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Radiators!


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Dodgegirl94
User

Sep 23, 2013, 7:10 PM

Post #1 of 9 (1112 views)
Radiators! Sign In

Ok, A friend of mine is completely flat broke. She needs mechanical help and she asked me. I know nooottthhinnnnggg about radiators. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

History: About a month ago this friends Mini Van had a MAJOR leak, she took it to the mechanic and he put a water pump in. Recently the leak came back (she didn't tell me when) its only on long drives, and now she wants to try that radiator leak fix...stuff...that you can buy.

Actual reason for this post: What can you tell me about radiators? What do I look for that shows it needs to be replaced? The fins, if they're really worn down, lots of rust? The area of the leak? I've tried googling this but I've seriously come up with absolutely.freaking.nothing.

Second question: My truck started making a winding/humming noise when I put it in reverse. How bad is that?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 23, 2013, 8:46 PM

Post #2 of 9 (1103 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In

Type of vehicles and model years would help. Most radiators if the actual leak simply need a new radiator. Forget sealers as that will just cause it to clog and more problems later and still need the new radiator.

If a real old car radiators can be fixed, anything near newer they really can't and not practical vs a new one.

If you know as you said "nothing" about cars and repair why are you taking this on?

One car per thread please. Start another with the other,

T



Dodgegirl94
User

Sep 23, 2013, 9:06 PM

Post #3 of 9 (1096 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In

It's a '97 Plymouth voyager. And I'm taking it on because she has no money and I have the resources. I had helped her before with some problems but I just gave her ideas on where to start. She asked me to help so I'm trying.
I mean it can't really be that hard, right?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 23, 2013, 9:22 PM

Post #4 of 9 (1092 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In

Yes it could be hard if you are thinking of doing this yourself. First you need to verify that it's bad at all. If you can't plain see it a pressure test should reveal it. You can just check the site of popular parts outlets for what a radiator is worth if it will need it. Factor new antifreeze in also. If sent out parts would be higher than doing it yourself.

The potential problems are getting things out of the way, transmission cooler lines disconnected and sensors swapped. Cooling fan assembly would be moved or removed. I really don't know for the model but some vehicles a radiator will only go out thru the bottom requiring having the vehicle hoisted high enough.

If you must go the sealer way it only has a chance and only use a small amount not the whole container but know if it doesn't work or last (likely) it makes it harder later to do right and more expensive.

Nice of you to help a friend. At least get it diagnosed for sure so you know what you need. Get quotes/estimates on the job. If this thing overheats bad enough which is easy with a leak you could really get into expensive problems,

T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 24, 2013, 3:05 AM

Post #5 of 9 (1082 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In

Sealer is a very bad idea. All it does is plug up radiators and heater cores and make your problem worse than it already is. Seriously, if she can't afford to repair it correctly, she just needs to park the car until she can. There is no such thing as "Mechanic in a Can". You really should have it diagnose properly first to make sure you are even on the right track with a radiator.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Sep 24, 2013, 1:36 PM

Post #6 of 9 (1072 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In

I bought the exact same vehicle for my girl. Last guy dumped that garbage in it. Didn't seal the leak, that had to get fixed anyway, but plugged the heater core up so come winter it could barely defrost the windows. If you think a radiator is expensive, try doing the heater core plus the radiator you need anyway.

A pressure test will reveal the cause of the leak. If the hoses are original or looking rough you will need to replace them as well. They aren't pricey and will save a lot of trouble down the road.

With HT here, never use crap in a can and if you can't afford to fix it you will need to park it until repairs can be made.

By the way, absolutely do not use straight water in the cooling system because antifreeze costs so much more. I could show you a $1400 headgasket job I have in my driveway where straight water ate through it. You could buy a lot of antifreeze for $1400.


Dodgegirl94
User

Sep 24, 2013, 9:29 PM

Post #7 of 9 (1064 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In

Ok! No sealer!!! Yiikkkeeesss!! Why is it still on the market if it's that bad? And I had a good half hour lesson on radiators from a mechanic friend, he backs up the "no sealer" idea. So, I'm looking at hoses, rust, the transistor, and the radiator cap. Thanks everyone for your input!!!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 25, 2013, 2:58 AM

Post #8 of 9 (1059 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In


Quote
Yiikkkeeesss!! Why is it still on the market if it's that bad?



Because someone will buy it and someone will make money selling it and that's all it takes.

There is no "USDA" for auto parts and additives.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 25, 2013, 7:09 AM

Post #9 of 9 (1051 views)
Re: Radiators! Sign In

Especially the large parts outlet chain stores there's a whole isle dedicated to junk that either won't work or be harmful. If it sells they sell it. Buyer beware.

There are a couple snake oil things that can help certain issues all depending on the problem. Cure a problem for a car out of a can/bottle of something - NO! The bad part is many cause a lot of extra problems - that's unfair,

T







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