If your car was built in the 1990s and is experiencing serious radiator problems, you'll want to refer to these guidelines on plastic radiator repair. Most cars manufactured during the 1990s are wholly dependent on cheaper, more efficient plastic radiators. Traditional radiators made up of brass are harder to manufacture and repair. Also, traditional radiators are heavier than plastic ones, making them less efficient when it comes to processing fuel.
There is a common misconception that plastic radiators break down more easily than traditional ones. This is not entirely true. Plastic radiators often break down because of leaks in the storage tank. Most plastic radiators possess weak tanks, but have good cores nevertheless. Plastic storage tanks can easily be replaced, unlike traditional brass storage tanks which have to be carefully disassembled.
The only technically demanding part in repairing a plastic radiator involves welding the core to cover up any leaks, or repair damage. When the core is severely damaged or subject to too much wear and tear, the whole plastic radiator has to be replayed.
Thankfully, most plastic radiators develop only storage tank problems which can easily be amended. Implementing repairs to the plastic storage tank requires several necessary steps. Here’s an outline of the steps involved in order for you to repair the plastic storage tank by yourself:
Step 1 - Search for Damage
Before anything else, you have to locate the cause of the problem. Disassemble the plastic radiator from the rest of the engine using the pliers, wrench or screwdriver. Make sure you disconnect any tubing that might get tangled in the process. Carefully go over the surface of the plastic storage tank and check for evidence of damage. If you can’t pinpoint the leak, fill up the plastic storage tank with water and check the surface for any leaks.
Step 2 - Use the V Groove Tool
Once you’ve located the leak, use the V groove tool to get the exact dimensions of the leak and for better positioning of the air-free plastic welder.
Step 3 - Heat the Area with the Heat Gun
Pre-heat the area with a heat gun before applying the air-free plastic welder. Pre-heating the area makes it easier to weld materials to cover up the leak.
Step 4 - Welding the Leak
Melt the nylon-based welding rod with the air-free plastic welder and use the melted rod as sealant for the leak. Once you’ve welded the leak, fill up the plastic storage tank with water and check if there are still any leaks.