How Do I Know When My Car Needs Brake Repair?

Vehicles require routine maintenance in order for them to run efficiently, perform properly, and remain safe for drivers and passengers alike. Brakes are no different. They also require regular service to be sure they are in good-working condition. When brakes are not cared for, overtime, they will wear out. Waiting too long to service car brakes will eventually cause complications and damages to a vehicle, some of which could be irreversible. This is not only frustrating, but extremely costly, especially if your car needs a full-on brake replacement.

Continue reading to learn what signs to look for that may indicate you need brake repair, as well as, the routine services all car brakes need on a regular basis.

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846

Brake Service Vs. Brake Repair

Car brakes require routine services in order to keep them functional and safe. These routine services involve all areas of a braking system; including brake pads, brake fluid, rotors, calipers, and more. It is important to have a licensed and reputable auto mechanic provide professional inspections and services for your vehicle’s brakes. Brakes are delicate and highly important components on a vehicle, and no shortcuts should ever be used when dealing with brake repair.

Depending on the year, make, model, and mileage on a vehicle, brake service will be different. It is typically recommended to have factory scheduled maintenance completed on a vehicle every 5,000 miles, or every 6 months. This should be sooner for those who drive a lot, and for older cars. See our blog, “The Basics of Automotive Factory Scheduled Maintenance” to learn more about car maintenance plans.

Signs That Your Car Brakes Need Some Attention

When you hear strange noises coming from underneath your car or tires, you may be hearing a problem with your brakes. Noise is the most common sign of need brake repair. Squealing, screeching, scraping, high-pitched sounds, and other noises are sure indications that something is wrong with the brakes. These sounds usually make their debut when pressure is applied to the brake pedal. Drivers often notice these sounds when coming to a stop, or slowing down.

Another common indication of needed brake repair is when a car starts to need more time to slow down or come to a complete stop. If you notice that you have to hold the brake longer, and press it a little earlier than usual, it may be because your brake pads are worn out. Also, is the brakes are starting to get harder to press down, this is another sign that something is not right. Always refer to a licensed Indianapolis Automotive Repair technician for accurate diagnostic services and information.

Indianapolis Brake Repair Services

Call Northeast Auto at 317-475-1846 for Indianapolis car brake repair and service at an affordable price. We are ASE certified car mechanics that have decades of experience servicing and repairing domestic and import vehicles. Call 317-475-1846 and request a free estimate, today.

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Do I Have to Repair a Check Engine Light?

When that check engine light comes on, the panic starts to set in. “How much is this going to cost me?” is the only thought that runs through your head until you take your vehicle to a mechanic for an inspection. But while you wait for the diagnosis, there is no need to worry prematurely; not all check engine light warnings are serious. In fact, some are so minor, car owners ask themselves whether or not it’s even worth fixing. On the other hand, some are so easy to fix, you can manage it on your own, and at no cost.

If your check engine light is on, continue reading to learn why it might have illuminated and what your options are for repair.

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Indianapolis Check Engine Light Repair 317-475-1846

Check Engine Light Warnings

A check engine light is also referred to as a malfunctioning indicator lamp (MIL). They are designed to detect mechanical and electrical issues within a vehicle, and then illuminate upon detection. Once your check engine light comes on, your first step is to get a diagnostic reading. You can purchase a check engine light code reader online or at your local auto supply store, however, it is better to have it done by a trained mechanic who can help you understand the issue and your options for repair.

Minor Automotive Issues

Some of the most common causes for a check engine light to illuminate are somewhat minor problems. For example, a top cause is a loose or open gas cap. Simply forgetting to close your gas cap can cause your check engine light to illuminate, so be sure to always check this first before heading to your local auto shop. Another common cause for a check engine light to come on is low tire pressure. Not all vehicle’s are designed with a malfunctioning indicator lamp that will detect this issue, but most newer models do. Simply tend to your tire as needed, and the check engine light will turn off.

