If you're still asking, “is radiator flush necessary?” The short answer is yes! Radiator flush helps improve the cooling system's performance by removing contaminants and other foreign elements that could clog the cooling system.
Coolant flush refers to the process where your mechanic drains the old coolant from the cooling system and replaces it with a fresh one. When performing a coolant flush, you'll get a long list of benefits. However, ignoring the radiator flush might result in some major negative consequences.
This article helps you answer the question of “is radiator flush necessary?” That highlights the main benefits of radiator flush and the biggest consequences of ignoring the radiator flush. Finally, it will provide you with a rough estimate of how much it will cost you to perform the radiator flush.
What is the radiator, and what does it do?
In the engine's combustion process, much heat is generated as part of energy production. With this temperature increase, the engine temperature exceeds the optimum threshold, resulting in engine overheating.
The radiator is one of the most important components in the cooling system that is the primary system for bringing the engine temperature to the optimum level. This cooling system consists of several important components, including the coolant itself, the thermostat, the hoses, the water pump, etc.
The cooling system pushes the coolant around the engine to suck its temperature and bring it back to the optimum level. Once the coolant heats up, it runs through the radiator's small fins and releases the excess temperature until it cools down back and goes around the engine to repeat the cycle.
Is radiator flush necessary? What are the main benefits of a radiator flush?
Over time of use, the coolant inside the cooling system gets dirtier as it runs around the engine and picks up so many contaminants and other foreign objects. Once the coolant is contaminated to a point, it loses its characteristics and cannot do its job of bringing the engine temperature down.
Therefore, that's when you will need to perform what's known as the radiator flush. Think about radiator flush as a blood transfusion in your vehicle. Simply, when you hear the term or the other flush, it indicates the process where the mechanic takes out all the current existing coolant in your vehicle and discharges it before adding new fresh coolant.
Learning about the main benefits of radiator flush helps you determine whether this flush is necessary or not.
1- Get rid of dirt
When performing coolant flush at the right time, the first benefit you'll get is a clean, fresh coolant that doesn't have any dirt. As we indicated earlier, if the coolant contains any foreign objects, it loses its main characteristic and doesn't do its job by bringing the engine temperature down.
Also, when the coolant is dirt-free, it flows faster and doesn't stress the water pump. Therefore, the coolant flush not only helps the cooling system's performance but also prevents premature water pump damages.
2- Lubricate the water pump
Typically, the new coolant will contain certain additives that help lubricate the internal components, including the water pump. When the water pump is properly lubricated, there is a very limited chance for this water pump to get corroded or rusted, resulting in premature damages.
3- Prevent rust
Some of the additives in the coolant also prevent rust. However, even though the current anti-freeze has some rust resistance, it loses this characteristic over time. Therefore, switching to a newer cleaner coolant helps bring this characteristic back.
4- Get extra inspections
When you perform a coolant flush, you get extra bonuses for inspections. In other words, it is a very good chance for a thorough inspection of the cooling system here. Typically, most mechanics will perform this inspection even though they are just doing a coolant flush. They also want to confirm that the other components in your cooling system are working properly, so the coolant flush gets you the benefits you're looking for.
5- Prevent acidic anti-freeze
Finally, once the anti-freeze lasts for a longer time, it turns into acidic antifreeze. When this happens, it breaks down faster, and it doesn't do its job properly. Thus, you will continuously need a better clean coolant to get the benefits you're looking for and not overstep the different vehicle components.
What happens if you don't flush coolant?
When you underestimate the benefits of a coolant flush, you will deal with many significant negative outcomes. In other words, if you don't perform the coolant flush at the right time, you will sacrifice the engine because the current coolant will not do its job, and it will result in the engine overheating over time of use.
Also, a bad coolant harms the water pump and the other engines component. Therefore, do not be surprised if you started dealing with some water pump breakage due to rust or corrosion.
Thus, no matter how much time and effort the coolant flush will take you, think about it as a comprehensive we are protecting the entire cooling system, not only one component.
How much should a radiator flush cost?
A coolant flush is not a very expensive job, and it typically costs you somewhere between $100 and $150. However, keep in mind that part of this process goes to labor costs, which means that if you decided to go with a small independent shop, the price would be much lower than getting the current flush at a larger dealership.
