General Question

trypaw's avatar

Flushing coolant in car. Help me decide please?

Asked by trypaw (332points) July 12th, 2012

So I have a 98 Dodge Stratus with 149k on it. I don’t know when the last time the coolant was replaced (didn’t own the car) Now I am not very familiar with cars, but I do know about 3 years ago (roughly) the water pump was replaced. (I think they flush your coolant then, otherwise I have no clue when its been changed) So would I be needing a coolant flush now? My coolant is green and works fine. I may have a engine/head gasket leak somewhere will doing a coolant flush harm my HG at all? Or make the “possible leak” worse? Should I just drain and fill with coolant without the flush since I am not sure if its ever had one, and I am afraid of the rust/particles in my coolant system breaking apart and causing more leaks or anything else to fail? Please offer your advice! I don’t know what to do anymore!

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5 Answers

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tedd's avatar

If your coolant still has it’s green color, and your car isn’t over heating, I don’t know that I would bother flushing it right now. Especially with the possible issues involving the head gasket. I don’t know necessarily that the flushing would worsen or effect that leak, but I don’t think it’s really worth the risk.

Now, once you have the head gasket issue resolved, I would almost certainly flush it, to ensure that there’s no oil or gas or what have you in your coolant system as a result of the gasket.

If you want to check for things in your coolant, just pop the hood and look at the coolant everytime you stop driving. It’s constantly streaming through the engine while you drive, so the coolant you’re looking at will always be different. You’re looking for any kind of sludge, discoloration, metal shavings.. basically anything other than the green coolant itself. If you find anything like this it would definitely support the head gasket leak “theory.” Though it could also be symptomatic of another issue with your coolant system.

woodcutter's avatar

Get one of those coolant testers to check the level of protection the coolant is good for. They are easy to use.

filmfann's avatar

Sounds like you can just skip it.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

If the coolant looks clean and you aren’t having cooling issues leave it all alone.

Check the coolant level at the expansion tank.

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