Should I replace car radiator or use sealant instead?

38
Posted 1st Oct
Hello all.

So my 15 year old Honda is leaking coolant (I have to top it up every 6 weeks or so with a litre of pre-mixed) and I can see the coolant on the bottom of the radiator.

Should I replace the radiator (local mechanic has quoted ~140 for the radiator and £100 for labour) or should I use a sealant?

I know sealant is never as good as a replacement but is it worth it if I envisage buying a new car in a year?

I plan to do about 60 motorway miles daily.


Thanks for any and all advice.
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MynameisM01/10/2019 18:12

I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of …I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of mechanics charge between £15-35, per hour it's hardly a technical job. It's pretty straight forward for most mechanics I'm good if you pay a mechanic £50 An hour but that is probably what a experienced electrical mechanic would charge for coming out they usually charge around £35-40 aswell around here.


£15 per hour? That’ll be homer pricing, with no building maintenance, insurance, receipts, etc.
MynameisM01/10/2019 17:34

Prices seem excessive, labour should be around £20-40, it's around 0.5 to …Prices seem excessive, labour should be around £20-40, it's around 0.5 to 2hour job max, plus coolant cost, can you get a refubish rad or get yours refubished, quite few areas do this or you could get a second hand one but that could be risky.


LOL, you are living in a dream world. What machanic charges £20 per hour? The £100 quote is probably for 2 hours labour but at £50 an hour.
38 Comments
Prices seem excessive, labour should be around £20-40, it's around 0.5 to 2hour job max, plus coolant cost, can you get a refubish rad or get yours refubished, quite few areas do this or you could get a second hand one but that could be risky.
I would try a rad weld first. If it stops it great.
Just keep an eye on the water temp as to much canblock the rad
MynameisM01/10/2019 17:34

Prices seem excessive, labour should be around £20-40, it's around 0.5 to …Prices seem excessive, labour should be around £20-40, it's around 0.5 to 2hour job max, plus coolant cost, can you get a refubish rad or get yours refubished, quite few areas do this or you could get a second hand one but that could be risky.


OMG, the guy said "I don't want to take it on Saturday in case I find something else wrong and I won't be able to get things delivered on Sunday, then I'll have the car for 4 days instead of 2". Thanks for your comment, I will get a quote from a different garage.
bigwheels01/10/2019 17:35

I would try a rad weld first. If it stops it great.Just keep an eye on the …I would try a rad weld first. If it stops it great.Just keep an eye on the water temp as to much canblock the rad


Thanks for this. How long should I drive before I consider this a success? If the worst damage it can do means I end up replacing the radiator then I have no isse but I've read this volvoforums.org.uk/sho…t=9 and I don't want to end up damaging more than just the radiator.


Thanks again.
MynameisM01/10/2019 17:34

Prices seem excessive, labour should be around £20-40, it's around 0.5 to …Prices seem excessive, labour should be around £20-40, it's around 0.5 to 2hour job max, plus coolant cost, can you get a refubish rad or get yours refubished, quite few areas do this or you could get a second hand one but that could be risky.


LOL, you are living in a dream world. What machanic charges £20 per hour? The £100 quote is probably for 2 hours labour but at £50 an hour.
Don’t bother with the sealant it’s hopeless
666FU01/10/2019 17:51

LOL, you are living in a dream world. What machanic charges £20 per hour? …LOL, you are living in a dream world. What machanic charges £20 per hour? The £100 quote is probably for 2 hours labour but at £50 an hour.


I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of mechanics charge between £15-35, per hour it's hardly a technical job. It's pretty straight forward for most mechanics I'm good if you pay a mechanic £50 An hour but that is probably what a experienced electrical mechanic would charge for coming out they usually charge around £35-40 aswell around here.
666FU01/10/2019 17:51

LOL, you are living in a dream world. What machanic charges £20 per hour? …LOL, you are living in a dream world. What machanic charges £20 per hour? The £100 quote is probably for 2 hours labour but at £50 an hour.



Plus VAT..
Try this you should get a rough estimate for your car but that will include a new radiator if you can get it refubished will be cheaper.
Look on Breaker yard. You put in your requirements, and breakers all over the country email you quotes, along with details about warranty etc. Then get a mobile mechanic to come out and fit it at your home.
I've used breaker yard several times and had no issues with any of the parts I've had.
MadeDixonsCry01/10/2019 17:46

OMG, the guy said "I don't want to take it on Saturday in case I find …OMG, the guy said "I don't want to take it on Saturday in case I find something else wrong and I won't be able to get things delivered on Sunday, then I'll have the car for 4 days instead of 2". Thanks for your comment, I will get a quote from a different garage...


