How to Change the Antifreeze on a 5.9 Cumminsby Mark Robinson
Heavy duty versions of the Dodge Ram pick-up come equipped with the 5.9 Cummins diesel engine, and this engine relies on a supply of antifreeze to function properly. Antifreeze not only helps keep the 5.9 Cummins engine cool, but it also provides it with protection against freezing in cold temperatures. Keeping a full, clean supply of antifreeze in the cooling system is important for maintaining the performance of the 5.9 Cummins engine.
Park the vehicle on a flat, level surface and start the engine. Set the heater control temperature to its maximum level. Turn the engine off afterwards and allow it to cool down before attempting to drain the radiator.
Locate the radiator drain plug and position a catch pan underneath it. Open the radiator drain plug with a pair of pliers and allow the coolant to drain from the reserve coolant tank. When the reserve tank is empty, open the radiator cap to allow the rest of the coolant to drain out of the radiator. Close the drain plug when the radiator is empty.
Refill the radiator with a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. You can also use pre-mixed antifreeze. When the radiator is full, refill the reserve tank with antifreeze until the level reaches the full mark.
Move the catch pan out of the way. Start the engine and allow it to run until the upper radiator hose becomes warm to the touch. Check the level in the reserve tank and add antifreeze as necessary. The level should be between the ADD and FULL marks.
- "2003 Dodge Ram Service Manual"; DaimlerChrysler Corporation; 2002
- It is possible to reuse the antifreeze, if it hasn't deteriorated or become inundated with debris. If the antifreeze is clean, store it in a clean plastic container for future use. Otherwise, dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Things You'll Need
- Catch pan
- Do not attempt to work on an engine's cooling system while it is still hot. Doing so can cause burns and other severe injuries. Always allow the engine to cool down before starting any work.
- Antifreeze smells sweet and appealing to animals, and is also lethal to them. Be sure to dispose of it properly.
Mark Robinson is a freelance graphic designer and writer. Since 2008 he has contributed to various online publications, specializing in topics concerning automotive repair, graphic design and computer technology. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in graphic design from Alabama A&M University.