5 Benefits of a Radiator Flush

January 27, 2012

A radiator flush provides a number of benefits to your vehicle's cooling system. It is a fairly inexpensive procedure that should be performed once a year or per your owner's manual's recommendations. Price's vary from about $35.00 to over $100 so it is often worthwhile to shop around for the best deal. There is a significant difference between a flush and a simple draining of the radiator so make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

Flush vs. Drain

Flushing your system pushes 4 to 5 gallons of anti-freeze through the system which pushes or flushes out all of the old anti-freeze and any contaminants that have build up in your cooling system. A flush guarantees that all of the old anti-freeze is removed from the system. Draining the radiator on the other hand only removes about 50% of the total anti-freeze in the system and leaves the majority of contaminants that have built up. It also means that the new anti-freeze will be mixing with the old.

The benefits of having your radiator flushed are:

  1. Removes Rust and Scale Deposit - Over time rust and scale deposits build up within the radiator. A flush helps to remove these deposits which get pushed out with the old anti-freeze. This is important since these build ups can cause overheating or even damage your radiator.
  2. Lubricate the Water Pump - The additives in the coolant lubricate the vehicles water pump. This will lengthen the life of the water pump.
  3. Removes Contaminants -  A flush completely drains the system of the old anti-freeze which means that any contaminants that have made their way into the system will be flushed out as well. The additives in the coolant can lose important anti-corrosive properties over time which leads to the build up of particles. A radiator flush will remove these particles from the system.
  4. Inspection of System - Most places will perform a complete inspection of your cooling system when they do a radiator flush. They will use pressure tests to check for leaks in the system. This should be included in the price of the flush and if it isn't it might be best to go somewhere else.
  5. Protect Against Rust and Foam- The new anti-freeze will have additives that help prevent rust and build up. It will also prevent foaming in the system which helps it operate efficiently. 

Where to Get One

Radiator flushes are available at a variety of places. Grease Monkey and most other oil change places offer them. Your local yellow pages or a quick Internet search should produce a number of locations to choose from.

Flushing out our radiator can extend the life of your cooling system as well make it operate more efficiently. It is a fairly inexpensive procedure and is something that everyone should consider having done.


Related Questions and Answers

What is a Radiator Power Flush?

A radiator power flush is more than a radiator draining, as it affects the entire vehicle's cooling system. This should be done once a year to prevent car overheating and radiator damage. A radiator power flush should cost around $35, depending on the model of the car, age and the mechanic, so shop around for the best deal and advice. Visit an oil change place or scan the Internet to get quotes for a radiator power flush. This will extend the cooling system endurance and efficiency. The old traces of rust and contaminants will be removed and new anti-freeze added to prevent foaming in the system. A radiator power flush is a good wash and clean of the inside of the radiator, just like the car gets on the outside.

How Often Should you Get a Radiator Flush and Fill?

Although each car is different, a radiator flush and fill should be performed by a professional annually. This can be done by a mechanic or your dealership can suggest a service, but a radiator flush and fill will flush your radiator with about five gallons of anti-freeze. The rust and old anti-freeze and contaminants are flushed out, and your car is filled with new anti-freeze that will be more effective and safe for the car. A yearly radiator flush and fill will leave your car feeling new and refreshed after the contaminants have been removed, and it is not a very expensive process. A drain of the radiator only removes half of the anti-freeze and contaminants in the radiator.

Is a Radiator Coolant Flush Something Different than a Radiator Flush?

A radiator coolant flush involves a mixture of coolant and distilled water. The ratio is 50/50, and it is essentially the main difference between a radiator coolant flush and radiator flush. It is recommended to consult your car mechanic or an auto shop to investigate which process will be best for your car. A radiator flush is traditionally undertaken with anti-freeze products, so the method will be the same. Though, the ingredients could be different with a radiator coolant flush.

Is a Car Radiator Flush Bad to do Within the First 10k Miles of the Car?

A new car does not need any major work, but it is best to chat with the dealership and read the owner's manual if there are any queries, such as the need for a car radiator flush. Within the first 10k miles of the vehicle, there should be no radiator problems and it should still be under guarantee. There is little need for a car radiator flush at this stage, as there is little contaminant build up and the coolant should be effective. There should be no problems with the new thermostat and water pump that will hamper the effectiveness of the radiator, so a car radiator flush is not necessary within the first year of use.

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