How much does it cost to replace a car radiator?

According to Fixter data, car radiator replacement cost (UK) ranges between £258 and £501.

Our average car radiator replacement cost works out at £378.

Can I carry out a car radiator replacement myself?

It’s not a job for the faint-hearted, so unless you’re a well-experienced DIY mechanic, we’d leave this one to the professionals.

You’ll need a range of tools designed to get into awkward spaces and loosen and tighten some special nuts. You’ll also benefit from owning a few more special tools to help drain and refill the cooling system with the correct coolant mix.

There are plenty of hoses and connectors attached to the radiator and the parts it connects to, including the condenser and cooling fan. Then there are pressure tests to ensure the fluid is properly in place. So unless you’re confident in your skills, it’s a big job for a DIYer.

What are the car radiator replacement costs at a dealership compared to Fixter garages?

OperationVehicleDealer PriceFixter PriceSaving
Car radiator replacementFord Fiesta 1.6ltr£474£40816%
Car radiator replacementVolkswagen Passat 2ltr£342£30313%
Car radiator replacementJaguar XE 2ltr£569£48717%
Car radiator replacementVolkswagen Golf 1.6ltr£312£27115%
Car radiator replacementLand Rover Evoque 2.2ltr£536£47014%
Car radiator replacementBMW X5 3ltr£562£50112%
Car radiator replacementNissan Qashqai 1.5ltr£469£40416%
Car radiator replacementBMW 3 Series£304£25818%
Car radiator replacementBMW 5 Series£341£29615%

What additional factors could affect car radiator replacement?

Usually, the cost of replacing a car radiator is down to the make and model and who you choose to do the work, yet there are a few extra circumstances that could bump up the price. You need to flush and replace the coolant in your system, and you might suffer additional issues that extend to thermostats, faulty fans, or other defective components.

Troubleshooting for faulty components can affect labour costs, but generally, if a radiator has sprung a leak, that’s often all that needs replacing.

What are the costs of car radiator replacement parts?

Prices for a new car radiator vary for each make and model. The average price of an alternator from Eurocarparts is £110.

In our search, we took an average for standard 2015 models.

Car MakeCar ModelRadiator Prices
FordFiesta£91
Fiat500£102
VolkswagenGolf£175
MercedesC Class£445
AudiA4£110
Land RoverRange Rover£193
VolkswagenTiguan£113
AudiQ5£184

What are the labour times and rates for car radiator replacement?

Car radiator repair cost can vary across the country according to the garage or dealership’s size, location, types of service they offer, and the local demand. We delved into our records to work out the average hourly rate, to keep things as simple as possible for our customers.

We found for garages within the London area the average rate came out at £78 per hour. For the garages throughout the rest of the country, the price was a little lower, as you’d expect, at £72 per hour.

How long does a car radiator repair take?

Once again, with plenty of Fixter data to work with, we found the average radiator replacement job can take anywhere between 2.4 and 4.5 hours.

They’re not always the easiest part to get to, to release, replace, and reconnect, and any complications will add to the total time.

Take a look at what we found: You’ll see just how different the time this job takes for each make and model can vary.

Car Make          Car ModelTypical Replacement Time
FordFiesta1.0 hours
Fiat5001.3 hours
VolkswagenGolf2.1 hours
MercedesC Class3.4 hours
AudiA44.5 hours
BMW5 Series1.5 hours
Land RoverRange Rover3.3 hours
VolkswagenTiguan1.1 hours
AudiQ53.3 hours

Can I drive with a broken radiator?

A cracked radiator might hold enough cooling fluid to operate within the working temperatures of your engine. If it loses too much fluid, your car will overheat quickly, and you should stop driving immediately—before you cause severe damage to your engine.

Even a radiator that isn’t leaking much needs attention as soon as possible. A small crack can quickly grow into a big problem, so don’t gamble on it lasting too long.

What else could be the problem if my radiator isn’t broken?

A few other items to check when your engine is overheating are:

  • The radiator cap is securely in place – you can lose coolant through a loose cap as easily as a crack or other leak.
  • Is your water pump working correctly?
  • There could be a problem with your temperature gauge.
  • Are the hoses healthy? Rubber perishes and cracks over time, especially around their connections and clamps.

What are the signs of a faulty or broken car radiator?

  • The engine overheats or runs at a higher temperature than usual.
  • Your engine warning light illuminates.
  • Pools of coolant appear under the engine—they can be red, green or yellow.
  • Wet patches appear on the radiator where the fluid is seeping out.
  • The level of liquid in your coolant tank is low or empty.

Can I carry out a car radiator repair?

We took a good look into your car radiator’s role and replacement on another of our blog pages. You’ll also find a few pointers into whether or not it’s worth trying to repair a leaking radiator, and if so, how.

If you spot a leak and think it might be appropriate for repair, there are plenty of sealants on the market. The sealant is added to the coolant via the radiator cap, but only after the system has completely cooled down. As the engine runs and warms up to full temperature, the sealant lines the crack, sealing it from the inside.

For external fixes, you could try one of the many metal-epoxy putties. However, if the coolant continues to find its way out, it’s time to fit that new radiator.

Choose Fixter – Get an instant quote for your radiator replacement and save up to 30%


About Fixter

Fixter is revolutionising the car maintenance industry, one repair at a time. Fixter was founded to make car maintenance as easy as booking a taxi. Digital, transparent and stress-free, with world-class customer service. Since launching in Manchester in 2017, Fixter has expanded to more than 100 cities across the UK and provided thousands of car owners with honest, convenient and affordable car repair services.