Should I Have My Radiator Flushed? Minit-Tune Has the Answer

Minit-Tune & Brake| Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Your vehicle’s cooling system can impact the life of the vehicle as well as the engine and other internal components. If you’re one of those people who pops the hood and can’t tell a spark plug from a windshield wiper, then you probably need to trust your cooling system to the trained technicians at Minit Tune & Brake Auto Centres. Flushing your radiator involves draining out the old coolant and replacing it with new. This isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds.

radiator

The DIY Method

Most automotive experts recommend that you have your radiator flushed at least every other year. If you drive excessively, you may want to make this a regular part of your yearly maintenance. If not, dirt and sediment can build up within the radiator, causing it to overheat and disrupting your car’s ability to control the heat generated by the engine. These high temperatures can do a huge amount of damage to the engine, and result in an expensive emergency. Proper maintenance is as important to your safety as it is to your bank account. If you’re a diehard do-it-yourself enthusiast, then you may be able to do this at home—but a Minit-Tune technician will have access to higher-end coolant and be able to perform this with any other regular maintenance. The general steps include:

  1. Draining the Coolant: You’ll need to know exactly how much coolant your vehicle should hold. This lets you know how much is draining out, and how much to put back in. Make sure that the engine isn’t hot and hasn’t been recently run. It’s important to drain the coolant into a container that is specifically designed to measure the fluids. Repeat this process 2-3 more times using distilled water. You’ll need to know your way around the drain cock, pressure cap, and the hoses necessary to get the job done. If that sounds like a foreign language or you’re unsure of what you are doing, close the hood and call Minit-Tune! It’s also important to properly dispose of the coolant in an environmentally friendly way.
  2. Bleeding the System: If the first step was confusing, stop now and get professional help. This step is difficult and requires some know-how. Engines and cooling systems have lots of small areas that can accumulate air. You need to jack up the front of the car and use exactly half of the coolant needed to fill your vehicle to maximum capacity. Then, you’ll need to look for air pockets and get rid of as much of these as possible. These can hide in obscure places, and it’s important to understand what you’re looking for. In some vehicles, all air from the system can only be removed using a vacuum system to drain and fill coolant.
  3. Choose Your Antifreeze Wisely: Most of us are familiar with the older, green antifreeze, but newer rust and corrosion proof versions are now available. These can better prevent the build up of sediment and help your vehicle’s cooling system to last longer and perform more efficiently.

Knowing What You Are Doing is Key

It’s very easy to make a critical mistake when flushing the radiator and that can do more harm than good. This is especially true with newer vehicles and customized engines. Reach out to any of our Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres located in Vancouver and surrounding areas for help.

Contact us by phone or by using our easy online contact form and set up your appointment today.

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