About Radiator Flushes

Dear Tracy,

Can you tell me what is involved in a radiator flush and why it is important to have this service?

Lydia C.

Dear Lydia,

Regular radiator flushes are an important part of your vehicle maintenance. The job of your radiator is to provide cooling to your car’s engine by getting rid of the heat produced during its operation. The cooling system works by circulating a coolant through the engine block. This absorbs the heat and reroutes it to the radiator where it can be expelled into the atmosphere. This keeps excessive heat from damaging the engine.

Over time as you drive, solid deposits form in your car’s radiator system, creating blockages that make coolant circulation far less efficient. This results in the vehicle running hotter and damage being done by the excessive heat build-up. Periodic  radiator flushes prevent this problem. During a radiator flush, the existing coolant is drained from the radiator and replenished with a coolant mixture that cleans the system. The cleaning occurs as the engine is allowed to run at normal temperature for a period of time. The fluid circulates through the vehicle’s cooling system, dissolving any solid build-up inside the radiator channels and flushing it away. To complete the process, the cleaning  mixture is drained and replaced with a standard formula of coolant and water. A few hours will be needed for a radiator flush since the vehicle will require time to cool down completely during the various phases of the service.

The recommended schedule for radiator flushes can vary according to vehicle manufacturer recommendations. Schedules depend on engine specifications and the variety of coolant that is used. Radiator flushes are usually recommended once every 2 years or 30,000 miles. In regions that experience extreme seasonal weather shifts, seasonal radiator flushes may be advisable.