Jump to content
  • Welcome to AutoLanka

    :action-smiley-028: We found you speeding on AutoLanka Forums without any registration! If you want the best experience, please sign in. Safe driving! 

Schiffer

How To Flush And Re-Fill Radiator Coolant

Recommended Posts

Schiffer    566

So i flushed and refilled the radiator coolant on my car today.
just thought of sharing it in detail with you all who are willing to DIY, For the beginners like me to be precise.


Things you Need:
1.) Radiator Flush
2.) Coolant
3.) A Garden Hose
4.) A rag/piece of cloth
5.) a bucket/tray to collect the water


Step 1:
* First make sure the engine is cool
* Locate the drain tap below the radiator and remove it.
* After Removing the drain tap Remove the radiator cap on the top
* Let all water get drained and Collect it for future references


Step 2:
* Close the drain tap
* Fill a small amount of water first
* Fill the radiator with the Radiator Flush
* Then fill in the radiator with water all the way and close the radiator cap
* Start the engine and keep it idle for 10 - 20 minutes with the Heater ON (WARNING: Do Not Drive)
* After 10 - 20 minutes, shut down the engine and wait till it cools down (approx - 1hour)


Step 3:
* After the engine has cooled down, Open the drain tap and then remove the top radiator cap (if not sure, use the rag/cloth to open the cap)
* Squeeze the rubber pipes that transfer water and let all the water drain from the radiator
* While the drain tap is open, run a hose from the radiator cap with slow flowing water so it wont overflow
* While the water is running through the radiator, start the engine and let it idle with the heater on for another 10 minutes (might need a mate for that)
* After 10 minutes or so in idle shut off the engine first and remove the hose
* Collect the water to check whether the water is clean
* Let the engine cool down for another hour or so before re-fitting the drain tap and radiator cap to avoid contact with the hot engine


Step 4:
* Re-fit the drain tap and fill it with coolant and water (make sure to use the right amount of coolant to water ratio, in my case 1:3)
* There is no proper way to measure the water level, The best way is to determine with the collected water the first time you drain the radiator, Best thing is to use a water bottle when refilling to avoid spilling.
* Top up the Reserve tank with proper coolant to water ratio (might have to remove the reserve tank from the car to get the water out)
* Close the radiator cap and start the engine and let it idle for 10 minutes or so, so all the air will be out of the system and the coolant will be circulating properly in the system
* let the engine cool down again and re-open the radiator cap, there will be less water this time so fill it with coolant and water till it reach the mouth of the cap and close the radiator cap.


Things You Should Be Carefull With:
* Wipe off water from the fan belts before starting the car
* Make sure water want spew on to the distributer cap and so on
* Before re-fitting drain tap make sure the engine is cooled down to avoid contact with a hot engine
* Always fill it with coolant, Do Not Cheap out and just use water
* If you have HID kits install, make sure water wont get contact with the balasters and wires.
* Since the engine has to be on idle a lot, make sure there is proper ventilation for the exhaust fumes to go out.

* Be gentle with the drain taps, since its made of plastic it might break off if way too much pressure is use. and for some cars like Mazda's u have to remove the drain tap with a wrench.

Some Images of the process:

Radiator Drain Tap:

4FnKFge.jpg

Existing Water in the Radiator (I removed the exisitng coolant the day before to do the process but because of the rain i couldn't proceed so filled with normal water before doing the flush):

N7Ov4Q5.jpg

Filling Radiator Flush:

eO0coU4.jpg

Rubber Pipes to Squeeze:

XMXOPHU.jpg

Heater ON:

aEmWQsl.jpg

Collected Fluid after Flush:

6IKf6da.jpg

Running water through the radiator with the drain tap open and engine running:

1XHVFLw.jpg

Collected water from the radiator after 10 minutes of constant flowing water:

5iQOIec.jpg

Refilling coolant: (1:3 - in my case)

Q9Qe7u3.jpg

Refilling water (1:3 - i used a bottle to measure the needed ratio)

ttUaTst.jpg

Hope this will be helpful to someone. Good Luck.

Edited by Schiffer
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
maheshw    63

well good one schiffer. few things i want to clarify.

1* what is the purpose of running the engine with heater on?

2*Step 3:

* While the drain tap is open, run a hose from the radiator cap with slow flowing water so it wont overflow
* While the water is running through the radiator, start the engine and let it idle with the heater on for another 10 minutes (might need a mate for that)

you mean with out fixing the drain cap whaile pipe supply the continues water start the engine & run ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Schiffer    566

Yes, this is something to clean the water that's running from radiator to the heater core inside the system.

switching on the heater circulate and fush out the water inside the heater core as well.

Also another reason you have to keep it running for 10 minutes or more is to circulate and flush the water after the thermostat is on.

And yes, without closing the drain tap start and run the engine while continuously supplying water :)

Edited by Schiffer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great write up Schiffer,

2 simple questions,

1. For what extend we should squeeze those pipes? isn't there's a chance to break or dislodge them? (they feel bit harder)

2. What's that mixing water for coolant? Distilled water?

Edited by Charith H Jayasinghe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Schiffer    566

Thanks :)

1. Sqeeze the pipes softly but dont squeeze them all the way

Those pipes are pretty strong. When u squeeze them u will feel the water flowing through them

2. I filled normal minaral water off of a water filter. But its better if u could use distilled water.

When filling coolant usually u have to mix 50% water and 50% coolant

But the coolant i used (wurth) i had to mix 1:3 ratio

Eg- for 1ltr of coolant. I had to mix 3ltrs of water.

Edited by Schiffer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nishan.dj    75

Excellent work. Thanks for posting. Few more things needed to ask from the experts.