Moderate to Major Automotive Issues

The check engine light is also designed to detect more serious issues with your vehicle. If the minor causes are not applicable to your situation, it could be a moderate to major automotive issue. Some of the most common moderate to major issues detected by a malfunctioning indicator lamp include:

Your vehicle needs a new oxygen (o2) sensor.

Your vehicle needs a new mass airflow sensor (MAF).

Your vehicle needs new spark plugs or plug wires.

The catalytic converter is damaged or defective.

To Repair or Not to Repair

It is important to talk to your trusted Indianapolis mechanic for advice on car care and automotive repair. If your check engine light came on due to a minor issue, you won’t need auto repair service. However, if it came on due to something more serious, the issue must be repaired or corrected in order to safety and efficiency of your vehicle. Even if you feel that your car is operating just fine, you should still have it inspected, as some problems can start small and worsen, overtime.

Need an Auto Mechanic?

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional Indianapolis check engine light services you can trust. Our ASE certified car mechanics provide a wide range of automotive services for all make and model vehicles, foreign and domestic. Schedule a free inspection and estimate, anytime. Don’t forget to ask us about our auto repair coupons and discounts!

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4 Automotive Hacks That Will Improve Driving Safety

The weather is going to turn on us very quickly, as the last day of summer is quickly approaching. If you are a habitual driver, it is wise to take all the necessary precautions to ensure you are managing the road, safely. This priority is especially important for those who drive others around, such as children, elderly, or car pools.

Continue reading to learn 4 impressive car hacks that will instantly improve your level of safety on the road!

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Indianapolis Auto Maintenance 317-475-1846

Spray-On Rain Repellent

Although you have your windshield wipers and wiper fluid to rely on, it never hurts to have a backup plan when it comes to rain. One such hack is to use a spray-on rain resistant product. These products are perfectly safe for your car’s windshield, plus they are fairly priced and available at any local convenient store or automotive store. You can also order these products online. We Recommend Rain-X® 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner w/Rain Repellent, available at most department stores.

Tire Tread Penny Test

Almost all states have a mandatory minimum for tire tread depth. In Indiana, this tire tread depth minimum is 2/32 of an inch for passenger car tires. This is measured from the top of the tire tread indicator, down to the top of the tread. You can use a penny to test this because the lettering over Abe Lincoln’s head on a penny measures out to exactly 2/32 of an inch tall! Fascinating isn’t it? If you can see the letters, your tread is too low!

Toothpaste Headlight De-Fogging

Headlight fogging is not just unpleasant to look at, it is also unsafe. But you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars having your headlights replaced or restored, so long as you have an extra tube of toothpaste lying around! That’s right; by applying standard, baking soda-based toothpaste to your headlights with a microfiber towel can remove the oxidization in the plastic. If you don’t want to use toothpaste, opt for some baking soda and water instead.

Weatherproof Your Weatherstripping

Your rubber weather-stripping is important for interior insulation, but also for function. Unfortunately, it is prone to deterioration. To slow down the rate of rubber weatherstripping deterioration, and thus, having to replace your seals, try applying WD-40 once a month.

Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional Indianapolis auto repair and service you can trust. We have been helping Hoosiers repair and maintenance their vehicles for over 20 years, while offering affordable prices and reliable work. You can schedule a free inspection and estimate, anytime! We can even assist with tows! Don’t forget to mention one of our auto repair coupons or discounts to get the best deal in town.

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What You Need to Know About Auto Repair Insurance Claim Work

After a car accident, you will need to have your vehicle repaired, whether through your own insurance policy, or an at-fault driver’s. Regardless of whose insurance carrier is covering the cost of your automotive repairs, there are some things you need to know about the process. This is especially important if you are planning to skip repairs and pocket the check, instead.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about having your car repaired after filing an automotive insurance claim.

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Passing on Repair? Be Careful

Can a person file an automotive insurance claim, receive a check, and then pass on getting their repairs done? The answer is, it depends. If you have a loan in your vehicle, you must have the vehicle repaired. Furthermore, most insurance policies require that drivers have all repairs carried out by a pre-approved mechanic. Failing to adhere to policy regulations like these will put you in breach of your insurance contract, as well as your loan contract. Such breaches can lead to lawsuits, restitution, and other legal hassles.

