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Small Radiator Leak

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Old 07-16-17, 07:37 AM   #1
05RX330AWD
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Default Small Radiator Leak

I have had a small leak towards the very top of the Radiator for a while now, with the heavy coolant crust build up, drive mostly short trips, I only need add a small amount of coolant to the reservoir every 3 weeks, I left it.
Although now I am preparing to drive 700 miles towing a 6x12 U-Haul trailer, I figure the RX will be more under strain for a longer period of time.....
hopefully an inexpensive solution as ?? JB Weld could work since it isn't a major leak.
Any ideas?
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Old 07-16-17, 07:48 AM   #2
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Happens to many of us with this car. I would replace it
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Old 07-16-17, 09:55 AM   #3
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Happens to many of us with this car. I would replace it
Unfortunately my Wallet said: " No, find a functional, temporary solution, replace it when you get to Montreal."
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Old 07-16-17, 10:41 AM   #4
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Unfortunately my Wallet said: " No, find a functional, temporary solution, replace it when you get to Montreal."
Good luck with that. I'd be carrying a fair amount of water/coolant with me.
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Old 07-16-17, 11:51 AM   #5
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Good luck with that. I'd be carrying a fair amount of water/coolant with me.
As mentioned previously, the leak was minimal, with the heavy coolant crust formed, it actually stopped the leak as there is never any fresh wet coolant appearing at all.
I have driven several times highway for 2 hours, no change, no fresh coolant in sight. As a precaution, I check that daily.
Yes, I do carry 4L of Toyota coolant in the vehicle, it's still unopened.
It seems no one has any ideas, I'm debating the idea of placing a small piece of fiberglass cloth & spreading some appropriate epoxy/ JB Weld over it.....
doing some more research for which epoxy/ JB Weld to use.
If the crust itself is doing the job of stopping the leak, as long as it's done correctly, there is a better temporary solution.
I will visit a Rad specialist to see if it is possible to professionally weld a repair before attempting a repair on my own.
Radiators are impossible to find on this tiny island, only available on order at outrageous pricing.
No point in looking for used when I can get one new in Montreal for less.
Absolutely no way will I add a Stop Leak product in the RX.
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Old 07-16-17, 12:22 PM   #6
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As mentioned previously, the leak was minimal, with the heavy coolant crust formed, it actually stopped the leak as there is never any fresh wet coolant appearing at all.
I have driven several times highway for 2 hours, no change, no fresh coolant in sight. As a precaution, I check that daily.
Yes, I do carry 4L of Toyota coolant in the vehicle, it's still unopened.
It seems no one has any ideas, I'm debating the idea of placing a small piece of fiberglass cloth & spreading some appropriate epoxy/ JB Weld over it.....
doing some more research for which epoxy/ JB Weld to use.
If the crust itself is doing the job of stopping the leak, as long as it's done correctly, there is a better temporary solution.
I will visit a Rad specialist to see if it is possible to professionally weld a repair before attempting a repair on my own.
Sounds like you've thought a lot about it. My cautionary comment is that no matter how much you think and do, there is still a risk that the opening will expand at some point -- possibly to the point of catastrophic coolant loss (like if you start a leg of long distance driving and the coolant starts leaking rapidly until your temp gauge alerts you).

So anything you do or don't do is just about managing that risk, and the possible inconvenience/damage/cost if it happens. And it is possible that carrying 4, or even 8, liters isn't enough.

