Plastic Radiator Repair: How to Fix a Cracked Plastic Radiator
Oct 23, · How to Repair Old Radiators Step 1: Tighten Nuts. If water leaks from beneath the handle, turn down the thermostat and wait for the radiator to cool. Step 2: Drain the Radiator. With a hot water system, water must be drained from the radiator. Turn down the thermostat. Step 3: Wrap the Stem. Unscrew. Mar 10, · If your car radiator has a small leak, you may be wondering if it is possible to repair a plastic radiator and fix a radiator leak. Afterall, there is high-p.
Radiators can be finicky—but that doesn't mean you have to live in the cold. We'll walk you through basic repairs how to make eggnog with spiced rum old radiators.
Knowing how to repair your radiator will help you stay warm during the winter months. But before you begin, it's important to know what type of radiator you have. Many older homes are heated with steam or hot water radiators, while newer homes may have convectors. We'll walk you through basic radiator repairs: like installing a new valve, clearing the bleeder valve, and maximizing air flow.
Expect to spend anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours on these projects, and make sure you're familiar with your system before you begin. Have basic tools on hand—like groove-joint pliers, a pipe wrench, and a screwdriver—plus any how to delete a hard drive partition in xp parts you may need. Editor's Tip: You can make minor repairs to radiators, but leave problems with a boiler or piping to a professional.
In a steam system, steam quickly heats the radiator when the boiler fires. In a hot water system, heated water continually circulates through the radiators. A steam radiator has a small air vent near the top that emits bursts of steam when the radiator heats.
Steam systems cycle between hot and cold. Most are connected to only one pipe at the floor, but some have two. You can how to fix a broken radiator and service a steam radiator valve if the boiler is off. It can be difficult to work on, however, because the high heat tends to seize up the pipe joints. Hot water radiators are connected to two pipes at the floor.
They maintain a constant warmth, rather than cycling between hot and cold. Before you dismantle a hot water radiator valve, you must drain the system. If water leaks from beneath the handle, turn down the thermostat and wait for the radiator to cool. Tighten the packing nut just under the handle using groove-joint pliers and tighten the larger union nut using a pipe wrench.
If this does not solve the problem, move on to the next step. With a hot water system, water must be drained from the radiator. Turn down the thermostat. Attach a hose to the boiler's drain valve and run the hose to a floor drain; open the valve to drain the system. Starting at the top floor of your house, open the bleeder valves of all radiators. Unscrew the packing nut and remove the stem, first by unscrewing and then by pulling it out. If the leak originates just under the handle, wrap the stem with strand packing and reinstall.
If the leak is lower or if this does not solve the problem, continue to step 4. Unscrew the union nut that attaches the valve to the radiator, then unscrew the valve from the pipe. Take the old valve to a plumbing and heating supply store to find an exact replacement; look carefully to be sure it will fit. You also may need to replace the short pipe that emerges from the radiator. If a handle is cracked or loose, remove the top screw and pull off the old handle.
If the stem's threads are in good shape, buy a replacement handle that has the same size screw. If the stem is damaged, buy a "fits-all" handle, which clamps onto the stem with a setscrew. A steam radiator valve must be turned either all the way on or all the way off. To adjust the heat, an adjustable air vent is used. Turn down the thermostat and use pliers to unscrew the old air vent. Buy a compatible adjustable unit. Wrap the threads with pipe-thread tape and screw the new unit in place.
If a hot water radiator is not heating enough, air may be trapped inside. Turn the thermostat up and wait for the radiator to get warm. Hold a cup under the bleeder valve and open it with a bleeder key, long-nose pliers, or screwdriver.
Spluttering water or hissing air may come out. Once water flows in a steady stream, tighten the valve. How to request someone to follow you on twitter improve a radiator's performance, move furniture and other obstructions out of the way. Air should flow freely under and above the radiator.
A sheet of aluminum or reflective insulation placed behind the radiator directs more heat into the room. How to Repair Old Radiators. October 23, Save Pin FB ellipsis More. Vintage Artwork. View Series. Comments Add Comment. Share options. Back to story Comment on this project Rate Review Comment on this story. Tell us what you think Thanks for adding your feedback.
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Apr 23, · Plastic radiator repair is performed at most auto body shops, but you have to pay for expensive labor. Fixing cracks in your radiator is a relatively quick and easy job, and you will save on your hard earned cash by simply locating the crack, preparing the area, and fixing the problem yourself.
Last Updated: February 3, References. This article was co-authored by Jason Shackelford. Jason Shackelford is the Owner of Stingray Auto Repair, a family owned and operated auto repair shop with locations in Seattle and Redmond, Washington.
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If you are having an issue with the coolant system in your vehicle, one culprit may be the radiator. If you are having issues with your radiator, there are a few things you can try yourself before resorting to having it professionally repaired.
