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How to change car coolant?

“The best way to replace your coolant is to take your car to a professional workshop. The process involves removing old coolant, circulating flush product with distilled water through your cooling system, draining and refilling.”

The importance of flushing your coolant

As your coolant becomes older, it gets loaded with metal particles and rusts, as the additives such as anti-corrosion in the coolant wear out over time, which can shorten the life of the radiator, water pump, thermostat, and other components of the cooling system. Thus, it can lead to overheating problems. So, checking your coolant every once in a while can be a good idea. When you inspect your coolant, look for signs of any contamination or corrosion in the coolant reservoir. If you see the muddy brown liquid inside the reservoir, then obviously it's time to change your coolant.  

Have your coolant replaced by a professional

The best way to replace your coolant is to take your car to a professional workshop. Visit an authorized Kia dealer/service partner. Nevertheless, if you are going to go through the process on your own, read on to get a couple of useful tips.


The tools for changing the coolant 

First, you are going to need new coolant and distilled water. Check your owner’s manual, and it will specify the type of coolant you need for your car. A water hose, funnel, wrench, drain pan (to catch the coolant underneath your vehicle), and a bunch of used containers (to contain the used coolant safely), and a clean towel will be needed. Additionally, you will need safety glasses and hand protection to avoid contact with toxic coolant. 


Draining and refilling

Before you start, you always want to make sure the engine is completely cooled down. Removing the radiator cap when your engine is hot can send boiling coolant all over the place and, you can get a severe burn.


To begin, you need to get the old coolant out. The first thing you would do is open your hood and open the radiator cap and coolant reservoir cap. Then you are going to find the radiator drain valve underneath your vehicle. Look inside the owner's manual for its location. Jack up your car to get better access to the drain valve. Place a drain pan underneath your vehicle and loosen the valve just a little so that the liquid can drain tidily into the pan. Once you have emptied coolant out,  replace the drain valve.


Now, you are going to remove all of the remaining coolant and the other contaminants stuck in your cooling system. To get all of it out completely, you are going to pour the radiator flush product and distilled water into the radiator. Then start the motor to heat the operating temperature. Turn the heat on at full blast. Let your vehicle idle for about 10 minutes. Once it reaches operating temperature, the thermostat will open, and the flush product and water will circulate through your engine and radiator as well as to the heater core. After 10 minutes, let the engine cool down completely and drain the radiator again.


After draining the radiator, repeat the refilling and flushing process three times. Meanwhile, keep the used coolant safely contained, so that it's out of reach for people and animals. 


Your coolant reservoir has to be clean too. Depending on the type of vehicle, you may have to break the reservoir brackets loose or loosen other clips that tighten the tank. Pull the reservoir out and clean it with distilled water. Slide it back in the original position.


Top off the radiator up to the neck and the coolant reservoir up to the F(full) mark with pre-diluted coolant. Put the reservoir cap and the radiator cap back on. Now, your vehicle is good to go.     


How to dispose of old coolant

After you go through the entire process, you don’t want to keep your flushed fluid and old coolant around, as it is poisonous to people and animals. Be careful not to spill coolant, and if you do, make sure you clean it up immediately. When disposing of your old coolant, make sure you are abiding by the local regulations governing the disposal of these fluids. Whichever way you do, DO NOT pour the waste down a drain or toilet.