Radiator Replacement Cost
Time to replace your radiator?
There are some pretty common questions we get on the phone and via email. Is it worth replacing my radiator? Can a bad or faulty radiator cause engine problems? What are the signs of a bad or faulty radiator? How far can I drive with a broken radiator?
I will try and address these for you as best I can.
Your radiator is integral to the operation of your vehicle, without a properly functioning cooling system your engine will overheat, and this can cause catastrophic damage such as a blown head gasket, cracked head or seized engine.
Most times the first sign of a bad or faulty radiator will be coolant on the ground where the vehicle was parked. This may be a few drops or a puddle, before you start the car or drive anywhere you will need to check your coolant level. You can top up with water if you have no coolant and change that later, but whatever you do don’t drive without checking the coolant level is correct.
Other signs include a rising temperature gauge or a hot water smell when you pull up. This often is more evident on a hot day or when the car is under load. Big hills or towing will often result in an increase in operating temperature. This is commonly caused by a blockage in some of the tubes.
What happens is either through external contamination or chemical reactions within your cooling system small particles build up and eventually block off a tube in the radiator, this puts more pressure and increase flow on the remaining tubes eventually resulting in those also blocking. When enough tubes are blocked the efficiency of the radiator is compromised and it is unable to transfer the heat built up in your engines cooling system efficiently and the temp gauge rises.
You should not continue to drive your car if your radiator is leaking or coolant is low, if you have a faulty radiator, you need to replace it. The cost of a new radiator is insignificant in comparison to major engine repairs or being stuck in the middle of no where with a blown engine.
Time and cost to replace a radiator depends on the make and model vehicle. As a time, guideline a Holden Commodore V6 it takes a qualified mechanic about an hour to remove and replace a radiator. That is not allowing any time for flushing changing hoses etc. Labour charges vary greatly from shop to shop and will change over the years so it’s more relevant for me to give you an idea of the time it will take.