Tool Review: Snap-on Radkitplus


I just did a coolant exchange on the Freestyle. It's the 2nd time I've done this, so I was reminded of just how much I love this tool: While Snap-on sells parts for it, I'm not even sure they still sell the whole unit. I'm guessing that competition from the much cheaper UView 50000 made it a hard sell: Still, I found the Snap-on used for dirt cheap, around $20.00. They're still out there on fleabay and Craiglist, and the UView is another option. Basically, the tool works as a venturi-type vacuum. You use it in conjunction with an air compressor. You drain the coolant as normal, close up the petcock, remove the lid from the degas bottle and install the rubber stopper. Then you pull vacuum from the entire coolant system until you reach 24 kPa. Then, you put a tube into a container containing the new coolant and open the valve on the tool. The vacuum in the coolant system then draws in the coolant. Then you're done! The advantages of this are a few: -if you have a vehicle with rear heat/secondary heater core, you can drain and fill the coolant from them (Ford's FSM recommends only draining the rear heat unless you use this tool). I think this is why Porche recommend using it as well--long runs from the radiator to the heater core and engine. -no cavitation issues after you re-fill. -no messing around with bringing the coolant up to temp, then topping off. Besides potential cavitation issues, I always have an irrational fear of scalding myself! -you get to check the cooling system for leaks The tool will work with a small compressor (I just used a pancake compressor). Even after dragging out the compressor and tool to my driveway, the start-to-finish time is greatly reduced, and it just seems like a more complete and safer way to exchange the coolant. After doing the exchange, I have zero drop in the coolant level after driving, so you truly are done once you fill up the system.