Your engine radiator plays a major role in your vehicle’s operation. Unlike what you may expect if you have a radiator in your home, your car or truck’s radiator’s purpose is to keep the engine cool. If it gets damaged or malfunctions, it will cause your engine to overheat. While the replacement cost can vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle, the average is around $650 for parts and labor. You may be able to save, however, by getting the auto parts online and doing it yourself.
When You Need To Replace Your Radiator
It isn’t always necessary to replace your radiator after damage. You may be able to patch the part for significantly less than a replacement.
To do this, first, drain the radiator of coolant. Following this, clean and thoroughly dry the area of the leak. Apply a cold weld epoxy to the entirety of the leak. Each epoxy is a little different; so, follow the directions for the one you choose. Let the epoxy cure fully before refilling the radiator with coolant.
All you will need is some fresh coolant, some epoxy, a drain pan and a funnel. All of this can be purchased for around $50 or less.
Replacing Your Radiator
By learning how to replace a radiator yourself, you could save $200 or more on the replacement by not having to pay for labor. While it may seem intimidating at first, it can be a fairly simple process. Plan to take at least a few hours and make sure you have all the parts ready beforehand. You will need a replacement radiator, coolant, a drain pan, jack stands and wrenches.
Start by disconnecting your battery as the radiator has electrical connections. Following this, raise the vehicle using a jack. You will need easy access to the bottom of the vehicle, so use jack stands to securely hold the vehicle up. Wear some work gloves and eye protection as there are sharp edges and other possible injuries.
Drain the radiator of coolant using the drain pan. Start by removing the radiator cap, then either remove the bottom radiator hose or open the petcock valve. Let the coolant drain into the pan.
Following this, fully disconnector all hoses, wires and other connectors from the radiator. Then, remove the mounting bolts and lift the radiator out. Mount the new radiator, reconnect the hoses, wires and bolts.
Add new coolant to the replacement radiator. Once it is filled, bleed the air from the cooling system. You will need to refer to your car or truck’s service manual for steps on how to do this. With this last step complete, you have successfully replaced your own radiator. If you are buying all the tools new, you may not save a huge amount over a mechanic, but you will have them for future repairs.
Start Wrenching Today
As you learn more about your vehicle, you will be able to do achieve more yourself. From repairs to upgrades to finding the right hitch ball sizes for towing, doing the work yourself is rewarding. So, get started wrenching on your car or truck today.