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I win!! The leaky radiator saga.

December 3, 2008

There are some times where life decides that you suck and it is gonna try and make things as difficult as it possibly can.

And so begins the saga of the leaky Elantra.

It started maybe two years ago. I have a little Elantra that really is my beat-to-death commuter car. I really have no love for it. It replaced the full size Dodge truck that I really dug. I bought it for the simple fact that it got nearly 30MPG next to the trucks 14MPG and would not eat me out of house and home in fuel costs. And that has been a true statement for a while now. I have driven the wheels off of the fucker.

A while back I noticed a seep in the upper radiator hose and ignored it. I never lost enough water to even concern myself with it. Hell, I have driven it for two years like that. You wouldn’t think that I enjoyed to wrench on cars with an attitude like this, but I was broke, worked too much and just didn’t care. So leak it did.

Last July we even drove it down to California with that same leaky upper radiator hose. 1600 miles round trip and still nothing bad happened. Since gas prices were through the roof T started to use the car for a while. Then it decided to spring a leak down around the lower radiator hose.

So I decided that since the leak spread, it was time for me to get a fixin’ on it.

Well upper and lower hoses were replaced. Everything should be copacetic again, right? Wrong, oh so fucking wrong. The leak got worse. So the houses were pulled, things were cleaned, new clamps were put on. Still no fucking luck. But I hardly go anywhere so we decided that until I find the source of the drippings the car would stay here.

Anyway, I finally deduced that it was the radiator, considering it is nearly 6 years old, never really been serviced, and just run for about 130,000 miles, it was probably due.

I had hoped to get it last week before Thanksgiving, but no luck.

So a few days of feasting and games and driving all over hell’s half acre. The Hyundai decided it was sick of my shit and let itself puke antifreeze all over the place. It became apparent that the upper jug had started to leak on the radiator and it was not gonna keep together much longer.

But we had a nice Thanksgiving nonetheless. Here is a Thanksgiving night shot. We were playing Clue with T’s family that night. And you can probably figure out who the ugly mug on the left belongs to.

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Well today I got the radiator in, from NAPA. They had a pretty nice price, but shipping time sucked ass!

But after some wrestling and wrangling, it looks like I am now leak free!

You can see the mess I started with.

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Oooh pretty!

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And let’s compare the two. Can you guess which one is the good radiator and which one is the leaky shitbox?

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And here she is, all put back together. Yay!!!

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I did learn a few lessons along the way.

1. Pull the extra shit off, it really helps. And removing the fans and stupid crap like that was actually pretty damn easy. It gave me enough room that I didn’t shave my knuckles trying to tighten the hoses.

2. Fixing cars sucks ass in the winter time. I am so getting me a heater for the garage and moving all that shit out of the other half of it. It wasn’t very cold, but cold still sucks and if I didn’t like it today I can guess how I am going to feel about it when there is 6 inches of snow on the ground.

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One Comment
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Shroom – nice work on the radiator. When mine went a couple of years ago I wussed out and took it to the guy at the end of the road. I could walk back to the house when I left the car at his garage, and he charged a fair price.

    Oh, and that’s a very cute picture…..well, one half of it is cute….. 😉

    Grummash

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