Dealership radiator flush job

Messages
37
Location
TX
First off, I don't know anything about actual radiator flushes. I just had the local Chevy dealership flush the radiator on my 2008 GMC Sierra 1500. How exactly do they go about flushing the radiator? It doesn't appear that they even touched the lower radiator hose, and I know these radiators didn't come with a drain. The upper radiator hose and the hose from the reservoir to the radiator appears to have been touched and used. I normally do all of my own maintenance, but I didn't want to deal with the mess and hassle on this job. Just making sure I didn't get "hosed" by the dealership.
 
Messages
583
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted By: Idlewild294
First off, I don't know anything about actual radiator flushes. I just had the local Chevy dealership flush the radiator on my 2008 GMC Sierra 1500. How exactly do they go about flushing the radiator? It doesn't appear that they even touched the lower radiator hose, and I know these radiators didn't come with a drain. The upper radiator hose and the hose from the reservoir to the radiator appears to have been touched and used. I normally do all of my own maintenance, but I didn't want to deal with the mess and hassle on this job. Just making sure I didn't get "hosed" by the dealership.
They put a chemical in your radiator. they let it idle for about 30 minutes. Pull the drain plug and refill. Dont ask me how I know this. wink
 
Messages
501
Location
not Sweden
Here's the core problem (at least for me)... How to responsibly get rid of the used coolant. Used motor oil is easy but it is getting harder and harder to find places to bring used coolant. In that regard, you are almost forced to use dealerships and independents for coolant flushes.
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
I kind of doubt they put anything in it and let it idle like mentioned above. It's possible, but that's not what many shops do. Part of this is the confusion with the term "flush." Most people will say "flush," but in most cases what the shop actually does is an exchange. A machine collects the old coolant and replaces it with new coolant. No cleaners or anything are pumped into the cooling system in many cases. A lot of the time you only need to disconnect one hose. The machine has an adapter that connects to the hose and another adapter that connects to the radiator. That allows the machine to collect the old coolant and refill the system with new coolant by only disconnecting one hose.
 
Messages
1,431
Location
Missouri
That machine looks like it works the same way as the BG machines I have used. Minus the magical BG chemicals of course. The local tech school has a coolant recycler. It's a little more complicated to use but I like the idea better than an exchange myself.
 

Idlewild294

Thread starter
Messages
37
Location
TX
Ah, I see, thanks for the replies. It looks like they used the smaller line from the reservoir to the radiator, none of the other lines were disconnected.
 
Messages
838
Location
One Step Beyond
I was once ignorant and not doing my own vehicle maintenance. Things have since changed. Years ago, I went to a indy mechanic for coolant change. My second mistake was not checking the work before leaving. Because 6 Months later, I opened the radiator cap and the coolant was a very dirty color. I put some in a container and went back to confront mechanic. He said "well, it's tough to get it all out". It was definitely dirtier "after" their exchange/flush. Now, I just drain/refill the radiator yearly. I also use a refractometer to check %
 
Messages
5,133
Location
chicago, Illinois
Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
If you want it done correctly ... Always do the job yourself.
Basically that says it all. The auto repair industry is probably one of the most dishonest and incompetent in the entire country, and it is getting worse. Trying to find a competent mechanic that is honest, AT ANY PRICE is just about impossible today.
 
Messages
6,773
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ain't that the truth. I routinely go through the rope-a-dope with some of my regular clients where they start whining about my "high" prices, go with somebody cheaper who screws their trucks, boats, and cars up, and then they're paying my "high" prices to fix the damage caused by the other guy. I don't even have friends who are mechanics, because it seems like every time I meet another mechanic, there's nothing but stupidity coming out of his or her mouth. The great thing about people though, is that even after improper work has nearly caused the death of their employees, spouses, self, or children, they still balk at the cost of getting their vehicles fixed appropriately and go back to shopping for a "deal".
 
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
[quote=LT4 Vette] Trying to find a competent mechanic that is honest, AT ANY PRICE is just about impossible today.
This makes me really wonder.. WHO do I have do my timing belt and HOW do I find them? The stealership clowns are forced to doing too quickly here. And the small shops are still banging away on crown Vic's and Chevy pickups so they don't even have a subscription to AllData for the right instrictions. Then, if I try to 'interview' a prospective shop they get their undies in a bundle when I start asking about their procedures. Almost as if they say to themselves "this guy isn't worth the trouble of doing it right, he even wants to KNOW about how we'd do the work"
 
