Dory Sprung a Leak!

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.

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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.

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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.

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After this, I mixed the two part epoxy together and start applying it.

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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!

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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!

4 thoughts on “Dory Sprung a Leak!

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    1. No worries! It started after a particularly bumpy dirty road I went down, so I think the stressed plastic just gave out… It’s all better now though! The patch didn’t hold, so ended up getting the plastic part replaced

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