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How-To Flush Your Mustang Cooling System

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Many people don't even know that the radiator and cooling system of a vehicle needs to be flushed. Flushing the cooling system is a necessary and neglected part of vehicle maintenance. The cost of overhauling an engine can run into thousands of dollars; automatic transmission repairs also are expensive. Cooling system failure can lead to any of these problems.

This system performs several functions: it keeps the engine running within specified temperatures; it cools the automatic transmission; and it circulates hot water through the heater.

Temperatures inside an engine can get up to 4,500 - 5,000 degrees F., enough to melt an engine block in a matter of minutes. The cooling system, most notably the radiator, prevents this.

Today's engines run much hotter than in years gone by. Added emission control systems, smaller radiators, crowded engine compartments, and smaller grill areas add to the challenge.

Mechanics will recommend that you flush the system every two years, but the folks at RADIATOR.COM recommend you flush your system every year for maximum life.

Flushing The Cooling System:

  1. Begin with the engine cold and ignition off. Remove the radiator cap. MAKE SURE THE ENGINE IS COOL. If the radiator cap is too hot to touch, your engine is not cool enough.
  2. Open the drain-plug at the bottom of the radiator and drain the coolant into a bucket. You will want to dispose of the cooling fluid as environmentally conscious as possible. So, if there are any shops or recycling places in your area that take old coolant give it to them. Make sure you keep the fluid away from animals. Don't just pour it on the ground. Animals tend to want to drink it, but it will kill them. My ex-girlfriend's dog died of this once.
  3. Close the drain-plug and fill the radiator with water.
  4. Start the engine and turn the heater control to hot (this will open the heater control valve). Add cooling system cleaner and idle the engine for 30 minutes (or as per the instructions on container).
  5. Stop the engine and allow it to cool for five minutes. Drain the system.
  6. Close the drain-plug, fill the radiator with water and let the engine idle for five minutes.
  7. Repeat step No. 5. Close the drain-plug.
  8. Install new 50/50 mixture of water and ethylene glycol antifreeze/coolant. Be sure you use the same coolant as was in your vehicle. Many of the coolants that are designed to last 150,000 miles will react with cheaper coolants and cause corrosion of the radiator. The best way to do this is match color. If it says "Dex-Cool" or something of that nature, definitely use a Dex-Cool variant.


It's that simple! Good luck.

This article was sponsored by RADIATOR.COM.

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