1989 Dodge Caravan Radiator/Engine Flush

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 195,000 MILES
I need to replace the radiator and would like to know how to flush out the old water/antifreeze before I put the new radiator on.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, August 13th, 2010 AT 1:05 PM

1 Reply

Do this prior to removing old radiator.

Locate the radiator cap on the top of your radiator and remove it. This is normally located closest to you when facing your vehicle from the hood area, around the middle of your vehicle's width. To remove, most require that you push down on the cap while turning. Place this somewhere that it will not get lost.

Find the radiator drain. Under your vehicle, normally on the left side when facing the hood, is the drain for your radiator. This can be seen clearly by lying underneath and facing the front bumper of your car. On most cars, find a butterfly screw that is unscrewed by hand. Before unscrewing, place your drainage bucket underneath to catch the drainage. Now unscrew your drain and leave for a few minutes. Depending on the size of your radiator, it can take 2 to 5 minutes to drain completely.

Re-screw the butterfly screw underneath your vehicle in the opposite direction as you unscrewed it. Place the funnel inside the mouth of your radiator. Fill your pitcher with water, and refill your radiator through the funnel. Remove the funnel and replace the cap. Run your engine until it reaches normal operating temperature, then shut it back off. Allow your vehicle to cool for about a half an hour. Dispose of the drainage as your local laws require.

Unscrew the radiator cap again, and put it in a place where it will not get lost. Replace the drainage bucket underneath your radiator drain plug under the left side of your vehicle if you are facing the hood. Unscrew the butterfly screw again, and allow your radiator to drain completely. This will again take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes depending on your radiator size.

Replace the butterfly screw as soon as you have removed the drainage bucket. Dispose of your drainage again as your laws require. Replace the funnel in the mouth of your radiator. Open and pour the first gallon of coolant into the funnel. Once this is in, you will hear gurgles. Turn your engine on so that the coolant circulates through the system and gets rid of any air bubbles in the lines. Continue pouring the second gallon into your radiator until it is full. Check fullness by removing the funnel and looking straight into your radiator mouth. You should see a green fluid close to the upper neck of your radiator when it is full.

Replace the radiator cap when it is full. Go over to the side of your vehicle where the reservoir is located for your overflow of coolant. Pull the lid up and away, and pour the remainder of your coolant into the reservoir until it reaches the fill line drawn on the side. Replace the lid. You have just flushed and replaced your engine coolant.
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Friday, August 13th, 2010 AT 2:12 PM

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