Can You Repair a Car Radiator on Your Own?

Radiator repair can be done by yourself if you want to save money. If the problem is serious and you can’t handle it, you can approach a mechanic. But for smaller issues, you can try it on your own. Radiators stop working most of the times because of age and wear and tear. Leaks are a quite common problem in radiators and are easier to repair than you might imagine. However, it’s advisable not to repair the radiator unless you are totally confident and comfortable.

Identify Signs of a Leak

Low levels of coolant are definite signs of radiator leak. Therefore, you should keep checking coolant levels frequently. You should also top off the levels as required, because continuously low levels can give rise to more problems.

The bright green anti-freeze puddled under your car is also a sign that your radiator is leaking. Your first step should be to clean up the puddle because it is highly toxic, so pets and children should not touch it. Dispose of the liquid with extra precautions.

Find the source of the leakage. Pop the hood and allow the engine to run warm. You can find immediately if there is a leakage in the hose. Examine if there are leaks in seam or cap.

signs of radiator leak

Repair a Tube Leak

  • With the help of pliers, split away the cooling fins from the tube and then cut the tube.
  • Roll the ends of the tube on themselves.
  • Crimp them to make a thick edge.
  • A cold-weld chemical can hold the crimp; so, apply it and let it harden for some hours.

Repair a Cap Leak

You can repair a cap leak by replacing the cap or gasket with another new one. Read your car’s manual to get the particular part you require. Choose a cap carefully, because the one that doesn’t fit properly can result into more problems.

Repair the Seam Leak

You can repair the seam leak with the help of a metal patch compound to the outer side of the seam and allowing it to dry. It will become hard overnight.

Repair the Radiator Leak

There can be a leak in the radiator itself which you can repair by draining the radiator first. Next, clean the leaking space, apply cold weld and allow it to harden for about two hours.

Repairing a Crack or Hole in the Radiator

There are three methods of repairing a crack or hole in the radiator.

  1. First method is to patch the cracks or holes with an epoxy hardener made for plastics.
  2. Second method is to use an additive to stop leakage. Several of them can be combined with antifreeze and are simple to use.
  3. Third method is to solder the crack or hole. This should be done carefully to get the best results. First clean the spot to be soldered carefully. Take care that cleaning doesn’t widen the crack. The soldering iron should be high wattage and should have heavy wires. While soldering, ensure that the area of damage is heated first. After it is heated, solder the wire slowly in the radiator. Do adequate amount of solder and ensure that the crack is healed fully. Polish the area to make it flat.

Maintenance of Radiator to Avoid Further Damage

  • At least once in every six months, flush the radiator
  • Every week, check the water level and refill if needed
  • Take your car to a professional service provider as soon as possible because repairs you do on your own are not long-term solutions.

Michiganautopros.com is the best place to find a radiator repair in downriver Michigan. Here you will find lots of tips and guidance to repair small and big issues of your vehicle.

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