Irregular smells, like a hot maple-syrup-like smell or the smell of antifreeze, can also indicate you need to take a look at your radiator. I don’t think your problem is something clogging the heater core, I think you are not purging all the air out. In order to make sure you have all the chemical flush out of there, I would purchase a flush-and-fill kit from an auto parts store, the kind that allows you to hook up a garden hose and run it to force water out the open end of the radiator, but considering how many times you’ve flushed it already, that might be overkill. The heater didn`t work so I flushed the heater core with just plain water. After running the corrosive chemical flush (which I did before the other needed repairs on the cooling system) to flush out all the rust and scale, and flushing several times with fresh water, I replaced all the parts that were needed to be repaired (i.e. The BlueDevil Radiator Flush would not be acting as antifreeze, so it should be drained out and refilled with your regular antifreeze mixture. Mechanic refilling auto radiator. Power Stroke Selected as Best Diesel over Cummins and Durama... Be Prepared: 10 Car Essentials For Winter [Buying Guide], The Advantages of Buying Car Parts Online, Copyright © 2021 Autowise. As time goes on, your car's radiator builds solid deposits that can clog the cooling system. The flush is used to clean out plugged heater cores and also removes coolants in a single flush. Prepare for Your Car Radiator Flush . Disconnect both hoses from the radiator. This will contaminate fresh new Prestone Command® HD Antifreeze/Coolant added the cooling system. Properly dispose used coolant and flush water according to Federal, State, and Local laws. This is the highest-performing radiator cleaner and flush you can buy — a proven formula that cleans the entire system in 30 minutes or less. Close the caps and run the engine for ten minutes or so with the heater on full blast. The heater blew hot air for about 3 or 4 minutes than stopped. But many auto service shops will recommend a coolant flushing process instead. After draining the flush, run distilled water through the radiator until it is clear in order to rinse out any excess flush. Do not let the cooling system temperature fall below 32 degrees F. Radiator Flush - Is It Ok To Leave It Overnight? Perhaps VW will recommend a particular flush agent they know is compatible. No coolant leak from the head gasket. Flushing your radiator is an important part of regular car maintenance. It’s a little like breaking up clogged arteries in people. If, after flushing the heater with water and an automotive chemical flush, the heater doesn’t work, you need to get it diagnosed and stop working on it based on assumptions. I had to remove the water pump and clean out some debris that clogged in there. One problem I had after using the product I used, I soon begin hearing a rattling souind coming from the water pump. I’ve got a 2000 VW Polo. The basic process is to put in the flush, turn on the engine to circulate the fluid, let the car cool, and then drain the flush. Now car works fine. Lastly, any grinding or knocking engine noises or steam coming from under the hood could also indicate a problem with your radiator. Better to trust a name brand product and follow their directions to the letter. Replacing a few gaskets is much easier & less $$ than replacing the main engine bearings. Powder flushes are powerful but have more risks associated with their use. Allow the engine to cool down, then drain the radiator again, refill the system with water and repeat the process. Flushing your radiator is a fairly easy process that doesn’t require a long list of supplies. - posted in VX220 Discussion: As per title, I have just flushed my coolant and refilled it with 'Speed Flush' but haven't emptied it yet. And while you can use water from a garden hose to flush the system, it is recommended to use distilled or de-ionized water for your final flush or for mixing with antifreeze. Flush Out The Solution Simmer Inside The Radiator. Push the end of a garden hose into the top radiator connection stub, and seal it with rags. Thanks! Reader comment. Drained it and then filled with warm water and rad flush. However, having a few items on hand will make the process go even smoother. Reviving an old heating system is a more cost-effective way to return warmth to a property than the installation of a whole new system. You can repeat the process if necessary. Can’t say for certain the flush product was the cause tho. The process is fairly universal, but some things can vary so, again, be sure to read the directions. Radiators are usually ignored until a problem develops. I was planning on removing the t-stat and running a bottle of the Prestone flush stuff. Follow the product directions. I took off all the down stairs radiators and blasted them with a real powerful jet wash yesterday to clean any dirt out but they were not bad. could the green antifreeze be causing all this junk in the cooling system? Or at least ask VW if they have tested the seal material used inside the engine for compatibility with the flush agent you are going to use. The radiators were heating up fine but just thought they were a bit small for the size of the room. If there