Remember though, an overheating engine can cause significant damage to internal components, so you may want to consider professional repair if the vehicle continues to have cooling problems. If you have some mechanical skills, try draining and flushing your radiator. First, let your engine cool completely, jack up your car, and drain the coolant into a container. Then flush the radiator with a hose 3 or 4 times and refill it with a water and coolant mix.
If you notice a leak in your radiator, use a commercial leak sealant or epoxy to seal it. Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue.
Remember that there are a number of fluids in your engine that could feasibly leak, so check closely to confirm if the puddle you find is coolant, oil, or possibly even just water from running the air conditioner. Check the coolant reservoir. If you believe your vehicle may be leaking coolant, check the coolant reservoir in the engine bay. Check it again after a few days to see if the level has changed.
Dropping coolant levels in conjunction with puddles means a coolant leak is very likely. Check in the owner's or service manual for your vehicle to locate the coolant reservoir if you are unsure of where to find it.
Pay attention to changes in your temperature gauge. If your engine is low on coolant, or the coolant needs to be changed, it will struggle to maintain a proper running temperature.
Keep your eye on the temperature gauge in your vehicle. If it begins to run consistently warmer, or begins to overheat sporadically, there is an issue with your cooling system. Coolant can eventually go bad. If the coolant levels are still high but the engine is overheating, one issue may be that the coolant needs to be replaced. If you are uncertain of what the symbols on your gauges mean, refer to your vehicle's owner's manual to determine which is the temperature gauge.
Visually inspect your engine bay. If you suspect that your coolant system may be leaking, spray the engine with a hose to remove any existing signs of a leak. Then start your engine and visually inspect the engine bay, looking closely for signs of a leak. Coolant is usually under pressure, so a leak could spray out or it may only trickle. Wear safety glasses and exercise caution while looking around the engine bay with the engine running. Look for any new signs of coolant leaks then follow the coolant to the highest point to locate the crack or hole.
Part 2 of Allow the engine to cool completely. The coolant system is under pressure while heated and opening the radiator cap or petcock while the system is under pressure could result in serious burns. Opening the coolant system while hot will result in heated coolant spraying out, which is extremely dangerous. Jack up the vehicle.
Never work under a vehicle that is supported only by a jack. Open the petcock and drain the coolant into a container. Locate the petcock on the bottom portion of the radiator. The petcock often looks like a spout with a valve you can turn to open it, and it should be on or near the bottom of the radiator to allow it to drain.
Once you have located it, make sure the container is positioned properly beneath it and open the valve. Flush the radiator using a hose.
Close the petcock and fill the coolant reservoir with water. Start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes before draining the radiator again. You should repeat this process two or three times.
The water will flush out the rest of the bad coolant from the engine. Refill the radiator with a water and coolant mixture. You can purchase pre-mixed coolant, or choose to mix it yourself. As it warms up, the thermostat will open, allowing coolant to flow in.
As the coolant level drops in the reservoir, continue to add to it. Add the mixture to the radiator or reservoir until you reach the maximum suggested capacity.
It may take a few minutes for the coolant to drain into the system, so be patient as your pour the new coolant in. Part 3 of Replace the radiator cap. A common point of failure on radiators is the cap itself. Radiator caps are designed to allow excess pressure to escape to avoid damage to the coolant system, but over time they can become oxidized, full of grime, or just worn out.
To replace your radiator cap, simply wait for the engine to cool completely and twist the old cap off. Screw the replacement on in its place. Use a commercial leak sealant. To use a leak sealant, simply open the radiator cap on a cool engine and pour it in.
Top off the radiator with a coolant and water mixture if it is low as a result of the leak  X Research source You will likely still need to locate and repair the leak, or replace the radiator after using a leak sealant. Leak sealant is a great option if you need to get your vehicle home or to a repair facility. Seal visible cracks with epoxy. If you are able to locate a crack in your radiator, you may be able to repair it using an epoxy.
First clean the area around the crack thoroughly, as any dirt or grease may prevent the epoxy from establishing a seal. Use a spray on brake cleaner and a rag to remove any stuck on grime, then allow the cleaned area to dry completely.
Use your hands to knead the epoxy until it becomes malleable enough for you to spread it out over the entire crack. Radiator epoxy can be purchased at most auto parts stores. Replace the radiator. If there is a crack in your radiator, it is highly likely that you may need to purchase a replacement for it. To replace your radiator, drain all of the fluids from it and disconnect the hoses leading into and out of the radiator.
Unbolt the brackets that hold the radiator in place and slide it up and out of the front of your vehicle. Slide the new radiator into place and secure it using the same bolts. You can purchase a new radiator from the vehicle manufacturer or most auto parts stores. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
Most types of radiator fluid should be changed out every 30, miles, but this can vary. Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0. Related wikiHows How to. How to.
More References 5. Auto Technician. Expert Interview.