Q: Radiator / heater core issues 2002 Dodge Ram 1500

asked by on March 18, 2017

Last week I had the heater core replaced in my truck. 8 days and 700km later I'm driving along and my engine begins to overheat. Coolant starts leaking everywhere. Towed it to the shop and it turns out that radiator and hoses now need to be replaced. I'm just curious if this problem could be related to the heater core replacement? The shop say they need to repair radiator issues before being able to pressure test and know if the head gasket needs replacing too. At this point I'm stuck on whether to cut my losses with this truck :(

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello - these two unfortunate events are probably only related in the sense that they are both caused by advanced mileage and age. New radiators utilize plastic end tanks that are crimp-sealed onto an aluminum fin section. The plastic in the end tanks gets brittle with heat and age, the thin rubber sealer in the crimp deteriorates over time and heat cycles, the rubber radiator hoses get soft and weaken with age, etc. Replacing all rubber hoses (fuel lines too) at this point would be minimum maintenance to avoid other potential near-term failures. You pretty-much have to replace the radiator and major hoses in any case to sell the truck, so fix those, get a pressure-test for diagnosis of a possible head-gasket, then make a choice.

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