Coolant change cost, like any vehicle maintenance, depends on the labor and parts costs of the job. The only part that should be involved in a coolant change is the coolant. Most vehicles will hold 2 to 4 gallons of mixed coolant and you can always compare the cost per gallon of coolant your mechanic quotes you to the cost of coolant at your local auto parts store.
The next part of the equation is the cost of labor. The labor costs can vary based on your vehicle but they can also vary based on whether you have a simple drain and refill done or a full system flush.
What’s the Difference between a coolant change and coolant flush?
A coolant change simply drains and refills your system. Based on the design of your system draining and refilling the system may change 50-75% of the coolant.
A coolant flush includes draining the coolant, refiling the system with a chemical cleaning agent, cleaning out the system and flushing out all of the old coolant and cleaning agents before refilling your system with new clean coolant. Due to the extra time it takes to clean and flush the system, a full cooling system flush will cost a bit more, but it’s totally worth it!
As your coolant gets old some of the anti-corrosion agents can start to precipitate out of the coolant. Also, like any fluid flowing over hard surfaces, it will erode the metal and leave particulates in the system. Similarly, iron or steel in the system will corrode leaving rust to build up in your engine block, radiator and heater core. Lastly, oil can build up in the system due to it leaking in from an oil cooler or from the oil coating on new parts that are installed.
With a good understanding of the importance of having your cooling system flushed rather than just drained and refilled, it’s important to know it an be an easy DIY project! Here’s how to do it:
You can pick up BlueDevil Radiator Flush and Oil Degreaser at one of your local auto parts stores like:
Advance Auto Parts
CarQuest Auto Parts
NAPA Auto Parts
O’Reilly Auto Parts