Additionally, many insurance companies will only continue to insure a driver if they continue with physical damage coverage, such as comprehensive coverage or collision coverage. If you accept a check from an automotive insurance claim, and then never have the vehicle repaired, the insurance company will no longer insure that vehicle. So you must choose: pocket the cash or keep your insurance. Sure, you can get a new carrier, but it might be difficult since the previous claim will be on your record. You will likely have to opt for higher insurance premiums or lower-quality coverage.

How does an insurance company know what you did with the cash? Well, standard procedure is for them to send you a check for the repairs, made out to both you and the pre-appointed mechanic. IF the repair never takes place, when the insurance company follows up on the claim, the mechanic will notify them that the repair was never completed.

Don’t Want to Report the Damage?

If you don’t want to report your vehicle damage to your automotive insurance carrier, you don’t have to, unless you have a loan on the car, as mentioned earlier, or if another vehicle was involved. If you and you alone were involved in the car’s damage, and you own your vehicle, you can forgo making a claim without any legal repercussion.  However, it is strongly encouraged to have your vehicle fully inspected by a licensed Indianapolis mechanic to ensure it is still road-safe. This is especially important if you use your vehicle to transport children.

Trusted Automotive Inspections in Indianapolis

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional automotive service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We’re ASE certified car mechanics who provide a wide range of auto repairs and maintenance for both foreign and domestic vehicles, including comprehensive inspections following a car accident. Best of all, we offer customer conveniences like free written estimates, flexible drop off and pickup hours, automotive repair coupons and discounts, and competitive pricing. See our coupon, below!

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How to Make Your Own Hanging Car Air Freshener

Hanging a new car air freshener on your rear-view mirror is a great feeling, and you get some pleasurable aroma therapy. But just as soon as you open your new scented ornament, the clock starts ticking down to the moment you need to replace it with a new one. Rather than continuing the cycle of tossing out old air fresheners and buying new ones, you can simply make your own with a few humble supplies. With your own car air freshener, all you have to do is reapply your fragrance to revitalize that pleasurable aroma therapy and fresh smell!

Continue reading to learn what you need to get started!

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846

What You Will Need:

✅ Thin Wooden Ornament of Your Choice Scented
✅ Essential Oil of Your Choice
✅ Small Glass Dish
✅ Small Paintbrush
✅ Small Sealable Plastic Bag (i.e. Ziplock®)
✅ Small Drill or a Thick Nail and Hammer
✅ Old Towel or Napkins
✅ Twine

Notes: When shopping at your local crafts section, opt for a wooden ornament that already has a string attached for hanging. Otherwise, you will need to also purchase some twine, and drill a hole (or hammer a hole) through the top of the ornament so that you may loop the twine string through the hole and create a hoop for hanging.

Trick: Rather than buying a new wooden ornament to fragrance, you can use an old car air fresher (like the tree-shaped ones) instead!

Instructions:

➀ After you make your hole and attach the twine for hanging, you are ready to take the next step in the process of making your own car air freshener! Here is what to do:

➁ Lay out an old towel or spread out some napkins for a safe work surface.

➂ Pour your essential oil into a small glass dish.

➃ Dip your paintbrush into the dish of essential oil and then “paint” the surface of the wooden ornament. Generously cover the entire top surface and the sides, then flip it over and paint the back side.

➄ Once you have painted all sides of the ornament, place it inside a re-sealable plastic bag and allow it to absorb all the oils overnight.

➅ The next day, hang your car air freshener in your vehicle and hit the road happy!

RE-APPLICATIONS: After a few weeks, you can freshen up your homemade car air freshener by simply dabbing it with a cotton swab with more essential oil. If you like, you can change up the scents, or combine them to create new ones

Indianapolis Car Maintenance and Care

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional automotive service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We’re ASE certified car mechanics who provide a wide range of auto repairs and maintenance for both foreign and domestic vehicles. We also provide several amenities, such as free written estimates, flexible drop off and pickup hours, and more.

