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New User

May 6, 2016, 11:17 AM

Post #1 of 5 (2203 views)

So my car started overheating yesterday and I took it to my mechanic. They claim I need a new radiator, thermostat and to have my coolant system totally flushed. He said he’s never seen a coolant system so bad and the coolant is like mud. He said it appears someone put in a fluid in the system used as a patch for a head gasket? This same mechanic just replaced my radiator not long ago. I asked about a warranty on the radiator and he said they never replaced the radiator. So then I called my Mom to make sure that’s where I took it and while we were talking I remembered it could have been under her name b/c she helped me pay for it. I called back and sure enough it was under her name. So now the dude says they’ll warranty the radiator but that I will have to pay to have the thermostat replaced and a coolant flush for $385.00. Then he said the head gasket may be damaged and if I have to replace that its $$ b/c it’s an engine overhaul. My question is did the bad radiator cause all of these other issues and if so, why am I responsible to pay for any of this?? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 6, 2016, 12:43 PM

Post #2 of 5 (2194 views)

IDK - Which one do you trust here? Is the dang radiator new and or is it really full of "sealer" that would be. The $385 is about enough to really do a radiator on some cars you neglected to say what this was so please do with Year, Make, Model and Engine.

Right now it smacks of nothing but sealer was ever done to cure the thing and replacing radiator now, thermostat and flushing will probably only prove it was really overheating from a head gasket or something. How much was the first bill with what stated was done other than a new radiator? Not much is credible just yet as that's a common time to flush, new coolant and perhaps a thermostat while doing that if it only needed that.
Can you get your Mom involved again and more to find out what is really going on up to showing both of you by probably current shop/techs what they see and explain it to you?

There's just no telling where you really stand just yet with this much for information,


New User

May 6, 2016, 1:08 PM

Post #3 of 5 (2192 views)

Thank you for replying. Here is some info:
4 cylinder
2005 Honda Civic EX
Model: 2005 Honda Civic
Engine: 1.7 L 4-cylinder
MPG: Up to 32 city / 37 highway
Horsepower: 127 hp

We last paid nearly $500.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 6, 2016, 1:37 PM

Post #4 of 5 (2184 views)

OK - First job could have done a radiator by price IMO. This would be "wholesale price" marked up to retail on your bill if even double for just that..................
Fits Your Vehicle Spectra Premium/Radiator
Price: $118.99
IMO and most engines even lots older than this of the general type do NOT tolerate overheating even once is enough for serious costs to fix and common as well to blow head gaskets. That would be way over $500 if really done so seems you probably just got a ton of sealer goo put in it and nothing else - not here to blame or be sure of squat and can't.
What do you want to do? No jokes but can your Mom tell if this radiator is new or if not can you find someone to go look at it now to see the situation not either of these shops? It's not just not PC to say a female can't be mechanically inclined it's untrue but someone needs to help in person that isn't financially involved for now and decide what you'll do.

1. If you paid for a radiator and really didn't get one you should take some action on that.
2. If you get one now, flush the junk out you'll probably find it needs the head gasket job the first place probably guessed at (can't know this for sure at all) and just clogged it all up to get you out of there and just maybe it didn't overheat for a while????

You are making me do a ton of guessing all around. This current shop or tech really can't diagnose this out the way it is now but would have to flush it all out or do the radiator job mentioned to even do some real testing for a head gasket problem - that could run a couple thou$and but can't know yet.

I'm lost - will this shop give you in writing that this radiator was not replaced? If so you have some legal things to consider where IMO everyone loses and takes time.

Back to I have to suggest you find or even pay someone to go with you guessing the car is still at the second shop to find out what is really going on as nothing sounds very good about any of this sorry to say,


Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

May 7, 2016, 9:36 AM

Post #5 of 5 (2169 views)

I agree, this sounds funny. I wonder what their side of the story is?

I'd say flush it out really good, install the new radiator, and run it to see how it reacts. Test for combustion gasses. Tell them to make sure the cooling fan is working.

Also tell them to make sure the reservoir nipple on the radiator neck has the hole drilled out for it and be sure the reservoir hose isn't plugged. Ran into a couple failed radiators where they didn't drill the hole out for the reservoir hose which caused the system to over pressurize because the radiator cap couldn't vent into the reservoir.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on May 7, 2016, 9:42 AM)

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