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Radiator Repair Cost: My Radiator Needs Repairing or Replacing – What Now?

It happens. Sometimes the radiator in our car just breaks. With all of the jobs it has to do, the internal cooling involved, and the circulating liquid that runs through the mechanisms, there are a lot of moving parts involved. Unfortunately, when the radiator breaks it is imperative that you get it repaired in order to continue having a working car that runs smoothly. The cost of repairing a radiator can typically run between $100-900, with most repairs being around $300-400.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


What Is A Radiator?


A radiator is the mechanism in the car that is used for the cooling of internal combustion engines. The internal combustion engines are typically cooled by coolant, a circulating liquid that runs through the engine. The coolant is then heated when it runs throughout the engine block, and then goes through the radiator, where it loses heat, and then finally, returns to the engine. The coolant is typically composed of a water-based liquid, but can sometimes be composed of oil.

Basically, the radiator transfers the heat from the coolant inside to the outside air. This process cools the fluid, and then the radiator returns it to the engine, which in turn, cools the engine. The radiator is responsible for the temperature of the engine, in short terms. Radiators are also utilized to cool transmission fluids, refrigerant, intake air, and steering fluid. They are usually in a specific angle where they can receive air from the forward momentum of the vehicle. When engines are in the middle or the back, it is typical to position the radiator behind the front grill. Another spot for the radiator placement is the side-mounted grill. Lastly, a radiator is most commonly placed on the side for long vehicles, such as buses.


Radiator Construction


Radiators are usually made of two metal header tanks, which are connected by passageways, giving a high ratio of surface area to volume. The core of the radiator is typically made of metal sheet layers, which are soldered together to form a tight connection. Modern radiators contain aluminum cores, and save some money by using plastic headers with gaskets for a lightweight option.


Why Do I Need a Well-Functioning Radiator?


Having an optimally-running radiator in your car has numerous benefits to your car’s health – and your own safety. Replacing a broken radiator ensures that the rest of your engine won’t break down in future years. It will also serve to lubricate and prevent any damage to the water pump. It can also enhance the performance and power of your car while it is running. Overall, it can help your engine in an all-around manner.

In addition, a well-running radiator allows the protection of the heat core – this maintains the ability to produce heat within the car. It can also help to prevent overheating in the summer, and getting too cold in the winter. The radiator plays a key part in temperature regulation of your vehicle. It can also reduce engine corrosion, which will cause detrimental damage to the rest of the engine.


When Should I Have The Radiator Replaced If It Is Running Smoothly?


Even though your radiator may not need a necessary immediate replacement due to faulty mechanics, you should still keep an eye out for signs of replacement or repair. Each car will have a maintenance schedule that determines the right time to come and get your radiator serviced to ensure optimal running of your car. This involves having the coolant replaced. This will usually occur between 25-40,000 miles.


What Are Some Warnings Signs That There Is A Problem With My Radiator and It Needs A Repair or Replacement?


If there’s an issue with the engine’s temperature, then this may in turn damage the radiator. If your radiator tanks aren’t replaced quickly after noticing the engine temperature malfunctions, then it can cause major damage. Getting a new hose replacement will run you only about $50, in comparison to having many more problems as a result of not getting it replaced or repaired soon enough.


Other signs of the radiator needing replacement is the overheating of the engine, coolant leaking, coolant being stationary for a longer period of time, or a small puddle of red or yellow fluid that emits from underneath of your car. If this is happening, you need to take your car to a garage for radiator repair.


The two most common repairs that are typically needed for radiator repairs are due to noise coming from the radiator and the radiator not being able to generate enough heat. If the radiator isn’t able to produce enough heat, or produce any heat at all, the flow of hot water can be impeded. When this occurs, the vents need to open in order to allow the trapped air to exit. This requires a process to be done called “maintenance bleeding.”


Homeowners who are confident in their mechanical abilities can bleed the lines without traveling to a mechanic and spending extra money. The time required to bleed the lines can vary depending on the car, but it hsouldn’t take too long for those who are knowledgeable. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, take your car to a shop that can repair a radiator.


Should I Replace My Radiator or Repair My Radiator?


Determining whether to repair or replace a faulty radiator depends on the damage that has been done. If you have a radiator that contains internal rust or structural damage, like a crack, then it is best to replace the entire radiator instead of trying to repair it.


When you are in the middle of the replacement process, you will need to be knowledgeable about a few things before purchasing a new radiator, such as the amount of columns and sections in your existing radiator, the height, and the width of the tubes.


