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Radiator fluid good for 80,000 miles?

I have a 2011 honda accord that has never had it radiator fluid changed. I asked the service tech about it last time I was there and he told me it was good until 80,000 miles but that seems a little hard to believe. My car is at 15,000 miles now.

What does the manual say?


You can go that long before a coolant exchange.

As long as no leaks occur in the cooling system in that interval, the new coolants can go that far.


Even if it is claimed to be good for 80K, you shouldn’t wait that long imo. The manufacturer’s have a bias to make long service interval claims like that, b/c the consumer groups who rate “total cost of ownership” of a new car use those service intervals to make the calculations. Longer service intervals mean lower total cost of ownership, so more people will buy their cars.

30 K for coolant is as long as I’d go, or 3 years. 2 years, even better. It’s not that difficult or expensive enough job to change out the coolant to take any risks with it. Coolant gets more and more acidic over time, so a person can monitor the pH of their coolant with those pH test strips you can buy at places that sell Chemistry supplies, and get an idea how well it is holding up.

Carmakers know that long maintenance intervals sells cars! Depending on how much you drive, I would find 80,00 miles a stretch.

My Toyota says 7 years or 60,000 miles, but at 7 years I only had less than 50,000 miles, so I changed it.

The corrosion inhibitors and water pump lubricant gets used up and I would consult the manual first, as advised. A 5 year old Honda with only 15,000 miles should have its coolant changed at 7 years or so irrespective of mileage.

I tried finding a miles/time limit on the Honda site, it just refers to the maintenance monitor. I’d go with @Docnick - 7 years for the first change seems about right, given the low miles. After that, every 3 years or so. That’s what my Ford recommends.

Here’s my approach, FWIW . . .

I change “long life” coolants . . . almost all vehicles come from the factory like this, BTW . . . every 5 years

I change universal green coolants every 3 years

Even with new cars, I don’t wait until 7 years to change it, even if the manual says it’s okay

Long life coolants have been around for decades. I change it on our vehicles every 4 years. That’s anywhere from 60k to over 100k miles. It’s been working fine for us over the years.

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My 2012 Toyota Camry Manual says 10 years 100,000 miles for the coolant. Spark plugs at 120,000.

I would never wait 10 years to change coolant

And I also would never wait 120K to change plugs

But that’s just me :wink:

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Since you’re willing to go years at a time between oil changes I’m guessing your coolant should be good for the life of the car.

This isn’t rocket science. Read the owner’s manual and service the cooling system at the mileage OR time period, whichever comes first, specified in the manual. Or sooner, if a pH test strip indicates the need to.

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I have a 2005 Accord V6. It has a timing belt that gets changed every 105,000 miles, along with the water pump. Since the water pump requires draining the coolant, I have it replaced at the same time. Unless your coolant turns acidic, you can change it at the same time as the timing belt if you have the V6. Note that the time limit for the timing belt is seven years, and you are more likely to hit that limit first. It’s mileage or time, whichever comes first. If you have a 4-cylinder engine, then go with the 80,000 mile recommendation.

I wanted to delete this comment, but “the system” wants at least 10 characters


Glad you are aware, changed my coolant at 85k, dumped dexcool for peak global lifetime, maybe foolish but 90k later was not planning on doing it again, ever, what did I miss?

If the vehicle is supposed to get Dex-cool, that’s what I use

I change every 5 years, in a fleet setting

I haven’t had any problems with my approach

I have to agree with this. The coolant is protecting the system 24/7 whether you are driving the car or not. The corrosion inhibitors are getting used up, though not quite as fast due to lower temperatures when off.

I may go several years on oil if I am only driving once or twice a week, but coolant is different, although on the infrequently used truck, I have gone five and a half years.

I like your approach :thumbsup: