How to Change Radiator Fluid in a Mazda Tribute

by Vanessa Padgalskas

The Mazda Tribute is a small SUV. You should change the radiator fluid, or coolant, every one to two years depending on the climate where you live. If you wait many years before changing the coolant, your coolant system could be susceptible to corrosion. When you change the coolant, you should also flush the radiator to make sure all the old coolant is flushed from the system.

Open the hood and remove the cap on the coolant tank. The coolant tank is white.

Go underneath the Tribute and put a pan below the radiator drain plug. Unscrew the radiator drain plug, located under the radiator, and allow the fluid to drain into the pan.

Move the pan to the coolant plug, which is underneath the coolant tank, and unscrew the coolant plug to allow the fluid to drain. Tighten the coolant plug when you are finished.

Pour clean water into your radiator to flush it clean. Continue to pour water until the water coming out is as clean as the water going in. The water will drain out from the radiator drain plug. Tighten the drain plug when the water has finished draining.

Purchase anti-freeze. Mazda anti-freeze sold at Mazda dealers is recommended for Mazda vehicles. You do not have to buy Mazda anti-freeze, but buy a quality brand, such as Peak. You will need 4 liters of anti-freeze or 8 liters of pre-mixed coolant. If you buy pure anti-freeze, mix a 50/50 mixture of anti-freeze and distilled water to total 7.5 liters. You can mix the solution in liter size soda bottles.

Put the funnel in the top of the coolant tank and pour the coolant mixture into the funnel until the tank is full, which is about 7.5 liters. You will see lines on the outside of the tank showing the full level.

Turn on the vehicle and rev the engine to roughly 2500 rpm for one minute then release the pedal. Repeat this step until you no longer see any bubbles coming up in your coolant tank. This process is bleeding the radiator of air bubbles. Replace the coolant cap on the coolant tank when you are finished. Check the coolant level after driving the car for a few days to make sure the level has not gone down.

Items you will need

About the Author

Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and currently resides in Portland, Ore. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.