5 Signs You Need a Coolant Flush (Explained!)

When your engine starts to heat up while driving your car or starting it, it means your car is in trouble. It becomes a sign that you are using a coolant flush.

Why do you need a coolant flush? First, of course, you need a coolant flush to help your radiator not to overheat while in use, which may cause more damage to your car. 

Using a coolant flush helps you cleanse out all your car’s old coolant and any debris collected inside your radiator that your car collected.

Moreover, coolant flush keeps your radiator working in its optimal performance and minimizes any gauge risk. However, some individuals skip or forget about why they need to put coolant flush. 

That’s why they are now experiencing significant problems with their cooling system. So, if you don’t want that to happen to you, below are the signs that will guide you to avoid coolant problems. 

Signs You Need a Coolant Flush

1. Your Engine Starts Overheating And High-Temperature Gauge

It is the most common sign that you have a low coolant when your engine overheats. If your high-temperature gauge reads hotter than the usual level, it indicates that your car needs a coolant flush.

Your car cooling system depends on the antifreeze that removes excess heat from your engine. A coolant or antifreeze is the one that keeps your car engine cool and runs smoothly. 

Therefore, if your coolant is low and there’s a build-up of heat, your radiator needs to get a coolant flush. 

You should always check your coolant level every time you use your car. Also, note that when you check your antifreeze levels, make sure that your car is under the resting state.

To do it, first find the overflow tank to the right of your radiator, then if you see inside the white plastic, it means you have enough coolant that you can use. Hence, if you cannot see the white plastic inside, you have a low coolant. 

2. Unfamiliar Engine Noise

If you are a car owner who complains about gurgling noise when you start your engine, you need to read this. 

If you notice that you hear grinding, gurgling, or knocking engine noise during the 99 percent of your time using your car, which means your coolant is flowing back into your heater.

Suppose you fail to notice it might cause you a lot of money to fix this issue. For example, if you need to spend money to get your car maintained, it becomes expensive if you let it which your engine broke down already. 

In this case, fixing isn’t enough; hence you will be forced to change it with a new one. 

However, sometimes there are instances that your coolant appears not to be the problem; it’s your thermostat. So, have a proper inspection. The most important thing is you act if there’s something wrong with you.

3. Emits Sweet Smell From Your Car Hood

If you smell that your car gives you a weird and funny smell like maple syrup or multipurpose cleaner, you don’t need to be scared. 

It means that your coolant leaks, and it’s fixable. Usually, it confirms this sign if your car overheats rapidly. 

So, if this happens, don’t wait any minute to fix it because the leak will grow more if you leave it unfixed. 

At the same time, if you leave this unwanted odor, it might affect your health, such as nausea, headache, unable to breathe normally, and dizziness. 

 Our health is our safety; if your car environment isn’t healthy, there’s no doubt that you’ll get sick, be a mindful owner. 

Due to unwanted odor, you may also collapse because of too much chemical you already inhale, which will cause accidents and, worst, may kill some innocents. 

As much as possible, do the right thing, use coolant flush, and clear old those unwanted deposits instantly. 

4. Leaking Coolant Under Your Car

Of course, you can’t avoid leaking fluids in your car because it’s normal. When you use your car, malfunctions and leaks are present. That’s why car maintenance is essential. And every leakage problem has a different story to tell.

For example, if the fluid spots leak, its color black means it’s engine oil, while a red represents the transmission oil of your car. 

When the fluid leaks, green means the coolant or antifreeze is leaking; hence it has a color range of orange, pink, or yellow. It depends on what color of coolant or antifreeze you use.

You can do a quick test to identify what kind of leak you have by following the small black hose running in your radiator. 

5. You Have A Low Coolant Level

Antifreeze keeps your engine cool while you are using it. Provides lubricants to your water pump to avoid your car engine overheating. 

Therefore, it’s vital to check your coolant level as frequently as possible. To do it, find your coolant tank, then compare the fluid level against the mark of the edge in your tank. 

But before doing this, make sure that when you check your coolant, your engine is cold. If you notice that the level of your coolant is too low, it’s a sign that you need a coolant flush.


In summary, car maintenance using a coolant flush isn’t new. However, it is because it’s under the owner’s manual that you need to have the coolant flush changed every once a year to avoid malfunctions.

To keep your car’s performance high, make sure that you check your car’s engine. 

Besides, it’s stress-free if you use a car that doesn’t break down or overheat while you’re using it, and most importantly, you will arrive safely at your destination. 

Lastly, if you have car issues like a cooling system, expect that your lungs are the most affected part of your body. Remember that when antifreeze mixes with the unwanted deposit, build-up becomes harmful. 

Clean your car, get it maintained, and take good care as possible.

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Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more