The radiator is one of those parts of your car that works quietly away without you every noticing…until it breaks, and then you really notice. This reservoir holds water and antifreeze to help keep your engine in tip-top condition. Engines create a ton of heat when they operate (and friction, but that's a whole other issue), and that heat can quickly destroy them unless it's cooled down. Enter the radiator, which draw heat away from your engine and protects your car from other temperature-related problems, like freezing during an especially cold night freeze.
However, radiators don't run perfectly forever. Their contents can grow old and contaminated, which leads to problems. This is where radiator flushing can prove especially helpful.
What is a Radiator Flush?
Antifreeze, engine coolant, and all related liquids run in constant cycles through an enclosed system, so they can last a long time. However, constant exposure to your engine does take its toll. Over time, coolants grow contaminated with other particles and stop working as well, eventually endangering your engine with overheating and corrosion issues.
A coolant flush simply cleans out your radiator system and replaces all your coolant with a new version. Generally it takes place in several steps. The old coolant is completely pumped out, a cleaner is pumped into the system to help clean it up, and then new coolant is added.
What are the Benefits of a Coolant Flush?
Go too long without a radiator flush, and your engine could destroy itself from the inside out, overheating and causing that dreadful scenario where you are stranded by the side of the road with smoke or steam pouring out of your hood. But there's a lot of other pertinent benefits too, including:
System Inspection: During a coolant flush, your auto mechanic will probably inspect your cooling system for any problems, like microscopic leaks, that you may not have noticed. This can help save you a lot of trouble down the line.
Freeze Protection: A flush before winter can protect your engine from freezing, especially if you have older antifreeze or have developed antifreeze leak that you don't know about.
Overheating Protection: Similarly, replacing your coolant, especially before the hottest months, can help you prevent overheating before it even becomes an issue.
Reduced Thermal Stresses: Old coolant can increase the thermal stress that your engine endures, which usually happens at several different points where heat is concentrated. These areas of the engine are the first to get damaged by heat, but can be protected by encouraging uniform temperatures with free-flowing, new coolant.
Improved Cabin Heating: Your car heater draws a lot of its heat from the radiator to help maximize efficiency. The better your radiator is working, the more quickly and efficiently your car's heater will work on cold mornings.
Removing Rust, Scale, and Other Problems: The inside of your radiator is not always a pretty place. Over time rust can become a problem and scale from mineral deposits can build up. A flush helps remove the problem.
Lubricating the Water Pump: Your engine isn't the only thing that needs lubrication – your water pump needs it too. Flushing typically includes new lubrication for your pump.
How Often Should I Get a Cooling System Flush?
It can depend, so your owner's manual will have the most accurate information on when you should get a flush. For most cars, it's around 50,000 miles because it takes time for your coolant and antifreeze to develop problems, but they are affected by temperatures and driving habits as well as time, so some people may benefit from getting a flush more frequently.
Let Ace Auto Repair Handle Your Cooling System with a Radiator Flush
Take your car into Ace Auto Repair for a coolant flush, and you will get the ASE certified treatment that you deserve. Our technicians can offer free repair quotes for any problems that they encounter, and use mobile diagnostic testing for quick results. All work guaranteed with us, so take a visit to our website and see how you can schedule a coolant flush.
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