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, cover the radiator cap with a wad of rag, and slowly turn the cap anti-clockwise to relieve the pressure in the cooling system (a hissing sound may be heard). Wait until any pressure remaining in the system is released, then continue to turn the cap until it can be removed.
Position a suitable container beneath the radiator drain plug, then completely unscrew the drain plug and allow the coolant to drain into the container
The radiator drain plug (arrowed) is accessible through an opening in the engine undershield
Once all the coolant has drained, tighten the drain plugs securely.
Note that if the coolant hasn't drained from the expansion tank, use a syringe or poultry baster to remove the old coolant.
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 their 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.
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 (see below).
Place the heater controls in the maximum heat position.
Remove the radiator cap, and fill the system by slowly pouring the coolant into the radiator to prevent airlocks from forming.
|Coolant quantity (all models)
||Ethylene glycol based antifreeze
If the coolant is being renewed, begin by pouring in a couple of litres of water, followed by the correct quantity of antifreeze, then top-up with more water. Periodically squeeze the radiator top and bottom hoses to help expel any trapped air in the system.
Fill the expansion tank to the MIN or LOW mark.
Refit the radiator pressure cap, then start the engine and allow it to idle until it reaches normal operating temperature.
If the temperature gauge indicates an overheating condition, stop the engine and allow it to cool completely, then recheck the coolant level.
Once the engine has warmed up, increase the engine speed to 2500 rpm and hold it there for 5 minutes, then increase the engine speed to 3000 rpm for 5 seconds and allow it to return to idle.
Repeat the procedure in Paragraph 13 four times, then stop the engine and allow it to cool completely.
Top-up the expansion tank if necessary. Note that the system must be cold before an accurate level is indicated.
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 ethylene-glycol based antifreeze of the specified type.
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.
Do not use engine antifreeze in the windscreen 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.