Coolant System Flushes ~ Understanding Why They Are Vital To Long Term Vehicle Performance

Have you had your vehicle for a while? If so, you may not be aware that there are some services beyond regular maintenance that can keep your vehicle running its best. One of those services is a cooling system flush. You have likely had a standard cooling system service performed on your vehicle, but a cooling system flush is different than a standard cooling system service. One striking difference is the standard service usually involves removing and replacing some of the coolant in your cooling system, but a cooling system flush involves draining all of the cooling fluid and flushing away remaining debris and residual scale deposits.

Process of Flushing

A cooling system flush is sometimes referred to as a radiator or coolant flush. Testing can be performed by a technician to determine whether your cooling system is at risk for failure if it is not flushed. Technicians will perform the flush if needed using chemicals that safely remove debris and scale accumulation, which can both cause premature corrosion to your cooling system if they are never flushed away. After the system is clean, fresh coolant and additives are added to the system to protect it and ensure good performance.

Risks of Not Flushing Coolant

Antifreeze that is not flushed completely from the system can change in consistency. It may become more acidic, which may negatively impact other parts of your vehicle that are not part of your cooling system. For example, the acidic coolant can cause areas of you vehicle that need coolant to function to become corroded as a result of the acidic antifreeze circulating. 

Best Time for Coolant Flush

It is best to go by the scheduling that the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends; however, there are some services that may be performed at odd intervals that would make a coolant flush an ideal complement to the services rendered. For example, it is a good idea to get a coolant flush performed when a new water pump needs to be installed in a vehicle because it may extend the service life of the water pump. Think about debris and scale-containing cooling fluid circulating through a new water pump. If you are not having any other coolant system issues, you will likely benefit from having a coolant system flush performed every other year or every 40,000 - 60,000 miles.

An auto repair shop is a good resource to use to determine whether your cooling system is at risk. They can also locate the specific recommendations of the manufacturer of your vehicle. Contact a service like Blue Valley Garage for more information.