what can cause a radiator to crack at the top near the hose?
15 years of bouncing around on public roads or just age .
I think Volvo is right, but since it is at the top of the assembly, and since ice floats, I wonder if the coolant was somehow frozen and expanded, cracking the housing.
My 12-year old ES300 cracked its tank because the motor mounts wore out, allowing the engine to shift, putting stress where the top hose connected. I’m sure the fact it was 12 years old didn’t help…
My 1988 Accord had the same thing at 18 y.o.
A few years ago I was riding in a Toyota minivan in the mountains of Jamaica.
The top tank of the radiator had cracked before and repaired with JB Weld, and failed again.
I went into McGuyver mode and pumped the windshield washer fluid into the radiator, plus a 2 liter bottle of soda.
That got us far enough to a source of water.
We had to stop every 5 miles or so to refill on the way back home.
That’s the hottest spot in a radiator, where the hot coolant coming from the engine enters the radiator to be cooled before exiting the lower hose.
I’ve always thought that area was subject to the greatest heat, tending to “bake” the plastic tank, not to mention causing the greatest expansion (and therefore, contraction).
I’ve seen a tendency for cracks to form in that location in other makes/models.
I have noticed that the receiving end of perpendicular connections of pressurized systems that are prone to surging pressure are prone to failure. The pressure flow often results in a hammering effect that weakens the area where the hammering flow dead ends. I have installed air traps in heater hoses and shop air lines adjacent to such connections to reduce hammering and the resultant damage.