How to Repair a Car Radiator

Summary

Car radiator repair: role of the radiator

Radiator failure: severe consequences for the engine

Benign coolant leakage: plugging to be done

Major coolant leak: repairs to be made

Among the different auto repairs, the car’s radiator repair is relatively common and one of the most effective.

Have the reflex to plug a leak: it can help you out for a while, at least until you get to your garage.

If you have good mechanical skills and the right tools, you can repair the radiator yourself.

Car radiator repair: role of the radiator

The car radiator is an integral part of the engine. A coolant flows through the hot engine block, absorbs the heat, and then passes through the radiator to be cooled before returning to the engine block. The role of the radiator is to act as a heat exchanger for the coolant.

The radiator is located at the front of the vehicle and composed of bundles in the form of vertical tubes in contact with fins to present a maximum surface in a minimum of space. Therefore, the metal (aluminum or copper) of the radiator receives air when the car is moving, allowing it to keep cool and thus better dissipate the coolant’s heat. A fan is provided to come into action during overheating (especially in traffic jams and at a standstill).

Radiator failure: severe consequences for the engine

A leaking radiator, therefore, leads to a loss of coolant, the level of which drops. When the coolant in a car’s radiator starts to run out, various problems can occur:

Overheating of the engine;

deterioration of the cylinder head gasket or even the cylinder head ;

defective hoses, etc.

Note: The coolant level should be checked regularly and topped up in the expansion tank if necessary. Caution, do not fill with water, coolant has unique properties, among others not to freeze!

Minor coolant leakage: plugging to be carried out

In the event of coolant leakage due to a slight defect in the car radiator, there are solutions for temporary repairs.

Sealing a crack:

Use a specific anti-leakage product to be poured into the radiator. In this case, there is no need to locate the location of the leak.

Apply an epoxy resin to the crack:

This resin is resistant to water and temperature variations. In this case, it is essential to locate the leak.

Major coolant leak: repairs to be made

Those who have mechanic skills and are equipped to weld aluminum can try to repair their car radiator for a more extended period. Here is how to do it:

Bleed the radiator to remove all coolant

To do this, remove the radiator from the engine block:

  • Disconnect the hoses;
  • Disconnect the temperature switch ;
  • Remove the fixing points (screws, clips) and gaskets to release the car radiator from its location.
  • Thoroughly clean all the radiator walls using a wire brush and a specific car radiator cleaning product.
  • Locate the location of the leak by filling the radiator with water.
  • Once the leak has been located, empty the radiator.
  • Weld the parts to be sealed.
  • Fill the radiator with water again to check that the crack has been properly sealed.
  • Empty the radiator again.
  • Replace the radiator in the engine block and secure it properly with its screws and clips.
  • Replace the seals.
  • Fill the radiator with coolant.

That’s it. You are now done with your radiator repairs. Please, remember to share your comments in the section below.

 

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