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Learn2 Flush a Car Radiator (continued)
Step 1: Clean the radiator front and fan

Your vehicle's cooling system sucks in air as you drive, which means insects, dirt and leaves can be pulled into the fins of the radiator fan. This condition prevents air from passing easily through the radiator, and can cause your car to overheat.

  • Raise the engine hood. You need both hands for this job. Ensure that the hood is fixed securely in an open position. Your head will thank you.

  • Using a hose with a nozzle, a bucket of soapy water and a soft nylon brush, loosen the dead bugs (which likely will be crispy critters from all the radiator heat) and the other debris. Brush with the direction of the fins of the radiator fan, not against it. These thin metal fins are fragile and can be bent with this action if you're not careful.
  • Follow this gentle cleaning with a gentle stream of water on the front and rear of the radiator. Don't turn up the hose to full pressure--a concentrated blast of water can be actually bend the fins of the radiator.
  • In general, you should clean the radiator fins every 12,000 miles (19,000 km). Don't do it when the engine is hot; cold water can damage a hot engine. Wait until the engine has cooled before you start cleaning.

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Step 1: Clean the radiator front and fan
Step 2: Place the drain pan
Step 3: Remove the radiator pressure cap
Step 4: Inspect the radiator pressure cap
Step 5: Inspect the clamps and the hoses
Step 6: Drain the radiator
Step 7: Rinse the radiator
Step 8: Add the coolant mixture
Step 9: Bleed the system
Step 10: Replace the radiator pressure cap
Step 11: Clean up


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