There are many critical parts that keep your vehicle running smoothly and reliably. Chief among them is your engine cooling system. This ensures your engine doesn’t run too hot, leading to catastrophic damage… or too cold, meaning no heat for you inside the car. Having a radiator coolant flush is one preventive maintenance service that is critical to the radiator, hoses, the water pump, and the coolant passages in the engine block.
What Exactly Is Coolant?
Coolant is a product that works in several ways. First, it prevents the engine from overheating and causing damage. It also contains antifreeze, so when the temperatures dip down, it protects the engine coolant from freezing. For many years, antifreeze or coolant was only checked for two things: Its freezing point and boiling point. But now, we also need to check the coolant for its anti-corrosive properties, which prevent parts like your radiator or water pump from rusting or corroding from the inside-out.
Do I Really Need A Coolant Flush?
As coolant gets older, it can become acidic. And acidic coolant can corrode aluminum engine components like your radiator, water pump, cylinder head, engine block and heater core. Once those parts corrode, it is a considerable expense to repair.
How Long Does Coolant Last?
Many years ago, your coolant or radiator fluid needed to be flushed every year. But since the mid-80s, most cars have come from the factory with “long-life” coolant, which means they sometimes can go for as many as 5 years without having the coolant flushed. This is just a rule of thumb however, test strips can measure the acidity and protection levels of the coolant in your car.
What Happens During A Typical Coolant Flush?
When it’s time for a coolant flush, mechanics will first drain and flush the radiator with water. Then they fill the cooling system with new coolant using specialized equipment that not only fills the system, but also evacuates the air from the system. This is very important because if air is trapped, it can lead to overheating problems or it can cause the heating system to not work correctly. Trapped air can also cause a fluctuating temperature gauge.
Do The Coolant Hoses Have To Get Replaced Too?
As a rule, you should replace the radiator hoses if your car is eight years or older. Even if the hoses are not showing signs of leaking, bulging, or cracking, the sheer age is enough to be a hazard. Because new radiator hoses are relatively inexpensive, it makes more sense to eliminate the risk.
Radiator And Coolant Services In Minnesota
Come to St. Paul Automotive and make the cooling system repairs your vehicle needs to get back on the road. Contact us at (651) 298-0956 and start focusing on keeping up with proper radiator maintenance so that you can avoid costly repairs and roadside steam-outs.