How to Flush the Radiator in a Toyota Camry

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In order to keep a Toyota Camry in top working condition, there are certain types of routine maintenance you must perform. One such type is the flushing of the radiator. Every other year an owner should perform this task to keep the coolant system functioning correctly. This flushing is relatively easy and almost anyone can do it, no matter his mechanical skill level.

Things You'll Need

  • Sealable container
  • Bucket
  • Coolant
  • Distilled water
  • Move the Toyota Camry to a flat area and set the parking brake. Then, open the hood, securely prop it up and touch the radiator. If the radiator is cool to the touch, proceed to the next step. If not, wait for it cool before you continue.

  • Twist the radiator cap one full turn, pause for a few seconds, and then completely remove the radiator cap. You want to pause because even though the radiator is cool, there can still be internal pressure. The one full twist of the radiator helps relieve that pressure.

  • Place a bucket with a minimum 2-gallon capacity, underneath the radiator and below the drain plug. The drain plug on a Toyota Camry is usually on the back passenger side of the radiator.

  • Open the drain plug and allow the coolant to drain completely from the radiator. You may need a socket wrench to loosen the drain plug. Once done, pour the old coolant into a sealable container for proper disposal later.

  • Close the drain plug and fill the radiator completely with distilled water. Then, open the drain plug to let the water flow into the bucket. The flushing requires about 3 gallons of distilled water. Repeat this process until there isn't any debris in the flush.

  • Make sure to close the drain plug again and refill the radiator with fresh coolant. In the Toyota Camry, you want to use Toyota Super Long Life Pink premixed coolant. Refill the radiator until it's within an inch of overflowing.

  • Start the engine and turn the heater to the high setting. Allow the Toyota Camry to run until the cooling fan turns on twice. Then, shut off the engine and check the coolant level. If it is lower, add more coolant. If not, screw the radiator cap securely back into position and close the hood.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use tap water from a hose in place of the distilled water for flushing, but ordinary water can leave sediments behind that can damage the car's coolant system.
  • Be very careful with radiator coolant as it is very toxic to both people and animals.

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