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CostHelper > Cars  > Radiator Flush

Radiator Flush Cost

How Much Does a Radiator Flush Cost?

average costDo-It-Yourself: $10-$50high costProfessionally Done: $40-$200
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A key part of a car's cooling system, a radiator is a sophisticated reservoir device that holds a mixture of water and antifreeze fluid (also called coolant); the radiator keeps the engine from overheating and in many cases it also cools the automatic transmission fluid. Rust and other deposits can form inside the radiator, which needs to be clean to be cool. Flushing the radiator is intended to remove built-up debris and to replace contaminated fluid.

Typical costs:

  • Expect to pay $40-$200 to have a radiator flushed, depending on the age, make and model of the vehicle; the recommended type and amount of coolant needed; and whether the work is done by a standard tire, muffler, oil-and-lube or auto repair shop, or by a car dealership, which tend to be slightly more expensive. CostHelper readers report paying $54-$144 for a radiator flush at a standard shop, at an average cost of $99; and $70-$175 at a dealership, for an average cost of $109.
  • Do-it-yourself supplies can cost $10-$50, depending on what is included. For example, a radiator flush kit[1] with clamps and garden hose adapters can cost $1-$15; a bottle of radiator cleaner[2] can cost $3-$25 for a 16-34-ounce bottle; and it can cost $10-$30 a gallon for standard antifreeze/coolant (typically green or red) or $15-$40 a gallon for super-long-life antifreeze with a rust/corrosion inhibitor (this coolant is typically orange). CostHelper readers report do-it-yourself radiator flush costs of $13-$34, with an average of $21.
Related articles: Radiator, Tune-up, Wheel Alignment, Oil Change, Flushing a Transmission, Replacing a Water Pump

