Used Radiators: Understand the Pros & Cons

January 27, 2012

If you need to replace the radiator in your vehicle and are considering a used radiator, the pros and cons associated with using a used radiator are something you should understand thoroughly before buying one. As the prices of replacement car parts are increasing, many people are turning to used parts for the repair of their vehicles. Before you purchase a used radiator, make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages to having one.

The Pros of Used Radiators

Depending upon the make and model of your vehicle, a new radiator may cost several hundred dollars. If you're able to find a used radiator that is compatible with your vehicle, you'll probably be able to purchase the used part at a fraction of the new radiator price. In fact, if you visit a local junkyard, you may be able to purchase the radiator at very little cost if you're willing to remove the radiator yourself.

If you're able to find a vehicle that was severely damaged from an accident where the vehicle was rear-ended, you'll probably be able to find a used radiator in good or excellent condition. If this is the case, you will have a radiator that functions perfectly well and be able to purchase it for a very low price. You may even be able to pull any hoses or fans that will be needed for the radiator is well. Again removing these parts from a totaled vehicle will save you a lot of money.

The Cons of Used Radiators

While used radiators can certainly save you a lot of money over the cost of a new one, you never know what kind of condition the radiator is actually in. When purchasing a used radiator, you will never be able to inspect the radiator while used on a functioning vehicle. So, the radiator may have leaks or other damage not easily apparent when visually inspecting the radiator.

Another potential disadvantage when choosing to purchase a used radiator is the availability of a suitable radiator for your vehicle. Finding a used radiator for your vehicle may require a lot of research to find one in fitting condition. Even if you shop for used radiators on the Internet, many online dealers may not have a radiator for your vehicle in stock.

If you are able to find a used radiator, and it was removed from a totaled or wrecked vehicle, you may have no way of telling if the vehicle was damaged in the engine area. If the vehicle was involved in a head-on accident or accident where the engine area was damaged, the radiator may have been affected even if there is no apparent physical damage to the unit. Unless you are sufficiently familiar with the vehicle that the used radiator was pulled from, you really know don't know what type of condition the radiator may be in.