Category Archives: Cooling System

Why do I need a coolant flush?

This is what clean coolant looks like. Coolant is a 50-50 mixture of antifreeze and water.

Question: My owner’s manual shows that I’m due for a coolant flush at 90,000 miles. What does coolant do? And do I really need a coolant flush?  Answer: A coolant flush or cooling system flush is modern-day terminology for ridding your radiator of rust, dirt, sludge and old antifreeze or “radiator fluid.” The fluid is more accurately known as coolant, which is a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water. And yes, flushing the cooling system is an important part of your car’s preventive maintenance schedule. Why? Because coolant keeps your engine from overheating—which keeps you from sitting by the side … Continue reading

Why does the price of a coolant flush vary among repair shops?

Engine coolant radiator flush

Question: My car repair shop recently recommended a coolant flush. Their estimate seemed high, so I called a couple of other shops to compare prices. Every shop had a different price–by a wide margin. Why would the cost vary so much for a basic fluid flush?  Answer: Although a cooling system flush – a.k.a. radiator flush – is a straightforward car maintenance service, the cost often varies for two main reasons: How thorough is the flush? If the auto repair shop is only draining the dirty coolant* from the radiator, it takes less time than a flush. But it also … Continue reading

September 2014 – 4 reasons we’re better than big box stores

Did you miss our September eNewsletter? If so, look no further. Here’s the rundown from the issue: Here are 4 reasons you should pick Auto Lab for tires over the big box brands. Why do I need a cooling system flush? Have you seen Kevin’s 1970 Olds 442? Ready to read more? Here’s the September eNewsletter in full.

True or false? Find out if these auto ‘facts’ are myths or reality

There’s all kinds of automotive information out there that many of us accept as gospel. But it turns out that much of what we think we know isn’t true. Here are some of the most frequently heard automotive myths and their corresponding truths. 1. Myth: It’s more dangerous to drive while talking on a cell phone than driving drunk. Fact: Actually, this one is true, according to MythBusters on the Discovery Channel. Two of the MythBusters drove through a driving test course that included a brake test, a parallel parking test, a timing trial and an accident-avoidance challenge. After they … Continue reading

Save money at the pump with these 7 tips

Gas prices in the Chicago area were at a record high at the beginning of March—$3.92 for a gallon of regular unleaded. Even though they dipped briefly, they are back on the rise. In fact, AAA predicts that Chicago-area drivers could once again be paying the highest prices in the country by late spring. To help you combat those rising prices, we’ve compiled some tips that you can use to reduce gas mileage—and how often you have fill up your tank. 1. Slow down: While initially you might think this is a painful way to cut gas costs, leaving a … Continue reading