A whopping 91.8 percent of car owners admitted they’ve put off a car care task. Moreover, some of these car owners delayed servicing for 30 days or more. Unfortunately, an engine cooling system flush is one maintenance task many simply forget to do. Sometimes, neglecting this task leads to more costly repairs.
The Importance Of Your Cooling System
Internal combustion engines create a tremendous amount of heat as a byproduct. Your car’s cooling system keeps this heat at a manageable level using several important components:
As your engine warms up, the water pump pushes the coolant through the system to absorb the heat. Next, your thermostat checks the temperature of the coolant to determine where to send it. If the coolant is below the maximum temperature, your thermostat stays closed rerouting the fluid back to the water pump. However, if the fluid is hot, the thermostat opens allowing coolant to flow to the radiator.
Your radiator consists of narrow flow channels and fins to create a large surface area. Air, drawn over the fins by the fan, absorbs the heat. Then, the cooled fluid flows back to the water pump to recirculate.
Another important part keeping your engine cool is your radiator cap. This component controls the pressure of the coolant. Notably, the laws of science state that greater pressure on liquid results in a higher boiling point. Without pressure, your coolant would soon boil away. However, too much pressure could rupture hoses or other components.
Primarily, the radiator cap regulates this pressure by allowing expanded coolant to flow to your overflow tank. Once the coolant cools, it contracts, creating a vacuum and sucking up the fluid from the overflow.
Signs Your Car Needs A Coolant Flush
Typically, the fluid in your cooling system is a mix of water and antifreeze. The chemical composition of antifreeze raises the boiling point of water and lowers the freezing point. It also contains anti-corrosive agents to prevent rust.
As antifreeze breaks down, it cannot cool your engine as efficiently and also becomes more acidic causing corrosion. You might notice one or all of these signs indicating you need a coolant flush:
- Car overheating
- Temperature gauge indicating high
- A sweet smell in the cabin
- Brown, discolored, or opaque coolant
- Routine maintenance mileage
Required Steps To Flush A Coolant System
The method to flush your car’s coolant system is fairly simple:
1. Start With A Cool Engine
Make sure your coolant is cool. Antifreeze can be over 200° F causing severe burns.
2. Drain The Radiator
Position a collection receptacle underneath your radiator before loosening the drain plug to collect your old coolant. Antifreeze is toxic to humans and animals even in small amounts. Moreover, it can contaminate the dirt and groundwater. After draining your radiator, bring your old coolant to your nearest recycling center.
3. Add A Flushing Product
Often, after you’ve drained your radiator, contaminants may still remain in your cooling system. Thus, you need to use a specialized product to eliminate any remaining dirt or deposits.
After re-screwing your drain plug, add your cleaning product to your radiator and top it off with water. Replace your radiator cap and run your engine for 15 minutes with the heater on full blast. When your engine has cooled down, drain the flushing product.
4. Replace With Fresh Coolant
For best performance, your replacement fluid should be a mix of water and antifreeze. Manufacturers offer both premixed solutions or just antifreeze.
Which product is best for your vehicle? Typically, your manufacturer’s requirements, the age of your vehicle, and the local climate will help narrow your choices. Of course, you can bring your vehicle to Xpress Lube and we’ll recommend the perfect product for your car.
Engine Cooling System Flush – FAQs
Cars have evolved tremendously in the past decade. Improvements in components have changed some of the ways we maintain our cars. Also, advances in coolant technology offer extended service life with performance additives. Accordingly, you may be unaware of the latest recommendations on performing an engine cooling system flush. Below, we’ve answered a few commonly asked questions.
How Much Does a Coolant Flush and Replacement Cost?
Generally, the cost of a coolant flush is affordable. Typically, the price varies based on the amount and the type of antifreeze you need. However, you may require additional work if you have a leak or some other problem with your cooling system.
How Often Should I Perform A Cooling System Flush?
For all your routine maintenance, check your owner’s manual for specific guidelines. Typically, automotive mechanics recommend a coolant flush every 30,000 miles or three to five years. If you’re not sure if your vehicle needs this service, bring your car to us. We can review all your car’s maintenance needs and offer recommendations.
Do You Offer A Loyalty Program?
Yes! We love our valuable customers and reward them for their loyalty. You can earn 1 point for every dollar spent at Havoline® Xpress Lube of Kernersville. Plus, you can receive special perks for being a member. Currently, we’re offering a free car wash at our modern Xpress Turbo Wash facility during your birthday month.
Moreover, it’s free and simple to join! Just fill out our online form with some basic information. Then start accumulating points to use for any of our services.
As a local family-owned auto repair shop, we can handle your engine cooling system flush and a whole lot more.