Radiator Tank Gasket Can Escape?

I looked into the filler neck of the radiator of my 2000 Buick Century & found what surely looks like a section of a tank gasket sticking up above the coolant level. Yet the radiator hasnt leaked. So im trying to figure out how tha gasket could be coming loose & how there is no coolant leak. Might anyone know if this is a common problem for GM or any brand car radiators? I tried to pull it out, at first not knowing just what it was, & two pieces broke off, as shown in the attached picture.

Aluminum core and plastic tanks, right?
I’ve had lots of GM cars and that’s a new one on me. Decades ago, I had a plastic radiator tank seal begin seeping on an 84 Fiero, but the seal didn’t break up or dislodge. A guy in a local radiator shop replaced the tank and seal. I believe he had to destroy the old tank to remove it.

Radiators have gotten so cheap that I don’t know if anybody repairs them anymore. But, that would be a question for an older mechanic, preferably a radiator shop guy.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses::palm_tree:

I’d have the cooling system pressure tested. Are the pieces flexible? Maybe excess gasket sealer?

Me, too. I borrowed a pressure testing kit at O’Reilly’s and leaving it pumped up overnight discovered the source of a slow coolant leak. (Not actually borrow - you buy it, then get a full refund when you return it within the allotted time.)

If in doubt, just buy a new radiator, and replace it. A quality brand-name radiator and quality brand-name radiator hoses can be ordered online for less than $150 for most vehicles, including tax and shipping. For that little amount of money, why risk ruining your engine, or being stranded somewhere and paying more than that for a tow? In fact, I would consider replacing the radiator and all coolant hoses every 10 years or 150,000 miles, or when purchasing a used vehicle with more than 150,000 miles on it.

Ouch! Yikes! Easy for you to say! To me, that’s crazy talk! The problem with spending other people’s money is that pretty soon you run out of it!

One of my daily drivers, a Dodge Caravan, is 24 model-years old and has its original radiator. I’''m not about to waste money by replacing it! Do you think everybody is made of money?

The other southern daily driver, Grand Prix is waaay beyond ten years and why would I replace the radiator? I did replace the radiator in the 01 Impala, but it was when it needed one. It’s not as if a radiator suddenly fails and the engine temperature spikes instantly and ruins the engine.

I mean, with that type of thinking I would have no savings. I’m over 70 years old. Should I go in and have some major organs replaced, just in case one could fail? I don’t think so.

I have half a dozen vehicles. Should I buy and replace 6 radiators, just in case? Should I replace head gaskets, too? No offense, but that’s just crazy talk. I’m much too frugal for that. I’ve got better plans for my money, believe me, I replace what is necessary when it is necessary. 90% of what one worries could happen, never happens.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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THe talk of “quality” radiators reminded me of this story. My son had a Geo prosim as his first new car. It was built in a joint venture Chevy/Toyota plant and was a rebadged Corolla,

Everything Chevy supplied went quickly to pot, the floor mats came apart, the gadges fell off and agter about 4 years the radiator went. He went to a local parts store and the counter person asked if he wanted the Chevy one or the Toyota one,

My son asked what was the difference? $200 he was told.

What do you mean my son asked? The Chevy one costs about $100 and the Toyota one about $300. He took the $100 one and it lasted the next ten years the car was in the family.

I always wondered if they really had two different radiators in the back room.

Sounds like a misunderstanding.

Toyota parts catalogs show different part numbers (and prices) for their vehicles if they are assembled in North America or Japan.

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I replaced a tank on my 86 Riv but seems to me the gasket was a gray thing that fit around the tank. I got the tank from a radiator supply shop and they said it’s a 50-50 chance to be able to replace it. You had to bend the prongs out and then put the gasket and tank in place and bend the prongs back in place again. Break any or screw the gasket up and you were out of luck. So doesn’t look familiar and can’t see how the gasket could come loose again. Unless the just silicone the things together now. If it doesn’t leak, and hopefully it is not from some other part of the engine.

I haven’t been able to resolve my issue but thanks to all who commented on my post.

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