Coolant System & Radiator Flush LaGrange
A vehicle’s coolant system protects the engine from overheating by circulating the coolant and collecting heat from various engine components. However, the engine coolant goes bad with time, and acid builds up forming rust. When that happens, it becomes prone to freezing during cold seasons and overheating while behind the wheel.
In the above instances, you will have to flush the coolant system. Engine components like the radiator, water pump, oil pump, and combustion chamber require adequate protection because they face a lot of heat.
With all that heat, regular coolant system flushes ensure you enjoy the ride and avoid the breakdown. This article will guide you about the car’s coolant system. Read on!
What Is A Coolant System Flush?
A coolant system flush is draining the old coolant and running distilled water in the system. The distilled water helps to remove the remaining dust, rust, and slime within the coolant lines.
Typically, flushing the coolant system involves opening the radiator cap at the top of the radiator to allow air in and force all the fluid out. After opening the radiator cap, you need to get under the vehicle and locate the valve at the bottom of the radiator. (If the vehicle ground clearance is low, you will need to jack it up or use car ramps).
The coolant drain valve is a plastic screw located at the corner of the metallic base of the radiator. You need a drain pan under the valve to collect all the old coolant.
After draining the coolant, close the drain valve and fill the system with distilled water. Then, open the drain valve again to flush the coolant system and eliminate all the rust and debris. You must repeat the process until the distilled water comes out clean.
The final process entails refilling the system with new coolant and checking for leaks before test-driving.
Signs You Need a Coolant System Flush
- Low coolant level in the radiator – if you notice the coolant levels go low with time, check the radiator cap condition. A worn-out radiator cap can cause most coolants to evaporate. The second cause is an old coolant that has lost its normal boiling and cooling ranges.
- Weird smell from the hood – engine coolant is treated with ethylene glycol, which smells sweet. Once it expires, it becomes lighter to escape from the radiator cap easily and also smells odd.
- Rust appears in the coolant – when the coolant ages and builds up acid, rust forms. You can spot some rust color on the coolant level once you open the radiator cap.
- Grinding engine noise – the internal engine components overheat and expand due to poor-quality coolant. As a result of expansion, they grind and make noise.
- Coolant leaks beneath the car – old coolant can corrode the car radiator if it goes a long time without service. The fluid leaks through the corroded parts, and you may notice it underneath the car in the mornings.
- The engine overheats – old coolant reduces its boiling point, and the dashboard temperature gauge may read high even with short trips. You may also experience steam coming out from under your hood.
- The car loses power – poor cooling leads to overheating, and overheating slows down the engine components. You may notice the vehicle accelerates slowly and gradually loses power.
How Often Should You Flush Your Coolant System?
Experts recommend flushing the coolant system every 30,000 miles. You can also check your owner’s manual for
How Long Does It Take To Flush A Coolant System?
Using a commercial flush and fill machine takes less than 30 minutes, and you are back on the road. Without a machine, an experienced mechanic can do it in less than one hour because the repair shop has all the necessary equipment, like ramps and lifts.
While flushing the coolant system at home, you could spend more time if you have little experience with the cooling system. However, note that flushing the coolant system may not be just flushing and refilling the radiator with the fresh coolant.
If you had experienced any of the signs listed above, the system might have developed serious problems. Overheating can cause the engine block to crack. It can also damage the cylinder head gasket and cause the oil to leak into the combustion chamber.
If there is a leak, leaking coolant fluid means the radiator is damaged and needs repair or replacement. Additionally, grinding engine noise means the internal moving components, like the water pump and others made of aluminum, could be cracked or damaged. So, you may end up needing to replace other parts as well.
As a rule, don’t go for a coolant system flush in a hurry. Always have the whole system examined to prevent further problems. Don’t flush the coolant system at home if you have serious signs like overheating, grinding noises, or slow acceleration. Take your car to professionals for diagnosis.
How Much Does A Coolant System Flush Cost?
How much is a coolant system flush? The cost of a coolant system flush will vary depending on the type of coolant and the capacity your vehicle uses. It is best to check the vehicle user manual and fill the system with the manufacturer’s indicated coolant type, or leave it to the professionals.
Expect a coolant system flush to cost $100 to $150, depending on the price of coolant and labor. If you are doing the flush yourself, you can purchase coolant at a parts store or dealership. Since you are doing it yourself, you will not be paying for labor.
Ready To Schedule a Coolant System Flush Appointment?
Auto Gallery Chevrolet Buick GMC, LaGrange team awaits to professionally show your car some love. We have excellent diagnostic machines to identify all the problems in your vehicle. We want to ensure you leave satisfied and ready to refer your friends and relatives to our shop.
Our coolant system specialists offer same-day services to save you time. We understand your time is important. Visit our website to schedule car service online, or call us today at 706-882-2576 to make an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Completely Flush My Coolant System?
Start by opening the car hood and loosening the radiator cap. Place the radiator cap in a safe place and leave the radiator open. Proceed underneath the car and locate the valve at the radiator base.
Set the drain pan directly under the valve and open it. Wait for around 10 minutes until all the coolant drains. Then, close the valve and fill the radiator with distilled water. Let the distilled water settle for a few minutes, and open the underneath radiator valve again to flush all rust and debris from the coolant lines.
Afterward, fill the system with fresh coolant and test drive the car.
Do I Need To Flush My Coolant System?
Yes. Flush your car’s coolant system after every 30,000 miles mileage or once you notice other signs of aging coolant fluid.
Are Coolant Flush Necessary?
Yes, getting coolant flush is very beneficial in maintaining and prolonging your car’s engine lifespan. We recommend having a professional do the coolant system flush for you.