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How Much does a Radiator Replacement Cost?
The radiator performs one of the most critical functions in the modern-day motor vehicle.
It provides the means to remove the heat from the coolant which has just passed through the engine block before it makes its way back into the engine.
It is usually located behind the front bumper, which provides the best airflow to transfer the heat from the radiator to the air passing through.
The radiator may also have an electrical or mechanical fan located behind it to ‘pull’ airflow through when the vehicle is stationary.
A radiator replacement can cost between $350 - $900+, depending on the type of vehicle and location of the radiator.
What is a Radiator?
A radiator is a large heat transfer device that uses cooling air to remove the heat absorbed by the coolant from the combustion chamber.
It is then pumped back into the engine by the water pump to carry out the process again.
Radiators are usually made up of two plastic end tanks - which are mounted on the side or the top and bottom of the radiator, and the core, which is most commonly made up of alloy or copper.
Some radiators also have a separate cooling section for the automatic transmission fluid built in to eliminate the need for a second, smaller radiator.
Symptoms you may need a Radiator Replacement:
- Vehicle overheating
- Vehicle leaking fluid (Red, Green or Blue)
- Hissing sound coming from under the bonnet after driving
- Steam coming from under bonnet when driving
How is a Radiator Replacement carried out?
- The radiator will be inspected for leaks
- If the radiator requires replacing, the coolant will be drained from the system
- The cooling fans, radiator hoses and transmission hoses (automatic only) will be removed and secured out of the way
- The old radiator will be removed from the vehicle
- The cooling system will be flushed, to remove any debris
- The new radiator will be installed, and the cooling fans, radiator hoses and transmission lines refitted
- The radiator will be filled with new coolant and the system bled to remove any air
- The vehicle will be road tested to ensure correct operation.
Tips to Remember:
- It is a good idea to pressure test the cooling system after a repair is carried out, to ensure no other cooling components are leaking.
- Replacing the thermostat is also a good idea when replacing the radiator, to make sure it is in good working condition
- Replacing the coolant at recommended intervals will increase the life of your radiator. Many manufacturers recommend to replace the coolant every 5 years, depending on kilometers travelled.
How Important is replacing the Radiator?
The radiator is the main cooling system component in your vehicle, and failing to replace a faulty or leaking radiator can lead to expensive engine damage if overheating occurs.
Not only will this be costly, but it can also leave you stranded in an unsafe location waiting for roadside assistance.