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How to Flush the Radiator on the 2003 Chevy Impala LS

by Dale Yalanovsky

Radiator fluid antifreeze in a 2003 Chevy Impala LS must be inspected every 15,000 to 20,000 miles and changed every 45,000 miles. Changing the fluid means flushing the radiator to remove any dirt or deposits that may inhibit cooling. All you need to flush the radiator is some DIY experience and a driveway or garage. No fancy tools are required, but care must be taken to keep from spilling any used antifreeze, and all antifreeze collected must be recycled responsibly.

Park your Chevy Impala on a level surface. Wait for the radiator to cool down, then put on a pair of safety glasses and rubber gloves. You don't want used antifreeze to come into contact with your eyes or skin.

Place a drain pan beneath the drain valve on the radiator. Any deep pan will work, whether it is an oil pan, a kitchen pan, or even a dishpan.

Open the drain valve on the radiator and drain the used antifreeze coolant into the pan. While draining, open the hood of the Impala and remove the radiator cap by first pushing it down and then twisting it off.

Allow the radiator to drain fully, then close the drain valve. Pour the used radiator fluid into a funnel that drains into a regular two-liter bottle. Fill the bottle with fluid and cover it tightly. This and all the other drained radiator fluids must be taken to an automotive shop or hardware store for recycling.

Fill the radiator with water from a hose, then drain it again into the pan. Inspect the water for rust, sediment, dirt or debris. The drained water must be clear before you continue; continue to fill and drain until only clear water drains out.

Mix up an approximate 50/50 solution of new antifreeze and water in a five-gallon bucket. Use a half gallon of antifreeze to start, and mix in the same amount of water. Place the funnel in the radiator and pour the mix into the funnel. Completely fill the radiator with the mixture.

Start the engine and allow the radiator fluid to flow throughout the system. Run it for approximately 15 minutes, then shut it down and allow the engine to cool off. When the engine is cool, remove the radiator cover and top off both the radiator and the coolant overflow tank with the 50/50 mix.

Items you will need

About the Author

Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.

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