What should be included:
  • During a radiator flush, the original coolant is drained and replaced with a special coolant/detergent mixture and fresh water; this is then drained and replaced with a standard mixture of coolant and water. It can take 20-30 minutes to flush a radiator with a machine, or up to an hour or two without a machine, because the vehicle's engine and radiator have to cool, then run and cooled again. An Expert Village video illustrates flushing engine coolant[3] with a home garden hose and provides how-to instructions[4] .
  • The maintenance schedule in the vehicle owner's manual will indicate how often the cooling system should be flushed and refilled, and the recommended type of coolant to be used. However, the need for a radiator flush also depends on driving habits and conditions; in areas where winters are exceptionally cold or summers extremely hot, many vehicle owners schedule a radiator flush at the start of each season. As a general rule most auto experts recommend flushing a system that uses standard antifreeze (green or red) at least every 30,000 miles or two years, although some recommend doing this annually. Super-long-life antifreeze typically lasts about 100,000 miles or five years.
  • Many company websites offer discount coupons for various services. For example, Brakes Plus[5] , Firestone[6] , Goodyear[7] and Midas[8] periodically offer coupons worth $5-$25 off basic services, including a radiator flush.
Shopping for a radiator flush:
  • Radiator flushes can be performed by car dealerships; gas stations; oil-and-lube shops like Jiffy Lube[9] ; tire shops like Firestone[10] or Goodyear[11] ; muffler shops like Midas[12] ; repair shops or auto parts stores like Meineke[13] or Pep Boys[14] ; or independent repair shops.
  • The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence[15] and the International Automotive Technicians Network[16] provide searchable directories of repair shops.
  • Consumer Reports lists tips for finding a good mechanic[17] . Check to see if there are any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[18] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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96 Geo Metro
Amount: $16.00
Posted by: a user in Florida, FL.Posted: April 2nd, 2017 04:04PM
Auto Shop: Self Done
Prestone concentrate coolant:$12
Prestone Rad flush + cleaner:$2
2 gal distilled water:$2
Time spent:2 hours
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Radiator Flush and thermostat replacement
Amount: $207.00
Posted by: Deb Frances in Little River, SC.Posted: November 22nd, 2016 09:11AM
Car Make: MercuryCar Model: Grand Marquis
Auto Shop: NTB
Engine light came on. A check of the system showed it to be a thermostat. $248 repair estimate with coupons I paid $207. Time of repair was less than two hours and they topped off all fluids at no additional charge (brake fluid was down.)
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Radiator flush
Amount: $90.00
Posted by: Miguel Ramirez in San diego, CA.Posted: November 11th, 2016 08:11AM
Auto Shop: Advantec
2014 mazda cx5
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Radiator and heater core flush
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Montalvo in Bronx, NY.Posted: August 17th, 2016 01:08PM
Auto Shop: Myself
Did the work myself. It's a truck so a small car will be half the price.
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Coolant Flush
Amount: $165.00
Posted by: IsalndMotorsport in Kailua Kona, HI.Posted: April 11th, 2015 03:04AM
Car Make: 1969 ChevyCar Model: Z28
Auto Shop: IslandMotorsport
Fools! Coolant isn't free! Time? OK..There are different coolants for different engines. You think good coolant is cheap. Which one is right for your engine? Auto shops have to pay to get rid of the fluid. Do you get rid of fluid responsibly? Shops have rent as well. You live with Mommy! Hoses are not free. Neither are the hose clamps you should replaced whenever a hose goes out. Truthfully at 75-100K miles the entire coolant system including houses, pulleys, water pump, thermostat, temperature sender, relays, gaskets, expansion tanks, caps...should be replaced. There is a reason you don't have a warranty on that shit car. Do these things. Maybe you can drive for another 100,000 miles. You still should change coolant three times in between. Don't forget the transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, differential, bearings, air conditioning, tires,,,,,. All wear out too..
