How Often Do You Need A Radiator Flush in Cincinnati?

car radiator on a car

Most people don’t understand how important regular radiator flushes are to car repair. And their radiators suffer as a result. In general, we recommend flushing your radiator every 40,000 to 60,000 miles, depending on the quality of your radiator fluid, the condition of your radiator, and how harsh the winters have been in Cincinnati. 

Though the main part of a radiator’s job is to make make sure that the engine doesn’t get too hot in warm weather, old antifreeze can also be a big problem when it gets too cold. Your radiator is filled with a mixture of coolant and water to make sure that your car is operating at the appropriate temperature at all times. The coolant part of the mixture sure that the liquid in the radiator doesn’t freeze until a much lower temperature. It would be impossible for your car to survive the Cincinnati winter if every time it snuck below freezing your radiator was in danger. A standard 50/50 mix of coolant and water will take that freezing point of the liquid in your radiator from the 32 F of pure water to closer to -30 F. That temperature is guaranteed only when the coolant isn’t too old, however. When this coolant mixture gets old, you may start to have problems.

Too Long Between Radiator Flushes Causes Expensive Damage

When a car’s cooling systems get clogged with contaminants, this degrades the state of the coolant itself. When the radiator coolant degrades, it becomes more acidic, which causes the freezing point to be warmer. If the radiator has been topped of with water at any point, this also inches that freezing point closer to 32 F. And given Cincinnati’s intense winters, this has the potential to cause serious repair problems for your car.  Even when it’s warm out, a radiator flush will remove any physical contaminants from the system as well. Either way, radiator flushes should be part of your regularly scheduled import car maintenance plans, just like import brake jobs, oil changes, and tune-ups.

The good news is that you can easily have your car mechanic test your radiator fluid or you can even purchase your own radiator test from your local auto parts store. The directions are pretty simple. Dip the strip in some coolant, and compare the new color of the strip to the sample colors on the back of the package. Depending on what color matches up, you might be due for a Cincinnati radiator flush.

The DIY Option: How to Flush Your Own Radiator At Home

If you decide to do your own radiator flush, there are many online videos that can walk you through the process. We have a few tips before you get started.

  • Always wait for several hours after running the car before beginning the process to make sure that the radiator and antifreeze is cool. A good way to get an idea if it is cool yet is to make sure the radiator cap is cool to the touch. If it’s not cool enough the pressure released from the cap can be quite dangerous, and can cause severe burns. 
  • When you flush the system with water before you add the new antifreeze, make sure to allow the engine to idle for 10-15 minutes to work fully through the system before you turn the car off again to drain it.
  • Always use a 50/50 mix of water and coolant, even in the summer. Water alone will freeze in the winter. If you’re in a bind during hot weather, water will get you home, but once you get there make sure to mix evenly with coolant. Frozen water in a radiator can ruin your cooling system.
  • Always make sure to dispose of the used antifreeze and the water that you used to flush out the system properly. The coolant smells sweet and will attract your dog and other critters and is deadly if ingested. Be sure to take it to an automobile repair shop or auto parts store for proper disposal. It is illegal to pour it down the drain or otherwise dispose of improperly.

But really, with all that hassle, we can’t blame you if you decide your day off is spent otherwise occupied and leave your radiator flush to your local car mechanic

Can’t Remember Your Last Radiator Flush? It’s Time

If you haven’t flushed your radiator recently, it’s probably time to bring it in for a Cincinnati radiator flush. Sure, you could probably push through another season, but your radiator will pay the price. All that gunk will just continue to build up, and it will only get more acidic. Considering Cincinnati’s harsh winters, you owe it to your engine and your car to give the radiator special care.

A Radiator Flush Benefits Your Car In the Long Run

Radiator flushes should be on your list of regularly scheduled import car maintenance because they significantly improve the longevity and performance of your radiator. Flushing your radiator removes the rust and contaminants that build up in its system. It substantially extends the lifespan of your water pump due to protective additives in the antifreeze. Plus, a radiator flush will also prevent rust and foam from building up in the water pump. If you decide to ditch the DIY route and head to your favorite Cincinnati auto repair shop, they’ll also look for any potential repair issues so you can be ready for anything winter has thrown at you. At our auto garage, our technicians like to go the extra mile so that you get superior service.

Give Us a Call and Save Yourself the DIY Repair Hassle

Whatever you do, don’t let the radiator flush get away from you. Dirt and contaminants will build up in the system whether you pay attention or not. Give us a call. We’d be happy to help. We will let you know how long that radiator flush will take so you are ready for whatever the day brings. We have been specializing in all forms of European car repair for years, and take great care in each and every job. That is why we are one of the most respected auto repair shops in the Cincinnati area. Your vehicle will be in trusted hands.

Should You Do Your Own Car Repair, Cincinnati?

Fancy yourself a weekend mechanic? If you’ve got the right tools and a few basic skills, you can perform many repairs on your car yourself, save some money and feel good that you solved the problem with your own knowhow. Keep in mind, however, there is a reason mechanics swear a lot. Do your research. Shop manuals can help walk you through it, but what you really should check out are online videos that can show you exactly how it’s done. And keep a bucket handy for any screws or other parts. It’s a nightmare when that all important tiny part gets lost down a drain or behind the tool bench.