like most or all of you, ive never replaced a radiator that didnt need it. conventional wisdom dictates that one replaces a radiator only when necessary...unlike oil changes, filters, thermostats etc.
however, recently i was observing what looks to be a "tired" radiator in my car...tell tale superficial surface lines and cracks in the plastic. should i, or would you, replace it, the hoses, cap, and thermostat now? before you answer, ive got a few thoughts:
1)i now own only one vehicle...ive had multiple cars to fall back on in the past
2)missing work bites because a "sick" day pays significantly less than a worked day with my incentive bonus pay...besides i like achieving perfect attendance each year!
3)it just so happens that advance auto has a pretty nice coupon ($50 off $125)set to expire on the 29th. and i can get my order shipped for free to boot!
4)the car is a 2001 toyota corolla 5 speed so rad replacement is a piece of cake!
your thoughts please...
btw the coupon code is dotw52 if you're interested
merry christmas to you all and thanks!
FYI, Advance always has $40 off $100 codes floating around, in case you need something like that again after the 29th. However, their price for a radiator for my wife's SUV was $120 more than a brand new one on eBay. I took a chance on eBay (seller: Radiator Classic) and it looks like it's made better than the OEM one was (for whatever an amateur visual guess is worth). There are slots where plastic tabs from the shroud fit and they were slightly off, requiring me to trim the tabs, but otherwise it was a perfect fit. Like your Corolla, this was a very easy job...would have been a 10 minute job if it wasn't for one stubborn hose clamp. I didn't bother replacing the hoses, cap, and thermostat.
It sounds like you're pretty well convinced that you need to do this proactively. I do agree that having a fallback car is very useful, and sometimes it helps pay for itself by not having to do stuff like this until it actually fails (and it may never actually fail).