1997 Honda Accord Replacing a Radiator Myself -- Should I d

Tiny
GOLDENRATIO
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 98,000 MILES
I have a 97 Accord with 98K miles and its orignial radiator. I recently took it into the dealership to get an ignition switch recall taken care of and in the process they told me I should replace the radiator because it is the orignal that came with the car and it has a leak. Even though I have never seen a drop of coolant on my driveway.

I looked at the directions on radiator replacement on this site and inspected the car itself and it appears the job is not too difficult.

Wanted to find out whether or not I should take this do it yourself project on or am I setting myself up for failure.

Also, would you recommend just running it until it dies instead of replacing it now? If I just keep an eye on the coolant level and temp guage in the car am I safe until it dies?

Any guidance is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Monday, August 18th, 2008 AT 11:07 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi GoldenRatio,

If there is no coolant loss from the radiator and reserve tank why should the radiator be replaced?
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 10:14 AM
Tiny
GOLDENRATIO
  • MEMBER
Hi KH,

Well, I did a little investigating last night and found some leaking of coolant onto the radiator fan cover, however, it must be a pretty slow/small leak because like I said, I never see any coolant on my driveway.

I am primarily reacting on fear here. That this will turn into a larger problem if I do not do something now.

Am I safe if I just monitor the coolant levels and temp guage in the dashboard to make sure there is plenty of coolant in the car and it is not overheating?

Or should I just suck it up now and replace it?

Thanks for your advice!
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 10:20 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi GoldenRatio,

If there is any leakage, it would be best to get it resolved because a small leak can turn ugly suddenly. If it is the top tank that is leaking, you can just replace the top portion which would be less costly.

To replace a radiator yourself is not that difficult but after replacement, make sure the system is well bled of air pockets to prevent overheating.
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 11:48 AM
Tiny
GOLDENRATIO
  • MEMBER
KH,

Thanks for the great info. I think I am going to go ahead and replace it. How do I make sure to bleed the system of air pockets?
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi GoldenRatio,

At the thermostat housing you would find a bleeder nut. Release it and top up coolant at radiator neck till a constant stream of coolant flows out of the bleeder nut.
Tighten bleeder nut and top up till radiator is full.

Start vehicle and top up coolant till it won't take in any more, close radiator cap and job is done.
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 AT 12:29 PM

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