Picture of How to Burp your car's cooling system
This instructable will walk you through the simple process of "burping" or getting all of the trapped air out of your cars cooling system. This works for ALL Vehicles

If you have had any parts replaced on your cars cooling system (radiator, waterpump, new hoses, ect) then there is a chance that your cooling system has air trapped in it and this could make your cars cooling system operate poorly, or in worst cases minic the symptoms of a cracked  head.

So BEFORE you spend thousands of dollars at the mechanics having this done, try this and see if your cooling system operates normal (temp stays within normal , does not get hot or overheat).
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Step 1: Things you will need

Picture of Things you will need
AnitFreeze or Dex cool, I used the 50/50 water dexcool mix

Spill free funnel ($20.00 on

Rag to wipe area clean

Time and Patience

Step 2:

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Make sure that your overflow tank is at the level of coolant where the line marked "COLD" is, make sure that you car is cold, do not try this with a engine that has been running.

Open your radiator cap, insert the angled peice of the spill free funnel into the correct cap for you car, then the main peice of the funnel on that, Make sure that you have all conections on sung so that there are no leaks.

Step 3:

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Now fill the funnel a little past half way, the reason for this is when your cars thermostat opens up the level will rise and drop with the opening and closing of it and with the escaping of the trapped air.


Step 4:

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Go to your car, and set the climate controll settings to the hot or heat setting but make sure that the fan/heater is in the OFF posistion.

NOW you can start you car.

amclaussen2 years ago
Hi there, I have some comments for your Instructable:

1) I don't like DEXCOOL at all! To see why, just search for it in Internet, and soon you will start to see that it is frequently dubbed "DeathCool". GM decided to order Texaco a new (then) coolant formula. Those guys developed one that produced a lot of problems; you will read about gelled coolant, damaged intake manifold gaskets, totally ruined engines and thousands of legal demands and Class Action Suites!
I suggest that first you find the kind of coolant that the engine needs, then get a recognized brand. I use Chrysler's own "Long Life" formula with very good results. Today, coolant formulas come in several colors (but sometimes color is not entirely representative of the type of chemistry of the coolant). but if engine has Aluminum, iron and other metals components, a "Long" or "Extended" life type of coolant is most probably the best bet. Be aware that even when the container says something like "5-Year" formula, after the first change, it will NOT endure for so long, because now the engine will have some corrosion, therefore the replaced coolant won't last as long as when the engine was brand new, so a more frequent replacement is desirable. I do it every 3 years when using the Chrysler "5-Year" formula, toghether with a complete flush, back-flush and complete hose and belt exchange. in that way, my cars are as reliable as possible regarding cooling system performance.
2) Coolant is made with Ehylene-Glycol as its main constituent, and this chemical EATS most factory paints right away!, thus, if ANY spill occurs over any painted surface, you will need to have PLENTY of clean water at hand to wash and quickly dilute the spilled coolant. Your Instructable says: "have a rag to wipe any coolant off of your car", that is not enough, and can get some paint damaged.
3) Modern (say, after 1990 engines) do get to proper operating temperature in much less than an hour if the ambient temp is not too cold outside, therefore, after starting, about 15 minutes of idle is enough if the thermostat is in good working order.
Best wishes. Amclaussen, Mexico City.

Never heard that anti-freeze will eat auto paint. I tried googling this and couldn't find anything. Are you sure that you weren't thinking of brake fluid?

BOTH Brake fluid and Coolant have the same type of main component: Ethylene Glycol (or other glycols). These chemical compounds can dissolve the clear coat and continue to damage the color coat too. The only difference is that Brake fluid is almost 100% concentrated, and coolant solution has only about 70% or less concentration of the glycol. Therefore both can damage the paint, only that the brake fluid will do it sooner and harder...

In case of spillage, best get some water and quickly wash the paint WITHOUTtouching or  wiping it, as if the fluid has already started to attack the paint, any wiping will remove th top pf the coat and the damage will be worse!  The sooner the fluid is diluted, the less chance of ruining the paint.
mfrontuto (author)  amclaussen2 months ago

good advice, if this was a new car I would have done that, but this car is now 11 years old and I just try to do basic preventative maint on it to keep it running it top shape.

Malhecho2 years ago
a few years ago i screwed the pooch and blew my head gasket trying to backflush and burp.
mfrontuto (author)  Malhecho2 months ago

yeah I do not black flush for that very same reaosn, just burping is good enough for me

kreis-mendoza12 months ago

this is kinda cool cuz the instructions arent too a pretty inpatient woman lol

mfrontuto (author)  kreis-mendoza2 months ago

glad I could help!

it is also a good practice to get a VERY SMALL drill bit and drill a hole in the thermostat, the very small hole is just used for any air that is trapped in the engine side of they system to escape. Yes a little coolant will leak out of the hole, but that is why you make the hole as small as possible so it will not effect your system at all. Using the bleed screw in newer cars only lets some of the air on the radiator side of the system out when the thermostat is closed and will not get all of the air out.

where you drill the hole on the thermostat depends on if the thermostat is placed vertical or horizontal in your car.... but that is for another instructable :)