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Inexpensive Home Radiator Cleaning

With most local radiator repair shops now out of business (you can buy new radiators for modern vehicles much less than repairing the originals) finding repairs for original brass radiators is very difficult. Shop repairing large commercial truck radiators still are needed but usually in only larger cities.

If your older GM original truck radiator does not leak but is cooling capacity has become limited (coolant boils on most uphill drives) there is a successful home repair.

Several Solutions:

  1. Fill your calcium clogged radiator with 50% “White Vinegar” and 50% water and let set 2 to 3 days. You will be amazed at what comes out of the core when it is drained! It will even clean the engine block and head!

This old school method has been a proven success over the years and it is very inexpensive. Check your local grocery store. Price is about $2.50/Gallon

  1. A Customer recently mentioned a household cleaning solution sold at hardware stores and some larger grocery chains called CLR. (Calcium, Lime and Rust) CLR appears to be made stronger than white vinegar and it is also diluted 50% with water. Description shows removing these unwanted scale deposits. .

Radiator shops usually use long small diameter brushes to “rod out” the calcium build up in the tubes. If they puncture a cooling tube with fins, they block it off with solder, and also solder the upper and lower damaged tanks back in place. You will never know how many have been soldered shut. The new black paint covering the radiator.

Save your cooling tubes with fins. White vinegar or other liquids may be the way to go!


An Extra bonus: If you place is solution in your drained radiator and let it set, it will also remove calcium build up in your engine block. Thus, the block has more flowing water and operates at a cooler temperature.

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