Hello everyone. I’m Mickey Andre from Throttle, and as you can see, I’m out here in our shop, and that’s because I like to work on my own vehicles. So today we have our 1997 Chevy k1500 pickup truck here. And today we’re gonna tackle a coolant flush and fill.
Before you get started on your own coolant flush and fill, you’re going to want to head down to your local auto parts store, and pick up some PEAK coolants. If you’re uncertain with how much coolant your vehicle takes in particular, you can check the owner’s manual. If you’ve got a really old vehicle like we do here, and the owner’s manual has gotten legs and disappeared, you can check online.
For our purposes today, we’re using PEAK’s non-diluted, full-strength coolant for the majority of our fill up. And, we also have the 50/50 pre-diluted set up here, so that we can do a top off at the very end, and not have to worry about our 50/50 mixture.
Now that you’ve got your coolants, one other thing you might want to consider picking up from your local auto parts store is a nice drain catch. So, this one has a really large opening on top, and will catch all of the coolant that’s actually going to hit everything on its way out of our radiator.
This particular vehicle is quite difficult, because the drain cog is actually above the frame rail and a bunch of other items. That’s going to cause the coolant to kind of splatter everywhere. This big open pan will capture the majority of it, and make sure that it’s not too tough of a cleanup.
Now that we’ve got that all out of the way, let’s locate our radiator cap and our radiator drain cog for draining purposes. And a word of caution: Make sure you let your vehicle cool down for about 15 minutes before you decide to pop the radiator cap off to start draining.
Alright, well on this vehicle, the radiator cap is very easy to find. It is right in front of you when you pop the hood. So we’ve let this vehicle cool off, so I can go ahead and safely remove this cap by pressing down and counterclockwise. When you take the radiator cap off, you want to take a moment and inspect the cap. This one looks like it’s a little outdated. It’s got some cracking on the rubber seal, and I can tell that this coolant has probably, at some point or even now, only been replaced with just water. That means we’re gonna have to do a complete flush and fill, and get all of the water out of the system, so that we can replace it with the proper PEAK fluids.
Okay now that we’ve introduced atmosphere to this system, meaning we’re allowing air into the top, we can remove the drain cog and allow whatever coolant or water is in the system to drain out. We’ll go ahead and grab our open top catch can, slide it under the vehicle, and allow this to drain down.
Alright, well as you can see we’ve got some pretty disgusting water that was being used as coolant. There is a bit of rust in the system, but the good thing is I’m not seeing any deposits in here. I’m not feeling any crud, which is a good thing. It is recommended
that you use the PEAK coolant system cleaner and flush before topping off your system with the new PEAK coolant. So we would go ahead and do that now, and then we will move on to putting the new coolant in.
To remove all the coolant from the cooling system, you’ll want to grab a hose, fill up the cooling system with water, and flush it through the radiator. Turn the vehicle heater on high, and let the vehicle run for 15 minutes or so. And then reflush the coolant. You may need to do this process two to three times. The result you’re looking for is almost clear or clear water coming out of the system.
Alright, well, as mentioned earlier, you’re going to want to check your owner’s manual. Make sure you know the capacity that your system takes. And you’re going to want to divide that in half, because we’re using a full-strength PEAK coolant today, which means we’re going to do 50 percent coolant / 50 percent distilled water. Mind you don’t want to use hose water for this process. You want to use distilled water to help keep contaminants out of the system.
Alright, I’ve now put one gallon of the undiluted coolant in. I’m gonna go ahead and now add one gallon of distilled water as well. Now that you have the system topped off with your 50/50 solution of PEAK coolant and distilled water, you’re gonna go ahead and run the vehicle for about 15 minutes, burping out any air pockets that may be trapped inside the coolant lines, the radiator, the engine block or your heater core. If you do need to add coolant to the system, we highly recommend using PEAK’s 50/50 pre-diluted mixture, that way you don’t upset the mixture that you’ve already put in the system. This will make sure that it stays balanced.
We like to utilize this handy, dandy little system here that allows us to pour the 50/50 mix into here while the vehicle is running. You’ll see the air purge out through this system, and it will allow the 50/50 coolant mixture to go back into the system, replacing the air pockets with actual coolant.
Alright, once you’re satisfied with the bleeding process of getting the air out of the system, return your cap to its home position. Make sure it’s nice and tight, so it doesn’t come off next time you drive. Now that the system’s bled, and the job is done, there’s only one last thing to do, and that is to make sure that you dispose of your coolant properly. I like to return the coolant back to my auto parts store, where they can properly recycle it.
Alright guys, well that’s a wrap on this quick little flush and fill video that we’ve prepared for you today. We hope that you feel confident enough to tackle this job in your driveway or in your garage at home. Before you get going on it, make sure you head over to your local auto parts retailer and pick up the proper PEAK products for the job, and good luck!
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