Radiator Flush: 3 Myths that Can Kill Your Car

Posted 1/21/19

Our Cincinnati car mechanics hear it all. The truth is, most car owners are very ill-informed when it comes to radiator flushes and heating and cooling systems. Myths abound, and many of them can be highly destructive if believed. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest falsehoods when it comes to radiators. Remember, knowing is half the battle. The other half is getting a radiator flush every 40,000 miles.

Myth #1: Cooling Systems are Maintenance Free

Many people commonly mistakenly believe that radiators are pretty much maintenance free. Yet coolant inevitably breaks down over time and use, causing rust and contamination and sometimes even becoming electrically charged. Old coolant can be highly corrosive. It’s important to not only get your coolant changed but to flush out any contaminants which can damage your radiator.

Myth #2: All Coolants are Created Equal

Different brands of antifreeze can vary greatly in quality and effectiveness. In fact, some car manufacturers will void your warranty if you don’t use the coolant specified in the owner’s manual. Antifreeze is a vital fluid that needs to meet the proper specification for your vehicle.

Myth #3: All You Need to Do is Top Coolant Off

Most people think coolant is like gas: As long as the tank’s full, you’re good to go. Yet it’s the quality of the coolant itself that can affect not only the performance of your radiator but its lifespan. Coolant breaks down overtime and use. That’s why you need to do periodic radiator flushes with new coolant to keep the system clean and vital. A flush doesn’t just remove the old coolant but cleans out the contaminants that naturally develop in your radiator and components overtime.

Why You May Need a Brake Flush Service

Brake systems break down overtime. The rubber in the valves in the master cylinder, calipers and wheel cylinders deteriorate. These pieces break off and can contaminate the brake fluid. Plus, water, oil and other dirt and debris can get into your brake fluid. This can cause rust. That’s why many mechanics will recommend you flush your brake fluid every 30,000 miles or so. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but you should have the brake fluid inspected. If the fluid is translucent, you should be fine. When it gets to be dark brown, you may be due for new brake fluid. Brake flushing removes all the old liquid, cleans out your brake system and replaces it with fresh.