Posted under Car Fluids

Some drivers call it coolant. Others say antifreeze. However you refer to radiator fluid, it plays a vital role in maintaining engine temperature at a safe level all year around. Here are some fast facts on a topic relevant to all drivers.

WHAT A COOLANT FLUSH COSTS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT 

The typical coolant exchange or coolant flush cost (or, some like to say, “radiator flush cost”) is approximately $99.99, and usually includes a full diagnosis of your car’s cooling system.

During a flush, a chemical “flushing” agent is added to the cooling system and the engine is run for a period of time prior to the radiator fluid being drained and refilled.  In a fluid exchange, the used coolant is just removed and replaced with new coolant. Done properly, either service helps keep the cooling system operating correctly so your engine remains cool in summer and warm in winter. 

If you visit Jiffy Lube® for either of these services, you can rest assured that the trained technicians will use new fluid that meets or exceeds your vehicle manufacturer specifications. Most Jiffy Lube locations use Pennzoil® products.

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

The radiator fluid exchange or radiator flush cost includes replacing used radiator fluid with fresh. Doing this removes the contaminants that are suspended in the fluid, including:

  • Rust
  • Sludge 
  • Scale
  • Acids

When these contaminants build up, they can impact the fluid’s ability to circulate through the cooling system. When this happens, your engine may overheat or seize up.

Replacing the contaminated used fluid with new fluid enables your cooling system to operate properly and can help:

  • Prevent overheating or freezing, even in extreme temperatures
  • Reduce engine and cooling system component wear

WHEN SHOULD THESE SERVICES BE PERFORMED?

How often you need to change your radiator fluid depends on your vehicle recommendations and the type of fluid that’s used.

  • Nationally, the average interval between flushes is two years or 30,000 miles for silicate coolants
  • And, up to five years or 100,000 miles for an extended drain coolant

To find the fluid recommended for your vehicle, check your owner’s manual. If you can’t find your manual, or if more than one type of fluid is listed, you can reach out to Jiffy Lube. A trained technician will be happy to help.

SIGNS YOU MAY NEED A COOLANT EXCHANGE OR FLUSH

Even if the calendar doesn’t say it’s time, your car might be trying to tell you otherwise. Look for these telltale signs that you may need a coolant flush: 

  • Cooling system leak
  • Hose failure
  • Improper operating temperatures
  • A reduction in cabin heat
  • The fluid has become darker in color

Over time, the radiator fluid can become more acidic, which can hamper performance. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can check the acid level with strips purchased from the local auto parts store. These strips reveal the pH level. Of course, you can always bring your car in to Jiffy Lube if you think it may be time for a coolant flush. With more than 2,000 locations nationwide, there’s sure to be a location near you. 

WHEN THE USED FLUID IS REPLACED, BE SURE IT’S REPLACED WITH THE CORRECT TYPE

It used to be that all radiator fluid was green in color and had a similar formulation. Those days are long gone. Today you’ll find radiator fluid in a variety of colors, including blue, yellow, pink, orange, and green.

Decide which fluid to use based on the label, not on the color! Radiator fluid is clear, so the color you see is dye. Manufacturers add this coloring to identify the type of metal alloys contained in engine components. For example, the metal alloys used by European and Asian manufacturers differ from those used in the USA.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Using the wrong fluid can do damage, so stick to the one recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual. Be wary of fluids claiming to be “universal,” because they may not be right for your specific vehicle. Make sure the radiator fluid exchange or coolant flush cost includes the right fluid for your car.

 

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU COME TO JIFFY LUBE FOR EITHER OF THESE SERVICES?

You can count on the focused attention of trained technicians, who will:

  • Ask about your driving style
  • Check the radiator fluid level and protection level
  • Present replacement fluid options that meet or exceed the manufacturer recommendations
  • Offer to top off your radiator fluid, using the appropriate fluid
Jiffy Lube technician filling car engine coolant after completing a coolant flush

REMEMBER, YOU’RE IN GOOD HANDS WITH JIFFY LUBE

Jiffy Lube is dedicated to helping you keep your truck, SUV, minivan or car running right.

READ MORE ABOUT IT

Now you know about radiator fluid, but what about brake fluid? Here’s information about how to check brake fluid.


Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.