According to the American Auto Association, as much as 85% of roadside breakdowns are due to defective, malfunctioning and poorly-maintained cooling systems - and that generally means you need radiator repair. The best radiator repair is prevention. Although it seems fragile, your car or truck radiator is really a durable piece of equipment as long as it's properly cared for. Avoiding the need for auto radiator repair means flushing out at least once per year. Your local garage or ""quickie lube"" can do this for you - typically for $50 or more.
Bad things happen to the best machines at times. Your travel emergency kit should include spare hoses, hose clamps, some heavy adhesive and insulating tape, extra water and antifreeze, and an epoxy cold weld, such as JB-Weld to make radiator repairs yourself. If your radiator has a large hole or has split a seam, hopefully you have a cell phone - but if the leak is a small one, you can use JB-Weld for effective auto radiator repair (see our article on Radiator Leak). Remember that this is a temporary measure - it should get you home or to the nearest radiator repair facility, but don't plan on driving for any long periods of time with an auto radiator in such a condition.
When you take your vehicle to a professional radiator repair facility, any of five different procedures may take place, all of which involve removing the radiator from the vehicle:
- Flush and radiator repair: Using a high-powered spray, the outside is cleaned, followed by an internal flush. Upon passing a pressure test to see if auto radiator repair is needed, the radiator is then re-installed.
- Clean and repair: The radiator is cleaned inside and out by immersion in a vat of industrial-strength cleaner. Upon removal from the bath, the radiator is flushed a second time, then pressure-tested to see if radiator repair is needed, inspected and re-installed.
- Rod-out and radiator repair: In addition to the above, the radiator tank is removed and tubes are reamed out using a special cleaning rod, this is a form of radiator repair.
- Newcore/recore: Damaged radiator components are replaced, and a new core is installed during this radiator repair.
- Plastic radiator tank and gasket radiator repair: Special equipment is used to remove the damaged tank and/or gaskets. These are replaced, the radiator is reassembled, tested and re-installed in the vehicle for this type of radiator repair.
Radiator repair is not possible in every case, in-fact radiators often have to be replaced. Should the condition of your radiator be deemed beyond the help of radiator repair, remember that Radiator.com has new and remanufactured radiators for virtually every vehicle on the road at prices that are from 30 to as much as 75% off retail!