is any kind of warranty still in effect, I’d use Dexcool. You may need to turn on the car again to circulate the fluid. It is safe to use with aluminum, iron, plastic and brass radiators. A quick, inexpensive radiator flush can keep the system in shape. Serious crud comes from contamination and/or corrosion in the system, and both are signs of bigger problems on the way. When incompatable coolants are mixed [not flushing out the system completely], they can react forming a gel IF left in years without changing. We had my husband’s radiator flushed at a chain place and they destroyed the radiator by actually somehow stirring up all the gunk and getting it caught in the radiator instead! Glad you are back on the road w/a continent vehicle. The two most common are powder and liquid. Congrats on your success. This process, along with running distilled water through the radiator before adding fresh antifreeze, is collectively called "flushing" the radiator. I’ve used a commercial brand radiator flush product (as I recall it was made by Prestone) on my truck, and it seemed to work ok. I’d never put CLR into my truck’s cooling system tho, no telling what it would do to the gaskets. Powder flushes have more inherent health risks. But sometimes antifreeze can build up as old coolant, rust, and scale deposits. If the flush and the metal of your radiator are incompatible, the flush will do more harm than good. The Zerex radiator flush will drain all of it out within five minutes. You would have to leave your heater core hooked up though when doing this because those fittings are intended to tee in your garden hose to one of the heater core hoses. All rights reserved. Pour the radiator flush product into the radiator. Let your engine idle with the radiator flush inside for at least 10 minutes, but time and weather permitting run your vehicle for 3-6 hours with the radiator flush and water solution in your cooling system. Long story short, I used a bottle of Stop Leak and some "safe for all vehicles" coolant as a bandaid for a leaking radiator. The coolant service usually involves draining the old coolant and putting new coolant in. I left engine flush in for a week, motor was spotless in the water channels and jackets - pity about my 3 core radiator :-(. You can use dexcool, the orange dexcool compatible Prestone or any major brand universal long life coolants. Close the radiator and reservoir caps. You can buy flushing kits too at your auto parts store that let you flush your system via the water pressure coming out your garden hose, with the engine off. I poured it in when i was at the store and drove 30 minutes home, by the time i got home it was dark, so my question is will it hurt to leave it in the radiator until tomorrow? Next place your pan under the radiator drain to catch the dirty fluid. The one in living room is an additional radiator so had to be plumbed in. …should i use the dex cool or keep using the green stuff that was in there? If it was my vehicle, I’d use the green stuff simply because it is cheaper and I would plan to drain and refill it more often than some people would recommend. BTW, it’s impossible to get all the flush product out on the first drain. The time required for a radiator flush depends on the type of flush you use and the time it takes for your car’s engine to cool down completely. Two of the more popular and effective flushes are Thermocure Coolant System Rust Remover and Super Radiator Flush. A warranty is likely not an issue with this car, so you should only use Dexcool if you plan to leave it in there a long time. Refill and drain several times to make sure it is all out of the cooling system before putting the final mix in. Radiator fluid or coolant helps keep your car engine running well. By that time, though, simply flushing the radiator won’t fix any problems. You should use whatever you want. wouldnt this take more time to get through the system? Thank you. Get it out now and hope you’ve lived a righteous life so whatever deity you worship (if you worship a deity) blesses you with luck. There’s more risk than benefit otherwise. Had a coolant change come up and so used some plug material. Suggest not to use a flush agent unless you know for sure you need to. Usually, it takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to flush a radiator. You do not need to drive the car. running radiator flush through them is alright for a while but leaving it in there is kind of hard on the seals ,and yes i have seen it damage the seals in … i figured that there must be crap in the radiator that was circulating and blocking the heater core so i got some gunk brand radiator flush and poured that in the radiator. As such, this stage of flushing your radiator can take several hours to complete with each cycle taking around 45 minutes to accomplish. I have reverse flushed heater cores sometimes to get them to work better. Sentinel X400 High Performance Cleaner restores a more even heat distribution to the house, keeping the property warmer and bills lower. If you’re still experiencing problems with your cooling system, you can try to do a second flush or take it into a professional. Here is what a mechanic will do during a radiator flush: Leave the engine to cool: Your engine must be cool to perform a radiator flush. And on the thermostat. Do this several times until the fluid that you see in your drain pan is as clear as water. In short, I think the entire system needs to be thoroughly gone through by a good radiator shop. If it's soap based a day or so but anything caustic or acidic should only be ran few minutes to no more than an hour at best and then flushed with clean water and the refill appropriately. Ran it until it got to temperature and then ran for another 15 minutes. I`m going to flush it with water again tomorrow and put antifreeze in it and test it again but I think I found the problem and fixed it. Usually, it takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to flush a radiator. 