Engine Coolant System Rust Removal


Several flush kits are available to clean the cooling system of your vehicle. Along with a mild or strong cleaner solution, a kit will help you remove rust and scale formation from inside parts like the radiator, hoses, engine block and water pump. After using the chemical as described on the product label, follow the procedure outlined in the instructions that come with your kit to connect the necessary adapters to flush the system.

Chemical Flushing

  • Follow the instructions on the label of the cleaning product if you are using a strong chemical. You might need to wear rubber gloves, a protective mask and goggles. Add the product to the radiator and let the engine idle for the time indicated by the product manufacturer. Then flush the system.

Fast Flushing

  • Make sure the cooling system is cool, then disconnect the heater core water supply hose at the engine. Connect a regular garden hose to the fitting at the engine, or to the adapter that came with your kit, and the other end of the hose to your home faucet. Then remove the radiator cap and open the radiator drain valve. Turn on the faucet, and let the water flow through the system for about five minutes.

Reverse Flushing

  • Some auto shops use compressed air and water for the reverse flushing. You can adapt this at home to clean your radiator. Connect your garden hose to the lower radiator tank using the adapter that came with the kit. Normally, compressed air under low pressure is fed to the radiator through the same line, says James E. Duffy in "Modern Automotive Technology." Disconnect the upper radiator hose at the engine to let the water drain. Then turn on the water, and let it run for about five minutes.

Add Coolant

  • Once you finish flushing, add a mixture of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent distilled water to the cooling system. Consult your car owner's manual for the recommended amount and type of antifreeze for your vehicle.

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  • "Modern Automotive Technology"; James E. Duffy; 2003
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