Anyhwho.. Drink your coolant responsibly and see if you can outlast your car!
Good Luck.
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Radiator Inlet Hose
Amount: $203.57
Posted by: Peeks in Anaheim, CA.Posted: January 7th, 2015 02:01AM
Car Make: 2004 DodgeCar Model: Dakota
Auto Shop: McPeeks Dodge
I had my upper radiator hose replaced and some antifreeze coolant add and the radiator system bleed. I thank I will do it myself next time.
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Radiator Leak? Check, long overdue Flush/Replacement
Amount: $90.00
Posted by: JD Brix in North Arlington, NJ.Posted: September 30th, 2013 01:09PM
Car Make: 2004 ToyotaCar Model: Camry LE
Auto Shop: Sadowski Auto
New operation - relocated from Lyndhurst, NJ this summer. Owner/Ops Ed and Tom were absolutely wonderful! Diagnosed problem, handled the 'fix' professionally and thoroughly in timely manner. I have been looking for a new auto center nearby to where I live - think I have found it!
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Radiator Fluid Replacement DIY 1991 Volvo 940 Turbo
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: georgefrom los osos in San Luis Obispo, CA.Posted: December 16th, 2012 06:12PM
Car Make: VovloCar Model: 940 Turbo
Auto Shop: Did it myself
Ther eis a drain valve on the block just above the oil filter. Get to it by raising car and climbing under passenger door. Once I loosened that it drained all night. Like a car with prostate. Its older and I hear the valve can plug. 1.5 gallons. Then loosen lower hose at radiator and watch out, a half gallon gushes out. Put all back and add 2.1 gallons prestone. Not easy. but fun with a teeneager and it teaches him something.
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Coolant Flush and Replacement
Amount: $175.00
Posted by: Walt in Allentown, PA.Posted: August 30th, 2012 03:08PM
Car Make: MiniCar Model: Cooper
Auto Shop: BMW/MINI Dealer
Pretty expensive, but difficult due to tight engine compartment. Wanted someone with prior experience to ensure it was done correctly.
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Radiator Fluid Replacement
Amount: $89.99
Posted by: smann in Hebron, KY.Posted: August 18th, 2012 03:08PM
Car Make: ToyotaCar Model: Rav4
Auto Shop: Valvoline
Went in for my basic oil change and was told I should get m radiator fluid replaced. Price was 89.99 and all I really went there for was the standard oil change. But agreed to the service as I had 148,112 miles and couldn't recall ever having it done before on the 13 year old car. I still wonder if I really needed it or if I got suckered into paying an extra $89.99 in a sales pitch (they seem to do that a lot at these places - always pushing more than the basic oil change every time I go, which is why I dread going in the first place.)Lesson: definitely need to check my owners manual before I agree to these things!
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Coolant flush, to fix water gushing noises in dashboard area.
Amount: $80.00
Posted by: J Larson in Vancouver, WA.Posted: June 15th, 2012 11:06AM
Car Make: KiaCar Model: Spectra
Auto Shop: Dick Hannah Kia
June 2012: I suspected a clog in a drain line and told them so, I don't even think they checked it. They said usually that issue is fixed with a coolant flush, getting any air pockets out of the lines. The car does sound much better now so hopefully that was the fix -- if so I didn't mind spending the $80 on it. Plus free shuttle and car wash!
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Radiator flush
Amount: $60.00
Posted by: arc2417 in queens, NY.Posted: April 14th, 2012 04:04PM
Car Make: LincolnCar Model: Navigator
Auto Shop: NYc quick lube
before radiator was no problem just wanted to flush it out , done so on a previous vehicle as expected fulll of little bits as per staff some rust , anmy way they flushed so far so good ( fingers crossed) had no problem on previous vehicle , and so far none on current
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Radiator Flush and a few other things...
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: js3 in Artesia, CA.Posted: November 28th, 2011 08:11PM
Car Make: FordCar Model: Crown Victoria
Auto Shop: DIY
I flush the radiator in the Crown Victoria every few years. The temperature in Southern California is mild all year round, but we do drive to Las Vegas six times a year and have passed through Baker when it was 115 degrees out.

