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What is a Radiator Flush?

Posted on November 08, 2017.

The mechanic tells you that your car needs a radiator flush. You’ve heard those words before and know it’s a legitimate auto service, but don’t know exactly what that means. A radiator flush is also called a coolant flush, which is slightly more self-explanatory. At least, coolant flush no longer sounds like gibberish to the average car owner.

The radiator or coolant flush is the process of cleaning the cooling system, which includes the radiator, heater cores, hoses, coolant pipes, water pump, and gaskets. Your mechanic will use a special cleaner to remove dirt or rust that has built up in the system. Once the cleaner has finished its job, your mechanic will put new antifreeze and a conditioner to prevent the cooling system from corroding.

A radiator flush is important because you don’t want your engine to overheat. No one wants to be the person on the side of the road with a vehicle that has smoke coming from its hood. Getting your radiator flushed every 30,000 miles or 3 years will prevent that from happening.

If for some reason, you’ve waited too long for a radiator flush. There are some signs that you may need one immediately. If you hear grinding sounds coming from your engine area, see your mechanic because it could be an engine issue or you’re past due for a radiator flush. If your temperature gauge fluctuates between normal and hot, check your coolant level and the condition it’s in. Old coolant may start to pick up rust, which causes issues.  Another sign that your radiator needs to be flushed is leaking fluid. The last sign your radiator has gone too long between flushes is steam coming from your hood, which may be accompanied by the smell of warm maple syrup.

Are you not sure when your car last had a radiator or coolant flush? Call us for an appointment.