If you don’t want to purchase a new radiator and you can get by with just a radiator repair, then you could perform a short-term fix that doesn’t cost as much as a replacement. A repair professional can help you with your options and help you determine the radiator repair cost.


The Three Problems and Fixes For Your Broken Radiator


One common radiator problem is fixing a radiator leak. This is possible by removing the radiator from the car and having it sent to a facility for testing. The negative to this option is that your car will be unusable for a few days while the radiator shop and testing facility diagnose and repair the problem.


Another common method when dealing with radiator repairs is doing a coolant flush. This requires using a special component that breaks down corrosion that has built up over time within the system. After the buildup is broken down, it is washed out and a new coolant is then installed in the system. Despite this method not working every time, it is a good method to try for a radiator repair.


The last issue with a radiator deals with a full radiator replacement. If you have a cracked tank or big holes within the radiator, then you’ll need to undergo a full radiator replacement which will be a higher cost. The radiator replacement cost usually starts at around $250, without the cost of labor.


How To Repair A Radiator Leak with K-Seal


If you know for certain that your radiator is leaking or needs repair, you need to get it fixed quickly. The first step is finding the best stop leak for a radiator that you can get. The next step is finding a local shop and purchasing some K-Seal – this is an extremely trustworthy stop leak that will be able to semi-permanently or permanently repair most leaks in the radiator or casing.


How To Repair A Radiator With Block Sealer


To keep the price down on a radiator repair cost, you can choose to use a BlueDevil Radiator and a block sealer to keep costs low. The combination of these two will help bond to various radiators with differing materials, such as plastic and aluminum. The ability to perform this radiator repair on your own saves you some money and ensures that you won’t be paying for any unnecessary charges.


First, pop your hood to see where exactly the upper radiator hose connects to the radiator itself. If the hose connects to the radiator with a plastic pipe, then you currently have a radiator with end tanks made of plastic and an aluminum core. In this case, using the BlueDevil Radiator and block sealer is a great option. The only other option you have here is to replace the radiator, which drives up the cost of a radiator repair/replacement.


When you look under your hood, if you see that the upper radiator hose is instead adjoined to the radiator via a metal pipe, then your car uses an older, metal-style radiator. The method to fix this type of radiator could be the process of soldering. This technique melts the metals to fill in the cracks or holes in your radiator. Based on the diameter of the holes or the length and size of the crack, you might be able to do this repair on your own.


The repair costs can greatly differ and depend on the exact type of vehicle you have. Many cars that were built in the 1970s and 1980s contain a metal, copper, or brass radiator. These radiators can be repaired slightly easier than the newer versions, by fixing the leaks. The newer vehicles, usually from the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, utilize plastic end tanks and aluminum cores. These types are more difficult to fix due to the prevalence of being replaced with a whole new radiator due to the time, cost, and effort involved in a radiator repair.                                                                                                                                                


What Is The Cost Of A Radiator Repair From A Repair Professional?


For a repair professional to make a house call to your home to check out the radiator which will need a repair or replacement, the prices can vary. However, you can typically find services within the same range. For example, a repair professional in Chicago will charge approximately $85 to cover travel to your house, the site visit, and the initial hour of work.


Radiator Replacement Costs for Various Cars


The cost of replacing a radiator will vary from car to car. For some higher-end cars, the price will reflect the higher-end construction and parts. Regarding the lower end of the price spectrum, a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic will usually cost you between $400-$590. In the middle of the price range, a Honda Accord will cost between $510-$700. The next step up is either a Nissan Altima or Ford F-150, which costs between $590-$855. The highest end here is around $693-$879 for a Chevrolet Silverado.


How To Maintain A Radiator


To maintain a properly running radiator and prevent spending money on a radiator repair cost, you could get a radiator flush every 36,000 miles approximately. If you want to do it yourself, the supplies necessary will cost about $15-$35, while taking it to a shop will cost between $50-$155. The price depends on the make and model of the car.


What If My Radiator Is Very Damaged and I Don’t Need My Car Anymore…


If you decide that the cost and hassle of a radiator repair is too much to figure out, you can always make the decision to scrap your car for parts. By doing this, you can make some extra cash quickly. Before you decide to sell your car for junk, you should make sure that you remove all of the valuable parts that you can sell on your own for some extra money. This includes all non-metal parts, such as navigation systems, entertainment systems, and seats.


If this is the route that you decide to choose, you can sell your car to a junk buyer that will buy your car and give you a fair deal in return. Check out CashCarsBuyer for the best deals and earn a little extra money right away!

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