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Hi- I have a 2005 Pilot with 111K miles, it was my wife's new car but handed down to me a long time ago (I take the commuter rail to work) , the original radiator failed in 2010 and I replaced it, luckily no harm to the transmission. The "new" radiator failed almost immediatly so its now on its third. I only drive it about 4 miles a day (well not even that since the pandemic). Do you think I should replace the current radiator as a precaution? That one is about 8 or 9 years old now. The car looks brand new and is fully loaded and I really dont need a new car so I want to keep this as long as possible... thanks!!!
 

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What brand is it? I don't really think age matters as much. Depending on where you live, salt can corrode where the transmission fluid lines come into the radiator. Of course if for peace of mind you want to there's no issue with that, but if everything looks fine I'd leave it. And hopefully the replaced radiator has the new design where a failure won't cause damage to the transmission.
 

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What brand is it? I don't really think age matters as much. Depending on where you live, salt can corrode where the transmission fluid lines come into the radiator. Of course if for peace of mind you want to there's no issue with that, but if everything looks fine I'd leave it. And hopefully the replaced radiator has the new design where a failure won't cause damage to the transmission.
Thanks for your response! I live in New England where we salt the roads whenever it snows, I will probably skip it and wait and see what happens, we took it back to the mechanic that installled the first new one and asked for OEM for the second "new" version
 

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Thanks for your response! I live in New England where we salt the roads whenever it snows, I will probably skip it and wait and see what happens, we took it back to the mechanic that installled the first new one and asked for OEM for the second "new" version
It's not a real difficult job to replace yourself. Lots of videos on YouTube. This is the OEM radiator.
137498
 

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I just changed the radiator in my 2003 - the original was still in it at 324,000 miles. I live in Michigan and it took me about 6 hrs because (1) I had to soak every bolt/nut with penetrating oil and (2) I cleaned/painted anything rusted that was going back.

If there are no problems with it - no coolant smell, no obvious leaks, no corrosion - then I would find something better to do with 6hrs of my time...

However, because you live in New England, I strongly recommend inspecting the clamp on the bottom radiator hose. Mine was so brittle it snapped in half when I went to squeeze it, so you may want to at least inspect/replace that clamp the next time you drain and fill the coolant.
 

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You should also replace the car as preventative maintenance too if this is how you judge when to replace things lol
If you ever lost a whole car because of your ATF and Coolant became mixed because of a radiator failure, you might view the radiator as a maintainace item.
 

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A 2005? Well...

137509
 

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I just changed the radiator in my 2003 - the original was still in it at 324,000 miles. I live in Michigan and it took me about 6 hrs because (1) I had to soak every bolt/nut with penetrating oil and (2) I cleaned/painted anything rusted that was going back.

If there are no problems with it - no coolant smell, no obvious leaks, no corrosion - then I would find something better to do with 6hrs of my time...

However, because you live in New England, I strongly recommend inspecting the clamp on the bottom radiator hose. Mine was so brittle it snapped in half when I went to squeeze it, so you may want to at least inspect/replace that clamp the next time you drain and fill the coolant.
Even better, just replace all the clamps, the're cheap and it is good protection against failure.
 

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As long as it's the updated part # you'll be fine. If you don't mind spending the money and want the peace of mind go ahead and replace it. Remember even if the radiator fails it doesn't mean it will destroy your transmission.
 

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Even better, just replace all the clamps, the're cheap and it is good protection against failure.
I’ve been working on cars in the rust belt for 30 years and never seen the top rad hose clamps get rusty, I have no idea why you would just randomly change those for ‘peace of mind’ to prevent failure. Change them when you need a thermostat, because without rust the chances of seeing a radiator hose clamp randomly fail has got to be less than 0.1%. On a bad day...

Seriously though, I’m starting to think that some of you on this forum have too much money or too much time - and in my world, neither of those exist...

In my world there is ‘regular maintenance’ and ‘repair’. Follow the regular maintenance recommendations, adjust as needed for your driving habits (oil change interval, etc) and simply fix stuff when it breaks. My vehicles have 200,000+ miles following this basic mantra...
 

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I’ve been working on cars in the rust belt for 30 years and never seen the top rad hose clamps get rusty, I have no idea why you would just randomly change those for ‘peace of mind’ to prevent failure. Change them when you need a thermostat, because without rust the chances of seeing a radiator hose clamp randomly fail has got to be less than 0.1%. On a bad day...

Seriously though, I’m starting to think that some of you on this forum have too much money or too much time - and in my world, neither of those exist...

In my world there is ‘regular maintenance’ and ‘repair’. Follow the regular maintenance recommendations, adjust as needed for your driving habits (oil change interval, etc) and simply fix stuff when it breaks. My vehicles have 200,000+ miles following this basic mantra...
You can reuse the crush washer when you change oil as well if you want but I wouldn't. If the fail so infrequently why change it when you change a thermostat. What magic property does changing a thermostat have, to keep you from reusing the clamp then?

You described your world, in my world you don't do part of the job.

