How to Buy a Good Quality Cooling System Flush

Your radiator does the important job of helping to keep the engine cool. Overheating can cause serious, expensive damage like a blown head gasket (which typically requires complete engine replacement) or warped cylinders. The radiator circulates and cools the coolant liquid responsible for keeping the engine block from overheating.

Flushing the cooling system every one to two years is a good idea for several reasons:

  • Contaminants build up in the cooling system over time. Flushing it washes away particles that have formed due to the breakdown of anti-corrosive properties in the coolant.

  • Scale and rust deposits build up in the radiator and can cause damage to it. Washing everything out of the radiator gets rid of these deposits, protecting your cooling system from harm.

  • Newer formulas of anti-freeze offer foam and rust protection. Foaming can prevent your cooling system from operating at its most efficient.

Why flush instead of just drain? Draining the system only removes about half of the anti-freeze, leaving particulates, rust, and other contaminants to be recirculated. If you open your coolant reservoir and the liquid is rusty or dirty colored, it’s time to flush the system. You can do so with products designed specifically for this task.

How to make sure you’re getting a good quality cooling system flush:

  • Check the label – it should say something like Flush or Flush and Cleaner.

  • Get a bottle of water pump lubricant while you’re at it. This extends the life of the water pump, and it’s better to put it in once the coolant is nice and fresh and all the components cleaned out.

  • Be sure to purchase the correct anti-freeze to fill your freshly flushed system with. The newer OAT (organic acid technology) coolant is specifically designed for newer aluminum parts and should not be put into a system meant to hold the old-fashioned green or yellow. Even if you’re replacing your radiator with aluminum you should stick with the manufacturer recommended fluid because the rest of the system is made for it.

  • Follow the instructions on the cooling system flush bottle and then refill your system with the proper anti-freeze.

It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t just dump your used coolant into the grass or sewer drains when you empty the system out to flush it. Call your city or local dump and find out what the recommended procedure is for your locale. Some places allow dumping in a toilet or sink drain, and some have a yearly pickup of hazardous materials.

If you're still in need of assistance, and would like your car to have a proper cooling system flush, be sure to have a certified mechanic from YourMechanic effectively perform this task for you. We can supply the materials for this task or use the ones that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote for a cooling system flush.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Flush Your Cooling System
Flushing Flushing the cooling system (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/what-does-it-mean-to-flush-fluids-in-a-car) is part of every vehicle's scheduled maintenance. This procedure is usually required every two to four years, depending on the vehicle. It is important to perform this maintenance at its scheduled time because the...
How to Replace a Cooling Fan Relay on Most Vehicles
Cooling fan relays fail when the radiator cooling fan no longer receives an electrical signal. A broken fan relay means the radiator cannot cool down.
How to Replace a Car Surge Tank Hose
Replacing a surge tank hose involves working on the coolant system, which can burn you when the engine is hot. Stay safe by waiting for it to cool.

Related questions

Car gets hot
This can be caused by a number of things such as low coolant levels (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/top-off-coolant), a faulty thermostat (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/thermostat-replacement), or a failing coolant fan switch. As you may know the coolant fan switch helps to maintain the proper coolant temperature...
Heat only works when accelerating
Hello. I suspect the heater control valve is the culprit here. Most likely only opening partially. By only being partially open, it allows more hot water to circulate when the engine load and RPM are higher, as when you accelerate,...
Is it a blown head gasket?
Hello. If it leak shows up after 20 minutes of the vehicle running even after you put the k seal in you will still have to replace the radiator because the k seal isn't properly doing its job in fixing...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com