A new radiator is always worth the cost — Here’s why

A car is a meticulously designed piece of machinery. It has to be. Even a lower-end car, van, or ute must have each component carefully fitted to ensure that it can safely drive for any length of time. That’s why if something breaks, fails or wears out, it’ll always cost a fair bit to fix it. Car radiators are no different.

Radiators are critical components in every vehicle, and their replacement costs can be significant. But a malfunctioning radiator can badly damage your car within a short time and even render it undrivable. It’s extremely unsafe for you, your passengers and other road users.

In this guide, we will explain how car radiator repairs and replacements are priced. If your car is currently suffering from a broken radiator, get in touch with Natrad’s specialists ASAP for car radiator flushing, repairs and replacements.

What is a car radiator?

A car radiator is a heat exchanger that keeps your engine cool. The radiator cooling system is filled with liquid coolant. Along with the water pump, the radiator absorbs and expels heat from the car engine block. 

A radiator in poor condition will lead to an overheating engine, which can cause significant damage to the engine itself and cause a breakdown.

How much does a car radiator replacement cost?

Radiator replacement costs are determined by the costs of labour and parts.

Natrad’s specialists work to install new car radiators and the cost of labour is similar to when your car is serviced. Time involved will depend on the vehicle and the extent of parts that need removing to gain access and be replaced again. Sometimes, the existing radiator can be restored if it is simply blocked, but otherwise in good condition.

The price of a car radiator replacement depends on your car’s make, model, age and size. The cost of parts is also determined by whether you want to use genuine car parts or cheaper aftermarket parts. 

We must assess your vehicle before we can give you a proper price estimate for a new car radiator. But here are some ballpark figures to help you plan your finances.

  • On popular cars, a basic radiator might only cost a couple of hundred dollars
  • Radiators for performance or prestige vehicles can cost over a thousand dollars
  • Rare and custom-made radiators and components are priced individually.

If you bring your car to Natrad for a radiator replacement, we’ll perform a complimentary cooling system check to uncover any other possible causes for the overheating engine (such as a faulty thermostat).

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Do I need to hire an expert to do a radiator replacement?

A badly damaged radiator can be difficult and dangerous to remove, as can all the attached components. An improperly fitted new radiator can cause your engine to overheat and will not be covered under warranty. 

It may be possible to install a new car radiator on your own. But that depends on your comfort and experience with car repairs, as well as the level of damage to the radiator and your car. If your radiator was damaged in a crash, even a minor one, you should enlist a professional who can also survey the rest of your vehicle for the damage a non-specialist might miss. 

In some cases, radiators fail due to a blockage and need the coolant flushed, not because they are damaged. It is possible for a layperson to flush their car radiator at home, but this is still best left to professionals who have the correct equipment and know how to handle the job safely.

Is the cost of genuine radiator replacement parts worth it?

At Natrad, we offer radiators that meet or exceed the car manufacturer’s specifications. Whether the part is original or aftermarket, using quality parts ensures that your vehicle is repaired to the highest possible standards, which is why we can give you our manufacturer-backed three-year warranty.

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When should I replace my car’s radiator?

There will be clear signs that your car’s radiator has failed. Keep a look out for the following:

  • The engine temperature warning light. This dashboard symbol looks like a thermometer, though it may be the word “TEMP” in some vehicles. This symbol indicates your engine is too hot, suggesting a fault with the radiator.
  • An overheating car cabin. If your car’s starting to get extremely hot even with the AC on full blast, it may be because the engine’s heat is trapped in the car. This is worth getting checked out by your mechanic.
  • A steaming engine block. If there’s steam seeping out from under the bonnet, it’ll likely be caused by the water escaping from the radiator cooling system.
  • Leaking fluid. Radiator coolant is usually dyed fluorescent so that it can be easily identified. Your coolant may be green, pink, orange or blue. 

If you’ve been in a car crash, however minor, it’s worth getting your car serviced. While your radiator may not appear to have been damaged, it may have shifted position, or components may have started to loosen. Don’t let the problem get worse — get it fixed straight away.

What to do if you suspect your car has a broken radiator

Driving a car with a damaged radiator even for a short distance can overheat and irreparably harm components. Driving longer, even if you’re heading directly to a mechanic, can cause severe damage like a blown head gasket, significantly increasing your engine repair costs.

Your safest course of action would be to call a tow truck.

Trust Natrad for transparent car radiator replacement costs

A radiator repair cost is nothing compared to the cost of injury or accident due to driving a faulty vehicle. If you’ve got a damaged radiator, or even if you’re just concerned about its effectiveness, give Natrad a call.

We’ll assess your car and give you a transparent price estimate for your new car radiator. Plus, with our complimentary cooling system assessment, you’ll have total peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is in safe, roadworthy condition.