Along with the Engine Oil the Quality of your coolant is essential for the life of your engine, Protecting it from damage caused by freezing (which is the most common task people associate with it). However it also preforms other tasks, It aids heat transfer, raises the boiling point of the water, along with providing vital lubrication for the water pump, And contains anti corrosion additives to protect the internals of the radiator and engine....

So what do you need.......

new coolant is a good place to start what you pour in is up to you but something half decent Red OAT based is what is used from the factory so its a good idea to stick with it

original Fiat spec is PARAFLU UP To spec CUNA NC 596-16 - ASTM D 3306 and the cars total capacity is 5.27l

if your fussy a bottle of Distilled water (a very good idea if you live in a hard water area)

a spare empty and clean 5l container

a measuring jug

a drip pan

a 13mm combination spanner

and perhaps a bit of cut off 12" hacksaw blade or other thin strip of metal (more on this later)

eye protection is also a good idea to protect your eyes from splashes....

now for the boring health and safety bits.......

one of the main hazards you will come across in a cars cooling system is super heated steam when you remove the radiator header tank bottle top. This task is to be done when the car is cold any topping up should be done with great care and the header tank cap to be removed slowly, ideally covered with a heavy cloth to protect your hand/ arm/ face from any ejected steam.

You will also be running the car up to temperature so keep any appendages or loose clothing or long hair away from the radiator cooling fan. and header tank because any over pressurization will lead to the header tank bottle top's safety valve opening ejecting steam

and exhaust and engine parts will get very hot

Antifreeze is harmful to all life and should be disposed of at the local civic amenity site which accept chemical waste

new or used fluid should not be left in an unsealed container its particularly palatable to cats and other mammals due to its sweet odor and taste (although most come now with a bittering agent to make it unpalatable to children)

you still awake? ;)

first park the car up safely in a traffic free area and apply the handbrake

if the car has an under tray remove it

now carefully remove the header tank lid.

now on the radiator itself look on the back passenger side and locate the drain point and using a 13 mm ring ended spanner (its plastic) loosen it so the coolant drains into your drip pan
Drain 1.JPG

drain 2.JPG

whilst this slowly drains
drain 3.JPG

you can now locate the bleed screw on the top right of the radiator you can get to it from the engine compartment but life is much easier to remove the top grill and you can get at it much easier....

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bleed screw.JPG

Take care not to damage or disturb the yellow coated air bag crash sensor cable

undo it 5-10 turns you dont need to fully remove it

this again is plastic and i had trouble removing mine using a 13mm ring spanner and there is not enough space to get a 6 sided socket on, it is however removable with a screw driver (great or it would be if you could get a screw driver onto it but the front slam panel covers it..... well done Fiat :worship:) so this is where your bit of hacksaw blade comes in with the grill out put it across the + on the top and use downward pressure and turn at the same time to loosen it once its loose i was able to go back to my 13mm spanner but i did not want to round it off or damage it.......

Now leave the car to drain (its next to impossible to drain all the old coolant out the heater matrix for a start will still have a small quantity in it) which is why its important to replace the coolant with like for like or at least a compatible mixture.

[At this point you can if you want refill the system with water and run the car as described below to flush as much of the old stuff out as you can but i change mine every 2 years so i haven't bothered here if you do this measure what you drain out and work out how much water you have left in the system from 5.27l and alter your new antifreeze mix to keep the ratio at the recommended level (in my case its 50% coolant concentrate to 50% water..) ]

so the car is now drained

mix your coolant as instructed on the bottle

and stir/ shake well to mix

make sure you close the drain point (do not over tighten its only plastic do dont swing on it)

now slowly fill the radiator header tank with the solution taking care not to spill any on the paintwork if you do remove immediately with hot soapy water this will be a slow process as the coolant slowly fills the cooling gallery's and radiator

as you get close to adding 5l of coolant keep a close eye on the radiator top bleed screw as soon as coolant begins leaking from it screw it down and nip up with a spanner (again dont swing on the spanner its only plastic)
bleed screw weep.JPG

now fill to the max mark and replace the cap on the bottle.

now remove any tools in the engine bay and start the engine with the heater set on cold and Air con turned off (if fitted) and let it tick over you will start to see the level drop as the water pump starts to circulate

carefully open the bottle and top up to max again (at this point the coolant will still be cool).....

Now you have to warm the car up slowly using the accelerator upto opperating temperature slowly revving the car upto about 3k rpm by slowly cycling the accelerator.

Let the car come up to temperature and let the cooling fan cut in by this point the thermostat should be open and any remaining air should be purged from the system. Let/ make the fan cut in a couple of more times. Then turn on the blower and select hot the blower should then put out hot air if not its air locked somewhere..

Now let the car cool and once cool top back up to the maximum mark

and put the car back together

now wipe any fluid off the drain point and bleed screw and keep an eye on them for any weeping/ leaks and check the level regularly for a few days just to make sure it stays where it should be

and pat yourself on the back for job well done

just a final point for those who are wanting to double check they have put enough fluid back in measure what you drained out the quantitlys should be the same ;)