A radiator flush provides a number of benefits to your vehicle’s cooling system. It is a fairly inexpensive procedure that should be performed once a year or per your owner’s manual’s recommendations. Price’s vary from about $35.00 to over $100 so it is often worthwhile to shop around for the best deal. There is a significant difference between a flush and a simple draining of the radiator so make sure you are getting what you are paying for.
Flush vs. Drain
Flushing your system pushes 4 to 5 gallons of anti-freeze through the system which pushes or flushes out all of the old anti-freeze and any contaminants that have build up in your cooling system. A flush guarantees that all of the old anti-freeze is removed from the system. Draining the radiator on the other hand only removes about 50% of the total anti-freeze in the system and leaves the majority of contaminants that have built up. It also means that the new anti-freeze will be mixing with the old.
The benefits of having your radiator flushed are:
- Removes Rust and Scale Deposit – Over time rust and scale deposits build up within the radiator. A flush helps to remove these deposits which get pushed out with the old anti-freeze. This is important since these build ups can cause overheating or even damage your radiator.
- Lubricate the Water Pump – The additives in the coolant lubricate the vehicles water pump. This will lengthen the life of the water pump.
- Removes Contaminants – A flush completely drains the system of the old anti-freeze which means that any contaminants that have made their way into the system will be flushed out as well. The additives in the coolant can lose important anti-corrosive properties over time which leads to the build up of particles. A radiator flush will remove these particles from the system.
- Inspection of System – Most places will perform a complete inspection of your cooling system when they do a radiator flush. They will use pressure tests to check for leaks in the system. This should be included in the price of the flush and if it isn’t it might be best to go somewhere else.
- Protect Against Rust and Foam– The new anti-freeze will have additives that help prevent rust and build up. It will also prevent foaming in the system which helps it operate efficiently.