National average cost of a Coolant Drain and Fill for popular vehicles:
What is a coolant drain and fill service?
Engine coolant, also referred to as “antifreeze”, is a fluid that serves to control the operating temperature of your engine. It does its job by flowing through passages inside the engine where it absorbs heat caused by combustion. The hot coolant is forced out of the engine by the water pump, through a rubber hose, and into tiny tubes inside the radiator. Air blowing through the radiator steals heat from the coolant before the liquid makes its way back to the engine to pick up more heat. A coolant drain and fill service removes the old fluid from the cooling system and replaces it with fresh coolant.
Signs that your coolant needs to be replaced
Since it is part of a routine maintenance schedule to replace the engine coolant periodically, your vehicle manufacturer will have a recommendation for how often the service should be performed. That recommendation is the first sign that the coolant needs to be replaced. However, there are other signs that it is time for a coolant drain and fill service, including
Your engine is overheating
The coolant level drops due to fluid loss
You notice a sweet syrup smell inside or outside the vehicle
The vents produce no heat when the heater is turned on
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To drain and fill the cooling system, a technician will first remove the radiator cap or or overflow tank cap to allow gravity to pull coolant from the system. Next, either a valve on the bottom of the radiator is opened or the lower radiator hose is disconnected to allow the old coolant to drain out. The used fluid is properly collected and disposed of according to environmental regulations. Next, the valve is closed or the hose is connected before the technician refills the system with a mixture of fresh coolant and water. This is often done with a special device that applies vacuum to the system to remove all of the air before the coolant is installed. (Air that becomes trapped can lead to engine overheating and serious damage). Once the coolant has been refilled, and if a vacuum device was not used, the engine will be allowed to run for up to a half hour to purge the system of air. This process can be difficult on many modern engines. Finally, the system is topped off with fluid and closed up.
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
What parts are related to a Coolant Drain and Fill?