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Radiator life span?

06-25-2007, 12:04 PM
At what mileage did your radiator go bad?

I have 124k on my 3.8L, and I'm thinking it may be about time to replace it. I have replaced the coolant at least every 30k miles or so. What do you think?

06-25-2007, 12:37 PM
In my experience, radiator life is directly related to maintenance; specifically, coolant changes.

At 209K miles, the radiator in my '86 Mustang is original. No problems; no plans to change it. Lots of coolant changes over the years.

Coolant changes at 30K put you well ahead of the typical Windstar owner. Personally, I'd just keep driving it. But then, my Windstar only has 92K. Hmmm - That reminds me: Time to change the coolant.

06-25-2007, 01:09 PM
X2on what Phil said. Biggest killer of radiators and heater cores is electrolysis. Changing coolant is best way to avoid that. See electrolysis article on my blog to see how to test for electrolysis

06-25-2007, 01:14 PM
Phil-l, radiators made 20 years ago could go through the many years as your í86 Mustang shows. Radiators now are mostly made with plastic framing. My sonís Honda Accord leaked between the aluminum grid and plastic framing at 95k miles although the coolant changes were well maintained. I wonder how well the radiators to Windstar will hold up.

06-25-2007, 08:42 PM
If the radiator is not leaking, and does not appear to be clogged with junk (poor coolant maintenance) then I would not worry about it.
The windstar radiator is alluminium with plastic end tanks.
There was a TSB about leaking at the end tank to cooling tube joints, but the solution, as I remember, was to replace the radiator.

Aside from the electrolysis mentioned, physical damage is the only other thing to be worried about....and that is not a time related thing......
I would feel completely confident in your radiator at this point.

06-25-2007, 09:43 PM
RickMN -

Great blog. I appreciate the quick, easy - and accurate - electroysis test!

06-23-2012, 12:58 PM
Im new here.only today 23jun2012.

My honda city 2005 leaked last week at 112thousand kilometer..near the bonnet lock.,near the radiator cap. Very small leak. I put expoxy on it, but after 7days=now,its leaking again.
My issue is, is it time to replace by a brand new , or just fix that leak. Our place here in bahrain is very hot now. And fixis also are very costly. The new radiator cost bd190=190 dinars.


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