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3 Options for Homemade Engine Degreaser

Engine degreasing involves removing the buildup of dirt, oil and grease inside a car engine compartment. Removing this accumulation is beneficial for several reasons. Not only does it make your car engine look brand new, it enhances performance and efficiency, which in turn, saves you money on fuel, repairs, replacements, and more. In fact, a cleaner engine runs cooler, which is better for all interior automotive systems.

Best of all, you do not have to spend your hard earned money on expensive engine cleaners to get the job done right. You can make your own engine degreasing solutions with a few common household ingredients. There are several recipes to choose from, so the one you choose will largely depend on what you have one hand and what you are comfortable applying to your vehicle.

Continue reading to learn the top three most recommended recipes for homemade engine degreaser, as well as, what to do if you are experiencing car engine troubles.

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Engine Repair and Service 317-475-1846

❶ Sodium Carbonate Washing Soda

For this engine degreaser, you will need ¼ cup of sodium carbonate washing soda, also known as washing ash. You will also need one gallon of warm water. Simply combine the two ingredients until they are fully incorporated, then transfer it to a plastic spray bottle. Do not use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a substitution because it will not clean as effectively.

❷ Kerosene Degreaser

This recipe may sound strange, but kerosene works well to remove grease and gunk from engines. For this engine degreasing solution, you will need kerosene, water, and liquid dish soap. Combine one part kerosene with four parts water, and then add a few drops of soap. Then transfer to a plastic spray bottle. Just be very careful working with and storing this solution, as kerosene is highly flammable.  

❸ Ammonia Degreaser

For this engine degreaser recipe, you will need to mix two parts ammonia, two parts water, and one part liquid dish soap into a plastic spray bottle. Be sure all ingredients are thoroughly combined. It is important to be very cautious when using this degreaser because ammonia is caustic and can harm the eyes, nose, throat, and mouth.

Using Your Engine Degreasing Solution

The first step to using your engine degreaser is to ensure your car engine is off and completely cooled. You will also need to don some protective gear, such as work gloves, safety goggles, and apron. Once your engine is cool and you are geared up, it is time to apply your solution with a stiff bristled scrubbing brush.

Start by generously coating the engine compartment with your degreaser. Let it to sit for a few minutes, then use your brush to scrub the solution in, one small section at a time. Do your best to avoid hoses and wiring, as strong cleaning chemicals can damage them if they are delicate. Finish by thoroughly rinsing your work areas with clean water, and then patting it all dry with a microfiber cloth.

Do You Have Car Engine Problems in Indianapolis?

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for car engine service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are ASE licensed and certified car mechanics who provide a wide range of foreign and domestic auto repair services, as well as, free estimates, automotive service coupons, and more. Call 317-475-1846 to request a free estimate for Indianapolis auto repair, today.

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Check Out the Current Auto Repair and Service Specials at Northeast Auto!

Here at Northeast Auto Service, we offer comprehensive automotive repair for all make and model vehicles, both foreign and domestic, specializing in major engine work. As ASE certified factory trained mechanics with decades of experience, you can rest assure that your vehicle is in the hands of true industry professionals who care about quality.

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Get the Best Deals This Summer!

Our ASE certified factory trained mechanics provide a wide selection of professional auto repair services for all make and model vehicles, including both foreign and domestic. In addition to the latest technologies and premium auto parts, we retain the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver outstanding workmanship that stands the test of time, all while keeping your passengers and you safe.

Bet of all, when it comes to a budget, we understand the value of a dollar, which is why competitive pricing has always been a priority for us. So you will certainly be satisfied with our economy-based prices, as well as our automotive repair coupons and discounts!

