How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto (2023)

June 3, 2022June 3, 2022 1A Auto Team 1A Auto Blog Home

If you want to know how to burp the coolant system, there are a few different ways depending on the vehicle. Learn the different methods you can use to burp the coolant system if you need to remove air from it.

Why Do I Need to Burp or Bleed the Cooling System?

How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto (1)

Your engine may be overheating after working on the cooling system. Maybe you replaced the water pump, radiator, or the thermostat and added coolant back to the system. You’ll need to burp or bleed the cooling system to remove any air.

When you fill up the coolant system, the radiator may fill up entirely, but the engine may not fill up all the way, leaving air in the system. Air pockets can prevent coolant from circulating and can cause problems like the thermostat not opening. When the engine is cooling properly it will be at the right temperature.

How to Burp the Cooling System

Steps to burp the cooling system

  1. Find the Radiator Cap or the Coolant Reservoir Cap

    You may find a radiator or coolant cap attached to the radiator to add more coolant. Some vehicles will have a separate tank or reservoir to store and add coolant.

    (Video) How to Drain, Fill & Bleed Radiator 05-10 Chrysler 300

  2. Replace Any Lost Coolant

    Add coolant to the reservoir or radiator with the correct 50/50 mix.

    For some vehicles, to burp the cooling system all you need to do is add coolant, start and let it run for 10 min, make sure the thermostat opens, which will burp air out, shut the vehicle off, let it cool down, and then top off the levels.

    Some vehicles require more steps.

    More on how to bleed a typical cooling system

  3. Squeeze the Upper Radiator Hose to Remove Any Air Pockets

    You could squeeze the upper radiator hose to remove some of the air pockets. The vehicle in this example self-bleeds a little with a hose from the radiator to the reservoir.

  4. Look for a Bleeder Screw and Open It If There

    Some vehicles have a bleeder screw to remove air from the engine. In this example it’s on the thermostat housing. As you’re filling up the coolant system, open the bleeder screw. As coolant fills up, you’ll hear air hissing as it’s removed. Once you start seeing bubbles or coolant, tighten the screw and there shouldn’t be much air in the system.

    How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto (2)

  5. Attach a Funnel and Let Air Burp Out of the Cooling System

    If there is a coolant reservoir or a radiator cap, you can use a funnel that attaches to where the coolant is added. You can fill the system up with coolant and run the engine with the funnel attached without worrying about coolant spilling out the sides. This raises the coolant level to improve burping.

    With the vehicle running, you’ll notice bubbles burp out of the coolant, which is the system evacuating air. Once the bubbles subside, let the system and engine cool. Let rest of coolant fall into reservoir from the funnel, and then plug funnel with any remaining coolant and remove it. If there is too much fluid in the reservoir, you can use a transfer or fluid extractor pump to remove it.

    How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto (3)

    (Video) How to Drain Fill and Bleed Coolant System 00-06 Chevy Suburban

  6. Raise Coolant Fill Area as High as Possible

    One trick that may remove any extra air is by raising the coolant fill area as high as possible. Park on a hill, jack up the car, or rest it on car ramps.

  7. If Needed, Use an Airlift System

    It may be difficult to remove air pockets from some vehicles. Maybe the engine is at the rear and the radiator is in front. It’s easy for air pockets to hide in corners with this kind of setup. For a situation like this, you can use an air lift system tool that attaches to the coolant fill area and puts a vacuum on the system.

    You’ll need to tighten the adapter airtight. Then attach a hose that will hook up to compressed air, and then connect an air line to the adapter. With everything hooked up, open the valve and put on a vacuum. The adapter will have a gauge, and it should takes a couple minutes to evacuate all the air. It’s normal to see the coolant hose crushed down. Once complete, attach a hose to the adapter, dip it in a container with the right coolant for your vehicle, and open the valve. The system will suck coolant in. Once you start seeing air in the line, close up the valve and grab another container of coolant.

    How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto (4)

  8. After Filling, Run the Vehicle and Monitor Temperature and Air from the Vents

    Once the air is out and the coolant is full, run the vehicle for about 10 minutes. You want to monitor the coolant level and make sure the thermostat opens up. Put the fan on the lowest setting. The heat setting can be on high, and set the settings so heat is blowing out of the vents.

    Monitor the temperature gauge as the engine is running. You want it to be at about 210 degrees Fahrenheit. If it reads higher, you can try to rev the engine around 2,000 RPM, which might help the system burp out any more air and lower to the correct degrees. If the temperature is reading high and you notice no hot air is coming from the vents, there is probably an air pocket preventing any heat.

  9. Check Upper Radiator Hose for Heat

    To see if the thermostat is working, you can grab the upper radiator hose with everything running. If the thermostat is working it will circulate the hot coolant, but be careful since the hose may have heated up.

  10. Install the Thermostat Correctly

    If you’re installing the a new thermostat, you may notice it has a hole, which is normal. The hole should be at top area so more air can travel through. If it was installed upside down, air won’t escape from the cooling system as easy. You could end up with an air pocket that’s harder to remove. If the thermostat was installed backwards, it won’t open and that could cause the vehicle to overheat.

Summary

How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto (6)

Article Name

How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto

Description

Find out how to burp the coolant system of air. If you just replaced a part of the coolant system like the thermostat or water pump, you'll need to add more coolant and bleed the system of any air. Our experts at 1A Auto will show you how.