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Old 07-16-17, 02:01 PM   #7
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Sounds like you've thought a lot about it. My cautionary comment is that no matter how much you think and do, there is still a risk that the opening will expand at some point -- possibly to the point of catastrophic coolant loss (like if you start a leg of long distance driving and the coolant starts leaking rapidly until your temp gauge alerts you).
So anything you do or don't do is just about managing that risk, and the possible inconvenience/damage/cost if it happens. And it is possible that carrying 4, or even 8, liters isn't enough.
+1, Comparing overheating risk a ~$150 radiator core replacement is well worth the money spend.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:39 PM   #8
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+1, Comparing overheating risk a ~$150 radiator core replacement is well worth the money spend.
$150. that is wishful thinking here, try $450. +, hopefully the Rad specialist in town will have a solution.
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Old 07-16-17, 02:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mylexbaby View Post
Sounds like you've thought a lot about it. My cautionary comment is that no matter how much you think and do, there is still a risk that the opening will expand at some point -- possibly to the point of catastrophic coolant loss (like if you start a leg of long distance driving and the coolant starts leaking rapidly until your temp gauge alerts you).
So anything you do or don't do is just about managing that risk, and the possible inconvenience/damage/cost if it happens. And it is possible that carrying 4, or even 8, liters isn't enough.
One thing for sure, nothing has changed worth mentioning in 6 months, from the coldest winter climate to summer.
I'm far from being an expert, but CL Members are reacting as if I have a 2 inch hole in the Radiator, although best a Rad specialist give his opinion.
I'll post what they suggested tomorrow.
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Old 07-16-17, 03:28 PM   #10
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One thing for sure, nothing has changed worth mentioning in 6 months, from the coldest winter climate to summer.
I'm far from being an expert, but CL Members are reacting as if I have a 2 inch hole in the Radiator, although best a Rad specialist give his opinion.
I'll post what they suggested tomorrow.
I'm not disagreeing with your approach. (And for the sake of humor, not sarcasm or irritation, "past results are no guarantee of future performance" )

I lived with a small radiator leak near the bottom of the radiator and below the cap for a while before changing out the radiator myself. The car was mainly driven less than 10 miles one way to and from work, so managing the risk was different than your road trip plan.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:46 PM   #11
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A denso radiator on rock auto is $138 shipped, just curious where the $450 is coming from? I just hate the idea of being stranded on the side of the road during a trip, but I understand why you're waiting it out
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Old 07-16-17, 04:48 PM   #12
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I'm not disagreeing with your approach. (And for the sake of humor, not sarcasm or irritation, "past results are no guarantee of future performance" )

I lived with a small radiator leak near the bottom of the radiator and below the cap for a while before changing out the radiator myself. The car was mainly driven less than 10 miles one way to and from work, so managing the risk was different than your road trip plan.
Two small leaks, top & bottom?, I would definitely have a different view & approach.....
Of course when I visit the Rad specialist, I will not mention I am moving, you will never see my face again.
I will say I am visiting relatives, 1,400 miles there & back, will return in 3 weeks, what do you suggest?
Hopefully he will be included on my Christmas Card list.
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Old 07-16-17, 06:27 PM   #13
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Last rainy season I spun my 996 and took a median. This caused a crack in one of the radiator pipes or the radiator itself (can't remember). The radiators on the 996 are under the headlights. minor leak. I was looking of a quick fix, I didn't have $1000 to replace the radiator.

While roaming the aisles or home depot, I came across underwater plumbers putty. I picked the one that would withstand temps up to 225F. worked like a charm.

JB weld makes an underwater putty aka epoxy. For under $10 it's worth a try, and it worked for me (2 yrs and counting). Take a couple of days to dry, but yours is on the top, so the coolant isn't constantly on the hole.

May the force be with you.

You can later patch weld, but I would just replace the radiator. If you don't want new, just get a used one on fleabay.
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Old 07-16-17, 07:38 PM   #14
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Two small leaks, top & bottom?
No, one leak near the bottom on the side under the radiator cap.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:16 AM   #15
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Last rainy season I spun my 996 and took a median. This caused a crack in one of the radiator pipes or the radiator itself (can't remember). The radiators on the 996 are under the headlights. minor leak. I was looking of a quick fix, I didn't have $1000 to replace the radiator.

While roaming the aisles or home depot, I came across underwater plumbers putty. I picked the one that would withstand temps up to 225F. worked like a charm.

JB weld makes an underwater putty aka epoxy. For under $10 it's worth a try, and it worked for me (2 yrs and counting). Take a couple of days to dry, but yours is on the top, so the coolant isn't constantly on the hole.

May the force be with you.

You can later patch weld, but I would just replace the radiator. If you don't want new, just get a used one on fleabay.
That's what I was thinking, with a small patch of fiberglass cloth beneath the epoxy for good measure, proof that it can work was what I wanted to hear.
I know that brazing or welding can also be done as another option for something temporary, of course I will look into replacing the rad with a new one when I get to Montreal where pricing is reasonable.
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