How to Change the Coolant in a Nissan Maxima

by Carl Pruit

The life of your vehicle is dependent upon a routine of regular maintenance and check ups. One of the things you can do to keep your Nissan Maxima running efficiently is to check the cooling system for any signs of problems. Changing the coolant in your cars radiator routinely can prevent many problems from occurring later. This is something you can do very easily and inexpensively to save yourself some frustration and expense.

Verify that the car's engine is cold. Do not try to change the coolant while the engine is hot. Open the heater core valve to allow coolant to drain out. For a Nissan Maxima with manual climate control, turn your ignition key to "on" and set the heater control to maximum hot. Then turn ignition key to "off." For automatic climate control cars, turn ignition switch to "on," hold the "off" button of climate control for at least 5 seconds. Depress "hot" button 3 times, hit the "defrost" button twice and you will see code "43" being displayed. Once you see this display, wait 10 seconds and turn ignition key to "off."

Place a drain pan under the radiator and remove the radiator cap from the top of the radiator.

Remove the drain plug from bottom of the radiator with a screwdriver. Allow the radiator coolant to drain completely.

Remove the clip from the hose going from the top of the radiator to the coolant reservoir. Once the clip is removed, pull the hose and the reservoir out of the engine compartment.

Clean reservoir tank out completely with hot water and scrub brush.

Refill the coolant reservoir with coolant about half way and reinstall reservoir tank in engine compartment. Reattach hose to top of radiator and secure hose with clip.

Flush the radiator out by inserting a garden hose in the top of the radiator and allowing water to run through the system until it comes out clean at the bottom. Note: Replace the drain pan filled with spent coolant, with a bucket. Empty the bucket of water as many times as necessary to flush out the radiator system.

Close the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator. Fill the radiator with a mixture of coolant and water. Follow the directions on back of coolant container for exact amounts.

Replace the radiator cap and start the engine, allowing it to warm up. Check for any signs of overheating or leakage. Dispose of the drained coolant by taking it to your local recycling center or automotive supply store for recycling.

Items you will need

About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.