I found a new mechanic whom I like. My car has been overheating and turns out I have a cracked radiator. Mechanic advises against me from pulling a used one from an old Honda, but I think I could save a lot of money this way. He gave me the impression it's going to be expensive. Of course if I take it from an old Honda I have no insurance that the car didn't die from overheating.
An online search indicates he'll probably charge me at least $175 for the part: PartsTrain.com
Do you think it's a gamble to use an old radiator?
Some unrelated things the mechanic said regarding the car:
1. The lurching backward on a hill when in gear is a sign of bad compression in the cylinders.
2. The O2 sensor throwing a CEL when it's not hot is a bad heat sensor in the O2 sensor. Going to try to get Global Automotive to replace it as it's still under warranty.
I would not recommend a used radiator, the plastic tanks are prone to cracking and there's a good chance the used one will have issues. Keep overheating your car and you'll blow the head gasket and cost you more $.
Not sure what you did to search radiator prices, but try ebay, but you should be able to get one for about $80 shipped. I just replaced the one in my CRX for about $70 and got one for a friend's Sentra for about the same price.
First, if you get one from a wrecking yard, you need to go to a Pick your own part type of place and look for one which has brass tanks, instead of the plastic garbage.
If it has brass tanks, then the chances are substantially higher it will be Ok. This is because the factory units were plastic. Additionally, the brass tanks are soldered, instead of using crimps and those rubber gaskets. The leaks I've had with the factory radiators have usually been either the plastic cracks or the gaskets give up, under any pressure. Consequently if you can find a used one, with the brass tanks, then that increases, greatly your possibilities of getting a tank that will be ok.
Second, look inside the radiator, by taking off the radiator cap. If the top does not look like it has a bunch of calcium (white material) or rust, then you have maybe a 50/50 chance it's ok.
I have replaced several radiators using used ones, but it is largely a crap shoot and unless your doing the work yourself, it just is not worth the risk.
Third, if you order a radiator, find out if they have one with brass tanks, instead of the plastic. If they have brass tanks, then the tanks are attached with solder, instead of a rubber gasket and metal tabs. I've ordered a couple of tanks, by mail or online and I found out that I could get one with the brass tanks for the same price as the plastic, from the same distributor, but I had to ask.
that's a great price($85), and besides mrmad is correct, there are some things that should never be bought used. a radiator is one of them!
perhaps it was $175 for part and labor?
BTW, could you absotively not do the install yourself?
heh heh heh. If I want my car to blow up that may be a good idea. But I want it to last as long as possible, so me doing the work myself seems like a baaaad idea. The thermostat also needs to be replaced. I'm told it may have been compromised by the overheating. I'm really mechanically uninclined.
I think I will go with a new one.
I think it's going to cost somewhere around $350+ for the mechanic to do it. I will know by tomorrow or Wedensday.
If your going to have a mechanic do the job, then I would let the mechanic get the radiator, for you. They will get something for it, but then if you have any further problems, the whole problem is theirs and not yours.
i think a new radiator is best, i fitted mine myself, wich saved me some bucks but i had my dad who's a mechanic to advice me so that prevents some screwups.
the good thing is that with the new radiator the car seemed to run much cooler, so i could get away with an almost full grillblock most of the time
I've been wondering if I won't take an FE hit with a proper cooling system. I think my engine may have been running at the threshold operating temp these last few tanks. We'll see tho. Yeah, thanks for the tips Gary. I think you are right--I'll just let the mechanic get the rad. Phooey, I'm sure he'll quote me $175+ for it.
See if your mechanic will allow you to buy it an he install it for you. If not, changing a radiator is very easy. Drain it by removing the drain plug on the bottom, remove the hoses, disconnect the connectors to the fan(s) and then there's a couple 10mm bolts holding the clamps on top of the radiator and the whole thing lifts out. You then take the fans off the old radiator, bolt them to the new one, slide the whole thing back in, bolt the clamps down, and reconnect the hoses (probbaly want to replace them at this point) and connectors to the fans. Then fill it up with 50/50 anti freeze, start it up and let it warm up with the rad cap off and keep topping it off as the thermstat opens. If you think you're not mechanically inclined, this is a good place to start to realize working on a car is pretty easy.