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Leaky Radiator Tank Help


Amila G
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Hi Guys,

The radiator top tank of my car (corolla 110 diesel) has developed a leak that happens only when the engine is hot and revved.

There's a 2 inch long patch under the top hose that looks like it's rusted (although it's plastic) and tiny water droplets appear on it when the engine is hot. (As if the radiator is sweating).

I took the car to Radiator house and they quoted 7500 to replace the top tank with another plastic one. But the issue is their replacement tank is made in china and are not giving a warranty for that. But the guy assured that they are as good as originals. Also that tank looked like it is made from a different kind of plastic that flexes a lot more than the original.

A used radiator costs 25000 at Japan lanka, which is a lot considering it too will be 18 years old.

I don't put so much as a chinese bolt in the car so I'm hesitant to use the replacement tank.

Another mech suggested to repair the crack with epifix (and epoxy glue) or super glue mixed with powder !

So if any of you replaced / repaired a radiator could you share your experience of how it was done and how it is holding up ?

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Get a copper one done. It will cost a bit, 10k+ but not as much as a warped head if you keep on driving with a leaking radiator.

CT Lionel Radiators, Radiator house, etc are good palces. Also there is a guy at the start of Kandawatte Raiod in Nugegoda who did the copper 3 core tank for my Forester.

Epoxy fixes are not long lasting... as in more than a few days in our traffic and climatic conditions.

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I had a issue with my top tank and it had been made out of copper and when I showed it to Radiator House, they told me that once the top tank is replaced with a copper one, you cannot replace it again. It is some welding to aluminium core that is not possible for the second time. But as suggested by VVTi copper tanks are the best option for tropical climate.

If it is not a major leak there is a radiator sealant from BG that seals the leaks caused by corrosion on the coolant lines. you have to add it to the coolant.

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I faced a simillar issue on my EK3 and in my case it was the bottom tank which was leaking. It was made by plastic as same as yours. Getting it done by copper was expensive and they told me it's impossible to weld copper and aluminum and they're going to use a glue to fix it. But I was lucky to find a fiber guy who did a perfect job by removing it and puting a fiber coat from inside and from outside. He said the fiber mixure is changed to stay on high temperatures and since then I had no issues with it. This was done in Galle and cost me Rs. 6500/=

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@ Amila G, considering where the leak is in your case epoxy or fiberglass will not help because if the crack is around the radiator inlet, which an area subjected to lot of mechanical stress due to engine vibration, no amount of epoxy or any other material would hold it for long.

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Thanks all for your comments. Will check about the copper ones as it seems as the best solution at the moment.

@Magnum, yes there's a difference between auto/manual radiators, I only got to know because @Japan lanka they asked if the car is a manual or auto saying that the radiators are different.

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talking about radiators i got to know recently that automatic cars get a thicker radiator

Not thicker, they have separate cooler within the radiator to cool the ATF with lines to connect the ATF hoses. You can still use one of them in a manual car.

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Not thicker, they have separate cooler within the radiator to cool the ATF with lines to connect the ATF hoses. You can still use one of them in a manual car.

Yes im using one in my manual car. It actually keeps the car even more cooler. My new engine + the new radiator keep the temperature most of the time at cool

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Not if the whole unit is copper. Which is what i did.

ah ok, went to radiator house to ask about copper. They said they don't do copper but a brass tank can be fitted by using some kind of adhesive as aluminium can't be soldered on. But they also said that it might start leaking again after sometime :(

I'll go to the guy you mentioned possibly on Monday.

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Yes im using one in my manual car. It actually keeps the car even more cooler. My new engine + the new radiator keep the temperature most of the time at cool

But that's not good. If the engine is running cool it reduces the efficiency and increases wear.

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But that's not good. If the engine is running cool it reduces the efficiency and increases wear.

I know man, but my engine just wont warm up. the temperature comes up to warm once in a while but goes down back to cold when driving fast. With the A/C it doesnt come up from cold at all, only time it came up was when i drove up to Nuwaraeliya. Even with the old manual radiator it was like that. Its just my engine

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I know man, but my engine just wont warm up. the temperature comes up to warm once in a while but goes down back to cold when driving fast. With the A/C it doesnt come up from cold at all, only time it came up was when i drove up to Nuwaraeliya. Even with the old manual radiator it was like that. Its just my engine

hm I guess you've already checked the thermostat valve ?

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I had the same issue in CE110, 1998 Auto,

Whole radiator would cost me 18~20000 (Radiator House)

Used one 22000, I found good shape one from "Japan Lanka"- Delkanda and got it checked from a radiator repair guy!

It is still going strong!

Anyway why don't you just ring Toyota Lanka (just to check their price )

Anyway I have used several jap used radiator, in general they are ok unless you are very unlucky (there is theoretical possibility of leaking but that is usually not happening)

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Thought of sharing my experience.... So day before yesterday before going on a trip i checked the coolant level and everything was fine... Drove nearly 300km's and the next day just checked the coolant level and the coolant bottle was empty, and the radiator was almost empty too... I had to fill around 300ml's for the radiator.... However there was no heating indication as i always keep my eyes on the heating/odo meters and im surprised why didnt it heat up....However today in the morning i checked again and there was no water leaking over and underneath... drove around 5km's and still the water wasnt leaking... Took the car to the closest radiator repairing place in ja-ela named "Rohana Radiator"... they checked for leaks and none was to be found... the problem was in the radiator- which there were so much of dirt and rods in it which they showed me... and it was blocking the radiator's coolant flow... Hence, the coolant had been overflowing and vaporized while running... I"ll keep an eye on the levels anyway just to make sure it was the real cause, and keep ya"ll updated... Anyway, any comments regarding this?

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Thought of sharing my experience.... So day before yesterday before going on a trip i checked the coolant level and everything was fine... Drove nearly 300km's and the next day just checked the coolant level and the coolant bottle was empty, and the radiator was almost empty too... I had to fill around 300ml's for the radiator.... However there was no heating indication as i always keep my eyes on the heating/odo meters and im surprised why didnt it heat up....However today in the morning i checked again and there was no water leaking over and underneath... drove around 5km's and still the water wasnt leaking... Took the car to the closest radiator repairing place in ja-ela named "Rohana Radiator"... they checked for leaks and none was to be found... the problem was in the radiator- which there were so much of dirt and rods in it which they showed me... and it was blocking the radiator's coolant flow... Hence, the coolant had been overflowing and vaporized while running... I"ll keep an eye on the levels anyway just to make sure it was the real cause, and keep ya"ll updated... Anyway, any comments regarding this?

Had the same kinda issue and got the radiator cleaned. Did it at the Katubedda branch of Radiator House. They did a good job. But need to do a long run to stress test.

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Had the same kinda issue and got the radiator cleaned. Did it at the Katubedda branch of Radiator House. They did a good job. But need to do a long run to stress test.

How much did they charge you?... yeah I drove 100kms after the radiator clean-up and it leaks no more... so I guess it's fine now!

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How much did they charge you?... yeah I drove 100kms after the radiator clean-up and it leaks no more... so I guess it's fine now!

The cleanup was 2600. Had to pay another guy to remove and reinstall the thing, but didn't get a break-down from him, there was also some AC matters that were being attended to.

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