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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2001 Esteem wagon has developed a pinhole leak along a crack at the very top of the radiator. There are alot of radiators out there, does it make much difference which I replace it with?

For ex, $53, free shipping

Evan-Fischer EVA27672031642 Radiator Natural 1.38 x 21.38 in. top header 1.63 bottom
A high quality, OE replacement Radiator from Evan-Fischer.
Evan-Fischer products are covered by 1-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty.
This item is brand NEW; Evan-Fischer do not offer remanufactured or refurbished products.

or for $73, free shipping
Designed to meet or exceed OE Specifications
Product is test fitted for easy installation and proper fit
Only the highest grade materials and components are used
Rigorously tested for performance, pressure, weathering, and durability
Lifetime Warranty

Do you know if the Evan-Fischer is good enough, does an extra $20 for a (so-called) Lifetime warranty make sense or is that just marketing?

These are on Amazon & supposedly fit my car, the ones listed on auto parts sites are more like $100 - $500. Are they better in some way?
Or should I just use some JB weld and cross my fingers?
 

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First of all make sure that you are getting the correct radiator for your car, the Esteem came with two DIFFERENT styles of radiator there is one that has the bottom connector in the center pointing straight at the engine and the other style is at the bottom corner pointing at the passenger side fender.

The two links that you posted have BOTH styles of radiators listed so one of them is the WRONG one, this one has the bottom center connector:


And this one has it in the bottom corner connector:


Take a good look at the bottom of your radiator before you order one.

Regarding brands... All after market part manufacturers are required to make their parts as good as or better than OEM parts, so unless you have been warned by say several people in a local Suzuki car club to stay away from a certain brand whatever brand you buy should be ok.

The radiator in my 2002 Suzuki Esteem 1.8 was one of the first things that went bad on my car but everyone in town just had the center output radiator except one place that was actually a radiator shop had a four core (instead of three core) racing version (yes it still fit) which was the correct one, I paid the extra money for it and have had zero trouble with it and it still kept the engine cool when the water pump was failing.

Which leads me to warranty issues...

Most parts come with a limited warranty such as three years, which what usually happens is at three years and four months the part suddenly goes bad.

The other warranty is the "Lifetime" or "Limited Lifetime".

The fine print on these can be tricky, "Lifetime" can mean for the lifetime of the part regardless of who owned the car when it went bad or it can mean only while YOU own the car.

"Limited Lifetime" can mean all kinds of things and generally specifies under what conditions that they will replace the part, and typically only while YOU own the car.

With all of that being said... paying the extra $10 to $20 for the extended warranty can be worth the gamble in the long run, however for every 1000 customers that they get to pay the extra $10 they just made an extra $10,000 all for a part that will probably outlive the car itself.

JB Weld...

JB Weld is good for all kinds of things, but my experience with water and hydraulic fluid leaks is that if you plug the hole in one place the leak will just move somewhere else and start leaking again.

Now its one thing if you are out in the middle of nowhere and are broke down because of the said pinhole eventually left you with an empty radiator and the said repair will be good enough to get you the 100 miles back home.

But on the other hand if this is your daily driver and you need to rely on the car to get you to work it would be better for your own piece of mind to just replace the radiator and call it done.

And while you have the radiator out and the cooling system drained replace both hoses, the thermostat, and on the 1.8 engine there is a metal tube across the front of the engine that bolts onto the thermostat housing that has an O-ring in it that needs replacing also, do them all at the same time and you won't have to worry about something blowing out on you on a really hot day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
uhoh, going out to check (too bad I didn't wait before ordering the cheaper one, oops)...but first i want to say wow, thanks for all of the info, you are a star...

How kind of you to take the time to write all of that, you even answered the question i meant to ask but forgot re: what else to do when replacing the radiator. Thanks a million!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
found radiator on eBay

Well, too fast on the trigger, I had to return the first radiator, which as you pointed out had the hose connector on the bottom in the center. Mine has the corner connector, which is a bit harder to find apparently. Thought I'd mention the source here since they have a few more, in case anyone else is looking:

Radiator for Suzuki Fits Esteem 1 6 1 8 | eBay

Good seller, they have all of the information there also.

Btw, Amazon did not have quite the right information, but they have a great return policy (seller pays shipping). Time wasted but not money. And I have more time than money...

I have another question but will start a new thread. Thanks again for your help!
 
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