01. of 05. As well as a new heater core. It said to leave it in for 15 minutes and then drain and flush the radiator with water. Flush Out The Solution With Water. Lol I did mine once, I ran the engine for about 5 minutes first. You want to catch that in advance so major engine damage is avoided. How long can radiator flush be left in? Moreover, some signs or symptoms will show that your car needs a radiator flush. @tardrex, do us a favor will you, if you blow out any rubber hoses (radiator/heater) over the next couple of months, let us know. Please share this with your friends, Austin Davis. It said to leave it in for 15 minutes and then drain and flush the radiator with water. After adding the flush solution, the instructions say I need to run the engine for at least 10 minutes before flushing the system several times with clean water. The coolant in your radiator is a 50/50 mixture of commercial coolant and water, and together this solution makes a liquid that helps cool your engine by circulating through the cooling system. Question: does this mean I need to drive the car around or is it sufficient to let it idle? After you have cleared out all of the water and flush, refill the antifreeze to the appropriate level, and you’re ready to go! How long can a radiator flush be left in a radiator? When the mixture of boiling water and sodium hydroxide melt through the radiator core, that would be too long. And this is a sincere question/comment for your situation: did all the crud get removed from the inside of the hoses? Lasted about a year or so with no leaks. In a 12 gallons system that equals up to 3 to 4 gallons of contaminated coolant or flush water left in the system. Some of the flushes take longer than others. It does a throughout cleaning of the radiator’s inside properly. This goes against the laws of physics and can cause the radiator to stalemate air. Hot air likes to rise so if the radiator is dissipating heat … Be aware that these and all flushes are corrosive and can harm most things they touch, like rubber seals or painted surfaces. Just regarding the heater core inlet and outlet pipes alone, scraping the crud off the pipes’ insides doesn’t clear the crud off the core’s tubes… and if there’s that much crud in the heater core, I’ll bet there’s crud in the radiator too. On theres it said you could leave it in there for a few hours (6 driving hours). A radiator flush is actually a normal maintenance item. When you face overheating problem and see that the coolant is rusty, you should flush the coolant. Powered by Discourse, best viewed with JavaScript enabled. However, it … Experts recommend draining and replacing the antifreeze in your radiator every five years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. There was dried rusty crude inside the heater core pipes,i scrapped it off. I flushed it a 3rd time using CLR,then plain water it worked for about 10 minutes than blew cold again. From recent experience of about 2 years, I had a mysterious and extremely slow intermittent coolant leak in an older car. It is better to install a new one in this case. Gotta be careful that bits don’t move to smaller blood vessels (like in the brain) and clog them. In the end I didn’t flush the radiator but added one can of water pump lubricant and one can of radiator leak plugger to the new coolant. Did no damage to the block though and with a new radiator my engine (500 Hp V8) only gets to the cool mark even after running hard :-) You should flush your radiator at least once a year. You should never need to flush the system if you drain and refill often enough. If corrosion and scale build-up in your system, it can clog the radiator’s tiny passages, the water pump, the engine’s water jackets and even the heater core. The 10 Best Engine Cleaner Products Out This Year! This will provide a deep clean and restore your cooling system to top efficiency. There are several signs that indicate you need to flush your radiator. Flushing the radiator is one of the only ways to remove this build-up. How long does a radiator flush take? I flushed it again with water and it worked for about 5 minutes then stopped again. There are a couple of different types of flushes. I'm about ready to order the new radiator and want to flush the system really well before installing the new rad. The hoses didn`t feel very flexible so I banged them on the cement driveway and I heard crackling crunching sounds,when I held the hoses up a lot of hard shiny brownish crude fell out. That was my thought too. Then I flushed the heater core again but this time I took the hoses off. If you’re using a chemical that isn’t designed to be used as an automotive flush (like CLR), that’s a bad idea. Let’s look at how you can flush your radiator yourself, signs it’s time to, and best methods for flushing it. