The Importance of Getting a Coolant Flush

The Importance of Getting a Coolant Flush

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As with the other fluids in your car, coolant plays a big role in how well your engine runs. Consistent monitoring should be ensured to prevent leaks and ensure that it is always at the appropriate level. The best way to do this is by having a coolant flush performed every 30,000 miles or five years, whichever occurs first.

But why are coolant flushes so important? The team at Christian Brothers Automotive is here to shed some light on the importance of this auto fluid and what you should do to ensure your engine is ready to take you where you need to go.

What is Engine Coolant?

Engine coolant, commonly referred to as antifreeze, is stored within the coolant reservoir in your vehicle. If your vehicle is older, the coolant goes directly into the radiator and is stored there. While some coolants are a combination of ethylene or propylene glycol and water, normally in a 50/50 ratio, they can come in many different types, depending on the manufacturer's specifications for your car. You can reference your owner's manual to determine the specific kind needed.

What Does Engine Coolant Do?

Regardless of where your coolant is stored in your car, its main job, as well as the entirety of your cooling and exhaust system, is to remove excess heat from your engine and internal components, in order to maintain a healthy temperature while operating. This extends the lifespan of your engine and ensures peak performance.

Your engine coolant works to:

  • Prevent water from boiling during the summer
  • Prevent water from freezing during the winter
  • Prevent metal parts from rust and corrosion
  • Prevent plastic parts from becoming brittle
  • Prevent overheating during operation

Why Is Engine Coolant So Important?

Without the proper coolant quality or level, the heat produced during the engine's constant internal combustion while driving would damage your engine and most likely render it irreparable. Engine replacements are costly. Coolant flushes are not. Having a quick flush and coolant replacement performed can restore proper cooling function to your engine and prevent loads of damage.

What is a Coolant Flush & Why is It So Important?

Let’s start by stating what a coolant flush is not. It is not a drain and fill. A drain and fill is when you simply allow the old coolant to drain out of the car and then refill the cooling system with new fluid. The downside of that is a drain and fill will leave stuff behind…contaminants, rust particles, thick and goopy coolant that was once smooth and effective. A coolant flush, though, is performed with a machine that forcefully cleans and pushes out old fluid and all that other junk you don’t want in there.

The difference is like rinsing your dishes after dinner versus washing them in the dishwasher. You’ll remove a good bit of stuff off your dinner plate but not all of it. Imagine the build up on your dinner plate after 50 meals! Gross! That build up happens inside your cooling system. That’s why we strongly recommend a coolant flush–a thorough cleaning–according to your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

Cleaning out all the gunk isn’t the only benefit of a coolant flush. Look at all the other ways a coolant flush is advantageous to you!

The Benefits of a Coolant Flush

Coolant flushes provide many benefits to your cooling system! From preventing rust to ensuring overall efficiency, it's important to take care of your cooling system just like any part of your automobile. Especially to prevent things like overheating and damage to your engine block.

Removes Rust, Deposits, & Build-Up

Coolant flushes remove rust and scale deposits from the reservoir. It's important to get rid of these deposits, because any type of build-up can cause clogs and render the coolant less efficient, which results in overheating and damage to your entire cooling system.

Lubricates Water Pump

Newer antifreeze contains additives that work to lubricate your automobile's water pump. This is a great way to help extend the life of your water pump.

Prevents Rust from Occurring

The additives in the new antifreeze also help prevent rust from building up in the water pump, which allows the cooling system to operate more efficiently and extends the lifespan of your car. The two primary causes of rusting in your cooling system are air and water. Water will oxidize metal parts and cause rust, so only use coolant to refill your cooling system. Air can get into your system when the radiator cap contracts when it cools down. It isn’t much, nor is it often. Over time, however, the tiny amount of air adds up and causes metal parts to rust.

Prevent Corrosion

Over time, the old coolant loses its protective abilities and allows contaminants to build up in the cooling system. Getting a flush will completely clean these particles from the system.

Cooling System Inspection

When you get a coolant flush, your cooling system is inspected. This can be helpful because it not only checks for leaks and other potential problems but also allows you to put a stop to them before they cause any significant damage. It’s preventive care for your car, quite similar to paying a copay for a wellness check when you aren’t sick.

Prevent Acidic Coolant

Your car's water pump will last longer if you get your antifreeze flushed every 30,000 miles (or however often your manufacturer’s owners manual recommends). That way, the old antifreeze won't become acidic and damage your car's engine and important parts, including rubber hoses or the bearing in the water pump.

This is one of the many reasons why you should never ignore getting routine coolant flushes. If you're unsure when you had a flush performed or just want to have a professional inspection, turning to an expert can give you the insight you need to make your next decision.

When do I Need a Coolant Flush?

Every make and model is different, so all vehicles are on a varied maintenance schedule. Check your owner's manual to see when it's time for your vehicle to receive a coolant flush. The broadly accepted general rule of thumb is to flush your cooling system every 30,000 miles or every 3-5 years.

Skip DIY – Turn to Our Local Auto Shop Instead!

At Christian Brothers Automotive, our team provides cooling system and coolant flush services for just about any vehicle you bring into our shop! Not only will you receive reliable and honest maintenance from a true automotive professional, but you'll also get a courtesy inspection of your vehicle, which is a thorough, overall health checkup for your car, giving you a thumbs-up on what is right and a heads-up on potential issues you should be aware of. It’s a no-strings-attached, no-obligation effort we make to serve you long term and help you keep your car as long as you want. It’s how we are continually Driving Joy!

Ready to experience our Nice Difference for yourself? Find your nearby CBA auto repair shop and give them a call to schedule your visit!


This blog was written in January 2014, and was updated in August 2023, to reflect current industry standards and best practices.

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