How to Get Oil Out of Your Vehicle's Coolant System How to Get Oil Out of Your Vehicle's Coolant System
A leaking gasket can mean you end up with oil in the coolant system of your vehicle. You’ll known there's a problem when you take a look at the coolant because the oil will be a different color and will be floating on top of the coolant. When you see this, you will need to remove the oil from the coolant system as soon as you can before it does any lasting damage. Although the task is easy, it will take some time and effort to complete.
Step 1 - Preparation
Remove the radiator cap and open the top of the overflow bottle. Start the engine and keep it on a low idle until the engine has warmed up. Now, take ¼ cup dishwashing liquid. You’ll need to choose one that doesn’t contain 4-D Butyl Ester since this could react with the materials in your head gasket and ruin it.
You can also use dishwasher detergent which will foam less. If using dishwasher detergent, you should use about ½ cup. Pour the detergent into the overflow bottle so it starts to foam. Don’t be worried by this as you need this to happen.
Step 2 - Flushing
Open the valve at the bottom of the radiator, making sure you have an empty drain pan underneath. You’re going to need a number of drain pans. Keep your engine running for the entire procedure.Turn on your hose and point the nozzle into the overflow bottle. If you have an older car, you’ll need to point the nozzle directly into the radiator. You don’t need a hard flow from the hose, just enough to make sure you replace the coolant coming out of the drain plug of the radiator.
Step 3 - Cleaning
Be aware that your coolant system is going to be foaming for quite a while as the detergent works its way through. Keep running the hose all the while, replacing the drain pans when they become full and putting the contaminated coolant into sealed containers so you can dispose of it responsibly later. On no account should you let the coolant just drain into the earth, since it’s highly toxic and can cause pollution.
When there’s no more foam coming from your coolant system, turn off the car engine and close the radiator drain plug. Keep the water running from the hose until the coolant system of your vehicle is full. Allow the water sit for several minutes and make sure the drain pans are empty.
Step 4 - Refilling
Start the engine again, turn the hose back on and open the drain plug so you can flush the system again. This will remove the last of the oil. Turn the engine off and allow the water to drain out. Close the drain plug.
Now your cooling system is clean again and you’re ready to refill it. Use a mixture that’s 50 per cent coolant and 50 per cent distilled water. Make sure you use distilled water and not regular water from the faucet or hose.