Replace The Coolant on a Chrysler Crossfire
Checking the engine coolant level is recommended as part of regular vehicle maintenance. Should the low coolant light illuminate on your instrument cluster for any length of time, be sure to check the fluid level and if necessary, top off or replace the coolant.
If you recently purchased your Crossfire (lucky you!) you may not know what kind of coolant was last used. In this case, it's wise to flush the coolant reservoir completely and refill with the appropriate antifreeze and distilled water solution. Thankfully, this procedure is very easy to do.
- Drain Pan or container to catch old coolant
- Water hose (not required, but recommended)
- Ratchet Set with 8mm socket
- Hydraulic Jack, Jack Stands, or Rhino Ramps
- Flat Screwdriver
- Flashlight (helps for checking fluid level in coolant reservoir)
- Approx. 6 quarts Zerex G-05 Antifreeze Coolant or equivalent MB 325.0 ethylene-glycol based HOAT coolant (if purchasing by the gallon, 2 bottles)
- 6-8 quarts distilled water
The coolant reservoir has a floating magnetic sensor that measures the fluid level. When the coolant level is too low, the sensor drops low enough to trigger the low coolant light on the instrument panel.
Checking the Coolant Level
The coolant reservoir is easily located in the engine bay: it's behind the passenger-side headlamp, in a large tank with a black ribbed top and a semi-transparent white underside.
While the reservoir itself doesn't have any markers indicating its max fill level, the reservoir is considered full when the coolant reaches the top, or just below the top, of the semi-transparent section of the tank.
An alternative way to check the coolant level is to remove the cap from the reservoir and peek inside. A rib of the semi-transparent section of the tank should be visible. The top of the rib, or within about half an inch, can be considered the "max fill" line.
Flush the Old Coolant
Much like changing the oil, the first step in flushing the coolant is to remove the plastic aerodynamic plate located beneath the engine. As with any work beneath a vehicle, ensure the car is safely positioned on ramps or jackstands before getting started. Never, ever get beneath a vehicle lifted on a jack.
To remove the plate, there are four 8mm screws that must be removed: two in the very front, two in the very back. Take note of the approximate location of the screw holes; they can be tedious to locate later.
Locate the red screw that controls the coolant drain valve underneath the very front of the driver's side. It's slightly recessed.
Have your drain pan or container ready to receive the old coolant. Unlike the oil drain plug, the red screw doesn't need to be removed completely - the coolant will drain from behind the screw on the side facing towards the rear of the car. Use a large flathead screwdriver to open the valve.
Let the coolant drain from the reservoir for several minutes before proceeding.
Now it's time to flush the remaining coolant out of the system. An outdoor water hose is perfect for this step. Set the hose in the opening of the coolant reservoir and let it run for several minutes until the fluid leaving the reservoir under the car is completely clear.
Once you're satisfied with flushing the old coolant and have let the remaining water drain from the system as much as possible, you can get back under the car and tighten the red screw controlling the drain valve.
Adding the New Coolant Mixture
It's extremely important to note that coolant system should not be topped off with pure antifreeze coolant! If you purchased the coolant as-is, it needs to be diluted to a 50% coolant/50% distilled water mixture. Alternatively, it is often available as a pre-diluted 50% mixture.
The total volume of the Crossfire's coolant reservoir is 11.8 quarts, though you may find it requires slightly less to top it off.
If using pure coolant, begin by filling the reservoir with approximately 5 quarts of antifreeze. Most bottles have a fluid level strip on the side with markers for individual quarts.
Now, continue by filling the reservoir with 5 quarts of distilled water. Keep an eye on the fluid level in the tank at this point; if your antifreeze is clear, as ours was, you may need to stop and remove the funnel to check the level inside the reservoir periodically.
If your reservoir isn't full by this point, fill the tank the remaining amount with an even 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water.
Before reinstalling the aerodynamic plate beneath the engine, screw the coolant tank cap back on and let the car run with the AC near full blast for a few minutes to ensure nothing is leaking from the drain valve. Once the plate is installed, it's difficult to notice leaks.
Reinstall the plastic plate beneath the engine using the four 8mm screws. It's usually easier to screw in each loosely by hand to ensure all four are properly positioned before tightening.
The owner's manual specifies that new coolant is good for 100,000 miles or five years, but it's still a good idea to check on the coolant level occasionally, especially over the next day or two after flushing and replacing it. Top off the reservoir with more 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water if necessary.
- Total volume of coolant system: 11.8 quarts
- Aerodynamic plate screws: 8mm
- Ethylene-glycol based Antifreeze coolant must be approved to MB 325.0 spec, with the Hybrid Organic Additive Technology (HOAT).
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How does this method assure that the coolant in the engine block and cylinder heads is flushed?
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