A car’s radiator and cooling system, which includes other components like the thermostat, the coolant reservoir, a heater core and a whole lot of tubing, is a critical part of the engine’s anatomy – in short, a faulty or clogged cooling system will result in engine overheating and if not rectified promptly, fatal engine seizure will follow swiftly.
Older cars are particularly prone to cooling system failure for obvious reasons, most common being radiator and thermostat redundancy. While these components are easily replaced, an often-overlooked maintenance procedure in older vehicles is a simple radiator flush; a procedure that super-cleans the entire cooling system so that it performs optimally in hot and cold weather.
Follow these guidelines...
• Make sure the car engine is cool.
• Protect yourself with safety goggles and gloves
• Equip yourself with these tools – a big plastic dish or drip-tray, a socket set and hose clamp pliers.
• Products to use are Radiator Flush, Distilled Water and Antifreeze Coolant.
• Remove the thermostat from the cooling system and reconnect the pipes. This will allow any sludge, rust or contaminants to pass to the flush out
point without obstacle.
• Detach the pipe at the bottom of the radiator. Start the engine and turn on the heater and fan (this will allow for cleaning of the heater core). Allow the
cooling system, radiator and reservoir to drain. Warning: only run the engine for a few minutes to prevent overheating.
• Reattach the radiator pipe and add Distilled Water and Radiator Flush to the radiator and/or the coolant reservoir.
• Run the engine for twenty minutes and allow the car to stand for three hours.
• Remove the lower radiator pipe again and drain the Flush mixture. It will be a dirty brown colour.
• Replace the thermostat and radiator pipe.
• Pour in the fresh Antifreeze and Distilled Water. Check the vehicle’s owner’s manual for quantities and antifreeze specification.
• Dispose of the highly toxic old coolant in a responsible manner.
• Get all the tools and products mentioned above from www.startmycar.co.za
Bottom line – A well-maintained cooling system is essential for engine longevity and driving comfort. A professionally executed cooling system flush is a cost effective way to ensure both. Give your customers a well deserved ‘flushing out’ this summer!