2222 "O" Street   Lincoln, NE  68510  (402) 477-4181
Here is a common problem on nearly any car built since
about 1990.  Radiators are now built out of aluminum and
plastic instead of copper and brass.  While the aluminum
design gives longer life, and better cooling, there are also
some major disadvantages.  The main disadvantage of
building a radiator out of plastic is that over time, plastic will
become brittle and break.  A radiator is subjected to major
extremes of temperature.  A radiator can be subjected to
temperature swings from 0 degrees or lower depending on
outside temperature, to 240 degrees or more as scalding
hot antifreeze comes out of the engine at 40 gallons per
minute.  When you consider the millions of gallons of
coolant that circluates through a radiator during its life, it is
truly amazing that a radiator lives as long as it does.  The
major problem with a plastic tank radiator is a failure of the
plastic, usually in the area directly by the inlet neck.  This is
where the hottest coolant fluid hits the plastic, and over
time, the stresses of extreme temperatures take its toll and
the plastic tank will develop a leak.  

Dean's Radiator has a solution to this problem.  Instead of throwing your radiator away and
buying a new one, we simply remove the broken plastic tank, and install a new one.  We
don't use and magic glue, super adhesive, or bondo, (although we have seen many people
try to fix them this way).   A brand new Factory plastic tank installed by Dean's Radiator will
give you many more years of trouble free service

The following pictures illustrate a problem and then the cure by Dean's Radiator.
Problem - Broken neck on a plastic radiator tank.  A customer was
replacing a radiator hose at home and overtightened the top radiator hose.
 In its brittle state, the tank broke and he had a leak.  On the bottom is the
original radiator with a chunk missing out of the inlet neck on the radiator.  
On the top is a brand new GM Factory radiator tank that we will install on
this radiator.  We will remove the broken plastic tank from the radiator.  
Then, we remove the oil cooler from the old tank and replace it in the new
tank with new gaskets to prevent any leaks.  While we have the radiator
disassembled, we will clean out the tubes inside the radiator and check the
flow.  Next we reinstall the new radiator tank with a new gasket.  The last
step is to bench the radiator under pressure to double check that there are
no leaks.  Problem solved with service from Dean's Radiator
Here is another common problem.  Stress crack in the side of the plastic radiator
tank.  This is caused by extreme temperatures of the coolant causing the plastic
flex thousands of times.  After 100,000 miles or more, the plastic finally gives in
and fractures.   This is still a very good radiator, it just needs this one end
replaced, and it should be good for another 100,000 miles.
Here is another common problem we see with many cars today.  Major
contamination in the cooling system.  This can be caused by many different
things including:  General neglect of anti-freeze, rust in the cooling system from
the engine, mixing the wrong type of anti-freeze, adding stop leaks to the
radiator, etc.  This radiator did not leak, it just severely overheated, leaving the
customer stranded on the side of the road.  The solution is to remove the plastic
tank and remove all contamination from the radiator.  The pictures below will
show the difference in flow rates before and after cleaning.
Water flow through radiator
before cleaning by Dean's
Water flow through radiator
after cleaning by Dean's
These two pictures show the major change in coolant flow of a radiator before and
after it has been cleaned by Dean's Radiator.  To simulate coolant flow through
the radiator we have attached a water line to the radiator and let the water flow
through it.  The radiator on the left has not been cleaned, and the water just barely
trickles through it.  Low coolant flow through a radiator will not dissipate the heat
quickly enough and cause a serious overheating situation.  

The picture on the right is the same radiator after it has been cleaned out and is
ready to be reassembled.  As you can see, the water is practically jumping out of
the radiator.  This higher flow rate will allow coolant to flow through the engine
faster, which makes for a more efficient transfer of heat to the radiator.  This will
keep the engine at the proper operating temperature.  

Another, cooling system problem solved by Dean's Radiator.