What is a flushing a radiator all about?
A radiator flush is undertaken to clean out all of the old coolant and anti-freeze mixture in your car’s cooling system. By pumping quantities of radiator cleaning solution through the system, the process removes contaminants, scale and rust particles that build up over time, allowing a new, clean and fresh mixture to take its place.
Keep in mind:
- Old coolant mixtures can become corrosive and abrasive, particularly in modern aluminum engines.
- New coolant mixture has a lubricating property that helps keep your water pump in good condition.
- A new mixture generates less foam, improving cooling performance.
How it's done:
- Remove the radiator cap and drain plug
- Drain the old mixture into a container
- Replace the radiator drain plug and fill with radiator flushing solution and water
- Restart the engine and run until the temperature gauge is at its normal position
- Set the heater to its highest position
- Switch off and allow the engine to cool, then drain the radiator completely
- Replace the drain plug and refill the radiator with the correct proportion of anti-freeze and water
Have a mechanic do this service. They will know the correct procedures, have the appropriate containers and fluids, and will dispose of the toxic anti-freeze mixture responsibly.
What is a common symptom indicating you need to flush the radiator?
- A temperature gauge that has moved higher than its normal position.
How important is this service?
An overheating engine, burst water hoses, or broken water pump can strand you at the side of the road without warning. The procedure is a good idea even when symptoms are not present if you feel that the car has gone a long way without any attention paid to the cooling system. As preventive maintenance, it provides peace of mind.