Wait until the engine is cold before starting this procedure. Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin, or with the painted surfaces of the vehicle. Rinse off spills immediately with plenty of water. Never leave antifreeze lying around in an open container, or in a puddle in the driveway or on the garage floor. Children and pets are attracted by its sweet smell, but antifreeze can be fatal if ingested.
Cooling system draining
With the engine completely cold, remove the expansion tank filler cap. Turn the cap anti-clockwise, wait until any pressure remaining in the system is released, then unscrew it and lift it off.
Jack the front of the vehicle up and support it on axle stands. Release the retaining screws and remove the engine undertray. Position a suitable container beneath the coolant rail.
Position the heater temperature control on its maximum setting.
Release the clip and disconnect the bottom hose from the coolant rail, and allow the coolant to drain into the container.
When the flow of coolant stops, refit the bottom hose and refit the clip.
If the coolant has been drained for a reason other than renewal, then provided it is clean and less than three years old, it can be re-used, though this is not recommended.
Cooling system flushing
If coolant renewal has been neglected, or if the antifreeze mixture has become diluted, then in time, the cooling system may gradually lose efficiency, as the coolant passages become restricted due to rust, scale deposits, and other sediment. The cooling system efficiency can be restored by flushing the system clean.
The radiator should be flushed independently of the engine, to avoid unnecessary contamination.
Disconnect the top and bottom hoses and any other relevant hoses from the radiator.
Insert a garden hose into the radiator top inlet. Direct a flow of clean water through the radiator, and continue flushing until clean water emerges from the radiator bottom outlet.
If after a reasonable period, the water still does not run clear, the radiator can be flushed with a good proprietary cleaning agent. It is important that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed carefully. If the contamination is particularly bad, insert the hose in the radiator bottom outlet, and reverse-flush the radiator.
Remove the thermostat, then, if the radiator top hose has been disconnected from the engine, temporarily reconnect the hose.
With the top and bottom hoses disconnected from the radiator, insert a garden hose into the radiator top hose. Direct a clean flow of water through the engine, and continue flushing until clean water emerges from the radiator bottom hose.
On completion of flushing, refit the thermostat and reconnect the hoses .
Cooling system filling
Before attempting to fill the cooling system, make sure that all hoses and clips are in good condition, and that the clips are tight. Note that an antifreeze mixture must be used all year round, to prevent corrosion of the engine components. Make sure the heater controls are set to maximum heat.
Remove the expansion tank filler cap. Unscrew and remove the bleed screw from the heater return hose at the engine compartment bulkhead
Unscrew and remove the bleed screw from the heater return hose at the engine compartment bulkhead
Slowly fill the system until bubble-free coolant comes out of the bleed hole in the coolant pipe, then fit and tighten the screw.
|Coolant quantity (approximately)
| Models up to June 2000 model year
||Antifreeze to specification BS 6580 and BS 5117. Ethylene-glycol based with non-phosphate corrosion inhibitors, containing no methanol. Mixture 50% by volume
| Models June 2000-on
||Ethylene-glycol based antifreeze, containing no methanol with only Organic Acid Technology (OAT) corrosion inhibitors
Continue filling the system until bubble free coolant comes out of the bleed screw in the heater return hose, then fit and tighten the screw.
Fill the cooling system until the coolant reaches the MAX mark on the expansion tank, then refit and tighten the filler cap.
Refit the undershield beneath the engine compartment, and lower the vehicle to the ground.
Start the engine, and allow it to run until it reaches normal operating temperature (until the cooling fan cuts in and out). Do not operate the air conditioning at this stage.
Stop the engine, and allow it to cool, then recheck the coolant level. Top-up the level if necessary and refit the expansion tank filler cap.
The antifreeze should always be renewed at the specified intervals. This is necessary not only to maintain the antifreeze properties, but also to prevent corrosion which would otherwise occur as the corrosion inhibitors become progressively less effective.
Always use an ethylene-glycol based antifreeze which is suitable for use in mixed-metal cooling systems..
Before adding antifreeze, the cooling system should be completely drained, preferably flushed, and all hoses checked for condition and security.
After filling with antifreeze, a label should be attached to the expansion tank, stating the type and concentration of antifreeze used, and the date installed. Any subsequent topping-up should be made with the same type and concentration of antifreeze.
Caution: Do not use engine antifreeze in the windscreen/tailgate washer system, as it will cause damage to the vehicle paintwork. A screenwash additive should be added to the washer system in the quantities stated on the bottle.