Radiator Flush Comparison Guide: How to Choose a Radiator Flush

Read this beginners guide to learn how to choose the best radiator flush for your car. Find out which product is the best for your car. Read more here.

If you take your car for granted, it’ll most likely overheat.

When your car’s engine overheats, everything can and will go wrong. Do you know what stands between a functioning vehicle and complete engine failure? —the knowledge and execution of proper car maintenance.

Understanding how to maintain your car is essential to its functionality and lifespan. One of the most overlooked things by car owners is the cooling system. If you neglect your car’s cooling system, it will create a domino effect of failing parts. Primarily your engine.

A radiator flush is essential to avoid extensive and costly repairs in the future. You don’t have to be a mechanic to maintain your vehicle, you just have to keep reading!

Wondering About a Radiator Flush?

If you’re wondering whether you have to flush your radiator from time to time, the answer is yes. 

There are different kinds of flushing methods and different “cleaning” products to use while flushing. In any method, however, the principle is the same. To circulate “flush” debris and corrosion build up out of the engine and radiator.

A good radiator flush process involves adding a specific cleaner to your car’s cooling system. It helps to get rid of any rust or sediment that has built up over time. It is completely flushed through the entire cooling system along with the rest of the debris. Once everything is out, a new coolant mixture is added and possibly along with a conditioner for added protection from future leaking.

If you’re wondering whether you can get away with just a simple coolant change, the answer is no. Even with the best coolant mixture, the cooling system will still become dirty over time making it very important to flush the system before adding fresh new coolant.

Coolant is typically a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Antifreeze is made up of ethylene glycol, lubricants, and corrosion inhibitors in general. It works to absorb the heat from your car’s engine. Once the heat is absorbed, it releases it through the radiator. Its purpose is to prevent your engine from overheating and to not turn to ice in cold weather.

The chemicals in antifreeze deteriorate over time. This weakens the protection of your engine from corrosion and overheating. It gets worse if you have dissolved solids or chlorine from the water in your cooling system as well. This is how you get sludge built up in your engine.

Once rust and sludge build up in your cooling system, it can cause serious and costly damage to your engine. This is why a coolant flush is recommended every 30,000 miles or five years—whichever comes first. (Always check with your car’s owner’s manual to be sure).

How Does a Coolant Flush Work?

A coolant flush done by a trustworthy mechanic will run you about $150, give or take. The entire process, however, is not too difficult to do on your own.

Either you or your mechanic will drain your radiator and engine block from all the old coolant. When the last of the old coolant is drained, a chemical cooling system cleaner is added to the cooling system along with water to fill it. 

Your car should for about 10-20 minutes to warm up. It must reach its optimal performance temperature to ensure that the cleaner cycles through the system. When it reaches the right temperature, the chemical cleaner and water are circulating under pressure to force loose all the gunk that may have collected in your hoses, engine, and radiator.

you then wait for the engine to cool before draining. After flushing, you will need to rinse at least two times or more. Refill with water and run the engine back up to temperature for 10 minutes or so and then let it cool again and drain. This is necessary because draining only removes about 50% to 60% of the solution from a typical cooling system So repeating the rinse helps to get all the loosened debris and remaining flush chemicals completely out.

Once all of the old coolant, dirt, rust, sludge, and other deposits have been cleaned out, the new coolant mixture can be added.

Pro Tip: When it comes to coolant, it’s best to buy the concentrated kind and dilute it yourself using distilled water! You can use an inexpensive tool from your local parts store called a hygrometer to check the quality of your mixture. Remember that a good portion of your rinse water remains in the engine after draining so you may need to adjust your 50/50 mix slightly to account for that.

How to Choose a Radiator Flush

The fluids that you use in your car are important factors in its performance and lifespan. Whether it be the grade of gasoline, type of engine oil, transmission fluid or coolant mixture, you want to use quality products. The same goes for the type of chemical cleaner and conditioner you choose to use for your radiator flush. 

You only have to do a radiator flush every so often, so you want to make each one count. There are many cleaners out there on the market. But, which type of cleaner to use is not a simple choice. They all say about the same thing on the bottle, that they are the best choice for cleaning your radiator or cooling system. But there is one that stands out.

Irontite Thoro-Flush coolant cleaner is arguably the most powerful cleaner on the market today. This industrial level brand is capable of cleaning clogged heater cores and cooling systems. It will even clean residue from your fuel tank—which is not something that most coolant cleaners can do and should only be done with the fuel tank removed.

In addition to the Thoro-Flush, Irontite also offers All Weather Seal and Ceramic Motor Seal. These are great to use post-radiator flush for maximum protection. Depending on what your concerns are, you only need to use All Weather Seal. It is an excellent choice for preventative leak protection.

If your concerns are porosity, cracks, or a head gasket leak, then Ceramic Motor Seal is the way to go. It will create a thin coat in your cooling system, filling in any porous surfaces and provide protection from oxidation. A smoother surface will provide for better coolant flow, allowing a better overall engine performance.

If your concerns are the head or intake gasket leaks, leaky seals, a leaky radiator, or future leaks, then the All Weather Sealis recommended. You can pour it right into your coolant mixture. It will remain dissolved and suspended within the coolant mixture to safeguard your engine’s cooling system from leaks continuously.

Of course, you can use all three products or just two of them, but it’s always a good idea to start with a flush of the radiator and cooling system first using Thoro-Flush!

Now You Put the Cool in Coolant

Now you know the importance of your coolant system and what type of cleaner and conditioner to use for your next scheduled radiator flush.  And you might even take on the task yourself and save a nice chunk of change.

