WHY THE COOLANT NEEDS FLUSHING
The reason the coolant needs flushing is because the products can deteriorate after many uses and they don’t resist freezing and boiling as well. Since engines contain many parts that can rust, the coolant picks up the rust during the circulation process and deposits it in another part of the car. Over time though, the particles can build up in the coolant, so it doesn’t work as well. Regular flushing keeps the coolant clean and prevents blockages.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU FLUSH THE COOLANT?
Depending on the vehicle and the coolant, the average time between flushes is two years or 30,000 miles for silicated coolants and up to five years or 100,000 miles for an extended drain coolant. You can tell which type of coolant you have by the color. The silicate coolants are usually green, and the extended drain coolants are often gold or orange.
TEMPERATURE CAN AFFECT PERFORMANCE
If you live an area where it gets very cold in the winter, you might find that the engine has a hard time turning over on a cold morning. If you live in an area where it gets very hot, you also might find your car just won’t start one day. If your car does not start like it should, take a look at the coolant overflow reservoir. Monitor it for the day to see if the level fluctuates. If it does, then the coolant is probably not cooling the engine like it should, and you should bring your car in to have it flushed.
OTHER SIGNS TO WATCH FOR
If you can smell antifreeze or your car overheats easily, these are both signs of a sick cooling system. If you need to add coolant repeatedly, then you should have the system checked. If you see signs of a leak, you should also bring it to your dealer so they can take a look.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR COOLANT
While it is always best to bring your vehicle into the dealership service department if you think there is a problem, you can also do a quick check of the coolant yourself. Make sure the car is cool, and then place a clean container under the drain valve. Open up the valve and allow a small amount of coolant to drain out into the container so you can see the color. If the coolant looks like there is rust in it, or if it is a brown color instead of the green or orange color it started out with, then you should bring it in to have the coolant flushed. If you can see that the coolant tubes in the radiator have clogs, then this is also a sign that the coolant needs changing.