Car Radiator Maintenance – Caring for the Engine’s Cooling System

When you bought a car, you also took in the responsibility of caring for it. This means that you have to invest time and money in car maintenance, which includes changing the oil, rotating the tires, and replenishing the fluids on a regular basis. You have to keep up with the preventive maintenance schedule of your car if you want to avoid a costly car repair down the road.

Many car owners are not familiar with radiator maintenance. What they do not know is that it is important to have a properly functioning radiator to ensure a smoothly running engine.

What is the Role of a Radiator

The radiator plays an important role in the cooling system of your engine. It keeps the temperature of your engine regulated, preventing it from overheating. Aside from that, the radiator also keeps the internal components from melding together, melting, and causing your vehicle to malfunction. We’re not exaggerating when we say that the cooling system keeps your engine from failing.

With that said, one of the important elements that ensure a properly functioning radiator is the coolant. Whatever the type of vehicle you own, the coolant plays an extremely important role in regulating high temperatures. Needless to say, if you want to prolong the life of your engine, you should regularly replace the coolant.

How to Replace the Coolant

You do not necessarily have to go to an auto repair shop and pay a costly fee to hire a mechanic to change your coolant. You can also do it yourself. Just follow the steps below:

1. Prepare the Coolant

The first thing you have to do is consult your car manual to know the type and amount of coolant you’d need. Place a bucket underneath the radiator to catch the old coolant. Just to be safe, it is advisable to disconnect the battery. Make sure that the car has already cooled down before you begin.

2. Drain the Radiator

Look for the radiator’s drain valve. Most of the time, it is at the back of the car’s grill, before the engine bay. If you’re still not sure where it is, it is best to consult your car manual. Make sure that the bucket you choose can hold all of the radiator fluid. Open the valve and drain the coolant. After that, close the valve to ensure that the new coolant won’t leak. Make sure you properly dispose of the radiator fluid. This is a hazardous type of waste so you should be responsible for it.

3. Empty the Radiator

Fill the radiator with a water to ensure that it does not have any residual coolant. Tightly close the radiator cap then start the engine. For ten minutes, turn the heat inside the cabin. Make sure you shut the engine off when you start to notice that it’s overheating.

Make sure that your car has already cooled down before you drain the remaining radiator fluid. You can only proceed if you can touch the radiator without scorching your fingers. Cooling it down may take more than an hour.

4. Replace the Coolant

Once your radiator and engine have cooled down, slowly pour the new coolant into the radiator. Ensure that you properly fill up the radiator. Just like in the previous step, turn the heat up for ten minutes. You should notice the gauge staying within the normal level even after ten minutes.

You should be able to change your coolant yourself now. Do you think there’s an easier way to do this? Let us know in the comments below!

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