Coolant flushes can prevent clogs and even overheat caused by built-up and deposits in your engine. These occur whether you use coolant products only or water. Scale, contaminants, and rust deposits accumulate over time, causing problems in your coolant system, radiator, pump and lines. Read through to get more information on Coolant Flush Cost 2022.
Coolant Flush Cost Estimates
A coolant flush from a mechanic should cost around $150 in most cases. That could be as low as $50 or as high as $250, though the latter is uncommon.
You almost always have the option of flushing the system yourself. This reduces the cost of your coolant to $2-$12 per liter or $10-$25 on average.
Costs may vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle. In most cases, however, you’re looking at pricing based on coolant and your mechanic.
Coolant Flush Price Factors
A couple of factors influence the cost of a coolant flush. However, most of these expenses are minor.
Labor will always be the most expensive cost. Here, pay close attention to what you’re getting for your money and why you’re paying it.
Most dealerships, for example, can charge significantly more than standard rates. For example, Chevy dealerships typically charge $400 for a coolant flush.
1. Cost of Labor
The most important cost in a coolant flush is labor. Your mechanic will be required to drain the fluid, flush the system, and then refill the fluid. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour.
In most cases, you’ll pay the mechanic’s minimum wage plus shop fees. Normally, that would be an hour of work plus 20%. In other cases, it will be less expensive. Mechanic rates range from $15 to $210, with an average of around $60.
Some shops will use a pressurized system to flush the system of debris. This isn’t always required. It’s also impossible in some systems.
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More Information on Cost of Labor
Filling the radiator with water and idling the engine for 15-20 minutes, then draining it, could be your debris flush. Your mechanic will still put in the extra effort.
Many national chains or dealers offer flat-rate coolant flushes. Valvoline and Jiffy Lube, for example, both offer a $99 flush. YourMechanic charges a flat fee of $143 but also includes coolant charges.
Many dealers also provide coupons and discounts that you can clip from newspapers or find on Groupon – these can significantly reduce the cost of your flush.
2. Replacement Coolant
Replacement coolant is typically very inexpensive. However, prices can vary greatly Typically, new coolant costs between $10 and $50 or more.
If you buy coolant from a dealer or a mechanic, you can expect to pay a little more than if you buy it at your local Auto parts store or Walmart. Sometimes, your dealer may even charge a premium for coolant.
3. Make and Model
The cost of a coolant exchange is slightly affected by the make and model of your vehicle.
For instance, if your model is especially difficult to drain or drains slowly. If you have a high-performance vehicle, it may require a more efficient coolant.
In most cases, the influence of make and model is negligible. For example, you can usually use any compatible coolant in your vehicle.
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Signs you Need a Coolant Flush
In most cases, flush your coolant once every two years. However, if you have missed that deadline or something has gone wrong, your engine will normally notify you. In that case, look for the symptoms listed below.
If you notice the temperature gauge is getting high or if your vehicle is actually overheating and shutting down, it’s likely a coolant problem. However, it might be a leak, low coolant, a clog, or even a faulty pump.
You’ll want to inspect the system to see what’s going on before you determine that a simple flush will do the job.
For example, if you flush the system but it turns out the water pump is bad, you’ll have to flush the system again, which will waste the coolant.
2. Engine Noises
If your coolant level is low, your engine will most likely knock or grind.
This is common when coolant flows back into the heater, usually because the engine detects too much heat. This could indicate a coolant problem.
However, it is possible that you have a faulty thermostat. Listen for gurgling, grinding, or other sounds emanating from the coolant reservoir and hoses.
3. Leaking Coolant
Leaking coolant always causes flushing of the system, replacing valves or hoses, and adding new coolant. In most cases, you can detect a leak by looking for liquid spills or a sweet odor coming from under the hood.
Coolant is usually easy to spot here. Most people keep antifreeze in their vehicles all year. Because this coolant is toxic, something brightly colored pink or green to keep children and animals away from it.
If you notice leaks, you should have them repaired as soon as possible. This is to protect the system and to protect animals and plants.
4. Coolant Level is Low
If your coolant level is low, you either have a leak, the engine is running too hot, or you haven’t replaced the coolant in a long time. The lower your coolant level, the more likely you are to overheat.
As a result, the two issues may interact. If your coolant is completely empty, you have a leak. Here, flush the system, drain it, and then refill it.
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How to Perform a Coolant Flush
They outline the general procedure for cleaning your car radiator by flushing out old coolant below. If you notice coolant loss with no visible leaks, it may be time to replace your radiator cap, which can deteriorate over time.
1. When to Flush Your Radiator
Different car manufacturers may give you different advice on when to flush your radiator. Flush it every five years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Depending on your driving habits, you may need to perform it sooner. Most auto mechanics will tell you you should flush the coolant every 30,000 miles.
However, in most cases, such a short flush interval is unnecessary. The best thing to do is take out your vehicle’s manual and see what the manufacturer recommends.
2. Drain Coolant
Obviously, you must first drain the old coolant from your radiator. Your engine must be cooled down first, so make sure you haven’t driven it for at least 30 minutes before beginning this process.
While it is beneficial to warm your engine before changing your oil (because warmer, thinner oil drains better), there is no such benefit for coolant. You will need to have a drain pan under the radiator to catch the coolant.
Make sure it’s big enough to hold all the coolant (the coolant capacity of your vehicle can be found in the owner’s manual).
3. Add Cleaner
After removing the old coolant from the radiator, add a special radiator cleaner to the radiator’s reservoir. This cleaning solution is available at any auto parts store, whether local or online.
Two of the best radiator flushes are Thermocure and Prestone AS105. After adding the cleaner to the radiator, fill the reservoir with distilled water. Start the vehicle’s engine and then turn on the heater.
The cleaner and distilled water will clean out all the sediment, rust, and other particles from your cooling system over the next 5 minutes. Turn off the engine and let it sit for 30 minutes.
4. Drain Again
When the cleaning process is complete, drain all the cleaning fluid and distilled water from your radiator. This will be a similar procedure to the previous one in which a pan is placed beneath the radiator to catch the liquid as it drains from the reservoir.
You may notice that the water appears darker than it did when you first added it. That’s fine because it means the radiator flush was successful in cleaning the cooling system.
Simply flush the cooling system with regular tap water to remove any sediments, and then drain the water.
5. Add New Coolant
Finally, fill up the radiator reservoir with the new coolant. In most cases, coolant/antifreeze and distilled water are mixed in a 1:1 ratio. So, for every gallon of coolant, add 1 gallon of distilled water.
Please consult your owner’s manual for exact amounts. Although pre-mixed coolant is available, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by purchasing concentrated coolant and distilled water separately.
Start your vehicle and let the coolant run through your engine for about 15 minutes after you’ve added the correct amount of coolant (again, consult your owner’s manual).
A radiator flush is an essential component of engine maintenance. In most cases, a mechanic will charge you around $150 for it. With some mechanics, this can easily exceed $250.
You can, however, do the work yourself in about half an hour. Of course, each has advantages and disadvantages.
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