When you own a car, you want to keep it in top operating condition for as long as possible—they’re an expensive investment that, for most people, are an essential part of their everyday lives. Flushing your radiator is a simple maintenance procedure that will extend your car’s longevity and help prevent costly repairs.
Radiators help cool the internal combustion engine, but if the coolant becomes too contaminated, it won’t cool as efficiently. Contaminated coolant can also cause your car’s engine to fail in the winter, causing even more costly repairs. Coolant also has anti-corrosion properties, so it’s important to regularly flush and replace the system, lest your engine get clogged with dirt, rust and grime.
How often do I need to flush my radiator?
As with most car questions, the answer is usually in your owner’s manual. Depending on the type of car you own, you may need to flush the radiator more often than average. A good rule of thumb is to flush the radiator every 100,000 miles or every five years, at the very least. If you see visible rust, dirt, debris or corrosion, however, that’s a strong sign it’s time for radiator care. Here’s how to flush your radiator:
- Get a flushing agent and new coolant: Having a flushing agent is important to ensure that you get all the contaminants out of the radiator. You’ll also need new coolant—check your car’s ownership manual to ensure you get the right one.
- Drain the coolant: Raise the front end of your car using a jack and jack stands. Place a drain pan under the radiator, remove the cap and unscrew the drain pan. Allow the radiator to drain completely, then replace the plug and cap. Recycle the fluid at an auto parts store.
- Flush the radiator: Flush the radiator by filling it with flushing agent and distilled water according to the manufacturer’s directions. Replace the radiator cap and start the engine. Let it sit for the recommended time, making sure your car doesn’t overheat, then drain the radiator once more.
- Add antifreeze: Finally, after your radiator is completely drained of the flushing agent, replace the antifreeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Start the engine and allow it to reach normal operating temperature. Check the radiator to ensure that it’s still at the appropriate level (sometimes air bubbles can form, making the radiator seem more full than it is).
That’s all there is to it! You’ve just flushed your radiator. Be sure to take your used engine fluids to an auto parts store or mechanic to be recycled appropriately.
Full-service radiator care in Madison, TN
Not ready to flush your own radiator, or just don’t have the time? Madison Muffler & Auto Repair is your source for radiator and auto care in Madison, TN. Our goal is to keep your car running smoothly and reduce its energy usage, saving you time and money. Call or stop by today to find out more about how we can assist you.