Tips for repairing a radiator leak include removing the radiator, knowing the radiator type, inspecting areas prone to leakage and fixing the leak with new solder or radiator filler. The specific method of repairing the leak depends on the location of the damage.
Begin by draining the radiator and unhooking the hoses. Gently remove the radiator, being careful not to damage the fins.
There are two types of radiators, the vertical flow and the cross flow radiator. A vertical flow radiator has tanks running in a vertical position. Identify if the fins and tubes are made of aluminum, metal or brass, and whether the tanks are made of plastic or metal. This step is important in determining which method to use when fixing the leak.
Look for the leak by inspecting the most probable places. These are at stress joints and along the solder seams. Stress joints are common near the inlet and outlet tubes while solder seams are usually located between the tank and radiator.
Lastly, use the appropriate method to fix the leak once it is detected. If the leak is at the seams, heat up the old soldier and scrape it off before applying new solder. If the leak is at the plastic tank, pour radiator sealant into the radiator and allow it to run through the tank to fill any holes inside the tank.