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How to Change Coolant on a Subaru Forester

by Christian Killian

Changing the coolant in the Subaru Forester involves removing the air from the cooling system after new coolant is added. Removing the coolant can be done quickly, but you will need to plan a few extra minutes to work through the process to ensure the system is properly bled so that there is no air remaining. Air in the cooling system will reduce its effectiveness. Damage can occur to the head and block of your vehicle if if overheats, making this entire process critical.

1

Raise the vehicle off the ground with a jack and support it on a set of jack stands. Place the drain pan or bucket under the radiator drain petcock on the bottom left of the radiator.

2

Remove the undercover from the area below the radiator. Remove the radiator cap from the radiator filler neck. Open the drain petcock and allow the coolant to drain into the pan or bucket under the car.

3

Close the drain petcock after the coolant has stopped flowing from the radiator drain. Remove the jack stands and lower the car back to the ground. Fill the radiator with new coolant, continuing until the radiator will not accept any more.

4

Close the radiator cap, start the engine and race it to 3,000 revolutions per minute, or RPM, five or six times, then shut down the engine. Wait one minute and then open the radiator cap. Add coolant to the radiator if it is low.

5

Close the cap and run the engine again, racing it five or six times, then shut it down. Allow it to sit again and recheck the level, adding coolant to fill the radiator if needed. Replace the radiator cap.

6

Start the engine and run the engine at 2,000 RPM and run the heater blower motor on the high setting. Allow the engine to continue running until the electric fan comes on and then shuts off. Shut down the engine and allow it to cool.

7

Open the radiator cap and add coolant if it is low. Fill the coolant reservoir to the full mark and close the cap.

8

Place the heater control on hot and the blower to low. Start the car and race it to 3,000 RPM again. If you hear any water rushing or flowing sounds in the system, continue racing and filling the cooling system from step 5 until you no longer hear the coolant flowing.

Warning

  • Pay careful attention to the coolant temperature gauge during the burping or bleeding process to ensure the engine does not overheat.

Items you will need

About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.

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Photo Credits

  • Chris Hondros/Getty Images News/Getty Images