Radiator patch prognosis


#1

I found a crack in the top of the radiator (plastic) in my Tacoma with 283,000 miles. Patched it with some Perma-tex 2 part epoxy for high temp range. Seems to be holding. Not sure how much more life is left in the truck so wondering if anyone has experience with patch jobs and the chance of it holding OR should I bite the bullet and have the radiator replaced? Thanks


#2

I’m not a fan of patching plastic tanks on radiators. It might be worth a gamble if your driving is pretty much close to the house and so on.

About a dozen years ago the plastic tank on my youngest son’s car split open suddenly and it had never been cracked or patched at all. That crack was about 6" long.

I live in an area of my state where things are spread out so my opinion is based on that as a factor. I simply do not want to risk being stranded on the roadside at night and 20-40 miles to the nearest town with no parts houses.


#3

I once repaired a Jeep Cherokee radiator with a 2-part plastic epoxy and it held long enough (1 month) so that I could find a new one and get it replaced.


#4

Agree that a patch is just that; a band aid for temporary use. Time to get a new rad.

I once had a metal radiator spring a leak in a forest campsite in Maine. Topping it off and carefully driving to the nearest garage outside the park we got some Stop Leak (pellets in a liquid) to get us home, after which I had the rad properly rebuilt. In those days you could do that.


#5

Yep, no way to tell, the patch could fail tomorrow, or in a month, and likely at a very inconvenient time, in the middle of a hot traffic jam or out of cell phone range. If the truck has any life left in it I’d buy a radiator from Rockauto and eliminate the worry. If you can’t do it, call around and find a shop that’ll do it for a reasonable cost.


#6

Thanks folks! I was hoping someone would say “yup, patched mine and it lasted 5 years!” I should have known better. Got the parts on order and a skilled friend will do the work.


#7

good luck wit the car. I think getting new radiator is good idea. I also have to give you your props for keeping up the car with over 200,000 miles. Most people would not do that. I think you will be better off with new radiator so that the car will keep going. The way I look at it, is a few new parts are cheaper than a monthly car payment, plus you still get to drive your vehicle.


#8

Just like everything else, plastic gets brittle over time. So even if that patch holds for a while, the tank will likely fail somewhere else. I did replace just the plastic tank once for about $30, but a new radiator is much easier.