Messages
5,133
Location
chicago, Illinois
Originally Posted By: SumpChump
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
[quote=LT4 Vette] Trying to find a competent mechanic that is honest, AT ANY PRICE is just about impossible today.
This makes me really wonder.. WHO do I have do my timing belt and HOW do I find them? The stealership clowns are forced to doing too quickly here. And the small shops are still banging away on crown Vic's and Chevy pickups so they don't even have a subscription to AllData for the right instrictions. Then, if I try to 'interview' a prospective shop they get their undies in a bundle when I start asking about their procedures. Almost as if they say to themselves "this guy isn't worth the trouble of doing it right, he even wants to KNOW about how we'd do the work"
Right you are SumpChump! Your experiences are the same as mine, and I would imagine many other consumers. I had an issue with a shop I have used for a long time, not that I really thought they did great work, but because they didn't seem to be grossly incompetent. Well things change, over the past three or four years I noticed that they were making more mistakes, also I was lied to when I specifically asked this shop to install a specific OEM Denso radiator on my Honda. When I asked as to why they didn't honor my request, which I would have gladly paid the extra for, the service writer (wife of the shop owning mechanic) didn't say anything thing to excuse the issue. They also left an oil filter a bit loose on my VW (they shouldn't have even been touching it as I didn't have an OC done) which caused a slow weeping leak luckily I caught it and tightened it up this just after they replaced a worn motor mount...but they didn't replace the one I asked them to, probably because it is more difficult to get to the trans mount. The final straw with the so called professional shop I had gone to for over 12 years with two vehicles( and had my Dad going there as well) was when I had left a brief note about changing the ATF and oil change on this car. When I came back to get it I wanted to make sure things were good with the fluids so I opened the hood and was checking levels and work. The shop owner/mechanic came out and literally started barking and yelling at me as to why I was checking the fluids and was their anything wrong...When I tried to explain that I had some issues with the car when it was worked on at a place THEY referred me to he didn't reply, but then added that he didn't like my note and that telling him how to do his job doesn't work for him. I knew at that point I was done with this excuse for a professional shop. The amusing but unsettling thing was that all the instructions I left the shop for previous jobs had never been seen by the mechanic., the wife, indicated she had been keeping them from him, and must have thrown them out. My Mom called back the place to speak with the women and she complained that I shouldn't have left new parts for him to use (free and OEM) and that "her husband is going to say what he feels like" and he hates the internet, and by checking the fluids "I must not trust him"... I should have dumped this place years ago but it really seems like there are NO better places to go. The auto repair industry is a disgrace and deserves the suspicion and contempt of customers. $tealerships are just as big a [censored]. While there are some decent techs out there the number of hacks is far, far, greater, and then you have to balance that with the crookedness that seems to pervade the way most of them conduct business in general.
 
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Messages
2,408
Location
CA
Originally Posted By: SumpChump
[quote=antiqueshell][quote=LT4 Vette] Trying to find a competent mechanic that is honest, AT ANY PRICE is just about impossible today.
Here's what you can do if you have no leads. 1) Use online friends. Find the active online forum for your car or at least your make. It needs to be active enough that there is enough people to have other members in your area. See who they recommend to do competent work meeting your requirements. 2) You don't want to make online friends You can go to sites like repairpal.com or cartalk.com's mechanix files to see who they recommend (again focusing on your make). 3) Even less "certified" Go to Yelp.com and pick from the top reviewed mechanics that meet your requirements.
 
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Messages
640
Location
Phladelphia
Hey Antique, My brother-in-law told me about Albany Park Auto Clinic. He is a heavy DIY guy and takes the jobs that he can't handle to them. Always said the service was good and jobs were done properly. I used them once when I replaced my ABS module on my previous vehicle. This involved cracking open the brake lines, and since I was along I couldn't do a proper brake flush. I drove the vehicle over the 2 blocks from the house I was using and told them then situation. While the mechanic was a little baffled that I could replace an ABS module but not flush the brakes, he was fine with it and they did the work. Reasonable rate of $75. Also, my sister in law just took her car there (alone), and they treated her with respect and showed her everything that needed to be done (needs exhaust replacement). Very fair and professional, just a heads up that the "waiting area" is a total after thought. Here's their yelp page: http://www.yelp.com/biz/albany-park-auto-clinic-chicago Also, I have no affiliation with them, just like them a lot.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,143
Location
New Jersey
This is the proper way to do it, inline with the Daimler FSM. http://dieselgiant.com/mercedes_citrus_flush.htm Most of the products they sell are citric acid or some other acid in a liquid to flush through. Knock on wood but all my vehicles are spotless because I do a few drains and refills with tap water and replace the coolant every so often. The low/no silicate coolants available these days are really great.
 
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