Chances are you’ve seen a car stopped on the side of the road with smoke coming out of the hood. That’s what happens when your engine overheats. Your vehicle’s cooling system helps prevent this from happening. To make sure your cooling system stays healthy, it’s necessary to schedule a coolant flush. In this article, we’ll discuss what this entails and how often you need it done.

How does the cooling system work?

It’s no surprise that your engine produces lots of heat. If this heat isn’t kept under control, it could ruin the entire engine. That’s what the cooling system is for. Its job is to manage the heat and keep everything running smoothly.

The cooling system includes the following components:

  1. Head gaskets
  2. Intake manifold gaskets
  3. Pressure cap and reserve tank
  4. Water pump
  5. Temperature sensor
  6. Thermostat
  7. Radiator
  8. Radiator cooling fans
  9. Heater core
  10. Hoses
  11. Bypass system
  12. Freeze plugs

In addition to these parts, liquid coolant is circulated throughout the engine to ensure the engine stays cool.

What is a coolant flush?

Eventually, rust particles pollute your engine’s coolant. The purpose of a coolant flush is to replace the contaminated coolant with fresh fluids. A cleaning fluid is also added to help flush out excess debris.

A coolant flush is sometimes confused with topping off the coolant. Topping off your coolant means making sure there’s enough coolant in your engine. A coolant flush is done to clean out cooling fluid in your system.

Why is it important to get a coolant flush?

There are many benefits to routine coolant flushes. For one, they remove rust and other particles from the coolant. These deposits can cause your engine to overheat if they’re not dealt with.

Coolant flushes also protect your water pump by keeping it properly lubricated and preventing debris from clogging it up. Additionally, old coolant becomes acidic over time. This acidity can cause damage to your engine if it’s not replaced. Old antifreeze also loses its ability to prevent corrosion over time, making it less effective. Routine coolant flushes can prevent these problems and extend the lifespan of your engine.

How often does it need to be done?

As with other forms of car maintenance, your owner’s manual can point you in the right direction for service guidelines. Our licensed technicians at Carlson Automotive can also help you figure out a maintenance plan that’s best for you. Not all coolants are the same. Some long-lasting types will work well for up to 5 years, but others might need to be replaced every 2 years.

At a minimum, we advise a cooling system inspection every two years. This check-up should include:

  1. Visual inspection of all cooling system parts
  2. System power flush and coolant refill
  3. Internal leak check
  4. Pressure test
  5. System pressure level check
  6. Engine fan test
  7. Thermostat check

Is it time for your coolant flush? Give Carlson Automotive a call today at (651) 458-5158 for our Cottage Grove location, or (651) 578-0885 for our Maplewood location. We look forward to hearing from you soon.