How Often Should You Flush a Radiator

How Often and in What Manner Should You Flush a Radiator?

We all know how important the radiator is, and why we should take care of its maintenance. Let us know how to flush a radiator, and also how often to do it.
Filling Vehicle Radiator with Antifreeze
Proper and regular repair and maintenance of your car is of prime importance to enjoy an uninterrupted travel over long distances. The radiator is a heat exchanging device, and it does the task of cooling your automobile, and prevents it from getting over-heated. It is observed in many cases that after a period of time, the radiators tend to get corroded and clogged, and also develop leaks in them. This demands for a coolant flush.

How to Flush a Radiator

For this procedure you will need:
  • Four to eight liters of distilled water
  • Garden hose with nozzle
  • Bucket of sudsy water
  • Drainage bucket
  • Antifreeze around two gallons
  • Safety goggles to protect your eyes
While flushing the radiator, you should ensure that the engine of your car is cold, as there is every possibility of a hot engine getting damaged by the application of cold water. Cleaning the radiator is the next step. This task must be done by using the sudsy water and the nylon brush, by removing the debris and the dead bugs, which have eventually collected on the portion, which is called the 'grill' of the radiator. The scrubbing work should be done in a direction, which is the same as the direction of the radiator fins. After this, by pouring some water, ensure that the debris has gone.

Now, you should drain the coolant in a proper way, and it is recommended that the pan which you are using, is to be disposed after the job is done and not re-used. Make sure that the size of the pan is small enough to fit under the car. The position of the pan should be at the exact center of the drain valve of the radiator. The function of the task cap of the radiator is to keep the engine off, and to keep the car cool, by acting as a lid for the radiator. If the rubber seal is rough or dry, then you may need to change the cap of the radiator. Checking the hoses that are at the top and bottom of the radiator is important. Cracked and leaky hoses and rusty clamps must be changed before you go ahead with the task of refilling the radiator.

Now, you need to allow the coolant to flow into the pan, which has been placed under your car by simply unscrewing the petcock. The drain pan must be placed back under the petcock after all the fluid has been drained. Start the process of rinsing or flushing the radiator by inserting the nozzle of the garden hose into the spout of the radiator. Then, the water is drained into the pan, and keep doing this till the water runs clearly. Adding the coolant, which contains antifreeze and water in equal proportions is the next step. You should also bleed out the air pockets in the cooling system, and then start your engine by ensuring that the radiator cap is off. Lastly, you should do a check for any kind of leakage from the petcock, clamps, and the drain pan.

How Often should one Flush a Radiator?

The answer to this question is once in two years. Many people may advise you to flush it once a year, giving the reason of risking the pH level of the coolant along with causing damage to the car's lower tubes. The flushing frequency also depends on the car type. However, it is advisable to clean the grill of your radiator, after the car has covered a distance of eleven thousand miles.

Maintaining the radiator by yourself at home is possible, but it will require a very deep knowledge of the relevant parts. However, there are expert mechanics from whom you can get this job done.