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How to Change Antifreeze in a Camry

by Michael Larkin

Replacing the antifreeze in your radiator periodically will help extend the life of your vehicle and prevent possible cooling problems. Over time, sediment and debris can build up in a radiator, which can cause problems for your coolant system and engine. By replacing the antifreeze at least every other year, you are ensuring that this buildup is not allowed to accumulate.

Park the car on a flat surface in a safe place away from children and animals.

Pull the hood-release latch on the driver's side of the car and open the hood.

Let the radiator cool down to avoid burns. Hold the radiator cap with a dry rag and carefully give it a full turn. Wait a few minutes for internal pressure to abate. You may hear a hissing sound if the engine was still warm.

Locate the drain plug on the radiator. It should be on the passenger's side on the bottom of the radiator.

Place the bucket under the drain plug.

Loosen the drain plug with the socket wrench and then remove it. Allow the radiator to drain completely into the bucket. Replace the drain plug.

Remove the radiator cap. Alternately pour equal amounts of antifreeze and water into the radiator using the funnel. Or, if you purchased pre-mixed antifreeze, pour it in the radiator, undiluted, using the funnel. Fill the radiator until the liquid is visible in the neck.

Start the car and turn on the heat. Observe the level of liquid in the radiator neck.

Top off the radiator until the level stops dropping. Replace the cap and dispose of the used antifreeze in accordance with local environmental safety standards.


  • Antifreeze is toxic and should be kept away from children and animals.

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About the Author

Michael Larkin has been writing since 2005. He has worked as a photojournalist for CBS affiliates in Spokane, Washington, and Boise, Idaho. He has also freelanced for ESPN and PBS. Larkin currently writes a wide range of material, including corporate newsletters, blogs and ad copy, as well as the occasional magazine article. Larkin holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism/mass communication from Whitworth College.

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Photo Credits

  • containers of anti-freeze and coolant for cars. products image by L. Shat from