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How to replace the coolant on a Vauxhall Zafira (2009-2014 petrol & diesel engines)

Do you need to replace the coolant on your 2009 to 2014 Vauxhall Zafira, but don't know where to start? The video tutorial below shows you step-by-step how to drain, flush and refill your Zafira's coolant.

The video was filmed here in our workshop where we strip down and rebuild every car when producing our best-selling car repair manuals. Our 2009 to 2014 Vauxhall Zafira manual covers both the petrol and diesel engines. You can get it in the traditional printed book, or you can get the online manual version which comes with 19 more videos just like this one!

How to drain the cooling system on a Vauxhall Zafira

  1. To drain the cooling system, first cover the expansion tank cap with a wad of rag, and slowly turn the cap anti-clockwise to relieve the pressure in the cooling system (a hissing sound will normally be heard). Wait until any pressure remaining in the system is released, then continue to turn the cap until it can be removed
  2. Remove the engine undertray (where fitted), then position a suitable container beneath the right-hand side of the radiator
  3. The coolant drain plug is located at the bottom of the radiator right-hand end tank. Unscrew the drain plug and allow the coolant to drain
  4. When the flow of coolant stops, refit and tighten the drain plug
  5. As no cylinder block drain plug is fitted, it is not possible to drain all of the coolant. Due consideration must be made for this when refilling the system, in order to maintain the correct concentration of antifreeze
  6. If the coolant has been drained for a reason other than renewal, then provided it is clean and less than two years old, it can be re-used

How to flush the cooling system on a Vauxhall Zafira

  1. 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

How to fill the cooling system with new coolant on a Vauxhall Zafira

  1. 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
  2. Remove the expansion tank filler cap
  3. Fill the system by slowly pouring the coolant into the expansion tank until it is up to the filler neck
  4. On 1.9-litre engines, open the bleed screw (arrowed) in the coolant pipe above the exhaust manifold. Close the coolant pipe bleed screw as soon as coolant emerges
  5. Top-up the expansion tank until the coolant level is up to the KALT/COLD mark on the side of the tank
  6. Refit and tighten the expansion tank filler cap
  7. Start the engine and run it at 2000 to 2500rpm until the cooling fan switches on. Continue running the engine at between 2000 and 2500rpm for a further 2 minutes
  8. 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. Refit the engine undertray (where applicable)

Making the antifreeze mixture

  1. Always use an ethylene-glycol based antifreeze which is suitable for use in mixed-metal cooling systems. Vauxhall recommends Vauxhall/Opel silicate-free coolant (09 194 431/19 40 650). A 50% mix will give protection down to -40C
  2. Before adding antifreeze, the cooling system should be completely drained, preferably flushed, and all hoses checked for condition and security
  3. 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

Note: Vauxhall/Opel do not specify renewal intervals for the antifreeze mixture, as the mixture used to fill the system when the vehicle is new is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. However, it is strongly recommended that the coolant is renewed at the intervals specified in the Maintenance schedule, as a precaution against possible engine corrosion problems. This is particularly advisable if the coolant has been renewed using an antifreeze other than that specified by Vauxhall/Opel. With many antifreeze types, the corrosion inhibitors become progressively less effective with age. It is up to the individual owner whether or not to follow this advice

Warning: 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