For more information on Irontite, our products, and anything else you’d like to learn about proper car maintenance, come and check us out!

Don’t Forget to Flush! A Step by Step Guide to a Car Coolant Flush

A healthy coolant system is so important for your car’s engine performance. Don’t forget to flush! Here’s a step by step guide to a car coolant flush.

When is the last time you performed a coolant flush on your car’s radiator?

If you’re scratching your head right now and drawing a blank, that probably means that it’s been too long since you’ve had it done. Experts recommend flushing the coolant in your car and replacing it with new coolant every 30,000 miles or 3 years, depending on which comes first.

If you forget to perform a radiator flush or just choose not to do it, it can lead to your engine overheating. You could be left to deal with very expensive car repairs as a result of it.

The good news is that you can keep your engine cool by conducting a coolant flush on your own. Even if you’re not super knowledgeable about cars, it’s easy enough to replace your old coolant with a fresh supply.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to a car coolant flush.

Step 1: Prepare Your Car for Your Coolant Flush

Before you begin performing a coolant flush, you need to park your car on a level surface and let it sit for about half an hour to allow the engine and radiator to cool off. You also need to gather a few items for the flush. Get your hands on:

Outside of preparing your workspace, you should also remove any kids or pets from the area. Coolant, which is often green, orange, yellow, or red, might look harmless, but it’s toxic.

Step 2: Drain the Old Coolant From Your Car

Once you’ve made the necessary preparations for your coolant flush, you’ll be ready to drain the old coolant from your car.

To start, pop the hood on your car and find your radiator fill cap, which is more often than not located right on top of your radiator. Open the radiator fill cap up, and if your car has a plastic reservoir that holds extra coolant, open the cap on that up, too.

Then, climb underneath your car and look for the drain for your radiator. It should be positioned right underneath where your radiator fill cap is. But if you have a hard time finding it, consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle to see exactly where it is (it may be referred to as a “petcock” as opposed to a drain in the manual).

Place the container that you’re going to use to catch your old coolant under the drain and slowly open the drain up to let the coolant in your radiator out. Leave the drain open until there is no more coolant coming out, at which time you can close the drain back up.

Step 3: Pour a Radiator Flush Product Into Your Car

After the old coolant from your car has drained completely, it’ll be time to perform your radiator flush. Use a product like Irontite Thoro-Flush to get the job done.

Thoro-Flush is capable of cleaning your entire cooling system in a single flush. It can clear out gelled coolant from your system and improve both the flow of your coolant and your engine’s temperature control.

Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the bottle. Since Thoro-Flush is a powder concentrate you’ll want to pre-mix it with a little water first. An old plastic milk jug works nicely for this.

Pour Thoro-Flush and one gallon of water into your radiator—not your plastic reservoir—and close the caps on both the radiator and the reservoir.

Step 4: Start Your Car’s Engine

At this point, you should have the old coolant that was in your radiator out of your car. You should also have a radiator flush product like Thoro-Flush sitting in your radiator.

The next step will be to turn your car on and let it run for approximately 10 minutes after the temperature gauge gets into the “normal” range. Do not run it any longer than 20 minutes with Thoro-Flush in your cooling system, as it could cause serious complications with your car. Set an alarm for yourself if you need to so that you don’t lose track of time and allow your car to run for too long.

After the time is up, turn your car off and allow it to sit for a little while until both the engine and the radiator are cool to the touch.

Step 5: Drain Your Car’s Radiator Again

Once your car’s engine and radiator have cooled down, take off the radiator and reservoir caps. Climb back under your car, open your radiator drain, and drain your radiator for a second time.

When the radiator finishes draining, close the drain back up and fill your cooling system with water. Close the radiator and reservoir caps back up and run your engine for a second time for about 10 minutes. Then turn it off giving your engine and radiator a chance to cool down again.

After that’s done, you’ll want to go back under the hood and remove the radiator and reservoir caps one more time and open up the radiator drain under your car.

This will be the final time you’ll need to drain your radiator. When you’re finished, you can close up the container you used to catch your old coolant and set it aside until you can take it to your local recycling center.

Step 6: Refill Your Radiator With New Coolant

Now that you’ve conducted a full coolant flush on your car, you can refill your radiator with new coolant.

The easiest way to do this is by buying pre-diluted coolant that you can pour right into your radiator without worrying about diluting it. Otherwise, you’ll need to dilute full-strength coolant on your own so that it’s a 50/50 mix of coolant and water.

After you pour coolant into your radiator, start your car without putting the radiator cap back on. You should see your cooling system start to bubble before your coolant level begins to rise. That’ll be your cue to replace your radiator cap and tighten it.

Step 7: Check Your Coolant Level

If everything went according to plan, the coolant level in both your radiator and your reservoir should be “full.” If it’s not, you will need to add more coolant to your car. It would be a good idea to refer to your cars owners manual for instruction if needed.

To ensure against any future coolant leaks you could add Irontite All Weather Seal to your cooling system at this time.

You should also come back in a day or two to check the coolant level again. This will ensure you have enough new coolant in your car to carry you for at least another 30,000 miles or 3 years. 

Perform a Coolant Flush Today

When you own a car, there is so much maintenance that you’ll need to do to it. It can be overwhelming for some people and can cause them to overlook obvious maintenance steps they should be taking.

Don’t allow that to happen when it comes to conducting a coolant flush. Make sure you perform a flush on your radiator every few years to get the best possible performance out of your engine.

Contact us today to get more information on Irontite Thoro-Flush and all of the other Irontite products.