How to Change Motorcycle Coolant
If you own a motorcycle, changing its coolant is among the maintenance steps you may want to consider to help keep your bike in good shape. Many manufacturers suggest changing motorcycle coolant every two years to help protect your bike in cold weather and prolong the life of other parts of the motorcycle. Matt Bochnak from HowToMotorcycleRepair.com provides DIY tips for changing your motorcycle coolant in the video below.
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– [MATT] Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Matt from HowToMotorcycleRepair.com. In this video, I’m going to show you how to change out the coolant on your motorcycle.
Now, there are a couple of reasons why you occasionally need to change out the coolant. Like any other fluid, it will break down over time and not perform its job. Coolant, which is also known as antifreeze, helps regulate engine temperature and prevents the system from freezing or overheating.
As coolant ages, its freezing point usually rises. Also, coolant lubricates the water pump seals, so staying on top of coolant changes may help prolong the life of those components. And lastly, coolant has anti-corrosion additives to help protect the engine and the radiator. So, for these reasons, most manufacturers recommend changing coolant every two years.
Before beginning any work, make sure you are wearing the proper safety equipment: safety glasses and gloves. Also, make sure that the motorcycle is at room temperature. Do not perform this job when the engine is hot. The cooling system is under pressure and is not safe to open when hot. I prefer to perform a job like this after the bike has cooled down overnight.
OK, let’s talk about some of the tools that you will need for this job: a drain pan, a few hand tools, some rags, new coolant, a turkey baster or fluid extractor, and a funnel.
– [ON SCREEN]: Tools will vary by motorcycle model
Having the service manual on hand is also a really good idea. It will have information like how much coolant is needed, and also where the drain and fill points are. I also want to mention that it is very important to use the type of coolant specified in the service manual. You may be tempted to use automotive coolant, however most are not rated for use in motorcycles. Your best bet is to buy coolant from your nearest motorcycle dealer. Most coolants are premixed with water and are ready to pour right out of the bottle.
The first step in changing out coolant is locating the drain screw, which will be at the lowest point of the cooling system, On some motorcycles, like this model, the fairings need to be removed in order to access the radiator cap and the coolant drain screw. Fairings are usually easily removed by removing a few screws.
Once the drain pan is in place, remove the screw and allow the coolant to drain into the pan. At this point, you can loosen and slowly remove the radiator cap to speed up draining.
– [ON SCREEN]: Coolant draining into drain pan
Depending on the model, there might be a copper crush washer on the drain bolt that helps prevent leaks. If so, it is a good idea to install a new crush washer for proper sealing. Once all coolant has drained out, you can reinstall the drain screw. Then, locate the overflow reservoir, which is usually located near the seat or behind a fairing, and drain or extract the fluid with a turkey baster or fluid extractor.
Transfer the old coolant to a container that can be sealed. Empty milk gallon containers work great for this. Keep the fluid out of reach of children and pets until you can bring it to a local automotive store that recycles coolant.
Next, use a funnel and slowly pour new fluid into the radiator. Continue filling until the fluid level is a half inch or so from the top. Reinstall the radiator cap. Don’t forget to fill the overflow reservoir with coolant, as well.
– [ON SCREEN] Fill to Upper line
Now you can start the motorcycle and let it get up to full operating temperature. While it is warming up, inspect the drain screw for any signs of coolant leaks. Once fully warmed up, shut the motorcycle off and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Remove the radiator cap again and see if the fluid needs to be topped off. In most cases, the level will be a little lower due to air bubbles that have escaped during warm up. Also, double check the overflow reservoir to make sure it is full.
Finally, reinstall the fairings to finish the job.
Alright, I hope you enjoyed this video on how to replace coolant on your motorcycle.
If you’d like to see more of my videos, head over to HowToMotorcycleRepair.com, or check out my YouTube channel, MatthewMCrepair. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and see you next time.
– [ON SCREEN] Social media icons and Allstate logo