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    Thread: Stupid Question (Coolant leak: change the radiator?)

    1. #1
      What's wrong with my car?
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      Stupid Question (Coolant leak: change the radiator?)

      Ok, fair warning, this might be a stupid question but here goes. I have been noticing that there is a little trail of while smoking coming out of my engine bay. I also smell anti-freeze being burnt. Naturally I assume its a coolant leak, right? I look under the hood and there is no leak thats visible. The hoses are all fine and there is no leak from the thermostat housing. The car also does not overheat. She runs perfectly time all the time. The cooling fan also turns on as well.

      I finally did find where the white smoke is coming from - its coming from the radiator! And the car does leak a little anti freeze when its shut off and parked and its also coming from the radiator area. So here is the stupid question, are all of these signs that I need to change out the radiator? I'm assuming that there must be a crack in the radiator somewhere that is causing this little leak and smoke but like I said, the car is not overheating.

      Thanks in advance!
      -Strike



    2. #2
      Mr.DIY joniko's Avatar
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      I have been down that road before. Best bet is to put in a new radiator. I have had some luck patching them, though. The plastic tanks can be a DIY job if not to badly damaged, and you can take it to a radiator tech for the bigger leaks.

      Hope that helped...

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      The Lowest Static Aveo Melveo's Avatar
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      Radatior is definitely easy to do, just get it out the way.

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      Should I keep it?
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      My 2008 5 door, 5 speed radiator leaked at one time. It was because the fan shroud warped and rubbed on the radiator fins. I took off the shroud and heated it with a heat gun to put back to about where it was when the shroud was new. I bought some Low Temperature Aluminum brazing Rods, 8 Pc #44810 $15.99 from Harbor freight and patched the radiator while my new radiator ($50) eBay radiator came from across the country.

      The Aluminum brazing (called welding rod but that term is not accurate) is tricky to use because the radiator fins are thin and go from solid to liquid fast. I managed to get a good seal and ran my car for a couple of weeks with the patch. I think the patch would be permanent but at $50 and living where the next town is 50 miles away, I decided a new radiator was my safest bet.

      You might have a different problem so check out your car's radiator using a pressure pump on the over-flow tank up by the brake master cylinder.

      A friend also had a warped radiator shroud but he just shimmed the shroud away from the radiator. There should be 1/8" + between the shroud and the radiator.
      Last edited by OG-Lou; 12-21-2019 at 01:07 AM.

    5. #5
      What's wrong with my car?
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      A radiator would cost around $50 - $60 with free shipping on Ebay. It's easy to replace.

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      Should I keep it?
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      I know rockauto offers replacement radiators.

    7. #7
      What's wrong with my car?
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      Ha! Easy to replace?!? Iím doing the job right now and this thing is a bitch! I gotta remove the bumper to get to some of the bolts!





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