Author

1A Auto Team

Publisher Name

1A Auto

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(Video) How to Drain, Fill, Bleed Cooling System 07-11 Honda CR-V

How to Burp the Coolant System - Expert Tips - 1A Auto (7)

(Video) How to Drain, Fill Bleed Radiator 07-14 Chevy Suburban
  1. I owned a Lexus rx350 2015
    I changed the air pump and the strap plus I did purge the coolant system
    My mechanic told me that I have coolant in my engine …
    How I could end up with coolant in my engine ?!
    From the cooling system purged ?!

    Thanks for you time : )

    Reply

Leave a Reply

FAQs

How do I burp my coolant system? ›

Burping (so named because of the noise made by the bubbles of coolant exiting the radiator filler neck) is done with the radiator cap removed on cars without a valve. You wait for the car to warm up so the thermostat opens, and then the pressure of the expanding coolant being heated drives the air out.

How long does it take to burp a coolant system? ›

How long does it take to bleed air out of the cooling system? Usually, it takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on the model and method you follow. It, however, takes 15-20 minutes to heat the engine and get rid of the coolant.

How do you burp a coolant system without a funnel? ›

Just place a pan under the radiator to catch any coolant that might bubble out and do the same procedure as in my video. I usually don't fill the radiator all the way when I do this without a funnel so that it doesn't bubble out as much. When the fans kick on I fill the radiator the rest of the way and you're done.

How do you manually burp? ›

Get air into your throat by sucking in air through your mouth until you feel an air bubble in your throat, and then block the front of your mouth with your tongue so you can release the air slowly. This should trigger a burp.

How do I know if I have trapped air in my coolant system? ›

Signs and symptoms of radiator airlock include:
  1. Overheating during normal driving.
  2. Heater not functioning correctly.
  3. Reduced performance.
  4. Radiator leakage / losing coolant quickly.
Apr 6, 2021

What happens if you don't bleed air out of coolant? ›

Over time, air can become trapped within your radiators, leading to cold spots and a less-than-optimal performance from your home heating devices. If you don't bleed your radiators, the issue will worsen over time.

How do you remove air from a radiator? ›

Twist the radiator key anti-clockwise until you hear a hissing sound as the air escapes and close it again when water starts leaking from the valve. Tighten up the radiator valve again by turning the key clockwise. Repeat these steps on any other radiators which need bleeding.

Does opening radiator cap let air in? ›

Removing the radiator cap does not let air into the engine. Taking the cap off while the engine is running is common (basically necessary) practice when replacing coolant.

Where do you press to burp? ›

Point location: Roughly 1 1/2 inches below the navel. To massage this point: Place two to three fingers on the point location. Using gentle pressure, move fingers in a circular motion.

Where do you tap to burp? ›

Support your baby's chest and head with one hand by cradling your baby's chin in the palm of your hand. Rest the heel of your hand on your baby's chest, but be careful to grip your baby's chin, not the throat. Use the other hand to pat your baby's back.

How do I know if my radiator is blocked not circulating coolant? ›

5 Symptoms Of A Clogged Or Bad Car Radiator
  1. Temperature Gauge Reading Higher Than Normal: The temperature gauge indicates the temperature of a car coolant. ...
  2. Radiator Leaking Coolant: ...
  3. Radiator Hose Troubles: ...
  4. Coolant Color Change: ...
  5. Radiator Fins Bent or Broken:
Jul 28, 2022

Which radiator to bleed first? ›

The radiator to bleed first

Making sure your central heating is switched off, you should start with a downstairs radiator that is the furthest away from your boiler. Work your way through the radiators getting closer to the boiler, then go upstairs and repeat the process.

What draws cool air through the radiator? ›

Fan: The fan draws air through the radiator to assist in heat transfer. Water Pump: The water pump is considered the 'heart' of the cooling system and is usually located on the front of the cylinder block.

What happens if you don't burp radiator? ›

Over time, air can become trapped within your radiators, leading to cold spots and a less-than-optimal performance from your home heating devices.

How do you clear a clogged coolant system? ›

Drain the coolant from your radiator by opening the drain valve on the bottom of your radiator. Next, drain the coolant from your engine block by opening the block drain also. Add the purchased radiator flush to the radiator and let the car run. Drain like the old coolant, and suddenly your car is clean and fresh.

Why is my cooling system not building pressure? ›

Bad Water Pump or Thermostat

If the thermostat goes down, the system will not know when to release fluid into the radiator, and if the water pump fails, the system will not have the pressure necessary to circulate the coolant. If either of these things happens, the radiator will not work as designed.

What happens if air is trapped in the cooling system? ›

The cooling system is one where air bubbles can be a significant concern. They can lead to hot spots in the engine, which can cause it to overheat and lead to all sorts of internal engine damage that will be costly to repair.

Should you run the engine to completely flush coolant out? ›

To flush with water and remove any leftover residue from the old coolant/antifreeze, top up the radiator with clean water using a hose, and replace the radiator cap. Then, start the engine and leave it running for 15 minutes.

Can draining the coolant without a flush cause problems? ›

Neglecting coolant flushes can lead to some serious issues: 1.) Scale and rust particles will build up in the cooling system over time. If you go too long without flushing your coolant, these particles can clog passages, potentially damaging your heater core or overheating your engine.

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