Engine Cooling

Coolant Drain and Refill

Coolant Drain and Refill

Is there a special procedure for filling up the engine coolant?

I just got the car back on Friday from my mechanic after having the timing belt replaced. Took the car to a motorkana yesterday, it overheated yesterday on last run of motorkana (39 degree C here yesterday). - it had been running hot from when I got it back (I'm wondering whether they refilled the coolant properly at the shop) I had to fill it with tap water to enable me to drive it home. This morning I drained the radiator (removed top and bottom hoses) and attempted to refill with coolant but, are still having heat problems.

Book says coolant capacity is 16 litres - I could only put 9 litres in it.

Any help would be appreciated.

Brett Read

It sounds like you have trapped air. The sytem should be filled slowly and "burped" occasinally. With the heater on, and when the thermostat opens, the level in the coolant reservoir will drop. Add more to keep it at the fill line. To burb the system, squeeze the lower radiator coolant hose, now and then.

Merry motoring, Ed.

The 16 liters capacity is what it would take to fill a "dry" system. When you yank the radiator hoses, you pretty much just drain the radiator and hoses. The hoses connect high on the block, so it remains full. There are two plugs on each side of the block (accessible from beneath). Be careful, the plugs are pretty small and if you strip or break them, it will be quite difficult to get them out.

Given the fact that most antifreezes only need a 50% mix, and you drained 9 liters from the radiator (out off 16 liters), you would be OK not draining the block if you did a good flush (fill, drain, fill, drain cycle several times) to lower the antifreeze concentration. Then, just fill the system with 8 liters antifreeze and top off with water. Ed's suggestions ensure that you don't have trapped air.

If you still have overheating problems, there are many previous posts that cover the many possible reasons.

Good luck!

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