Radiator Life / When to replace

Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
Need recommendation on when to replace original radiator. 2005 Toyota Camry V6 1MZ-FE purchased new. 130,000 mile now. Toyota coolant every 3 years. White residue along tank seams. Been there years with no change. At 15 years old should I replace it? If I replace what brand?
 
Messages
742
Location
New Hampshire
Honestly I wouldn't change a radiator unless it's leaking, performance shouldn't be an issue despite age. I guess if you're worried it's going to break on you, go ahead, but I wouldn't.
 
Messages
442
Location
Long Island, N.Y.
Unless you have anything else wrong besides the residue, I would leave it be.......the 3 Toyota's in my sig have never (knock wood) had a radiator issue due to our similar PM'ing of the cooling system.
 
Messages
12,509
Location
Middlesex County CT
My 2003 echo i got rid of last year had the original radiator; always had red in it, changed less regularly than specified. It had 3x+ the mileage as your car. It probably is prudent just to do under hood inspections more often; i would not change unless you send a kid off to college with it.... or something similar
 
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Messages
21,355
Location
Apple Valley, California
We recorded the average milage for broken rads at my work over several years. The average is about 120k. We did not compare car brands. Just averaged the milages of the cars that came in with broken rads.
 
Messages
651
Location
UK
Mercedes e190 cracked plastic rad end tank outlet where hose goes onto after 25 years and caused overheat but cousin was able to catch it just in time. I changed rad on my fiesta after 22 years age just to be on safe side and i suspected it may have been blocked or clogged up. Took end tanks off and it was like new inside and even cut outlet off and noticed it had a brass reforcement inside it. Turns out i didnt have rad issue. Plastic Waterpump impeller had shattered. Celica got new rad on it. Original rad lasted 14 years and was missing a quarter of its fins.
 
Messages
204
Location
NC
I have replaced two radiators. The neck broke off a brittle plastic side tank model and the other time a deer made it leak.
 
Messages
10,436
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
Radiators aren't wear items to be replaced at regular intervals. Replace it when it leaks smile
I miss the old days, when leaking meant boil it out & repair it (like my F-450, now 30+ years on the original one!).
 
<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-size: 14pt">My two cents is if it ain't broke, don't fix it.</span></span> You may never have to replace it. Last time I had to replace a radiator, I was gassing up my wife's car (motor off) and the guy next to me told me some liquid was running out from under my car. Radiator sprung a leak at a hose connection on a plastic end tank. Car never overheated, luckily I was only about 2 miles from home; I simply drove the car home keeping an eye on the temp gauge. That was 2015. All I own are old "high mileage" beaters, but they are BITOG maintained. I've got an aversion to payment books; money in the bank, and I see no sense in spending money on a depreciating asset.
 
Messages
4,482
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Years ago I had a strawberry milkshake in my driveway. Our wonderful '95 Accord then needed a used transmission and a stupid plastic radiator. I never wanna see this again. Once bitten twice shy.
 
Messages
6,639
Location
South Florida
My mother in law came bragging that she just replaced her radiator. "What did you just say?", I said. Again, she told me that she paid a shop $1000 to change her radiator. Was it leaking, I asked? "No." She said. The shop said it was a good idea to change it, because it would surely leak soon and leave her stranded. I just shook my head. She went in for a $30 oil change and came out with a new radiator. Don't replace something that isn't broke.
 

Bebop367

Thread starter
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
Wife makes 300 mile road trips pretty often now days is what concerns me. If I knew I could get a radiator with as good of quality as the original I would change it. Replies of radiators with lots of miles and years on original radiators is good to hear.
 
Messages
4,704
Location
Lakeville, MN
When it leaks? Not a consumable part in the traditional sense. I've owned seven vehicles in my life. Replaced radiators on two of them. One was a Cherokee with the awful pressurized bottle ( to get rid of that system and replace it with what all Cherokees after 90 had) and the other was in my '07 explorer that are known to leak often. The others have all been fine out over 13+ years and 180,000 plus miles...
 
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