More mechanics should operate like this. If the issue is something else or complicated by something else then delays could be minimised. Obvious example here would be compromised coolant hose.
Changing a radiator is a task most competent DIYers could attempt. Obviously some cars it may not be a simple job, so a bit of research would help.
MynameisM01/10/2019 18:12

I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of …I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of mechanics charge between £15-35, per hour it's hardly a technical job. It's pretty straight forward for most mechanics I'm good if you pay a mechanic £50 An hour but that is probably what a experienced electrical mechanic would charge for coming out they usually charge around £35-40 aswell around here.


£15 per hour? That’ll be homer pricing, with no building maintenance, insurance, receipts, etc.
MynameisM01/10/2019 18:12

I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of …I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of mechanics charge between £15-35, per hour it's hardly a technical job. It's pretty straight forward for most mechanics I'm good if you pay a mechanic £50 An hour but that is probably what a experienced electrical mechanic would charge for coming out they usually charge around £35-40 aswell around here.


It doesn't matter how technical the job is. You're paying for the time. You estimated a max of £20 per hour labour. Maybe 30 years ago.
Thanks for that guys, I've made visits to the websites. Will update.
Oneday7701/10/2019 18:58

Changing a radiator is a task most competent DIYers could attempt. …Changing a radiator is a task most competent DIYers could attempt. Obviously some cars it may not be a simple job, so a bit of research would help.


I'd do it but right now I have nowhere to Jack up the car and work. I hate living in a flat.
MadeDixonsCry01/10/2019 19:05

I'd do it but right now I have nowhere to Jack up the car and work. I hate …I'd do it but right now I have nowhere to Jack up the car and work. I hate living in a flat.


Know anyone with a drive. Bing them a bottle of spirits to let your car wee on their drive for a few hours.
MynameisM01/10/2019 18:12

I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of …I don't live in dream world, I live in Staffordshire and majority of mechanics charge between £15-35, per hour it's hardly a technical job. It's pretty straight forward for most mechanics I'm good if you pay a mechanic £50 An hour but that is probably what a experienced electrical mechanic would charge for coming out they usually charge around £35-40 aswell around here.


fleetnews.co.uk/new…our

A few years old but should give you an idea.

I earn about £15-20 an hour but I don't have to pay rent, insurance, utilities at my office job. How would a machanic earn money after paying all those and charging so little. Maybe a monkey machanic who works from home whilst claiming unemployment benefit will charge do little.
I agree with £20 per hour charges for industrial estate garages. You do know that mechanics make a huge mark up on parts.?? If you supply your own then you will get charged a bit more labour.
A few year back I changed stepdaughters radiator at roadside. You generally don't have to jack car up. Took about 30mins I think.

Just had to take 3 hoses off, and undo 4 bolts.

Just used a local scrapyard rad, £20 jobs a good un.
Every 6 weeks so not leaking that much, throw an egg in it.
Oneday7701/10/2019 19:34

Know anyone with a drive. Bing them a bottle of spirits to let your car …Know anyone with a drive. Bing them a bottle of spirits to let your car wee on their drive for a few hours.


Can of larger!
thomasleep01/10/2019 22:50

Every 6 weeks so not leaking that much, throw an egg in it.


I read that on another forum and now I'm not sure if it was a joke 😣
MadeDixonsCry01/10/2019 22:59

I read that on another forum and now I'm not sure if it was a joke …I read that on another forum and now I'm not sure if it was a joke 😣


this is what you tube was made for, mechanics and diyers showing the pro and cons of leaky rad and eggs seriously though if it only needs filling every 6 weeks best advice, check the jubilee clips and check the hoses for a tiny leak. I have had cars that needed the rad filling every 50 miles, so every six weeks is a extremely small leak. If the rad needed replacing you would be filling it up with water at every petrol station and have a few gallons of water in the boot. Check the hoses and connections
Edited by: "thomasleep" 1st Oct
Just remember if you intend to keep topping up over winter to add antifreeze or you will break something if water freezes around your engine.
Looks like you need the help of this dodgy clown
38590380.jpg


who it seems will try and make money out of anybody.

"...Mike's first car was a Mini 850 for which he paid his sister $415.89. It had a dent under the headlamp, sister's neighbor switched into it. His insurance company wrote it off, so he recovered the $415.89. The car was still up for sale, so he later got it for $34.65 and sold it for $693.06 after repairing."


Seems the authorities are after him, seen on a Wanted poster
38590380.jpg
Edited by: "TopTrump" 2nd Oct
Assuming no acceleration of issue: £15 for 5l conc coolant (say equiv 10l pre-mixed) prior to car replacement, or £200+ for new rad. Give me a few mins to consider risk / reward...
How are you getting on.
Just change the rad, depending on access/piping you may need to clamp the hoses or use the opportunity to replace the coolant too.
Just for a different perspective, what will you do with the car when you finish with it? Honda's seem to hold their value, but nothing will kill a sale more than visible fluid. OK, maybe not kill the sale, but the buyer will use it to knock a couple of hundred off. Wouldn't it be better to get it sorted and keep the resale value? You can even point it out during the sale to demonstrate that you look after your cars.

