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Plastic Radiators VS Metal Radiators: Why Should You Replace Them?

Radiator design has changed over the years, and recently there’s been a trend towards using radiators made mostly from plastic instead of metal. While plastic radiators are definitely cheaper to produce and install than their metal counterparts, they should probably ultimately be replaced. Here are just a few reasons why.

Why You Should Replace Your Plastic Radiator

The biggest reason to use a metal radiator instead of a plastic model is because it will extend the life of the product. When a vehicle’s thermostat opens, coolant that is heated to temperatures up to 200 degrees rushes into the radiator tank. This happens constantly when your vehicle is running, and this exposure to such a high temperature can cause a plastic radiator to crack. Once a plastic radiator is cracked, it needs to be replaced. The aluminium core that rests within most plastic radiators is a little more durable, but even that isn’t as effective as the brass and copper radiators that have been widely used for years.

Plastic Radiator comparing with metal radiator

The Advantages of a Plastic Radiator

The only real advantages that plastic radiators have is that they are lighter and less expensive than metal radiators. Price is often a sticking point with people, so it is perfectly understandable if you wish to go with a less expensive option for your vehicle. A plastic radiator might be useful if you want to keep your vehicle relatively light or if you do not drive your vehicle very often.

A Metal Radiator might be the Better Option

On the other hand, a metal radiator with brass upper and lower tanks and a copper core will last longer and transfer heat much more easily. They can also be repaired much more easily should they be damaged. Metal dents and bends, while plastic cracks. Dents can be pounded or bent back into shape; plastic will need to be replaced.

No matter what kind of radiator you wish to install in your vehicle, Mac’s Radiator will be able to help you. We have a complete manufacturing department that can build all kinds of radiators and holding tanks, so contact us today when you decide you need to have your vehicle’s radiator replaced.



Mac's Radiator is the best mechanic to help you with all of your mechanic needs!  Let Macs help you - we are located in 6 convenient locations, for when you need us close to home, or when you're on the road.




Portland, OR      (503) 777-4706
Beaverton, OR  (503) 646-2943
Bend, OR            (541) 382-6963
Boise, ID            (208) 344-1722
Eugene, OR        (541) 344-0253
Salem, OR          (503) 364-7129

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