Radiator flush and fill?

chevrolet
2500

#1

I agreed to having the scheduled 150k radiator flush and fill performed and now after the fact wonder if such a thing is actually necessary or provides some sort of proactive benefit other than making one feel clean and tidy about their car?


#2

It’s a very good idea to replace the coolant periodically. This is not a waste of money.


#3

It’s likely you did the right thing. The antifreeze properties of coolant are permanent but the additives, such as rust preventive, get used up over time. Also, you may have built up some sludge somewhere.

We cannot tell if you actually needed the service at this time or if you could have waited another year or three. Consider your move a sensible bit of preventive maintenance.


#4

The additives in coolant, especially the rust inhibitors, just plain wear out over time. For the health of expensive parts like heater core, radiator, etc. you did the right thing.


#5

I’m not big on the flush part. Your vehicle came with Dexcool which is good for 5 years or 150k miles, WHICH EVER COMES FIRST. If you follow the schedule and change the coolant on schedule, a drain and refill is sufficient. If you didn’t do the coolant drain and refill at the five year mark, then it is possible that a mechanical flush, that is a flush done on a machine, is justified. If you used a chemical flush, then there might be some issues.


#6

You might be able to get away with a cheaper drain and refill, but every once in a while, it’s a good idea to get the cooling system flushed with clean water.

Those chemical flushes they sell at the auto parts stores are not something I recommend. If you have a problem with your cooling system, like a clogged radiator, you are better off replacing the malfunctioning part than trying a chemical flush. Chemical flushes are a last ditch effort to fix a problem without spending as much money.


#7

Thanks–

Mark


#8

It’s funny that you didn’t rate Whitey’s answer at all even though it may be the best answer (or at least as good).
If you have followed the maintenance schedule so far, flushing the radiator with just clean water before replacing the coolant is probably the best thing you can do to comply with the maintenance schedule.

And if you haven’t, if you are now facing problems and think you need a chemical solution, you are probably better off replacing the radiator and/or whatever part is no longer doing what it was made to do, because the problem can get worse. You can blow a head gasket or ruin the heater core. Each problem will be serious money to repair.
This is what he is trying to tell you.