How Much Should a Radiator Replacement Cost?by Robert Tomashek
One of the first things that may go through your mind when you notice that puddle of coolant under the front of your car is how much it will cost to repair it. The radiator is an essential part of any car and can fail from age, impact, vibration or corrosion. Radiator replacement costs vary greatly due to a number of variables.
The cost of the radiator itself depends on its construction, features and size. A basic radiator with an aluminum core and plastic tanks, as in a 2001 Honda Civic, may cost $120. A larger radiator of the same construction which also contains an internal transmission and oil cooler, as in a 2005 Chevrolet 3500 diesel, costs about $360.
The labor cost of replacing a radiator depends on the shop labor time that the radiator calls for and the shop's hourly rate. A 2002 GMC Yukon radiator calls for 1.6 hours of labor while a 2006 Audi A6 calls for 3.4 hours. Assuming a shop labor rate of $100 per hour the GMC would be $160 and the Audi would be $340.
The type and amount of coolant will affect the cost of a radiator replacement. There are many types of coolant that your car may use and they can cost between $12 to more than $25 per gallon. The quantity varies by vehicle; the 2001 Civic calls for 1 gallon and the 2004 Chevrolet 3500 diesel takes approximately 5 gallons.
During the replacement of a radiator it may be required that you replace radiator mounts, hose clamps, hoses, or other cooling system parts. These will add to the cost of the replacement.
Robert Tomashek is an automobile technician and educator with more than 15 years of experience. He is ASE master certified and also carries certifications from IMACA, MOOG, Monroe, EPA and Four Seasons. He has a degree in automotive/diesel technology. He has written articles for various websites and teaches automotive technology at Universal Technical Institute.