Question about 1986 Buick Century
You don't give engine size, but I suspect it'll be like most crossflow radiators. Typically a crossflow radiator won't hold much more than 4 quarts (if that much)....but DON"T BE CONFUSED by this number, it is only what I think the radiator itself will hold (which was what you questioned). Overall the cooling system (radiator, block, heater core hoses, etc. may well hold 12 to 15 quarts.
A vehicle specific repair manual (obtainable at a auto parts store) should provide this info.
Once you've established the total cooling system capacity, fill with a mixture of anti freeze and water at a 50 / 50 ratio. You can buy premixed antifreeze and not have to worry about getting the correct ratio. When replacing the coolant, you might want to consider adding a water pump lubricant / anti rust additive.
If the cooling system is dirty, flush until clean before adding back any antifreeze or other additives.
While you have it down for draining, cleaning, etc. is a good time to look at replacing your radiator, heater and bypass hoses (if so equipped). Might also want to consider a new thermostat at the same time.
Once you have all this done, make sure you don't have any air trapped in the system that can reduce the cooling effectiveness. Usually if you'll run the engine until the thermostat opens and the coolant level drops, you can add enough coolant to fill and this will probably take care of any trapped air issues. It's a good idea to check the coolant level after it has completely cooled (say overnight) to make sure the radiator is filled to the proper level (usually about 3/4" below the neck)
Posted on Jan 03, 2011
On the 4 cylinder you will need 1 1/4 gallons of antifreeze mixed with an equal amount of distilled water for a 50/50 mix. On the V6 you will need 1 5/8 gallons of antifreeze mixed with an equal amount of distilled water for a 50/50 mix. Make sure and use the correct type antifreeze.
Posted on Jan 03, 2011
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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