Q: Cracked radiator and cracked exhaust header which to fix first in need to repair fast and cheap for now,

asked by on May 05, 2017

I just bought a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4, straight 6 4.0. it needs some work, has a radiator leak, which previous owner claimed happened about a week before they got their son a new car, and since hasnt been driven much, they added water before driving, say its never over heated. So i know it needs swapped. I also found a crack on the exhaust header. I have been doing lots of homework and have some car repair knowledge, but usually have someone with more on hand to help me and guide my repairs, never done a radiator or header. Trying to decided which should be done first, as well as (with time and money being a major factor, as i start a job in a week and 2days) whether to just weld the pipe crack, or replace it

My car has 251000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The exhaust manifold should be replaced FIRST. If that crack happens to leak exhaust gases, that means CO can get into the passenger compartment. If that happens you won’t have to worry about repairing the radiator. That manifold can be bought new and it is not expensive, consequently it’s probably not worth it trying to weld it. Also, welding might distort the manifold further worsening your situation. To request manifold replacement, please refer to YourMechanic’s manifold replacement page. Radiator replacement is straightforward although you have to be wary of things like trapped air on replacement. Also, while the cooling system is drained you might consider thermostat replacement if it is reasonably accessible. Thermostats do not last forever. Please let us know if we can assist you with these repairs. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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