  1. What is the life expectancy of coolant (Suppose a brand-new radiator is installed and filled with coolant [diluted] for the first time.)
  2. How do we identify that it is the time for flushing the radiator if there is no color change on coolant or corrosion seen in the radiator?
  3. What would be the best to use? concentrated and diluted ? (If the water is having higher minerals such as calcium carbonate)?
  4. Even if diluted coolant is used, it is possible that the radiator gets corrosion inside ?

Appreciate sharing your knowledge and experience. Thanks so much in advance.

Edited by Nishan.dj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HardHat    57

Good write-up. Thanks for sharing

a couple of clarifications pl;

1) In Step 3, how do we make sure that water is actually circulating through the engine and not just running down the radiator core and draining off?

2) How do we find out if the engine has cooled down enough to pour in cold water / coolant? I guess diferent engine blocks cool down at different rates and a diesel may take longer?

Edited by HardHat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nexus    230

nice work Schiffer +1 and very good step by step writeup after seen this i want to flush and refill the radiator coolant my self. :)

btw when i trying to do this and things went horribly wrong i'm going to haunt you. :P :P :D

Edited by nexus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Schiffer    566

Thanks mate :)

haha, its a simple job, just take some time and patient

if you want to flush, the best thing is to do at home, since it takes some time, service stations and other garages dont really fully do it. they tend to cut corners.

just be cautious mate. of spilling water everywhere. oh and make sure not to use too much force on the drain tap, it feels a bit fragile

good luck :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SAB    1

Great work done by Schiffer. Thank you very much for it.

I'd like to remind Nishan.dj's quote above 'cos it has not been answered.

  1. What would be the best to use? concentrated and diluted ? (If the water is having higher minerals such as calcium carbonate)?
  2. Even if diluted coolant is used, it is possible that the radiator gets corrosion inside ?
Edited by SAB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
charithtg    3

Bringing up an old thread to put some doubts that i have about using Rad flush. My cousin has a Jeep recently bought with a 4DR6 engine and it has been using plain water as the coolant. I think the engine is only done abt 20000 km according to him and he wants to switch to Coolant/water mixture as well.

The water now in the radiator is very brownish and there’s this thing that i remember someone said, to be careful when switching to coolant from water in old engines, and specially using flush materials, coz it might dig in to rust n things and make the cooling system more vulnerable for leaks and damages.

Anyone can shed some light on this matter please. Thanks.

PS-Found the answer on this thread..
http://http://forum.autolanka.com/topic/14094-radiator-coolant/?hl=%2Bradiator+%2Bclean#entry215889

Edited by charithtg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VVTi    1,985

If you flush the system with clean water, ensure that all hoses and clamps and gaskets are in good condition, you can try a 1:10 ratio of water and coolant for an older car. The coolant will be primarily to inhibit the rust.

The rust is caused by the minerals and salts in the water you use. Ideally you should be using distilled water in your coolant system. Well water or tube well water is a big no no. Especially if you are in an are where the water is hard.

I am planning on a complete overhaul over the weekend on the Forester coolant system. Already got the Original Thermostat delivered with all gaskets and the coolant also is here. Can get the distilled water from chemical shops or even a battery shop.

Since I removed the thermostat housing twice already the coolant circuit has got a good flush.

Edited by VVTi
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this is not a good idea but when ever i open my coolant tank there is a awful smell coming from the coolant . is this normal ? i did a total flush about 20000Km's back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did it finally... used Wurth for flush and coolant. So far no issues. I checked coolant level 3 times so far after refill level was gone down. so we need to check coolant level several times for air bleed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JFLanka    33

Hi everyone,

I need to flush the radiator of my van.
My question is., after flushing, when i mix coolant with water, is it ok to use boiled water..??

thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rumesh88    806
Hi everyone,

I need to flush the radiator of my van.

My question is., after flushing, when i mix coolant with water, is it ok to use boiled water..??

thanks in advance.

If the idea is to remove hardness of water then of course you are going to use the wrong type of water for your radiator to begin with. Use some distilled water to mix with the coolant. Even the water you find in areas like Rathupawala (very appropriately named for red soil or laterite) known for its acidity is not suitable. Boiling will not help at all in these circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Schiffer    566

dont think boiled water would do any harm but ive heard its better to use distilled water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mensoft    17

Welldone Schiffer,

though even it looks like simple job when we go to service centers they charge some nice amount for this . any way thak for sharing the pics and process on AL .

and i always like this DIY jobs. :sport-smiley-003:

I did the same thin twice but didnt mesure the coolent and water ratio i just put entire coolen bottle to the radiator and filled rest with water. :speechless-smiley-004:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
varunatech    93
dont think boiled water would do any harm but ive heard its better to use distilled water.

Boiled water has more mineral deposits. Concentration is higher. Always use distilled water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Don    441

One small thing to note, Coolant is extremely poisonous and you should take a lot of care when handling it and probably should wear gloves.

Also if you are flushing a radiator, please try not to dispose it into a standard drain which will mix with fresh water supplies. I'm not sure what you can do, but it needs to be disposed of safely so it does not come into contact with fresh water supplies, where there is a danger of people or animals drinking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JFLanka    33

thanks everyone for the valuable info.
Where can i find distilled water..?? is battery water distilled..??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Schiffer    566
Boiled water has more mineral deposits. Concentration is higher. Always use distilled water.

ohhh so it seems its better to avoid boiled water then.

thanks everyone for the valuable info.

Where can i find distilled water..?? is battery water distilled..??

yeap, battery water is distilled water, some places sell them in bigger cans, its easier to use for radiators

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Register for a new account in our community. It's easy and FREE!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now




×