Auto Repair Coupons and Discounts

Any customer, first or repeat, can get 50 dollars off any service or repair that exceeds 250 dollars! This is an amazing value that no other automotive repair shop can beat! More deals include: Buy 4 oil changes and get one free, 50 dollars off ignition tune ups and fuel injection service, 25 dollars off each brake axel repair or 50 dollars off complete brake repair, and a fee safety inspection any time!

Schedule a Free Estimate TODAY!

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional Indianapolis auto repair and service you can afford. We have been helping Hoosiers repair and maintenance their vehicles for over 20 years, while offering affordable prices and reliable work. You can schedule a free inspection and estimate, anytime! We can even assist with tows! Don’t forget to mention one of our auto repair coupons or discounts to get the best deal in town.

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846
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How to Quickly Cool Down the Inside of Your Car

This summer heat has many people avoiding the great outdoors at all costs. However, most of us have no choice but to commute around town for everyday life responsibilities, like work, school, kids, errands, and more. And in this heat, no one wants to deal with discomfort in the middle of a busy day, especially a sweltering car. After sitting in the heat, the interior temperature of a car can rise quickly, and even reach temperatures higher than the outside climate. Fortunately, there are some easy and effective methods you can rely on to cool down the inside of your car on a hot summer day.

Continue reading to learn what you can do to make yourself, your passengers, and your pets feel much more comfortable when hopping into the car in hot, humid weather.

Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846
Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846

Consider Your Safety First

As mentioned, there are many ways to cool off the inside of a car on a hot day, most of which do not require any additional costs or major adjustments. The most important part about dealing with a hot car interior on a regular basis is to consider safety. You never want to put yourself, a child, or a pet inside of a hot car for any period of time; even just for a minute. If a car is very hot, allow it to cool down before entering. Also be sure to have clean, bottled water on hand to avoid dehydration and to help ease the discomfort of feeling hot in a car.

Here are Some Ways to Cool Down a Car as Fast as Possible:

☑ Use a Windshield Cover

Windshield covers are available at any local automotive store, department store, home improvements stores, and online. They are inexpensive and come in a wide range of colors, shapes, sizes, and level of quality. Choose one that works best for your windshield shape, and see how well it blocks out the sun during the day. Your car interior will be much cooler with this cover.

☑ Park in Shady Spots

By parking under a tree or in a large shadow, you instantly prevent your car from becoming as hot as it could be on a hot day. Use this habit, along with other methods, to get your car to a safe and comfortable temperature in no time at all.

☑ Roll Down Your Windows

As soon as you get to your car, open the doors and roll down all the windows. While you are implementing other strategies, this allows the hot air to escape and the wind to blow through the car. Allow the car to air out for a minute or two, or however long you can stand waiting. Then if you have it, proceed to turn on your air conditioning, but not to the max setting. See below.

☑ Turn On the Regular AC Mode

Turn on your air conditioning, but not to the max mode. You do not want to blast hot air from your vents. Instead, put your AC on low, and then after a minute or two, increase the speed of the fans. Once you have felt a cool down, turn your AC to your desired, default setting.

☑ Have Your Car Serviced

If you want to keep cool in your car this summer, be sure that your car’s air conditioning is prepared to perform at top efficiency. Routine car maintenance is the best precaution to take to avoid summer breakdowns. Not only will a mechanic ensure your AC is tuned and charged, they will be able to catch and reverse any small issues that might affect your air conditioning down the line. And this is important since no one wants to be left without air conditioning on a hot summer day!

Trusted Indianapolis Car Maintenance

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional auto air conditioner service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We’re ASE certified car mechanics who provide a wide range of auto repairs and maintenance for both foreign and domestic vehicles. We also provide several amenities, such as free written estimates, flexible drop off and pickup hours, and more.

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How Much Does Alternator Repair Cost?

If your car’s electrical systems are acting up, it could be due to a failing alternator. There are many signs of a malfunctioning alternator, such as dimmed lights, short battery charge, or in more serious cases, the smell of burning plastic due to burning wiring or internal components. If your car is exhibiting these same signs, you are in need of immediate alternator repair or replacement. Fortunately, alternator repair is not as expensive compared to other major automotive repairs, like engines and catalytic converters.

