Once you use your car on a regular basis and you drive to work and back every day, you drive to school and back everyday, and you add some mileage on your car, deposits begin to build up within the radiator system of the car. This causes blockages due to the debris build up in the tubes, which make the circulation of the coolant less efficient due to the blockages and the thicker fluid in the tubes. The average radiator flush cost is around $209.
If this happens, the engine gradually becomes hotter and hotter, and can eventually cause damage to the engine itself. The radiator flush can help to prevent this issue of debris buildup within the radiator system. This procedure involves draining the old coolant from the radiator and replacing it with a special mixture of coolant, detergent and water.
This mixture of coolant, detergent, and water goes through the cooling system of the engine, this can gradually remove any build up within the radiator channels. This mixture is then drained from the engine and the standard mixture of water and coolant is replaced with the clean liquid.
Many mechanics will offer this radiator flush as just a one-off procedure, or part of a general service that includes the regular check up and maintenance of your vehicle. This procedure can take a few hours to do, which is why you should leave the process to a skilled mechanic and expect to pay more for the labor costs than you would for the parts cost.
The extra time that the labor will have to take into account is leaving the engine to cool initially, running the engine with the detergent mixture through the car, and running the heating system at the highest setting to determine the issues of the radiator flush. The engine will then need to cool completely before the radiator mixture can be drained and the standard fluid be put back in place, determining the overall radiator flush cost.
Manufacturer Recommendations for Radiator Flush
As with all of the auto services that need to be performed in your car, the owner’s manual can tell you how often you need a radiator flush, or your mechanic can let you know about the timetable you should follow. As a general rule, you should at least get a coolant flush about once every 30,000 miles or every five years of driving the car.
Manufacturers use different coolant types and the different environments in which you drive your car across the country can affect how often you need the radiator flush and affect what type of radiator flush coolant you need to use.
What does a radiator flush do?
While we know that the radiator coolant is very important to the inner workings of your vehicle, like most fluids that are running through a system, this coolant radiator fluid is still susceptible to build up of contaminants and debris over time, making the mixture dirty and sludge-like. Over time, the radiator coolant can lose its high-quality characteristics, generate radiator corrosion, generate rust, and cause other debris to accumulate which you will not want in your car’s radiator or engine. The buildup of debris can influence the overall radiator flush cost.
A coolant flush can resolve the problem of the debris build up. This is basically a change of liquids that are being circulated throughout your cooling system, with the flush forcing several gallons of cleaner and new antifreeze through the radiator system to get rid of the old antifreeze the contaminants that may have built up and caused a lack of performance in the radiator system.
Simply draining the radiator might get rid of most of the antifreeze that has accumulated where it shouldn’t, but it could also leave some coolants and some debris behind that can build up and cause performance issues. The contaminants that left behind after the radiator flush can mix with your new antifreeze and cause overheating and friction creation. To get a full flush, you need to remove all of the unwanted debris and the old liquid so that the old antifreeze does not mix with the newer antifreeze.
Besides just removing the old antifreeze with contaminants from your radiator system, other benefits to flushing your radiator and determining the overall radiator flush cost is that it can remove the rust that has built up over time and the scaling hat has accumulated on the radiator as a result of the contaminated old coolant. This radiator flush can also prevent future leaks and future higher radiator flush costs, prevent foaming, corrosion, and the debris build up in the new antifreeze.
If you do decide to go to a mechanic and have them do the flush and calculate the overall radiator flush cost instead of doing it yourself, then you need to make sure that the mechanic also performs a full cooling system inspection on your car to find any potential leaks within the system that might need to be fixed at the same time.
If you go to the mechanic and you flush the radiator but ignore the leaks or forget to check for any leaks in your radiator system, this can cause the engine to overheat more quickly and cause the engine friction to build up and the heat to generate further issues.
How do you know when you need a radiator flush?
Several signs can show you that it is the right time for you to get the radiator flush and determine the overall radiator flush cost. If your car is overheating regularly from the engine, this generally means that there is a leak in your coolant system or the coolant is contaminated, containing debris or sludge and is not working correctly.
If your coolant level seems relatively full in your radiator even though your engine is generating friction and overheating, then it might be a good idea for you to determine the overall radiator flush cost and flush the radiator before anything gets worse.
Other signs that tan immediate radiator flush is necessary for your vehicle and is a good idea is that there is coolant leaking underneath of your car, you hear a grinding noise, you hear a knocking engine noise, you see visible debris in your coolant system, or you notice an odd smell that is coming from your hood.
How do you do a radiator flush?
