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Why Does My Vehicle Need a Coolant Flush?

Going for a run is an excellent form of exercise. As you run, your body begins to heat up, and you start to sweat. To keep yourself from getting heatstroke, you reach for water to help keep your core body temperature regulated. 

The same goes for your car. As your engine runs, its internal components create friction which creates an incredible amount of heat. In summer, the engine’s heat combined with ambient temperatures and heat from asphalt creates screaming hot temperatures. 

While the best way to keep the human body cool is by water, the best way to keep your engine cool is with coolant or antifreeze.


What is Coolant?yellow bottle pouring green coolant into car radiator

Engine coolant is a heat transfer fluid that travels through the vehicle’s engine and radiator to absorb and transfer heat away from the engine. 

Coolant helps protect your engine from overheating conditions that could significantly damage your engine and require replacement. Coolant also prevents engine water from reaching a boiling point, protects against corrosion of rubber or plastic components, and prevents rusting.


What Is a Coolant Flush?

After several hundred (or thousand!) cycles through your engine, coolant can weaken and become less effective in protecting your engine. It’s vital to keep coolant fresh and clean. 

A coolant flush is also known as a cooling system or radiator flush. It is a three-step process:

  • First, cleansers are added to the cooling system to help remove any debris or rust particles. 
  • Then, the spent, dirty coolant is flushed out of the system. 
  • Finally, the new coolant with conditioning features is added to the system to safeguard your engine from overheating.


Why Get a Coolant Flush?

text reading engine coolant with an arrow

  • Over time, coolant loses its anti-corrosive features, allowing contaminants to build up within the cooling system. A coolant flush removes particles and cleans the system.
  • Coolant flushes remove the buildup of rust and scale that occurs over time. Rust and scale can lead to overheating and permanent damage to the cooling system.
  • Coolant flushes prevent dirty coolant from becoming acidic. Acidic coolant can break down vital vehicle components, such as the engine’s water pump, rubber, and aluminum components.
  • Coolant keeps the water pump lubricated and prevents the buildup of rust, allowing the entire system to work more efficiently.
  • A technician will inspect the entire cooling system during a coolant flush, including belts, hoses, the thermostat, and the radiator. They’ll be able to identify any troubles before they become significant issues.


How Often is a Coolant Flush Needed?

For best results, have a coolant flush performed every 30,000 miles or every five years (whichever comes first).


Signs Your Vehicle Needs a Coolant Flush 

Suppose your vehicle hasn’t reached the next 30,000-mile interval but displays any of the symptoms below. In this case, it might be time for an inspection and coolant flush to help prevent any engine damage:

white bottle filling radiator with green antifreeze

  • High-temperature gauge or overheating: Is your vehicle’s temperature gauge creeping up as you drive or sit in traffic? Worse yet, is it beginning to overheat? If so, it’s time for a coolant flush.
  • Sweet smell: Many people love the smell of pancakes and syrup in their kitchen. But if you start to identify this scent in your garage, it’s time for a coolant flush. Coolant contains ethylene glycol, which gives off a sweet smell. As your vehicle burns through coolant, it produces a scent similar to syrup.
  • Fluid leaks: If your vehicle is low on coolant, your engine can quickly overheat. Coolant can vary by color, but most coolant is either red, green, blue, or yellow. If you see this fluid on the ground under your vehicle, have a technician inspect your car right away. Fluids used in major operating systems are protected by sealed components and should not escape.
  • Unusual engine sounds: Your engine should be relatively quiet. However, if you notice a sound that you haven’t heard before or something seems unusual, have a technician inspect the vehicle immediately. A coolant flush is a great way to help extend the life of your vehicle.
    Fresh coolant improves the health of your engine and protects it from detrimental overheating. You’ll notice an immediate improvement in engine cooling and overall performance once your service is complete.


Coolant Flush Cost Savings at Sun Auto Service

Save time and money with our incredible Major Service Special. This service, valued at nearly $750 at the dealership, offers the same service at a fantastic price! Our ASE-Certified Technicians will perform this service using the same state-of-the-art equipment at a fair price. 

Schedule your appointment today!