The Basics of Vehicle Cooling System Maintenance

The majority of vehicles on the road today run on either petrol or diesel, and despite the future of cars being electric, fuel-powered vehicles are still the industry standard. This is why, unlike electric cars, petrol and diesel vehicles have a front grille for air to enter and help keep the engine cool. The cooling of your engine is where the air cooling system plays a huge role in keeping it performing optimally. For this, you need optimal conditions and cool air plays a huge role.

A car cooling system is made of different parts that provide the engine with clean, cool air. These include the radiator, radiator fan, water pump, thermostat, pressure cap and so on. Your vehicle’s cooling system also relies on liquids to keep the engine running at the right temperature. This liquid is called antifreeze. You can also use water, but it’s not as effective. With all these components being involved in cooling the engine, maintenance is a must in order to keep your auto cooling system running at its best. If the cooling system is not kept at its best, then the engine will start to struggle, and when the engine struggles more fuel is used. This is why you need to take action and keep your cooling system spot on.

mechanic checking the cooling system

How to Clean Car Cooling System


Cleaning your auto cooling system takes a little bit of patience as you need to let your vehicle sit for a while before you start so that the engine is completely cold. Before you make your car air cooling system like new make sure the engine has cooled down completely and the old coolant has been drained in an expansion tank.


  1. Start the cleaning process by flushing the radiator. To do this you need to remove the lower and upper radiator hoses and rinse them thoroughly. Start with the lower hose first and then continue with the upper radiator hose. Make sure that the water is clear and no deposits are visible when you finish flushing the radiator.
  2. After you’ve done that, flush the engine block the same way you did the radiator hoses. Use short pulsating air blows to make the flushing process more effective. Before you start refilling the system make sure to flush the heat exchanger too as avoiding it can permanently impair its functionality.
  3. To refill your auto cooling system, just put everything back together, including the hoses, engine block and heat exchanger. Then, just pour in the correct mixture of water and coolant unless your coolant comes already mixed and you’re good to go.
cleaning the cooling system

How to Bleed Car Cooling System


When you’ve cleaned your vehicle’s car air cooling system you need to keep it filled with enough coolant that is not contaminated. This requires you to check the level of the coolant from time to time and if needed, bleed the cooling system. For this, you’ll need just two things – water and coolant. Again, if the type of coolant you use for your vehicle comes pre-mixed, then you don’t need water. But usually, a 50/50 ratio is what you need to aim for.


putting antifreeze in the car
  1. Once you mix the water and antifreeze solution, locate the radiator cap, remove it and pour the coolant into the radiator. Before you do this, make sure you flush the coolant that’s is already in your vehicle.
  2. With the coolant inside the radiator, turn on the engine with the radiator cap off and let it run until you have the radiator bleed out the air. This can take anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes as the engine needs to heat up to a certain temperature before the coolant starts circulating.
  3. You’ll need to pay attention to the coolant level as well as the temperature gauge. The coolant level should drop as air circulates, and you’ll start to notice air bubbles escaping from the radiator. You may hear the radiator gurgle too. The temperature gauge should go to normal or close to normal during this process. This means that no air is circulating through the engine.
  4. Refill the radiator once again when this process has finished and replace the radiator cap. It’s important to replace the radiator cap every time you refill the radiator with new coolant. This is because a new cap comes with a seal that keeps air from entering the radiator or decreases the amount of air that gets into the radiator.
  5. While there are other methods to use when bleeding your car cooling system, they aren’t as straightforward or as simple. For some of them, you need special equipment such as a vacuum tool which can make this process quite an expensive one. This is why bleeding the cooling system manually is the best way, as it is a tried and true method that has been done for a long time.