Now that you know you need to perform a radiator flush in your car, you need to know the steps on how to perform a radiator flush so you can determine the overall radiator flush cost. Getting your radiator flushed by a mechanic should generally cost you less than $40, no matter what location or mechanic you go to. If your mechanic has told you it is going to be much more, or you would rather just do it yourself since you have the knowledge and the tools, we are going to give you the steps on how to perform the radiator flush.
The first step is to open the radiator cap and the coolant reservoir cap. Then, you need to find the radiator drain by consulting your owner's manual that refers to your car’s special model, make, and year. Place the container that you will use to collect the flushed out old antifreeze underneath of the drain so that it does not spill on the floor.
Once the container is situated under the car and you have it positioned correctly, you can then open the drain. Then, force the antifreeze out into the container by just opening the drain.
After you have done this, pour in your radiator flush as directed by the instructions on the mixture and fill the rest with water to about an inch below the top of the radiator opening. You can purchase a radiator flush liquid like Hy-per Cool Radiator Cleaner and Super Flush, which can help you clean the entire system in less than 3- minutes and reduce the overall radiator flush cost.
Then, close the caps and run the engine for ten minutes or so with the heater on full blast. Once you have done this, allow the engine to cool down, drain the radiator again, and refill the system with water and repeat the entire process again to clean the radiator system. Once you have repeated the steps, drain the radiator once more, and this time you can add the new antifreeze to complete the radiator flush.
What if you do not flush your radiator?
Now that you know the steps of a radiator flush and the average of a radiator flush cost, you might be wondering if it is really necessary to the lifespan and the longevity of your car. The short answer is yes, it is very important. But what if you do not do this procedure when you should?
If a mechanic has suggested to you as the car owners that you need to flush your radiator since you are experiencing difficulties with your car, like leaks, coolant issues, steam emerging from the car, rapid overheating and friction buildup, and strange odors that you can smell coming from under the hood, then flushing the radiator will mean that you do not he to continue suffering these issues and your car’s performance will get better once you do the radiator flush.
If the radiator flush will be able to solve these problems for a very low cost, especially in terms of other replacement and repairs on your car, then it is much better to do it as soon as possible instead of waiting for issues to get worse, either in your engine or your transmission.
If you are curious as to whether or not you can skip the recommended scheduled radiator flush that relates to your specific manual or car’s recommendation, then you can expect other negative side effects to occur, like corrosion buildup, sentiment build up, and other unwanted products that will appear in your coolant system and negatively impact your car’s performance.
Eventually, this kind of build up will lead to other issues, like a higher radiator flush cost, gasket damage, coolant leaks, overheating, and various issues within the transmission and engine system. It is much better to do the radiator flush when your mechanic or manual recommends it, instead of after the damage has continued to wreak havoc.
Radiator Flush Cost Comparison
Although we know that a radiator flush is virtually inexpensive compared to other options when you are doing it yourself, this can be somewhat pricey if you are bringing your car to a mechanic so they can do it themselves. We have looked up the top sample radiator flush costs so that you can determine how much you might have to pay.
First, your mechanic will generally charge you anywhere between $240 and $980 for both the parts and labor costs of this procedure, ensuring the radiator flush cost is not more than $1,000.
Next, Midas can offer a range of between $275 to $1,100 for the radiator flush cost, including parts and labor. Mr. Tire has similar pricing, ranging between $260 and $1049 for the overall radiator flush cost. NAPA has a wider price range, going all the way up to the high end of $1199 for the radiator flush cost, while Walmart has a much cheaper offering, but only provides the parts. Walmart’s pricing comes in at between $112 and $879 for the total radiator flush cost. Amazon has similar pricing to Walmart, since it offers parts, and comes in at between $110 and $949.
Sample Radiator Flush Costs
To give you an idea of how much you will have to pay for your total radiator flush cost, we have included some sample prices so that you can determine how much you might have to spend according to popular car models on the market today.
The least expensive choice is for the Honda CR-V, coming in at a range between $260 and $514, with the total labor cost between $70-$90, and the parts running between $189 and $424. The next cheapest cost is for the Honda Accord, which has a total radiator flush cost of $318 to $478, with the labor running between $80 to $100, and the parts being between $239 and $378.
The middle of the road options include the Ford Focus, coming in between $405 and $549, and the Toyota Corolla, ranging between $414 and $1009, which is a huge range but is one of the lower-priced options on the $414 end.
The most expensive choices for radiator flush costs are the Honda Civic and the Chevrolet Silverado. The Honda Civic runs between $564 and $725, with the labor being between $244 and $311, and the parts costing between $320 and $414. The most expensive, the Chevrolet Silverado, has a total sample radiator flush cost of between $575 and $831, with the labor being between $326 and $301, and the parts being between $339 and $530.