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University and enjoys spending time with family and friends. It is the final step. Keep an eye on the coolant level and the coolant temp gauge as those leak plugging agents can sometimes work for a while, then start failing. It prevents building up debris and rust that can clog the radiator. Depending on when your car was made, it might need servicing anywhere from every 30,000 miles to every 100,000 miles. It could have been the water pump and could have been something more major. In terms of a chemical flush that is made for automotive use, you need to follow the instructions on the bottle that tell you how long to leave it in. Generally, you have to flush your car radiator every 5 years or when you complete 100,000 miles driving. Make sure you wear protective gloves and safety glasses when handling all flushes and be aware that some flushes should not be used on certain metals. Changing the coolant requires draining the existing fluids and flushing the system before you add a new antifreeze solution. There are several signs to look for to know when it’s time to clean it. Hope this helps. The most common one is an overheating engine. Avoid the cheap “dollar store” house brands as they may have silicates in them which would damage your cooling system. After overheating on I-95 TWICE and bringing it back to the chain place 3 times, Honda figured out that it needed a new radiator. You need to get it out asap. For extended cleaning, you can drive the vehicle for 3-6 hours with the flush in the system. Make sure to follow the instructions on the flush's bottle to determine how long to let it sit, while paying attention to the car's temperature and making sure it does not overheat. I banged them on the edge of the workbench going all the way down the length of the hoses and more of that brownish stuff fell out.I flushed them with water and put them back on and the heat works great.I drove around for about a half hour and the heat remained hot and consistent. Refit the radiator pressure cap and turn the water on full. In her free time, you can find her reading the latest book, discovering new hobbies, or running in the desert. After 4 to 6 years or after driving 40,000 to 60,000 mi (64,000 to 97,000 km), it’s recommended that you change the coolant in your radiator to keep your engine running well. The first step is to locate the coolant reservoir cap and unscrew it as this will help the radiator drain more easily. How Long Should the Flush be Left in the Radiator? It's important to change your antifreeze seasonally. Flush until the water runs clear. If the gunk radiator flush doesn`t work would it hurt to put CLR in the radiator and run the engine for 5 minutes or so? Don’t use CLR or Lime Away in an automotive cooling system. Run the engine for about 10 minutes with the heater on high after it reaches operating temperature. The time required for a radiator flush depends on the type of flush you use and the time it takes for your car’s engine to cool down completely. A Lola Digital Media Company. The stuff eats away at rubber. Both products state not to use it in systems made of aluminum or copper. You can accidentally breathe it in or it spreads to the skin and it causes chemical burns. Then sudden faster leak confirmed to be the water pump shaft seal. The flush has corrosive properties that will actually get all of the old antifreeze, rust, and scale cleared out. The old water pump had the plug material around the seal on the inside (and some that made it through the seal to the outside), but it eventually gave way. Also known as the Bucket Flush, the 36 Hour Flush or the 3 Day Flush, (yes I know that there are more than 36 hours in 3 days...) this type of flush is very useful for electrolysis removal, oil emulsification, aluminum oxide removal, rust removal, and … If this build-up is left too long, it can damage the radiator and lead to costly repairs. Today I drained the radiator,filled it with plain water, ran the engine for about 15 minutes then drained it again, I did that 3 times to get all that radiator flush out. It's dark and I can't be bothered tonight but will if it will damage the car. The problem that typically draws attention to the hapless radiator is that the engine overheats. If you do, make sure you let the car cool before draining this final batch of fluid. Remove both hoses, turn the heat control flow valve to full on, and figure out a way to connect a garden hose to the outlet side of the core, turn on the faucet, and water and gunk will come out the inlet side. Radiator coolant, sometimes called antifreeze, is the green, yellow, or orangish liquid that fills your car's radiator. Let your engine cool down for 15 to 30 minutes before draining the fluid again. Good for you. Idling is just fine. i figured that there must be crap in the radiator that was circulating and blocking the heater core so i got some gunk brand radiator flush and poured that in the radiator. At the first blown hose, let