A lot of car owners wonder: how much does a coolant leak repair cost? Is it an expensive procedure? Well, as I usually like to say, it’s a matter of luck. In other words, it heavily depends on which part of the whole cooling system is leaking. If you’ve got a pinhole leak from the radiator, then you’re in luck, because that’s the least expensive scenario for you. By the way, if you’re too tight on the budget, you can actually try to fix that problem with raw egg white. Yep, that’s right. It may not be a very permanent solution, but it can still keep that pinhole from leaking.
Just let the radiator run for a minute or so and that should do the trick. And if you’ve got a couple of bucks to spare, then just visit the nearest auto parts store and buy a radiator sealant – they’ve got quite a big collection of those. I recommend purchasing the Bars Leaks Radiator Leak Repair – it will cost you 5 dollars max, but it’ll be 5 bucks well spend, believe me. So, that’s coolant leak repair cost number one for ya. Let’s move on to the next one and up the cost scale.
Coolant Leak Repair Cost – Changing The Gaskets
Next up, we’ve got leaking hose and/or gaskets. You should know that gaskets around the thermostat, as well as the water pump can (and regularly do) leak. This one is also an easy and cheap fix. Still, you will have to remove the component and prep the mating surface prior to setting it all back up with a brand-new gasket. By the way, a new thermostat from the local store will often come with a new gasket in the package.
The average price of such a pack is somewhere between 5 to 10 dollars. The water pump gasket, on the other hand, can be replaced with an OEM part, but don’t be greedy; buy a tube of gasket maker (Permatex, for example) – it will cost you only about 7 to 10 dollars, but it’s the perfect “tool” for minor repairs like the aforementioned thermostat or water pump housing gaskets. I strongly recommend buying that tube and sleeping well at nights, rather than saving those couple of bucks and worrying all the time. Besides, a permanent fix isn’t called “permanent” for no reason – it will serve you for the rest of your life. And your car’s life as well!
Coolant Leak Repair Cost – Changing The Leaky Hoses
Fixing a leaky hose is a no-brainer – just replace it with a new one and you’ll be all right. You have two options here: first, you can get an OEM “formed” hose from your local dealership or auto parts store, which will cost you God knows how much (different folks will name a different price for it). Or, you can go with the second option, and buy a “form-able” hose from a store, like maybe Wal-Mart in standard fourth length with the desired diameter. This will cost you a pretty penny – about 100 – 200 dollars (that’s US).
If you’re driving an older car, the second option is your best bet, as it could be challenging to get OEM hoses for it. On the other hand, OEM hoses are usually sold for a lot less than 200 dollars, you know? So, gotta make a choice: either go cheap and mean, or go expensive but confident. Me personally, I would definitely pay those 200 if I had them. But, before that, I would spend some time checking out the collection of “formed” hoses – maybe I’d find the perfect fit for my vehicle? If not, then I would go with the “form-able” option and my coolant leak repair cost would be around 200 dollars. Well, that’s not the most expensive scenario…
Water Pumps And Radiators
Water pumps tend to get leaky when they wear out. If you want a more detailed explanation, here it is: a lot of pumps have a fitting with a… “hole” (in lack of a better word) near the pump shaft, and it will most definitely start leaking when the bushing wears out. If you want to just replace the whole water pump, then it will cost you from 30 to 300 dollars. Yep, the range IS that big, and your price will depend on the vehicle’s model, make and year. A replacement radiator might cost your around 300 dollars as well, but that’s the top price – you can get one for much less.
Coolant Leak Repair Cost – A Blown Head Gasket
And finally, let’s talk about the worst scenario – a leaking head gasket. True, the gasket itself isn’t really very expensive. The thing is, getting to it means disassembling the whole upper half of your engine, so, the new head gasket will just be a part of a very expensive package, that will include brand-new valve cover, timing cover, head bolts, manifold gaskets, thermostat, as well as water pump gaskets, and a camshaft.
That royal pack right there will cost you roughly around 250 dollars for a standard 4-cyl engine. Furthermore, don’t forget to add in the money for supplies and other procedures, like having the head machined. So, all in all, a complete replacement of your head gasket can cost as much as 400-500 dollars. Hey, this one gotta be the highest coolant leak repair cost!
For your information: an overwhelming head gasket replacement like that will cost almost half of a complete engine rebuild. And that’s if you’re cool enough to replace the head gasket yourself. If not, be ready to spend at least 200 dollars when asking a service center to do that instead. Yep, a lot of dollars leaving your wallet, and never coming back, right? And not a lot of folks can afford it these days! I mean, with the economy and stuff, are you ready to cash in that amount of money?
So, with all that said, I gotta also tell you this: you can (not permanently) fix the problem of a leaking head gasket if, and only if, the leak is not a serious one and you manage to neutralize is early on. I recommend using something like Rislone Block Seal: Head Gasket Fix (it’s a liquid sealant). It’s not that expensive – 30 dollars or so for a bottle, and it will definitely serve you for 3 months (maybe even 6 or more). Alright, that’s it for the coolant leak repair cost. As you can see, the price for the fix varies depending on the damage extend and is somewhere between 5 and 700 dollars.
Did you have an experience with a leaking coolant? Have some tips for the community? Please, do share you story in the comments! Trust me, a lot of people will appreciate that, even if they don’t tell you that personally 🙂
Watch this video: How to Find An Internal, or External Coolant Leak