I discovered a leak in Dory’s radiator the other day which isn’t great because I plan to do a good bit of driving in the next few weeks! I started noticing some steam coming up from the hood a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t see anything when I looked under the hood, the engine temperature was normal, and I had just taken the car in to be serviced, so I didn’t think much of it. That changed when I drove for a full half day without much stopping. I noticed a lot of steam as I was getting off the highway and decided to check the car again. This time when I popped the hood, the leak was obvious.
The engine temperature was still fine, so I continued another kilometer to the nearest car parts store and bought some radiator fluid and some K-Seal, a fluid that you put in with the coolant that is supposed to stop leaks. I couldn’t really tell how big the leak was with the foam on it, so I was hoping the K-Seal would be able to help.
It did not.
I went back to the store for some epoxy. I think the crack was widening because by the time I got back (not more than a 5 min drive) the engine temperature was just starting to climb and there was much more steam coming from the radiator. I could also see the crack clearly now.
The crack is right along the top of the metal clamp. It looks like the plastic has been pretty stressed near that area in general. I left the car for the rest of the day to cool down while I did some sight seeing nearby. When I came back in the evening, Dory was cool enough for me to work on the radiator.
First I cleaned and sanded the surface so that the epoxy had something to bond to.
After this, I mixed the two part epoxy together and start applying it.
The kit also came with a fiberglass cloth that can be put on to help reinforce the crack so I put that on next. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have stopped to take pictures… the epoxy started hardening about half way through putting the fiberglass on, but I managed to get enough epoxy on. It’s not pretty, but it will work!
I let the epoxy finish curing for another 24 hours before testing it out. So far so good, but I will be closely monitoring the coolant levels and engine temperature for a while longer. Dory lives to swim another day!