A radiator flush and fill involves emptying the cooling system of a vehicle, flushing out any accumulated rust and debris with water or a cleaning solution, and then refilling the system with coolant. This regular maintenance keeps the cooling system working at maximum efficiency and prevents possible overheating.
While most antifreeze solutions contain compounds designed to prevent rust and corrosion, they can break down over time and lose their effectiveness. Red and green antifreeze solutions are good for around two years, while newer orange antifreeze solutions may last up to four years before requiring a flush. Owners should not attempt to replace one type of antifreeze with another when refilling at home, however, as certain cars are designed to use specific antifreeze types. Orange mixtures are only suitable for newer cars, and while older cars can be adapted to use the more efficient solution, they cannot make use of its full benefits as much as newer vehicles can.
A flush and fill can be performed by the owner with proper preparation. Knowing the capacity of the cooling system is important, both for ensuring the system is fully drained and ensuring it is refilled to the proper capacity afterward. Many automotive supply stores sell flush-and-fill kits with tools and attachments to help streamline the process.