How to Stop a Radiator Leaking.
If saving money is your goal, removing and replacing the leaking radiator yourself is a great way to start. You will notice on the older radiators, they were made mostly of brass and copper. The older ones, if not properly flushed over the years can start leaking radiator fluid due to corrosion. Otherwise, these are the easiest to repair since we can simply solder the leak closed and reinstall it. If corrosion is the issue the metal may be too thin to solder without burning through the metal and causing more problems than can be fixed. When the leaky radiator is out of the car you can visually inspect the interior and tell if corrosion is an issue. If so, you may be better off replacing it since the scaling can clog it up and prevent it from cooling properly.
Your newer vehicles mostly come with radiators made from aluminum and plastic. The aluminum makes up the cooling fins or the core of the radiator and the tanks on each side are made from a high quality plastic. If this is what you have actually making the repair is probably something most of us do not have the equipment in our garage to do. With this in mind, you may call around and see what the radiator shops are charging to repair them. Maybe look around online for new ones and re manufactured ones with free shipping and compare prices to make an educated decision on what to do. In any case you will be saving money since the labor charges usually greatly outweigh the part costs.
Assuming you can remove and reinstall the leaking radiator yourself once you get it out and on the ground we can then identify some things. The first thing would be to see if it is all metal or are the tanks plastic and the core aluminum. If it is made from copper or brass and the leak is not in a hard to get to spot, you can solder it yourself. If you want to be sure you are repairing the right area and it is fixed when done you can get a radiator leak tester at most auto parts houses. If you have the aluminum type with plastic tanks you will more than likely have to seek alternatives for the repair.
If you have ever heard the phrase if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. This holds true when it comes to quick radiator leak fixes you just pour in and your done. They do what they say as in seal the leak but they can cause other problems down the road by clogging the system. You can do some research and find some good information from people who have had to try and get it out of the system.
Fixing your radiator leak where you will not have any more problems with it for a long while is our goal. Since we are performing the most expensive part of the process which is the labor charges for removing and reinstalling we have already put money in our pocket in a since. With that being said, we need to either repair it properly ourselves or replace it. This will ensure we will not have to work on the radiator in our car for a long time to come. Sometimes I am a little intimidated by a project I have never done and will simply use my digital camera to take pictures as it comes apart to use when reinstalling it. This gives me confidence that I can reinstall it the same way it came out.
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