Radiator flush:

How to flush a radiator and keep your cool.

Antifreeze and coolant are two commonly confused automotive concepts.
Antifreeze is only one part of the coolant package. Water is what takes care of most of the cooling in your engine. Coolant is the mixture of water and antifreeze. There are also additives in the antifreeze to help with corrosion protection and lubrication.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for temperature ranges and mixture to match your climate. Inspect and test your radiator cap to make sure it is working properly. Ask your Advance Auto Parts Team Member which antifreeze is correct for your vehicle and rely on Advance Auto for all of your quality auto parts.

Here’s why it’s important to flush your car radiator once a year.
The coolant in your car radiator isn't just playing it cool. Coolant protects against freezing. This is why it is commonly referred to as antifreeze.

Coolant also protects against corrosion and helps to lubricate your water pump. Some types of coolant need to be replaced yearly to avoid costly damage to your cooling system and reduce the potential for overheating.

Flushing the cooling system for maximum efficiency is standard procedure when it's time to replace coolant. Advance Auto Parts is here to help you keep your cool.

Here’s what you need for to complete a flush radiator procedure:

Do-it-yourself difficulty guide for a radiator flush:

Estimated time required - 1 Hour

How to flush a radiator: do it yourself & save!

Antifreeze is poisonous to humans, animals and the environment. Prevent spills by using catch pans and trays. Always properly dispose of used coolant. Never remove a hot radiator cap. Here’s how to flush a radiator:

  1. Find the right catch container for your vehicle. Be prepared for at least two gallons of coolant. The vehicle should be cool and secure. Apply the parking brake or use wheel chocks.
  2. Carefully remove the radiator cap. Open the drain petcock on the bottom of your radiator.* Move the catch container as coolant flows to prevent spillage. Drain and clean reservoir overflow according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. If your coolant looks like this, you or the previous owner waited way too long and your system will require a chemical flush. If your coolant is still green, orange or yellow, you can skip step 4.
  4. Close petcock and pour in the chemical to flush your car radiator. Add water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Start and run the engine until warm, then repeat step 2.
  5. With the radiator and overflow empty, install the flush kit "T" fitting according to the manufacturer's instructions. Connect the hose. Drain the attachment. Back flush with the hose until the water runs clear. Drain the radiator. Close the petcock.
  6. Follow the coolant mixing instructions and fill the radiator to one inch below the filler neck. Look for the filler line. Start and run the vehicle without the radiator cap, and top off as the engine warms up. Reinstall the radiator cap.
  7. Fill reservoir to proper line.


Where should you go for quality auto parts for all your vehicle maintenance needs– including a radiator flush? Advance Auto Parts.