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November 2002: radiator leak in 1997 Escort LX; repaired at local Ford dealer (>$200).
March 2003: radiator leaking again; replaced with new radiator by Ford dealer, and credited previous repair (total expense = $250).
January 2004: radiator leaking, going to dealer next week.

Is this a common problem? Am I just unlucky, or is this a symptom of the quality of Ford parts?
Can extremely cold weather (like -10 F) cause radiator leak?
 

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I've also used stop leak on fairly new cars before, and I've never had to replace a rediator on a car either. I think the trick is to not use too much of it. I use the kind that comes in a screw bottle and maybe only use half. And if you flush your cooling system, you'll need to add some stop leak back in. And I've heard that often new cars with some stop leak already in them.

And if you need to buy a new radiator, only buy an all metal one (no cheapo plastic tanks like on most of the aftermarket ones and the OEM ones) and make sure it's made in USA or Canada. Do not install any thirld world conutry parts in your car!!!
 

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ZZ has a good point with the metal radiator.
My thoughts are....first, make sure it isnt running hotter than it should be. Check your thermostat....if its missing, water can flow fast enough through the engine that it cant absorb enough heat and cool properly; however, the temp sensor being at the top of the engine and far enough away from the cylinders could mis-report high temps. The engine could be running very hot and not tell you. Too much heat can cause high pressures and crack radiator seams, yet it would be more likely that youd blow a hose first. Ive cracked a radiator due to overheating before.
Make sure the radiator cap is working or just replace it. It should open at around 13 psi and vent excess pressure while also maintaining that pressure in order to raise the boiling point of the coolant. Cap wont open, pressure could raise excessively and blow hoses or crack seams in the radiator. Cap stays open, cooling system pressure drops along with the boiling point of the coolant causing overheat conditions sooner.
The radiator should not be mounted solid to the car... it should have some kind of rubber or other mounting to allow the radiator room to move freely should the engine compartment flex or twist slightly under normal conditions....and yes, the body of the car will flex and twist as the car travels over bumps and what not. You wouldnt want the radiator to try to flex with it on a solid mount and crack the seams.
Another thing..... Stop buying radiators from the dealer :D . An online radiator specialist will sell them for half the price and deliver it free to a local radiator shop where you can pick it up or have it installed by the shop. Your choice. Should be able to get one for around a hundred bucks brand new, delivered to a shop near you. Good luck!
 

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I had to replace the radiotor in my 93 a while back. I purchased an aftermarket one made by Go Dan Industries(GDI), very nice.

The cold weather may damage your radiator. To me it seems if there is to much water in the antifreeze the water may freeze and expand and cause some damage. Just my thought.
 

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Bar's leak in the .75 oz tube. All my escorts leaked in really cold weather where the plastic tank meets the aluminum part. Distilled water,Prestone orange antifreeze and Bar's leak in the powdered form.".75 oz tube". Mechanic in a bottle is the way to fix almost all anoying small fluid leaks. Prestone power steering fluid with "stop leak" is standard in all my cars.
 

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Ignatz said:
Bar's leak in the .75 oz tube. All my escorts leaked in really cold weather where the plastic tank meets the aluminum part. Distilled water,Prestone orange antifreeze and Bar's leak in the powdered form.".75 oz tube". Mechanic in a bottle is the way to fix almost all anoying small fluid leaks. Prestone power steering fluid with "stop leak" is standard in all my cars.
You put power steering fluid in your radiator?
:scratch:
 
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