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Old 02-01-2008, 11:01 AM   #1
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HELP! poor daugthers radiator question

My daughter’s beater overheated. I THINK the thermostat stuck closed, and the overheating cause two pin hole leaks in the radiator shroud adjacent to the upper radiator hose. Guess there isn't much radiator repair these days and we're talking $250 for a new radiator installed.
These are pin holes.... IS IT POSSIBLE TO USE SOME EPOXY or other stuff to stop the leak at these holes instead of replacing the whole thing in my poor daughter's clunker?

I am thinking the thermostat is stuck closed cause although it was out of water I could only get a little over a gallon of water poured into the overflow tank. When it got hot, there was still pressure at the overflow tank opening and it was still full...yet it was HOT. Seems like the water couldn't flow into the engine, making more room for more liquid. *** AM I thinking ok?


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Old 02-01-2008, 12:09 PM   #2
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The shroud goes around the radiator, and has nothing to do with the leak. Are you sure it's not just a rotted hose? You can get the radiator soldered, but that may require removal. Shop around, radiators shouldn't be that expensive. It's not hard to replace one, and you should replace that thermostat too. DO NOT use anything advertised to stop leaks; it won't be the only thing it stops, as it will run through the entire cooling system clogging up coolant lines. The overflow tank is for overflow, not filling.

Your best bet is to find an honest mechanic. Buy a Haynes manual for the car anyway to read up on it and possibly DIY repairs and save a ton of money. I know some great female mechanics, but they do get their hands dirty.


"Aw! Why does everything that only happens to stupid people happens to me?" - Homer J. Simpson
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:26 PM   #3
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more detail

sorry, didn't mean the sourounding shroud. the leak is in the radiator itself, but the metal casing around it (next to the upper hose), not in the fin area. it's a 1994 chevy corsicca
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:18 PM   #4
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I don't think your logic makes sense about a closed thermostat busting the radiator, or the thing about the overflow tank. You should check the level of the coolant in the RADIATOR, when it's COOL. Fill it up there. Then when it's hot, check the level in the overflow tank.

On a car that age, I'd definitely throw in a bottle of an aluminum leak-stop compound. I've not heard of those causing bad problems. Heck Tom and Ray recommend it on older cars, so it can't be that bad!

The risk is really that it just won't work, if the leak is too big or too fast. But it's worth a try. The only danger is you'll be out $5, and then you'll go shopping for a radiator replacement.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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Things wear out. Solder seal or like product may help. Be sure to teach your daughter how to check the cooling system. Everyone's right. You're going to have to refill radiator directly. I've heard of a guy breaking a raw egg into his radiator to fill a leak. I'd never do it. Actually I may do the raw egg but mostly out of desperation and curiousity. Let us know how it all plays out. Good luck. Cliff
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #6
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I used to have a Chevy Corsica that had a bad leak (by the upper radiator hose connection). I tried the stop leak "fixes"- which didnt work, and finally tried good old JB WELD. This repair would last about 3-4 weeks before it, also cracked and started leaking. One problem you will find, is that a Corsica has a plastic and metal radiator, which makes normal repairs difficult, if not impossible. Best thing you could do is buy a new one (or a reconditioned one from a salvage yard. Trying to repair it really ends up to be a losing battle, in my opinion! (Good luck! Mine started in the middle of winter, and I was able to get it to work long enough for the weather to break, permitting me to replace it with a new one (got it from Autozone - about 80.00, if I remember correctly).
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:25 AM   #7
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Yes,when pushed against a wall you can use an epoxy type substance to plug the small pinholes in the plastic outer parts of a radiator,the kinds with the pressed and tabbed plastic sides.
Sand the area a bit and get high temp epoxy,make sure it sets up. Might not hold for long,or it might hold forever but it is a feasible temporary fix.
Do Not put any kind of stop leak type additive into your cooling system,especially with an older engine like yours it will simply clog up the works.
Thermostat is a 10$ part and if you think it is sticking and can't do a pressure test to check for sure then just replace it. Don't risk the motor cause your not sure for 10$ I figure.
Is it overheating while driving or while stop and go/Idle?
Small test,when the car is warmed up and running turn on the AC and look and see if the cooling fan turns on for the engine. If it does not come on and you are overheating at idle/stop and go but not steady driving then your cooling fan is not coming on either from a bad cooling fan or a bad tempature sensor.
Did the guage show the engine overheating?
How do you know it was out of water? Did it spew/steam back out of the overflow when you poured it in?


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