Thing is you do it your way if you are happy with that and I will do it my way, because I am happy with that. It has worked quite well for me for 50+ years on cars, trucks, tractors, combines. and a wide assortment of machinery, and for me $10's worth of clamps isn't something I'm going to skimp on with a $200,000 piece of machinery or the vehicle I drive.
 

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I’ve been working on cars in the rust belt for 30 years and never seen the top rad hose clamps get rusty, I have no idea why you would just randomly change those for ‘peace of mind’ to prevent failure. Change them when you need a thermostat, because without rust the chances of seeing a radiator hose clamp randomly fail has got to be less than 0.1%. On a bad day...

Seriously though, I’m starting to think that some of you on this forum have too much money or too much time - and in my world, neither of those exist...

In my world there is ‘regular maintenance’ and ‘repair’. Follow the regular maintenance recommendations, adjust as needed for your driving habits (oil change interval, etc) and simply fix stuff when it breaks. My vehicles have 200,000+ miles following this basic mantra...
I'm trying to get to 300k, and I'm avoiding $1000s in car payments and shop bills. I'm sure I've thrown many (but old) working parts away and will continue to do so.
 

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bypass the radiator and install an external cooler instead if you're really concerned, thereby separating the fluid systems.
 

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You can reuse the crush washer when you change oil as well if you want but I wouldn't.
Why? What is the purpose of the washer? I’ve reused the original crush washer on every car I’ve ever owned, which started in the 1980’s with a ‘66 Olds Cutlas.

My routine the past 10 years Is to use a small dab of black ultrahigh temp sealant on the crush washer; this forms a nice temporary gasket that I peel off at every change. I can get a tube of sealant that will last 100 oil changes for the cost of one crush washer - and the sealant does a better job of actually sealing the drain plug.

When you live outside the US for any amount of time, especially in a 3rd world country - you start asking yourself about some of the ‘recommendations’ we follow in the US for auto maintenance. I can tell you that overseas they don’t change crush washers - I couldn’t even get one in the Caribbean.

I currently have a 2003 Avalanche with 240k, 2008 Subaru with 225k, 2003 Pilot with 324k. Not a single new crush washer since they left the dealership. Do as you wish, but I will live simply and merely follow required maintenance schedules and repair crap when it breaks.
 

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If the fail so infrequently why change it when you change a thermostat. What magic property does changing a thermostat have, to keep you from reusing the clamp then?
You removed the clamp and hose to access the thermostat and therefore it's the logical time to replace the hose and clamp - opening the petcock to drain/fill coolant is not the time to get into the top end and open the system to merely change clamps for the sake of changing clamps.

And I never said you can't reuse the hose and/or the clamp when changing the thermostat. Inspect both and do as you wish, I've definitely reused spring clamps and hoses. However, spring clamps are not meant to be reused multiple times so changing the top radiator hose and clamp when you access the thermostat falls into the realm of 'regular maintenance'.
 

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You described your world, in my world you don't do part of the job.

What part of the job didn't I do? The part that the automakers recommend to keep lining their pockets?

i have years of practical experience in automotive shops and public works departments, coupled with 3 advanced degrees in science (including a PhD). No offense, but I can honestly say that 'half-azzed' isn't part of my skill-set...haha

.
 

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Back to the radiator issue, I’m at close to 190k miles on my 2004 and no signs of failure.

When I bought it in 2008, I installed and aftermarket transmission cooler, I think it was a Hayden with a low temp bypass. I‘ve had a few small folding campers over the years 2500lbs to 3300lbs and never had any transmission problems.

Would using an aftermarket tranny cooler help at all in extending the life of the radiator? I imagine that age and environment are bigger factors contributing to wear versus mileage (assuming you keep on top of coolant changes).

-Mike
 

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I'm trying to get to 300k, and I'm avoiding $1000s in car payments and shop bills. I'm sure I've thrown many (but old) working parts away and will continue to do so.
What is your magical formula for getting to 300k without spending money? I'd love to hear it, because I wasn't aware one existed...

As a practicing scientist, my opinion is that mechanical longevity is largely influenced by engineering, machining tolerances, the initial assembly and the original break-in period. Unfortunately, as car owners we only control the break-in period if we buy new. We then perform the regular maintenance prescribed by the engineers to keep the tolerances within spec - but moving parts wear, so it's a cat-and-mouse game starting at day 1.

You can perform every magical piece of regular and preventative maintenance that you want, but you'll never control all the intangibles that affect modern engines and drivetrains, and over time parts (some minor, some major) are going to eventually fail. I just replaced the original power steering pump on a 2008 Subaru with ~225k - with an original power steering pump from a 2008 Subaru with 150k I got from a U-Pull it yard. Why - because every owner must make a self-determination at which point you will limit the cost of repairs to correlate with the actual value of the vehicle, and for me that point is 200,000 miles. Based on the relatively limited number of miles I drive per year, at that mark I know that every extra month of cheap driving I can get is more money I can sink into savings, education for my kids or my retirement...

Cheers
 
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