Nissan Altima 2007-2012 Service Manual: Engine coolant

Changing Engine Coolant

WARNING: • To avoid being scalded, never change the coolant when the engine is hot.

• Wrap a thick cloth around cap and carefully remove the cap. First, turn the cap a quarter of a turn to release built-up pressure. Then push down and turn the cap all the way to remove.


1. Remove the engine undercover using power tool.

2. Open the radiator drain plug at the bottom of the radiator, and remove the radiator filler cap. This is the only step required when partially draining the cooling system (radiator only).

CAUTION: Do not to allow the coolant to contact the drive belts.

3. Follow this step for heater core removal/replacement only. Disconnect the upper heater hose at the engine side and apply moderate air pressure [103.46 kPa (15 psi, 1.055 kg/cm2 ) maximum air pressure] into the hose for 30 seconds to blow the excess coolant out of the heater core.

4. When draining all of the coolant in the system, remove the reservoir tank and drain the coolant, then clean the reservoir tank before installation.

5. When draining all of the coolant in the system for engine removal or repair, open the drain plug on the cylinder block.

6. Check the drained coolant for contaminants such as rust, corrosion or discoloration.

If the coolant is contaminated, flush the engine cooling system. Refer to "FLUSHING COOLING SYSTEM"


1. Install the radiator drain plug. Install the reservoir tank and cylinder block drain plug, if removed for a total system drain or for engine removal or repair.

• The radiator must be completely empty of coolant and water.

• Apply sealant to the threads of the cylinder block drain plugs. Use Genuine High Performance Thread Sealant or equivalent. Refer to GI-15, "Recommended Chemical Products and Sealants"

2. If disconnected, reattach the upper radiator hose at the engine side.

3. Set the vehicle heater controls to the full HOT and heater ON position. Turn the vehicle ignition ON with the engine OFF as necessary to activate the heater mode.

4. Install the Tool by installing the radiator cap adapter onto the radiator neck opening. Then attach the gauge body assembly with the refill tube and the venturi assembly to the radiator cap adapter.

5. Insert the refill hose into the coolant mixture container that is placed at floor level. Make sure the ball valve is in the closed position.

• Use Genuine NISSAN Long Life Anti-freeze coolant or equivalent, mixed 50/50 with distilled water or demineralized water.

Refer to MA-12, "Engine Oil Recommendation".

6. Install an air hose to the venturi assembly, the air pressure must be within specification.

CAUTION: The compressed air supply must be equipped with an air dryer.

7. The vacuum gauge will begin to rise and there will be an audible hissing noise. During this process open the ball valve on the refill hose slightly. Coolant will be visible rising in the refill hose. Once the refill hose is full of coolant, close the ball valve. This will purge any air trapped in the refill hose.

8. Continue to draw the vacuum until the gauge reaches 28 inches of vacuum. The gauge may not reach 28 inches in high altitude locations, refer to the vacuum specifications based on the altitude above sea level.

9. When the vacuum gauge has reached the specified amount, disconnect the air hose and wait 20 seconds to see if the system loses any vacuum. If the vacuum level drops, perform any necessary repairs to the system and repeat steps 6 - 8 to bring the vacuum to the specified amount. Recheck for any leaks.

10. Place the coolant container (with the refill hose inserted) at the same level as the top of the radiator. Then open the ball valve on the refill hose so the coolant will be drawn up to fill the cooling system. The cooling system is full when the vacuum gauge reads zero.

CAUTION: Do not allow the coolant container to get too low when filling, to avoid air from being drawn into the cooling system.

11. Remove the Tool from the radiator neck opening.

12. Fill the cooling system reservoir tank to the specified level and install the radiator cap. Run the engine to warm up the cooling system and top up the system as necessary.


1. Fill the radiator from the filler cap above the radiator upper hose and reservoir tank, with water and reinstall the filler cap above the radiator upper hose.

2. Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature.

3. Press the engine accelerator two or three times under no-load.

4. Stop the engine and wait until it cools down.

5. Drain the water.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until clear water begins to drain from the radiator.

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