Understanding Automotive Brake Parts and Services

4 Signs You Need To Bring Your Radiator In For A Flush

Your radiator helps to protect your vehicle's engine from getting too hot and overheating. Your radiator relies on the special fluid to keep the radiator cool and functioning properly. Your vehicle will provide you with warnings that the radiator needs to be flushed. With a radiator flush, all of the old radiator fluid is removed from your vehicle, then the system is flushed with new liquid, and new fluid is added to the system.

#1: Engine Overheating

One of the most significant signs is that your engine is literally overheating. When this happens, your engine will start to give off steam, and you will see the temperature gauge is in the red zone.

When this happens, you will want to turn off the AC and turn the heat on high; this will help pull the heat out of your engine. If it is really streaming, you will want to pull over and wait for the vehicle to cool off.

#2: Maple Syrup Smell

When you are driving, your vehicle shouldn't really give off any smell. If it is giving off a smell that is similar to that of maple syrup, that is a sign that your radiator fluid is burning off. Your radiator fluid contains ethylene glycol, which is similar to a sugar molecule. As the fluid burns, it can create a sweet smell. If your engine is burning radiator fluid, then it doesn't have enough to keep your engine cool, and it needs to be flushed.

#3: White Vapor

Radiator fluid is not like other fluids; it can quickly enter a gas state if it is heated up to at least room temperature, so you are very unlikely to see the orange or green-colored fluid on the ground under your car. What you may see, though, is a white vapor coming off your vehicle when it leaks. You may notice this when you are driving or when you are parking your vehicle. This isn't smoke; it is the leaking fluid evaporating as it is designed to when not inside a controlled and contained environment. 

#4: Mileage

Finally, a radiator flush should be a routine part of taking care of your vehicle. It is something that should be done at certain mileage intervals, depending on the type of car that you drive. You can check your owner's manual to discover what intervals you should change the fluid in your vehicle. It is a good idea to stick to the recommended flushing schedule. 

If your engine is overheating on the temperature dial, if you smell maple syrup, or you notice white vapor coming off your vehicle, you will want to get it in for a radiator flush, which helps keep the fluid that cools your engine fresh and working correctly. 

Contact an auto shop that offers services like BMW service to learn more.