How Much Does It Cost To Replace Car Radiator?
Hardly anyone walks out of an auto repair center, getting a radiator replaced with a bill of $100 or $200 in hand. If a car technician says that you need a new radiator, be ready to pull your hair in sheer disappointment because an average radiator replacement cost runs around $300 to $1300.
|NAPA||$500 – $1300
|Your Mechanic||$350 – $1100
The huge price gap is due to the fact that labor costs would vary from one service center to another. The radiator cost would vary considerably too, depending on your car model. For those who don’t know, radiators of newer car models usually cost more.
Not to mention that the extent of the damage done by a faulty radiator can further increase the complexity of the work involved, which will, obviously, bump the repair cost.
What is a car radiator?
As already known, a running car generates a lot of heat. What may be unknown to the masses is that about one-third of the energy from every gallon of fuel we put in winds up as heat, which is dissipated by the car’s radiator. To put it simply, a radiator prevents the car’s engine from overheating.
It plays an instrumental role in keeping the engine at a proper temperature. It runs by cycling coolant and water through the engine to prevent it from overheating. Without a radiator, you will feel as if you are in a desert despite being inside the car.
What is the importance of a well-functioning car radiator?
A well-running radiator will prevent engine breakdown. Since it also acts as a lubricant, it does a lot of good to the water pump too. Not to mention that it enhances the vehicle’s performance as well. As such, each vehicle out there comes with a maintenance schedule that determines the right time to get the radiator serviced.
Adhering to the maintenance schedule will ensure that the car radiator keeps functioning optimally at all times. The maintenance procedure usually involves coolant replacement, which is done every 25,0000 to 40,000 miles.
How long can a radiator last?
Believe it or not, you can expect them to offer long-lasting or even lifelong companionship. Yes, a well-maintained radiator can easily last for ten plus years. In fact, the older radiators can last for a lifetime, upon proper care. The modern ones usually don’t last that long because they are made out of plastic as opposed to metal.
So, they are prone to cracks. That said, they don’t crack easily. They can last for 8-10 years before cracking up from wear and tear.
Why can a radiator fail?
A radiator is mostly made out of metal, which should tell you that it can corrode over time. That said, radiators make use of coolant that comes with anti-corrosive properties. If the coolant is not changed periodically, you will be depriving the radiator of the anti-corrosive advantage, which may lead to its corrosion.
Another cause of a failed radiator can be electrolysis, which happens if the engine is not correctly grounded. Electrolysis causes the radiator to deteriorate over time. An accident can also damage the radiator, which could lead to the demise of a radiator.
How do you know if a radiator is working or not?
Of course, no car part can scream from the rooftop telling you that it’s done with you and your car. But then, there are plenty of signals of a failing radiator that will tell you whether or not your radiator is still loyal to you.
For instance, if you feel unusually hot inside the vehicle, the chances are that the engine is overheating due to the radiator not doing its job well.
If you notice green liquid under your car, it could be because of a coolant leak, which happens due to a bad radiator.
What if a faulty radiator is not repaired/replaced?
Truth to be told, continued operation with a faulty radiator could lead to an expensive repair. The first thing that usually gives up is the head gasket, which costs an arm and a leg. A failed gasket mixes the coolant and the engine oil, leading to the malfunctioning of the car’s engine.
The radiator itself doesn’t come at a shoestring budget. With more parts failing, the labor costs will also shoot up. Everything adds up, creating a dent in a car owner’s wallet. That said, determining whether to change or repair a faulty radiator would depend on the extent of the damage done.
How is the car radiator changed?
- To begin with, the mechanic will do a thorough inspection of the car to check signs of leaks.
- He will then raise the vehicle and drain all the coolant. Of course, a drain pan will be placed beneath the radiator.
- Then, he will disconnect all the fittings and hoses to remove the old radiator to swap it with a new one.
- Usually, the radiator cap and the thermostat will also be replaced.
- The mechanic will carry out a final inspection to check if everything is working fine.
Can you replace a radiator on your own?
Unless you are super confident about your mechanical skills, you should leave the radiator change job to the car experts. That said, minor repairs can be done by a car owner, especially when it’s a pretty straightforward process. For instance, a car owner can deal with a leaking radiator hose without hiring a professional.
Of course, one would still have to get under the car, pay attention to the details, and whatnot. So, don’t expect it to be a child’s play. You may also need a garage space to drain the coolant. Not to mention that you will have to carefully dispose of the engine coolant to avoid environmental hazards.
Important Notice: You won’t be able to repair a radiator on most of the modern cars out there. Unfortunately, they are built in such a way that they make repair next to impossible. So, the only option left is to replace the faulty one with a new radiator.
How can you save money on radiator replacement repair?
One of the ways to save money on a radiator replacement or repair job is to get second opinions on labor costs. As you might already know, there could a night and day difference in labor costs depending on where you get the job done.
The good news is that most of the service centers provide a free estimate for the job, allowing you to easily compare prices without any fuss. The same can be done with parts that need a replacement. Compare prices between different auto parts stores before finalizing the deal. In this manner, you will be able to save money both on the radiator and labor costs.
- How Much Does It Cost To Replace Car Radiator?
- What is a car radiator?
- What is the importance of a well-functioning car radiator?
- How long can a radiator last?
- Why can a radiator fail?
- How do you know if a radiator is working or not?
- What if a faulty radiator is not repaired/replaced?
- How is the car radiator changed?
- Can you replace a radiator on your own?
- How can you save money on radiator replacement repair?