Question about 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 Radiator Leak

Every time I drive my car for over 20 minutes, it begins to leak coolant from under the car. I looked at the hose connections, but see no point of leak but a slight leak evidene from the edge of the radiator. It is difficutlt to determine if the radiator is bad. if there is a crack, then how come it is not leaking constantly? At any rate, I have never taken down a radiator but can handle tools. Any suggestions on the steps to replace my radiator? Appreciate your time to response.

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After 20 minutes, your motor usually comes up to temperature, so that's when the thermostat will open, and start circulating coolant through the radiator. (before that it is just recirculating in the motor). It also takes that long to build up heat pressure, so a leak appearing from the radiator at that point does make sense.

Removing and replacing a radiator is a fairly simple disconnect, reconnect job.
But a new radiator can be somewhat expensive. Some are made from aluminum, some copper (being that yours is a 2001, it's probably aluminum).
So the first step would be pricing out a replacement.

To actually R&R it, let the engine cool, drain the coolant, and dispose of properly, disconnect the hoses, if it's an automatic transmission, disconnect the cooler lines, and plug them with small rubber plugs, and then locate and remove the radiator hold down (it can either be the top plate, or just a couple of simple clamps, usually on the top only. Then lift out and remove the old radiator (it just sets down in the bottom locator) installation is the opposite. Set it in, connect the lines, refill with fresh coolant.

I would not try repairing the old radiator on your own. It can almost be considered an art to clean and re-solder leaks on them. You would then also need a tank and a pressurizer to test it after.

However, you can take your radiator to a radiator shop, and have them repair it for you. Depending in the leak, this can save a substantial amount of money.

A job like this should take less then an hour if you have a new part in-hand, longer if you decide to take it in to be repaired.

Posted on Aug 31, 2008

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