Like all other fluid in your car, the antifreeze/coolant used by your radiator to keep your engine at peak operating temperature requires periodic replacement. There are some key differences between an oil change and changing your antifreeze, however, that make the process a little bit more involved than simply pulling the plug and draining out the old coolant.
According to the fluids experts at Castrol, one of the key aspects of cooling system maintenance is flushing out old antifreeze in order to keep ahead of rust and sludge formation. Your engine bay contains tubing and piping that is designed to transport coolant to and from the engine, and through the HVAC system, and the motor itself also features channels, which circulate antifreeze on a continual basis. Over time, these passages can get clogged up with corrosion or sludge – stuff that doesn’t always drain out easily on its own.
Fortunately, your dealership offers the specialized equipment and expertise required to flush out any cooling system contaminants and ensure that the antifreeze mixture running through your radiator is as pure as possible. Dealership technicians don’t just remove old coolant and fill your car up with a new mixture; instead, they employ a machine designed to run a unique mixture of antifreeze and distilled water through your engine’s entire cooling system and then vacuum it all out, creating enough pressure during the process to also remove any debris that might be lurking inside your radiator or its associated plumbing.
There are a number of other benefits associated with going to the dealership for a coolant flush. The first is the time savings involved. Using a computerized radiator flush machine can cut the amount of time significantly shorter than the hours required for a gravity drain, garden hose refill, second drain for flushing purposes and then filling everything up again in the driveway at home. More important, using a dealership’s fluid flush service is much safer, both for you and for the environment. You don’t have to worry about dealing with the scalding hot antifreeze coursing through your motor, nor do you run the risk of spilling the used ethylene glycol coolant on the ground where it can seep into the water supply or even poison pets, which are attracted by its sweet smell and taste. Even if your car features “non-toxic” propylene glycol coolant, the coolant has still picked up nasty contaminants and trace metals inside the engine, so simply pouring it on the ground is extremely detrimental to the environment.
Dealership antifreeze flushes are a convenient, inexpensive and important aspect of your vehicle’s routine maintenance schedule. Castrol recommends flushing your coolant every two years, which gives you plenty of time to set up an appointment at your local dealer and benefit from the peace of mind that this type of service offers.