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Anyone Experience a Radiator Replacement for a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS

After a recent approx.60-70 mile round trip I had some extra time and decided to get my oil changed and tires rotated.
With no signs of overheating, no signs of any radiator fluid leakage under the vehicle where I parked, no signs of fluid leakage
leading from the parking into the bay, an no signs of leakage in the bay anywhere other than directly under the radiator AFTER
my car was up in the air on the rack and they had taken off the tires. I was led into the bay an shown a significant amount of
radiator leakage across the entire width of the radiator. I could NOT see where the leak was coming from as I was only looking
from under neath and could not see from the top down.
I had previously religiously serviced my vehicle and had the radiator flushed and re-filled less than 11,000 miles before this
EVENT. At that time the mechanic stated he had been through the mechanics of my vehicle thoroughly and found NO leaks and
nothing needing or requiring any repair.
Another interesting thing is that they DID NOT recommend I replace the hoses. I insisted they replace the hoses too.
After they replaced the hoses one of the hoses showed a tear. They DID NOT find any problem with that hose being
any part of the leak coming from the radiator.
A friend of mine suggested after this happened that I may have been able to just use TB Weld. Of course the shop insisted
that nothing other than a complete replacement radiator could be done.
First, I want to know if anybody else had to replace their radiator on a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS at 105k miles.
Second, I want to know if the TB Weld fix could have/would have worked.
Third, I honestly don’t believe my radiator could have been leaking that bad with no signs of overheating during or even
after that drive. If the radiator had been leaking that bad would I even have had ANY fluid remaining?

No Tb weld would not fixed it. You have 2 things that say to me it was time to replace the radiator. Time and miles.More the time than miles. I have seen this type of leak on a radiator. You got lucky and had it fixed before it went when you were on the road/hwy.


You most likely have an aluminum radiator with plastic tanks. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever, like the old copper and brass units.

I would feel uncomfortable driving a car with a jb welded radiator. I have seen guys actually use that stuff on their plastic tanks. But who’s to say that a crack wouldn’t develop the next day on the other tank? Or right next to the jb weld?

What may have happened is that the tank seals are leaking. Meaning the seal between the tank and the core. Also not uncommon on plastic/aluminum radiators.

I routinely replace these aluminum/plastic radiators at the 10-12 year mark. I’ve even seen one leak at 8 years. They just don’t last forever.

Given the age and mileage of the car it sounds like normal wear and tear and a routine repair to me. If there was any coolant present around the radiator, it was time for replacement. You want to replace the radiator when the leak is slow and minor, not when it leaks so bad it won’t hold coolant anymore. JB Weld is no more of a repair for a radiator than duct tape is for a leaky hose.

The tanks on radiators are made of plastic. You can start your car on a 40 degree morning and 15 minutes later that plastic tank is at 220 degrees. Heat and cool anything enough times and it will fail. You can flush and replace coolant all you want, it’s the cold/hot cycles that can cause a tank leak.

Agree with previous posters; at this time and mileage replacing the rad makes sense. On our 1994 Nissan it failed before the warranty was up, and Nissan replaced it no questions asked.