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How to Repair an ATV Aluminum Radiator

The radiator on your ATV is crucial to cooling the machine. Hence, once it damages, you want to repair it immediately to avoid potential damage due to excess heat. Now that your ATV has an aluminum radiator, you want to know how to repair an ATV aluminum radiator.

There are different means to fix an ATV aluminum radiator, but you need the right guide to do this, so you don't damage other components around the radiator.

Whether you want to repair your damaged ATV aluminum radiator or are only curious about how to fix ATV aluminum radiators, this piece has the information you need.

atv aluminum radiator damage

Fixing ATV Aluminum Radiator

First, it is worth mentioning that radiators are of different types, and each type requires a different method to repair. The common types are copper-brass and aluminum, and you cannot repair your aluminum radiators like you would repair a copper radiator.

Another important thing to note is that the leak's location and the tank type will influence your repair method. Regardless, here are a few steps to help you repair your ATV radiator:

Identify the Leak Source

Your first step to repairing an ATV radiator is identifying the source of the leak. This might seem easier, but it is not.

Start by checking the radiator hose. Often, the hose is the part leaking, not the radiator itself, which is easier and more cost-effective to fix.

Other points vulnerable to leaks include the tank connections, header plates, and radiator tubes.

Identify the Cause of the Leak

You would also want to establish the cause of the leak. Why is your radiator leaking? While some causes can be repaired, others cannot, and you only need a replacement. Look out for any of these:

  • Pinhole leaks: the hole is not visible, but you see the coolant leaking out

  • Significant damage: the damage is evident with a large hole

  • Corrosion

  • Separation of the tank from core

The type of damage you notice on your radiator will determine the best fix of the unit. If your radiator is seriously damaged, you will certainly need a replacement. But if the tank maintains good shape, you only need to re-core the radiator.

Re-coring the radiator is also a good fix for a unit with a pinhole. Note that a pinhole in your radiator means corrosion is happening inside.

Should I Repair My ATV Aluminum Radiator?

Regardless of the severity of the damage on your aluminum ATV radiator, the best means to fix a cracked aluminum radiator on an ATV is to re-core it. Although you might think welding will solve the issue, it won't. Remember that the metal is weak and is only a matter of time to go back to its poor state again after welding.

This is blamed on the continuous use of aluminum radiators that exposes them to metal fatigue. The repetitive heating-and-cooling reaction in aluminum radiators weakens them.

The best narrative to this damage is when you unwind a paper clip and bend it back and forth. The more you bend the metal, the easier to bend it. Finally, the metal becomes weak and breaks apart.

Hence, instead of repairing your aluminum radiator, it is wise to re-core while you keep the tank. Also, if the tank is bad, you might need to replace it too.

Replacing a damaged tank gives you peace of mind after re-coring your radiator. It might be frustrating having to deal with a radiator tank issue after you have just had your radiator re-cored.


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