The Jeep’s doing it to me again…

I’ve been smelling antifreeze for a couple of days. One of those things I keep meaning to come out and look at later, you know, and then completely forget about it until next time I detect the scent. This time I opened the hood right away…

…to find steam coming from a corner of the radiator core – the radiator I just replaced two years ago. Uncle Joel Annoyed.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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12 Responses to The Jeep’s doing it to me again…

  1. Anonymous says:

    I suspect the water in your area is highly mineralized. Suggest you use distilled water in the replacement radiator

  2. Mark says:

    Before replacing the radiator try Bars Leaks. I have used it for many years.

  3. R Durand says:

    I tried my damnedest to drive my Pontiac Bonneville 20 years, but in year 19 the problems just became too frequent to put up with! Sometimes you gotta know when to quit.

  4. Douglas2 says:

    My car has reached an age where all of the plastic and rubber parts in the cooling system are one-by-one giving up the ghost. So far, the last 3 times it was when I had dashed out to grab lunch and I was able to just drop it at my regular mechanic and walk back to work, and they had it fixed for me by 5PM.

    On one occasion I started a little further away, and was waiting at a long red-light trying to remember if an open and leaking cooling system meant I should leave the car running or shut it off as I waited.

    I foolishly chose “shut it off”, at which point there was explosive boiling of antifreeze, and passerby people shouting “Your car’s on fire! Your car’s on fire!”. I guess people aren’t familiar with the smell of antifreeze anymore.

  5. Dudal says:

    Hi. If it’s a small leak you could probably get rid of it through soldering. Worth trying before splashing out on a new radiator core.

  6. Wyowanderer says:

    What Dudal said. A propane torch, some plumbing solder, and a little flux can fix most radiator leaks, provided the radiator is brass.

  7. Mark Matis says:

    f you need a new one, plesae post and one will arrive from Rock Auto:,2001,wrangler,4.0l+l6,1373723,cooling+system,radiator,2172

  8. Phssthpok says:

    *looks at photo*

    Yup… Plastic tank crimped onto an aluminum core. Bad juju in rough country.

    When I had radiator troubles on my little Tonka Truck* a couple years back I had a choice:
    ~ $75 for a plastic crimped tank (no thank you)
    ~$ 250 for OEM style copper/brass (OUCH!!!)
    ~ $125 for a fully welded, four core, all aluminum unit (SOLD!)

    Got it from E-bay, and it bolted right in with zero issue. Looks like yours would cost about the same:
    The ONLY complaint I have is that the drain petcock doesn’t have the little nipple to attach a drain hose to, so it gets a bit messy when servicing.

    *1984 Toyota pickup, 245K miles and still kicking

  9. AZ coot says:

    Here’s another vote for Bars Leaks – usually good for six months or better, and 2 doses from one bottle is good for smaller vehicles

  10. Jerry says:

    A young mechanic pulled my loader engine for transmission leaks. Didn’t think to order new engine mounts before starting (lose 5 days). Oops the top hose nipple cracked on the plastic radiator. going to be 7-10 days for a new replacement. Told him to bring it to The Mechanic, he can fix most anything. The broken nipple lost, blew away in the storm. But tomorrow we will see if The Mechanic has it patched to get by.

  11. Cederq says:

    Joel gets jabbed, radiator gets jabbed. Here is hoping you don’t leak…

  12. Jerry says:

    I was off by a day. Kevin, The Mechanic, machined a new nipple which he could sort of screw through the opening & tighten a nut to on the outer side. We are so screwed when guys like him are no longer around. Or caring to put the effort into such a challenge.
    The reason it was a day longer was that he rebuilt a motor the day before. & it takes about 3 hours for the shop to warm up enough for good finger control.

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