diverter that came in the kit into the opening on the top of the radiator. This is where the water and coolant will pour out from when you start to flush the system. A hose or tube will be helpful to direct the run off into a bucket. 5. Now it is time to start the engine, turn the heater on high and turn on the garden hose. Coolant is now circulating through the engine and coming out through the diverter on the top of the radiator. Continue this process until clean water begins to come out the top. This should only take a few minutes. 6. Turn off the engine and garden hose. Now drain the radiator again into a bucket and close the drain valve when you are done. 7. Now it is time to add the new anti freeze. Pour the entire contents of the anti freeze bottle into the empty radiator and fill it until coolant pours out of the neck. Screw back on the radiator cap and you are done. Make sure you have also screwed back on the provided cap onto the T fitting you installed. 8. Take your car for a test drive around the block and make sure everything is ok.
Now you have a back flush fitting installed for the next time you need to flush your radiator and it will be a lot quicker. You will thank yourself the next time you pass that unlucky person on the side of the road with the ominous steam cloud pouring from the hood.
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