Today's vehicle radiators are composed of two plastic tanks that attach to either side of an aluminum core consisting of metal tubes and fins. While the plastic tanks are lightweight, they are also susceptible to cracking and leaking over time. When this problem arises, the engine will overheat and sustain severe damage, if the radiator is not immediately replaced.
Repair or Replace
While it may seem possible to repair a plastic radiator tank with epoxy, this fix is usually not recommended. Epoxy may effectively seal a leak in a windshield washer reservoir, but a plastic radiator tank is subjected to great heat and pressure. In addition, the tank's glass-reinforced nylon structure eventually grows brittle, making another leak likely. Better to replace than repair.
TIP: Radiators tend to clog over time. Restricting coolant flow, causing heat to build up and the engine to overheat.
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