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How to Change the Coolant in a Honda Accord

by Darla Ferrara

Draining the radiator in a Honda Accord is a straightforward process. Coolant, or antifreeze, flows from the radiator to the engine to prevent overheating. As coolant ages, inert residue builds up and the liquid becomes sluggish. When this happens, the engine in your Accord does not cool properly. Over time, this can damage the system on your car. Cars differ by year and model, and steps for routine maintenance vary based on the year and engine size of your Honda Accord. So always check the manual for your model before doing any work on the vehicle.

Turn the heater control inside the Accord to maximum heat. If you have a digital thermostat, start the car, set the thermostat to 90 degrees and turn off the car.

Open the hood and inspect the engine and radiator. They should be cool to the touch.

Remove the radiator cap carefully by hand. There should be no steam from the radiator.

Move under the car. Place a drain pan under the radiator, then locate and loosen the radiator drain plug, using a wrench. The plug will be at the bottom of the radiator. Let the coolant drain into the pan.

Locate the drain bolt on the engine block. Refer to your manual if you are unsure of the bolt's location. Use the wrench to remove the bolt and washer.

Pull up on the reserve tank, near the radiator, to remove it. Dump the coolant out of the tank (and into the drain pan) and reseat the tank. If your Accord is a six-cylinder model, remove the cruise control and ground control cables before pulling the reserve tank off the radiator. Replace the cables after dumping the coolant and replacing the tank.

Tighten the radiator drain plug once all the coolant has drained out of the radiator.

Replace the washer for the engine drain bolt, and reseat the bolt. Double-check the bolt to ensure it is tight.

Follow the instructions on the antifreeze container for mixing ratio. Mix the antifreeze with distilled water.

Follow the instructions on the antifreeze for mixing ratio. Mix the antifreeze with distilled water.

Loosen the bleeder bolt at the top of the engine, using a wrench. This will only be necessary if you have a four-cylinder model. Tighten the bolt again when coolant leaks out in a steady stream with no bubbles.

Check the fluid level again, and add additional coolant if necessary. You should see the fluid at the edge of the radiator opening.

Turn the car on and let it run until the engine warms. Wait until the fan comes on at least twice.

Turn the engine off and recheck the fluid level. Add additional coolant if required. You still want to see fluid at the edge of the radiator hole.

Replace the radiator cap, and fill the reserve tank to the maximum-level marking.

Items you will need

About the Author

Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.

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  • radiator humor image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com