Continue reading to learn more about alternator repair costs, including the difference among new, used, and refurbished alternators.

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Indianapolis Alternator Repair 317-475-1846

Your car’s alternator is important because it converts the revolutions of the engine into electrical energy, which in turn, recharges the car battery and allows for all your electrical systems to operate. Such systems include your interior and exterior lights, stereo, GPS, wipers, spark plugs, and more. Basically, if your alternator stops working, eventually your car won’t drive.

Alternator Repair Prices

The price to repair a failing alternator depends on several factors. Such factors include the make and model of your vehicle, as well as, the extent of damage to the inner components and more. On average, the cost to repair is less than the cost to replace, as a new alternator will run anywhere from $200 to $600, not including parts and labor. You can opt for a refurbished or used auto part, which will save you a lot of money. Refurbished alternators will likely come with a 1 year warranty too, so they come recommended, but used parts may suddenly break down at any time, so tread carefully.

As for the cost to repair or install an alternator, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $400, depending on the above-mentioned factors. Luxury and exotic vehicles will be more expensive to repair, while older cars may be easier, which means paying less in labor. Just be sure to choose a reputable and professional Indianapolis auto repair shop to ensure you are getting quality work at a fair price.

Indianapolis Alternator Repair

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for ASE certified alternator repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide comprehensive automotive electrical repair and service for all make and model vehicles, as well as, free estimates, free advice, and auto repair coupons! Schedule an appointment for a free estimate, today!

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A Simple Guide to Flushing a Car Radiator

For radiators to be effective, they must stay cool. And in order to ensure this, they must be flushed on a routine basis, or at least once per year. In fact, car radiator flushing is one of the most important routine maintenance jobs and must be done to keep vehicles operational over time. Fortunately, it can be done on your own.  It’s also quick and inexpensive to do! 

Continue reading to review a quick guide to flushing a car radiator in the comfort of your own garage or driveway.

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ASE Certified Car Radiator Flushes 317-475-1846

Gather Your Supplies First

The first thing to do when it comes to flushing a car radiator is gather up all the necessary supplies and materials. This includes a funnel, cloth rag, coolant, radiator flush solution, Phillips screwdriver or wrench, separate container for old coolant, and extra rags for accidents and spills. When you have determined that all your supplies are in place, you can begin the process of flushing the radiator. 

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Before you remove the radiator cap, be sure the car engine is COMPLETELY cool; otherwise you run the risk of spilling hot coolant on yourself. Next, flush the used coolant out of the radiator. Do this by locating the radiator drain plug. It is typically located at the bottom of the radiator. If you have trouble finding it, refer to your owners’ manual or look online for pictures and instructional videos. You can also contact a professional mechanic for over-the-phone assistance.

Once you find the drain plug, place the container for old coolant under the drain and open it up. Let the old coolant flow out for a few minutes; if it seems to be moving slow, check to see if the plug is all the way open. When the radiator is empty, replace the drain plug and open the radiator cap. Next, pour the flush cleaning solution inside. Fill the remaining space inside the radiator with room temperature water.

Now you are ready to replace the radiator cap; just be sure it is screwed on tight.  It is possible for caps to fall off, which allows coolant to escape from the radiator.  Let the car engine run until it reaches its normal driving temperature.  Then turn it off and let it cool completely.

Once the car engine is cool again, you are ready to flush the solution from the radiator and add fresh clean coolant.  Use the same emptying process as before. Use a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to get optimal and safe results.  You can find premixed coolants at your local auto store.  This is sometimes more convenient. 

😳 Didn’t quite do the trick? Enlist a licensed mechanic for the job! Professional car radiator flushing is fast and affordable!

Indianapolis Car Radiator Service and Repair

Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for ASE certified automotive radiator service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide comprehensive automotive service and repair for all make and model vehicles, as well as, free estimates, free advice, and auto repair coupons! Schedule an appointment for a free estimate, today!

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846
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