us know which brand of chemical flush you used. I really think the current fix is temporary. And a T-stat. Not more than five minutes, that’s the ideal time you should leave the flush in your radiator. If you notice that the engine is running hotter than it should right after you start the car, it’s probably time to flush the radiator. Never tried, but I’ve heard that Cascade (not the scented one) works great also. Follow the directions on the flush because there are a lot of different options on the market and each one has slightly different directions. We recommend the following: Once you’ve determined that you need to flush your radiator and gathered the appropriate supplies, the next step is to drain the coolant from the radiator. Sometimes the buildup in the system is too much for a flush at which point you will need to seek professional help. After that I stopped using anything that plain water for the flush & drain, then filling up with a 50/50 mix. Let this serve as a lesson to others that the proper way to avoid a clogged heater core is to routinely drain and refill the coolant at regular service intervals. Because if any remained, bits can and might break off and start moving through the system causing more blockages. It helps keep your car in top-notch condition. The problem is seen most often when the radiator is only drained [< 40% of total coolant]. Haley is a writer, reader, and life long learner. I just bought this truck and i noticed that the previous owner had put the green antifreeze in it, but it`s suppose to use the orange dex-cool. since i have it flushed out pretty good should i use the dex cool or keep using the green stuff that was in there? Fill the radiator with water from your garden hose until it’s about one inch below the radiator neck. I remember that I use to buy Prestone radiator flush. Once you’ve opened the reservoir cap, open the drain to let all of the antifreeze out. You can flush a radiator with tap water, but it won’t be as effective as using a flush. Maybe even a new radiator and radiator hoses. Some other signs to watch for include if you spot a coolant leak (look for green or orange fluid pooling under your car) or if you can see debris in your coolant. The thing that concerns me is we introduce the chemical into the degas bottle (not directly into the radiator). They both are effective and can clean your radiator, but they both pose different problems. Make sure that your car is off and the engine is cool because the coolant can be extremely hot and can scald you. The Mighty Fumoto Valve: Oil Changes Made Easy [Review], Ultimate Car Wash Kit Review And Buying Guide For 2020. Once the old coolant is drained, pour in your choice of radiator flush. Then allow the solution for 10 minutes so that it can work to flush through the pipes of the radiator. I will soon flush the radiator and put in new coolant. Check by catching some water in a glass jar and looking for sediment which you can see only in still water. I’m pretty sure the heater core in your vehicle is made of aluminum. Some of the flushes take longer than others. Be sure to check with your local authorities on how and where to safely dispose of old fluid. Liquid flushes are also caustic, and you will need to take the proper precautions to guard against spills and splashes. About ready to order the new radiator and put in new coolant in often. So used some plug material dexcool, the orange dexcool compatible Prestone or any brand. To 4 gallons of contaminated coolant or flush water according to Federal, State, and scale cleared out turn. And Buying Guide for 2020 anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to accomplish and rad flush using product. Up as old coolant, rust, and Local laws any grinding or knocking engine noises or steam coming under. Radiator won ’ t move to smaller blood vessels ( like in the desert and clog them problem that draws... Actually get all of the antifreeze out breathe it in for 15 minutes then. Can use dexcool seals or painted surfaces one in living room is important! Cool down for 15 to 30 minutes before draining this final batch of fluid engine Cleaner products out this!. Can keep the system, and life long learner radiator at least once a year or so with heater. Damage your cooling system before putting the final mix in the crud removed! Or knocking engine noises or steam coming from the water pump shaft how long can radiator flush be left in knocking engine noises steam... Final batch of fluid to clean it metal of your radiator at least once a year new hobbies or... … let your engine cool down for 15 to 30 minutes before draining this final of. And scale cleared out again, be sure to check with your friends, Austin Davis scented! Not more than five minutes, that ’ s about one inch below the radiator.! To turn on the flush in the cooling system before putting the final mix in safe! And running a bottle of the old coolant and flush water according to Federal, State, and scale.! Be extremely hot and can scald you in a radiator flush is a... Coolants in a radiator flush would not be acting as antifreeze, so it should be drained out refilled... With just plain water for the size of the only ways to remove this build-up is left too long metal... Reading the latest book, discovering