Incidentally, every summer there are fresh spots of charred asphalt on the highway where a car has overheated and burned down to the ground, so it's an incentive to keep the cooling system in good shape.

Car is 18 years old and the thermostat, radiator cap, top and bottom radiator hoses are all original, so I pulled them and put in new ones. Also the water temperature sending unit was malfunctioning for a while, so I replaced that. The additional cost for the extra parts was another $77. I bought a lot of the parts through RockAuto on manufacturer closouts (Brand names, very cheap)

I use a yellow "Glazers" pencil and write the date/mileage of the repairs on the underside of the hood to keep track.
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radiator flush for ford windstar
Amount: $120.00
Posted by: veera in hillsboro, OR.Posted: August 13th, 2011 01:08PM
Car Make: ford windstarCar Model:
Auto Shop: hillsboro hyundai
After 15% coupon. Better than what Ford dealer quote
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Radiator Flush - Middletown, CT
Amount: $140.00
Posted by: KEEP AWAY FROM MIDDLETOWN, CT MIDAS in Middletown, CT.Posted: May 31st, 2011 06:05PM
Car Make: ChevroletCar Model: 1999 Venture
Auto Shop: Midas
Cost $300.00 for Tranny Flush, Radiator Flush and Oil Change, was suppose to check a few things which never did, water temp keeps going to half way, looked like watered the fluid to much and find out may need a new water pump, the drain plug was broken which had teh part and asked when they drained the system could put the new one on which failed to do. they do sloppy and over priced work and are a rip off. Charged $149.00 just for the coolant flush
Manager can be very rude and has issues
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Radiator flush PEPEBOYS
Amount: $53.99
Posted by: OVI in BRIDGEPORT, CT.Posted: March 14th, 2011 01:03PM
Auto Shop: PEPBOYS
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Amount: $160.00
Posted by: Bruce smith in sunset, SC.Posted: January 1st, 2011 11:01AM
Car Make: chevyCar Model: k2500
Auto Shop: driveway
ok yall i flushed my system put all new hoses new radatior new thermerstatus and housing and done it all for 160 bucks i order my stuff from and u look on line u can git 5% off discounts that help alot i am 17 years old and i can change it most people can just add another 30 bucks for the tools if u dont have them
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Radiator Flush Campbell's auto & air
Amount: $119.00
Posted by: Firestone-hires-crooks in tallahassee, FL.Posted: December 10th, 2010 08:12PM
Car Make: KiaCar Model: Optima
Auto Shop: Campbell's auto & air
2004 Kia Optima 4cyl - radiator flush $119, among other things that included: changed out leaking power steering hose ($92 + $70 labor), serpentine belt ($28+ $50labor). Engine oil change w/MOA ($48). Engine runs better - though still rough in the cold. Mechanic says mileage will improve. Good service... will follow up after couple of months.
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John Elway Toyota Ontario Expensive and Bad Service
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: John Stone in Ontario, CA.Posted: December 9th, 2010 03:12PM
Car Make: ToyotaCar Model: Rav4
Auto Shop: John Elway Toyota
My wife brought in the car. They told her that the tires were bad. We bought 1 year ago. They mentioned that the battery was weak. We bought that 2 years ago. They mentioned that the other stuff will cost more. We brought in car before for Rotor and brake replacement. They screwed up and the brakes engraved into rotors. I don't think they replaced the rotors, just the brakes next time we brought in. Car still has issue. Never go back to John Elway Toyota. They will try to milk you for your money and they give bad service.
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Do not go to Jiffy's lube
Amount: $291.00
Posted by: Rick291 in Herndon, VA.Posted: October 22nd, 2010 07:10PM
Car Make: ToyotaCar Model: Camry
Auto Shop: Jiffy's lube
Went to Jiffy's Rip Off Joint for oil change. They coaxed me into changing the Transmission Oil, coolant and oil for $291. I foolishly accepted. They changed that all in 20 minutes ! Now reading all this, I am realizing that I got ripped off. I will never again do business with Jiffy's Lube again and do not recommend anyone
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Crazy Price
Amount: $99.99
Posted by: Don't go to Jiffy Lube!! in Warrensburg, MO.Posted: August 9th, 2010 04:08PM
Car Make: PontiacCar Model: Grand Am
Auto Shop: Jiffy Lube
They saw my child coming! What a rip off. Won't ever do business with Jiffy Lube again.
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Radiator Flush (toyota Redwood City/Sunnyvale, CA) $70 till 6/30/2010
Amount: $70.00
Posted by: Kylie in Sunnyvale, CA.Posted: June 1st, 2010 01:06PM
Car Make: lexusCar Model: 2003
Auto Shop: Toyota Sunnyvale
Toyota 101 in Redwood City have radiator flush/fill special via website coupon till 6/30/2010 for $70. Toyota Sunnyvale will also match this pricing. Great price and service from competent deal service.
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Do it myself with Peak Flush Kit
Amount: $15.00
Posted by: Pete Ng in Houston, TX.Posted: May 21st, 2010 06:05PM
Car Make: HondaCar Model: Odyssey 2003
Auto Shop: Home Sweet Home
AAP got a special of 2 gallons of full concentrated Peak, 1 quart of Peak Super Clean and Flush and a Flush kit for $20. Jumped on it with a coupon $10 off $25. Took me over 1hr to get it done per the procedure.

Probably the cheapest yet the best one Radiator Flush I have ever done.
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Radiator Flush
Amount: $144.00
Posted by: Hislady07jax in jacksonville, FL.Posted: May 21st, 2010 01:05PM
Car Make: Jaguar (1999)Car Model: XJ8L
Auto Shop: Tires Plus
Need my "upper coolant crossover pipe" replaced ($317) and they recommend a radiator flush - which "will bring the total to $462." So $144 for the flush?? Geez. Think i'll just have the repair done and take it elsewhere for the flush.
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