However, if your vehicle is valuable and luxurious, it might not be worth saving a couple of dollars to get the current flush out of a small independent shop because there is a very high chance that an inexperienced mechanic will be doing the job for you and therefore, there is a very high chance that he will introduce some damages that could cost you thousands of dollars on your luxury vehicle.
Can flushing radiator cause problems?
It might end, might not. In other words, if the radiator flush is not done properly, there is a very high chance of dealing with major problems in your vehicle. However, if it's done correctly and gets the most benefits, it will achieve clean and fresh cooling that helps your vehicle.
That's why we always recommend that you select the right mechanic who can do the job properly without causing damages. It might cost you some time to research where to find this mechanic, and it might be worth having the job done at a dealership with the same brand as your vehicle since they know the vehicle inside out and they are aware of how the radiator flush should be done for your specific vehicle.
How do I know if I need a coolant flush?
That is a great question!
The good news is that your vehicle is smart enough to bring your attention by showing you some symptoms indicating that your vehicle is due for a coolant flush. Here are some of the common symptoms that indicate issues with the corn system and requiring immediate coolant flush:
1- Coolant leak
Sometimes, old bandits carry many contaminants; they might break down the sealings across the coolant hoses. Therefore, it's very common to see coolant leak underneath your vehicle. Typically, the coolant looks either green, orange, whole red. That's why it's important to pay attention to the color because it could be another type of leaks like oil or fuel leak.
2- Engine overheating
Since the main job of the coolant is to bring the engine temperature down, one of the first outcomes you will notice is significant engine overheating. Simply, the colon doesn't do its job, and it has a lot of contaminants that prevent its operational characteristics. Thus, the engine center will increase significantly, and you will notice that from the heat gauge on the dashboard.
3- Smoking hood
When the coolant is extremely dirty, you might even notice some smoke coming from underneath the hood if this is a very scary symptom and might make everybody nervous about it. However, it might be as simple as an issue with the coolant that is dirty, requiring a coolant flush. If this happens to you, you must stay away from the hood because some heat might come out of the cooling system. Therefore, unless you have the right mechanical skill sets, do not attempt to open the hood or open the coolant reservoir.
4- Maple syrup smell
Finally, a dirty coolant causes some Maple syrup-like smell. Don't think it's somebody eating something in the vehicle because it might be a big issue when that happens.
That's why we always say if you notice any weird smell or noise, he should not take it easy because it might be linked to a major internal problem. So whether the smell is good or bad, it has to do with some internal issue, and it's one way for your vehicle to bring your attention so he can fix the problem.
It is important to note that most of their insurance symptoms might be linked to other problems. Therefore, you cannot simply say that your vehicle is due for a radiator flush by noticing some engine overheating. The problem might be linked to a bad idea or trouble indeed thermostat. Thus, by noticing these symptoms, your first course of action would be to consult your mechanic and help him perform a thorough inspection to confirm the culprit.
If you don't want to wait until the mechanic arrives, you might rely on simple tools like a resonant scanner, which reads the engine's brain and tells you what type of problems are happening internally. The scanner will show you a code that you can search for on Google to understand what's going on.
Can I do a coolant flush myself?
A radiator flush is not a complicated job, and it doesn't cost a lot of money at the same time. In other words, unless you have the right level of mechanical skill sets and you're interested in performing it, it might be worth investing the $50 and have a professional perform the task for you.
Otherwise, there are plenty of available online tutorials that walk you through the process of how to change your coolant in a step-by-step procedure. The procedure should be simple enough and does not require advanced mechanical skill sets to be performed. However, keep in mind that most DIYs do not work the first time in general and therefore, if you're not ready to experience your vehicle, think about it twice before doing it yourself.
The cooling system is one of the most critical systems in your vehicle that prevents the engine and extends its lifetime. Coolant runs around the engine continues to bring its temperature to the optimum level. Unfortunately, this coolant loses its main characteristics over time of use and requires what's known as a coolant flush.
This article highlighted the clear answer for “is radiator flush necessary?” It's listed the main benefits of radiator flush, including getting rid of contamination in the coolant, preventing rust, lubricating the water pump, and others.
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