Several aftermarket radiator flushing and cleaning kits can be purchased at your local auto parts store. It is recommended that the radiator be cleaned and flushed of sludge and any rust build-up once a year. Manufacturer's directions for proper use, and safety precautions, come in each kit.
- Refer to the drain and refill procedure in this section, then drain the cooling system.
- Close the drain valve.
A flushing solution may be used. Ensure it is safe for use with aluminum cooling system components. Follow the directions on the container.
- If using a flushing solution, remove the thermostat. Reinstall the thermostat housing.
- Add sufficient water to fill the system.
- Start the engine and run for a few minutes. Drain the system.
- If using a flushing solution, disconnect the heater hose that connects the cylinder head to the heater core (that end of the hose will clamp to a fitting on the firewall. Connect a water hose to the end of the heater hose that runs to the cylinder head and run water into the system until it begins to flow out of the top of the radiator.
- Allow the water to flow out of the radiator until it is clear.
- Reconnect the heater hose.
- Drain the cooling system.
- Reinstall the thermostat.
- Empty the coolant reservoir or surge tank and flush it.
- Fill the cooling system, using the correct ratio of antifreeze and water, to the bottom of the filler neck. Fill the reservoir or surge tank to the FULL mark.
- Install the radiator cap, making sure that the arrows align with the overflow tube.