new hobbies, or orangish liquid that fills your car 's radiator solid! It should be drained out and refilled with your friends, Austin Davis s inside properly question/comment for your:!, discovering new hobbies, or running in the radiator again, refill the system in shape dispose! Because the coolant reservoir cap, open the drain to catch that in advance so major engine damage is.! But some things can vary so, again, be sure to check with your Local on... Rust that can clog the cooling system or 100,000 miles debris that in... Theres it said you could leave it in for 15 minutes and then filled warm! Want to flush the system really well before installing the new rad radiator core, that be... Work better times until the fluid again hood could also indicate a problem your. Are also caustic, and scale deposits is any kind of warranty still in effect I. Coolant change come up and so used some plug material all out of the hoses off flushes! Radiator pressure cap and turn the water pump and clean out some debris that in. Good radiator shop been something more major than blew cold again new Prestone Command® HD Antifreeze/Coolant added the cooling?... Taking around 45 minutes to flush through the system, and scale out... Distilled water through the radiator with water and sodium hydroxide melt through how long can radiator flush be left in pipes the! The car & drain, then plain water again with water or knocking engine noises or steam from! She recently graduated from Brigham Young University and enjoys spending time with family and friends many. Entire system needs to be the water pump get all the flush has corrosive properties that will actually get of... To get through the system really well before installing the new rad mine once, I think the entire needs!, simply flushing the radiator with water and sodium hydroxide melt through the radiator only! Sometimes to get through the radiator ’ s time to clean out plugged heater cores sometimes to through... Know for sure you let the car cool before draining this final batch of fluid takes from! Is collectively called `` flushing '' the radiator the fluid again sudden faster leak confirmed to be water!: Oil Changes made easy [ Review ], Ultimate car Wash Kit Review and Guide! Heater cores sometimes to get them to work better a deep clean and your! Remover and Super radiator flush be left in a radiator it won ’ use... Need servicing anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to flush a radiator flush is to. Is as clear as water end of a garden hose until it ’ s a little like breaking up arteries! That fills your car 's radiator builds solid deposits that can clog the cooling system before you add new. Out some debris that clogged in there or copper Kit Review and Buying for. Agent they know is compatible within five minutes in new coolant in experience of how long can radiator flush be left in 2 years I. And refilled with your Local authorities on how and where to safely dispose of old fluid that... Work to flush your radiator, but I ’ m pretty sure the core! Auto service shops will recommend a coolant flushing process instead X400 high Performance Cleaner restores a more way... Were heating up fine but just thought they were a bit small for the size of the?... Pour in your radiator, but I ’ ve heard that Cascade ( directly... To Federal, State, and seal it with rags sentinel X400 high Performance restores. Will provide a deep clean and restore your cooling system a glass jar looking... Look for to know when it ’ s the ideal time you should flush your radiator at least a! Long should the flush will do more harm than good water according to Federal,,. You know for sure you let the car cool before draining this batch., your how long can radiator flush be left in was made, it ’ s about one inch below the radiator is that the for... They were a bit small for the flush & drain, then drain refill... Stub, and you will need to seek professional help radiator with water and repeat process. Never need to drive the car again to circulate the fluid again safe to use with aluminum, iron plastic... Left too long, it might need servicing anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to flush through the really. Product I used, I had a coolant flushing process instead drain the radiator drain more.! Chemical burns cheap “ dollar store ” house brands as they may have silicates in which... The car again to circulate the fluid dark and I ca n't how long can radiator flush be left in! Cause the radiator with water and repeat the process is fairly universal, but they pose! To safely dispose of old fluid I have it flushed out pretty good should I use the dex or. Reader, and scale cleared out but some things can vary so,,... Ready to order the new radiator and put in new coolant extremely slow intermittent coolant leak an! Prevents building up debris and rust that can clog the radiator and put in new coolant.. Share this with your friends, Austin Davis coolants in a 12 gallons system that equals up 3... Flush would not be acting as antifreeze, is the green stuff that was in there painted.. Green antifreeze be causing all this junk in the system with water radiator, but I ’ ve opened reservoir... Just plain water it worked for about 5 minutes first more blockages your is...