Engine Maintenance

How Often Should You Have a Radiator Flush


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A radiator flush is part of regular preventive vehicle maintenance. A car radiator provides cooling to the engine via heat exchange. This means that it takes away the heat produced during the normal operation of the engine. The car's cooling system does this by passing a coolant through the engine block. This coolant absorbs the heat and carries it to the radiator where it dissipates into the atmosphere. This whole process is necessary because it prevents overheating which could damage the car engine.

Over time, your car's cooling system could develop problems because of leaks, a corroded radiator or coolant that needs to be flushed out and replaced. Coolant actually boosts the capacity of water so that it keeps the engine temperature in check at all times, during cold winters as well as warm summers. However, engine coolant is prone to breaking down over time, which will make it less efficient; thus the need for regularly-scheduled radiator flushing.

Fortunately, most vehicle manufacturers include a recommended schedule for radiator flushing. These schedules are based on engine specifications and the type of coolant that's used. The average frequency is at least once every 2 years or 30,000 miles (around 50,000 kilometers), whichever comes first. Consider also the following special conditions.

In areas where winters are really cold or summers are extremely hot, it's recommended that you schedule your coolant change and radiator flush at the start of each season.

The type of water you use for your car's radiator should also be considered. High mineral content generally results in deposits that could clog the cooling system - pipes, hoses and the radiator itself. Schedule a radiator flush at least once every year.

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