My own personal view is that it should be sorted, especially if you're on the motorway most of the time. I do 99% of my driving on motorways, and I've had far too many experiences of being stuck at the side of one to risk any sort of missed maintenance. If I left myself in a big puddle of coolant just because I wanted to save a bit of money I would be kicking myself.
AndyRoyd02/10/2019 13:38

Assuming no acceleration of issue: £15 for 5l conc coolant (say equiv 10l …Assuming no acceleration of issue: £15 for 5l conc coolant (say equiv 10l pre-mixed) prior to car replacement, or £200+ for new rad. Give me a few mins to consider risk / reward...


Potential risk is a high pressure coolant loss if the leak turns into a split hose or radiator.
I had a radiator split in the 3rd lane on the A1. Wasn’t a fun experience.
Oneday7702/10/2019 20:31

Potential risk is a high pressure coolant loss if the leak turns into a …Potential risk is a high pressure coolant loss if the leak turns into a split hose or radiator. I had a radiator split in the 3rd lane on the A1. Wasn’t a fun experience.


Somehow I doubt OP is going to change all the 15 years old coolant hoses, but could afford to do so if not changing the rad.
slimy3102/10/2019 19:58

Just for a different perspective, what will you do with the car when you …Just for a different perspective, what will you do with the car when you finish with it? Honda's seem to hold their value, but nothing will kill a sale more than visible fluid. OK, maybe not kill the sale, but the buyer will use it to knock a couple of hundred off. Wouldn't it be better to get it sorted and keep the resale value? You can even point it out during the sale to demonstrate that you look after your cars.My own personal view is that it should be sorted, especially if you're on the motorway most of the time. I do 99% of my driving on motorways, and I've had far too many experiences of being stuck at the side of one to risk any sort of missed maintenance. If I left myself in a big puddle of coolant just because I wanted to save a bit of money I would be kicking myself.


No one is going to buy a 15 year old car from me. It shows its age outside too.

If it were up to me I'd keep it forever, it's just that more and more cities are jumping on the "cleaner air" bandwagon and my car is not compliant.

I don't mind replacing all hoses but two mechanics have told me that radiator needs replacing, not that the leak is coming from the hoses.

The car is barely worth £1000 now.
MadeDixonsCry02/10/2019 21:04

No one is going to buy a 15 year old car from me. It shows its age outside …No one is going to buy a 15 year old car from me. It shows its age outside too.If it were up to me I'd keep it forever, it's just that more and more cities are jumping on the "cleaner air" bandwagon and my car is not compliant.I don't mind replacing all hoses but two mechanics have told me that radiator needs replacing, not that the leak is coming from the hoses.The car is barely worth £1000 now.


If the hoses are original they will be the near or at the semi-flexible equivalent of work-hadened and may not take kindly to being disturbed and / or may be internally stressed during the rad replacement process leading to subsequent early failure. One mechanic has likely already considered this possibility but you have dismissed his professional opinion.
Maybe continue to monitor the situation with a view to re-considering options if coolant loss increases. A 15 years old car may have other critical aged items that may better justify £200 being thrown at them sometime during the car's final 12months of your use.
crack an egg in it. If that doesn't work cobble this into it
AndyRoyd02/10/2019 21:47

If the hoses are original they will be the near or at the semi-flexible …If the hoses are original they will be the near or at the semi-flexible equivalent of work-hadened and may not take kindly to being disturbed and / or may be internally stressed during the rad replacement process leading to subsequent early failure. One mechanic has likely already considered this possibility but you have dismissed his professional opinion.Maybe continue to monitor the situation with a view to re-considering options if coolant loss increases. A 15 years old car may have other critical aged items that may better justify £200 being thrown at them sometime during the car's final 12months of your use.


Thanks for your comment. I did not dismiss his opinion. Both mechanics have advised that the radiator needs to be changed so that's a priority. I will have to ask them to take a look at the hoses when they change the radiator and I will have to monitor coolant loss.
MadeDixonsCry03/10/2019 07:17

Thanks for your comment. I did not dismiss his opinion. Both mechanics …Thanks for your comment. I did not dismiss his opinion. Both mechanics have advised that the radiator needs to be changed so that's a priority. I will have to ask them to take a look at the hoses when they change the radiator and I will have to monitor coolant loss.


It might be worth pricing up the top an bottom coolant hoses. If they are cheap enough, ask them to replace as part of the rad swap. Shouldn’t add to the labour cost and makes for a more complete and reliable job.
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