Automotive

2003 Toyota Camry Radiator problem

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 15th, 2017 9:38 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 1, 2015
19 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto

2003 Toyota Camry Radiator problem

Hi
My car suddenly started overheating because of radiator leak.
Canadian tire quoted me $800 for replacing radiator and thermostat and flushing out and replacing coolant fluid.
Does anyone have any experience on how much this typically costs? Is $800 reasonable?

Thanks
13 replies
Deal Fanatic
Mar 15, 2005
5422 posts
962 upvotes
Swapnil1499 wrote: Hi
My car suddenly started overheating because of radiator leak.
Canadian tire quoted me $800 for replacing radiator and thermostat and flushing out and replacing coolant fluid.
Does anyone have any experience on how much this typically costs? Is $800 reasonable?

Thanks
NEVER EVER EVER EVER GO TO CANADIAN TIRE

Find a real mechanic please.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
15139 posts
16128 upvotes
Oakville
How over heated did it get? I'm concerned your engine could be damaged if too much leaked and it got too hot.

Second, take your car to another mechanic. Nothing but horror stories from CT. Also good to get a 2nd opinion if you're not sure.

As for the price, it's not unreasonable if they're replacing a lot of parts. Maybe too much if just the rad, but may as well replace the hoses, t-stat, reservoir at this age if you plan to keep it a long time.
The radiator itself is about $100 CAD w/taxes/shipping from rockauto.com Shouldn't be more than 2 hours to install and give mechanic 100% markup on part for $400 for the repair if just doing the radiator. Probably another $100 for the rest of the cooling parts.
https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toy ... iator,2172
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 1, 2015
19 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto
Do you have any recommendations in Brampton?
It started overheating when I was out today, and Canadian tire was the only option that was open and close by.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 1, 2015
19 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto
Well, I'm not sure. But the AC stopped working.
And then the saw then heat indicator all the way to max and coolant fluid was completely empty. It was fine yesterday night.
After that I tried refilling the coolant fluid and waiting for an hour if it cools down. But it would quickly go back to max in 2 mins after driving. So took it to Canadian tire.
I would say it was driven 6-7 kms with leaking.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
15139 posts
16128 upvotes
Oakville
Don't know any places there but hopefully someone can recommend. Before you bother fixing the coolant leak you'll want to confirm your engine isn't damaged so you're not wasting money on a scrap car.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
15318 posts
12777 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Did you drive the car while the temperature gauge was pegged at max? If I remember right this engine is aluminum and if you ran it overheated for any length of time there is a chance that the head might warp. $800 is very expensive. 3rd rads are in the $2-300 range and should only take about 2 hours to do.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 1, 2015
19 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto
Did not drive any significant distance when temperature gauge was at max. Just drove enough to go from left lane to right lane and park safely in parking lot nearby. But before that my father was driving. So it's possible he drove it while it was overheating (he didn't notice). But that was maximum 4-5 kms.

Canadian tire diagnosis didn't mention anything about engine. I will ask them if they checked anything tomorrow morning.

That $800 quote also includes thermostat and reflushing cost of coolant fluid.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 1, 2015
19 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto
2.4 l engine
I think that's 4 cyl

I'm pretty sure that it's not V6 engine.
Sorry I'm not exactly sure. But it's Toyota Camry 2003 SE.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
15139 posts
16128 upvotes
Oakville
Swapnil1499 wrote: 2.4 l engine
I think that's 4 cyl

I'm pretty sure that it's not V6 engine.
Sorry I'm not exactly sure. But it's Toyota Camry 2003 SE.
Lol, pretty important when it comes to repairs to know what engine. I think all SE were V6 but not sure. You could do a vin lookup to be sure.
Did you see where it was leaking from when you refilled it?
Did you check the condition of the oil?
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 1, 2015
19 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto
I appreciate all your help. Thanks a lot!
And Yeah Vin look up shows up as 2.4 L engine.

I don't really think there are any problems with the engine because I stopped driving as soon as I realized the issue and called a tow truck.


And yes oil condition is fine. I check the oil level every week because the oil level decreases too quickly in my car.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
15318 posts
12777 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Thermostat is a cheap part, like $20 or so. $800 is really too much for such a simple job. I hope someone chimes in for an Indy machanic near you.

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