A Safe Method of Flushing Radiator with Vinegar

No matter how good you are with the maintenance of your car, some of its parts, such as the radiator, will not work efficiently over time. A clogged radiator is a problem that often affects a vital part of the engine’s cooling system. Flushing is the most sought-after method of removing all types of contamination from the radiator. You can clean it too by flushing radiator with vinegar.

What Are the Signs of a Radiator Need Flushing?

If you are getting any of these symptoms, it is time to flush the car radiator and clean it.


Several things contribute to the overheating of a vehicle. A clogged radiator could be one of them.


If there is a sign of coolant leakage under the car, the radiator needs flushing.


Just like overheating, engine noise can occur due to many reasons. If there is a knocking sound in the engine, it may be because of the unclean radiator.

flushing radiator
An unclean radiator may create noise sometimes. (Source: Biswarup Ganguly / Wikimedia Commons)

How Does Flushing Clean the Radiator?

Over time, radiator coolant builds up unwanted contaminants and debris. It also causes corrosion, rust, and scaling in the radiator. A coolant flush can fix all these problems.

During this process, several gallons of cleaner, water, and new antifreeze pass through the system and remove the old antifreeze and existing contaminants. Besides, flushing lubricates the water pump and lengthens its life.

In the first year, the car does not need flushing if it runs less than 10,000 miles. With no signs of a faulty radiator, you can flush it after every 30,000 miles or as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.

The Process of Flushing Radiator with Vinegar

You can use various natural and chemical solutions to clean or flush the radiator. before starting the process, don’t forget to wear rubber gloves and safety glasses.

Let’s learn the stepwise method to flush the radiator with vinegar.

  1. First of all, put a shallow pan on the ground beneath the radiator so that it can catch the draining coolant. Since each country has specific regulations about the proper disposal of coolant, it is better not to let the coolant soak into the ground.
  2. Now, move the radiator cap and loosen the drain valve of the radiator. The coolant will drain into the pan.
  3. When the radiator is empty, put water to fill half of it. Add one gallon of white distilled vinegar. Finally, fill the remaining part of the radiator with water.
  4. Close the radiator cap before starting the car. Run the car for some time until it reaches room temperature.
  5. Leave the car overnight. Then, remove the radiator drain valve to drain all the content of the radiator. During the draining process, flush out the radiator using a hose.
  6. Once the flushing is complete, put the proper mixture of coolant and water in the radiator to fill it.



A clogged car radiator can create issues like overheating. You can choose to unclog it with the flushing method. Instead of using some harsh solutions, flushing radiator with vinegar is a safer choice.