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I recently bought a 97 CRV with 147,000 miles from a friend for $100. Original owner, dealer maintained mostly and in good condition overall. I don't drive very often but she just wanted to get rid of it and I figured it was cheaper than cabs and rental cars.

I smelled coolant burning and took it to a trusted mechanic to look at it. He pointed out a small inch long crack on the front of the radiator where coolant was leaking out. It's the original radiator and he said he could replace it for $580 or if I wanted to buy one somewhere else, he could install it for $180.

I balked at the price since I only drive it once a week at most, though I know long-term it'd be worth the cost of a new radiator. He said I could buy an epoxy for plastic from Autozone and that might do the trick for a while.

I'm a car repair novice and would be glad for recommendations on the kind of epoxy, whether I should apply the epoxy when the car is completely cool or warm from use, and any tricks to keep the epoxy from getting into the radiator/how much to use to be effective. Also, if it matters, I live in Boston and the car is parked outside year-round, if that would impact the epoxy type.
 

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A OEM Denso radiator is just $51 on rockauto.com for your car.
I think you need a new mechanic. One that won't rip you off and treat you fairly.
Where in Mass are you located?
 

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Epoxy wont work. It will leak just as much after its patched.
 

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First, welcome to the forum. I got to agree with Rocky, find yourself another mechanic, this so called mechanic is a rip off artist. $180.00 to change out a radiator that you purchase is insane, it's less than a hour at most to replace it.
For what you paid for the car, forget the epoxy deal and get you a new radiator. JMHO and good luck.
David g..........:cool:
 

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Do some research online for possible epoxy fixes. Not very costly and worth a try. Usually a temp fix, but some have had great luck.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amLsakq22Ls for one, but there are lots out there to look at.
Still, putting in a new radiator isn't very difficult on your yr CRV (look for youtube vids) and the cost of a new radiator on ebay, rockauto, etc as Rocky stated, isn't a lot.
If you replace the radiator, that would also be an excellent time to replace both the upper and lower radiator hoses and the thermostat and new coolant.
New Denso 221-3209 Radiator on Amazon--$61.00, Walmart: $62.00, Ebay: Aprox $60.00, PartsGeek-55.00, RockAuto - -$48.00 Be SURE to check taxes and shipping charges. Buy a Denso or another quality radiator, not one of the cheapest ones on ebay, like I did and it doesn't cool as well as a quality one, like Denso, KOYO etc do.
Buying high quality radiator hoses online is usually a lot cheaper also.


Buffalo4
 

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I replaced one in my 2000 w/115k with one from Napa for 110$. Took 2 hours.
I'd be more concerned in why the car only cost 100$.
Maybe the dreaded valve woes of gen 1 was/is reason.
 

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Thanks for all the helpful replies. First-time forum poster and couldn't figure out how to find my original post so sorry for the lag time.

I ended up going with a new radiator bought and installed by the mechanic and offered him $450 cash for the whole job. I'm an apartment dweller without a driveway or I might have been brave enough to try the self install of the radiator. I think his hourly rate of $180 is probably fair for Cambridge/Somerville but I am going to check out West Cork Auto in JP next. Any other places you Boston folks recommend for Honda work?

And for AKWagon, the car was only a $100 because it belonged to my coworker's wife who passed away. She knew it might have some problems and didn't want to sell it for a lot since it would probably need work.
 
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