Costopedia / Automotive / How Much Does a Radiator Flush Cost?

How Much Does a Radiator Flush Cost?

$ DIY Ratiator Flush: $10 to $50 $ $ Cheaper Ratiator Flush: $70 to $115 $ $ $ Pricey Radiator Flush: $120 to $200

For car owners, like myself, our car almost seems like a baby we have to take care of, which means being aware and taking care of the most minimum problem.

A common thing that can happen if you don’t be aware enough is overheating; this can be caused by problems in the cooling system of your car and it also means you need to flush your radiator.

But What Does A Radiator Flush Mean?

As you already know, car engines run hot, especially in warm weather, so to avoid overheating the car has a system to cool it down, which is the radiator.

The radiator is in charge of the thermoregulation of your car, keeping the engine cool while you drive.

When the radiator is not working properly then you will have the equivalent of human fever in your car, and of course, that’s a problem you need to take care of to ensure your engine safety.

Usually, this can happen because the radiator gets too junked up by rust or debris; the radiator has a cooling fluid inside called coolant or antifreeze that keeps it cool and working smoothly.

So, although this is something you should do on a regular maintenance schedule, if you get to the point where your car is overheating, it probably means that you need a radiator flush.

The cost of a radiator flush can go from $40 to $200; the price will vary depending on the age, make, and model of the vehicle, the type and amount of coolant needed, and where you bring your car for the service.

You can also flush your own radiator for less than $50; by doing this you can save money, and the supplies can cost from $10 to $50, depending on what is included and other things you may need (like the actual antifreeze/coolant).

Top Companies

Company Price Range
Jiffy Lube $75 to $150
Midas $70 to $120
Mr. Tire $70 to $115
Valvoline $85 to $125

Things to Consider

Before Buying:

  1. First, check the different types of coolant options there are, and which one meets your needs the best. A premium coolant can cost from $10 to $25 more compared to a regular one (they tend to last longer in terms of mileage; however, the brand condition is a key factor in the duration). On this page, you will find a review of some radiator fluids.
  2. Look for different car dealerships, gas stations, oil-and-lube shops, and franchises like Jiffy Lube, Midas, Firestone, Brakes Plus or Goodyear, to see the difference between them in terms of the service price and what they include on the final price.
  3. Don’t use your car a lot before performing the radiator flush as your car needs to cool down for the mechanic to be able to do it (and also stop using it if it already overheats!).

When Buying: 

  1. During a radiator flush, the original coolant is drained and replaced with a coolant/detergent mixture and fresh water; then, this mixture is drained and replaced with a standard mixture of coolant and water.
  2. This process can take 20 to 30 minutes if done by a machine, or up to 1 or 2 hours without a machine, because the vehicle’s engine and radiator have to cool down, then the mechanic needs to prove the work was done perfectly.

After Buying:

  1. Kits are also readily available for those who do not know much about flushing a radiator. The job is surprisingly not that hard and the are many pages online like this one that show you the step-by-step of how to do it yourself.
  2. Try to avoid overheating as much as possible by performing the scheduled maintenance of your car as indicated in the owner’s manual of your vehicle. This will let you know how often the cooling system should be flushed and refilled, and the recommended type of coolant to be used. However, this will also depend on the driving habits of the owner and weather conditions (extreme hot and cold weather can accelerate the process). Also, most auto experts recommend flushing a system with standard coolant at least every 30,000 miles or every two years.
  3. Mechanics also recommend replacing the thermostat if the cooling system were repaired to prevent future issues.
Giovanna Soto