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Discussion Starter #1
Bought used in November - 2018, 66k(ish) miles. I thought I smelled coolant but was so in love with car and it was sooo clean and good price I took a chance.

Within a couple weeks it was at the shop getting new radiator - no problem, I thought. I knew those can be an issue, but now I've dealt with it.

Early May. 2019 and I start smelling coolant again. Then low coolant light goes on the last week of May. I check, its low AND the bottom of radiator is wet. CRAP! Tow back to shop (yeah, I prob could have driven but tow was free/covered by insurance so why chance it) and pressure test - sure enough bottom seam of radiator is leaking. No worries, they said. Replaced under warranty. Tow and repair cost me zero...cool.

That was about 10 days ago.

Today I start smelling coolant again. Look under car and sure enough, coolant all along bottom of radiator.

I can get it replaced AGAIN under warranty but this is bullshit. If I can't trust the car it is a useless grocery getter only for me = no good if I can't trust her for a day trip or other longer drive.



Anyone got a solution? Or experienced similar?

Considering all aluminum aftermarket options, but there isn't much room there....and this isn't a really common request or vehicle I assume...

Cheers,
 

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The GM original equipment radiators have had problems but, not with that kind of frequency. I notice that the AC Delco units sell for about $215 online while there are off brand units for as little as $65. Your problems could be with off brand replacements.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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I have an aluminum unit from Ron Davis Racing. I did have to clearance one of the plastic fan blades with a dremel tool slightly to keep it from hitting the radiator hose but otherwise the fit was good. The DeWitts looks similar and I expect you like the extra cooling capacity in addition to the reliability.
 

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There's gotta be something else going on. I've certainly read about other people having gone through a couple/few radiators, but that's over a number of years, not a number of days! That's crazy.

Maybe try a new cap on the recirc bottle to ensure the system isn't overpressurizing? Hopefully the shop made sure the rubber mounts were all in place so the radiator is properly isolated from vibration and chassis movement.
 

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The reservoir cap is part number 15066786, and is readily available online for less than $10.00 before shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's a good idea. Thanks!
 

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While not exactly radiator related, replace the plastic T fitting with a brass barb fitting when you do the new aluminum radiator.

Also you can move the condenser forward, shorten the upper radiator support and move the radiator physically forward to create more space also. Very easy to do while everything is out.

-Byron
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bought installed DeWitt all aluminum. Problem solved. Even in hot 90+ temps and high humidity temp never goes over 215-220 even after HARD driving. Fit easily.
 
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