I have a 1999 Volvo V70 AWD. I took it to a local shop to get brake lines installed. They said they noticed a leak in my radiator. When I asked if I could plug the hole, the mechanic told me “You can’t use stop leak or other plugging liquids in these cars, the ports are smaller than Japanese or American cars and the stop leak will plug the ports”. He wants to charge me $632 for a new radiator, parts, and a coolant flush. What do you guys think?
If your radiator has a leak, the right thing to do is to get a new one. Take it to another shop and get another opinion and price quote.
Those stop leak liquids are only temporary at best. I wouldn’t use them in any car because I think they can do more harm than good.
Can you see the “leak”? Have you been adding coolant? In the old days radiators could be repaired, but many now contain plastics and very thin materials and can’t be repaired. If the leak is verified and is significant enough to repair, you’ll need a new radiator.
If it is a minor leak, you might just be able to live with topping off the coolant every couple of months.
It’s unusual to be replacing brake lines on a 1999 model vehicle unless they’ve been damaged from a collision or road debris or rust has eaten them up.
If the cause is rust then it could be that the environmental and road conditions (salt, etc.) where you live are severe enough to damage the radiator also and it should be replaced.
You should avoid the use of stop leak products if at all possible.