802.589.0911 Live Chat With Us

Select Your Vehicle to Shop For Your Radiator Cap

Choose a Year for your vehicle's Radiator Cap

  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
  • 1998
  • 1997
  • 1996
  • 1995
  • 1994
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
  • 1987
  • 1986
  • 1985
  • 1984
  • 1983
  • 1982
  • 1981
  • 1980
  • 1979
  • 1978
  • 1977
  • 1976
  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1972
  • 1971
  • 1970
  • 1969
  • 1968
  • 1967
  • 1966
  • 1965
  • 1964
  • 1963
  • 1962
  • 1961
  • 1960
  • 1959
  • 1958
  • 1957
  • 1956
  • 1955
  • 1954
  • 1953
  • 1952
  • 1951
  • 1950
  • 1949
  • 1948
  • 1947
  • 1946
  • 1942
  • 1938
  • 1937
Show More Years

Shop By Brand

The Following brands are available based on your search.

  • ACDelco
    ACDelco
  • APA/URO Parts
    APA/URO Parts
  • Behr
    Behr
  • CSF Radiator
    CSF Radiator
  • Calorstat
    Calorstat
  • Dorman
    Dorman
  • Eurospare
    Eurospare
  • Febi
    Febi
  • Futaba
    Futaba
  • Gates
    Gates
  • Genuine
    Genuine
  • LKQ
    LKQ
  • MTC
    MTC
  • Meyle
    Meyle
  • Mopar
    Mopar
  • Motorcraft
    Motorcraft
  • Motormite
    Motormite
  • Mr Gasket
    Mr Gasket
  • Rein
    Rein
  • Reutter
    Reutter
  • Sankei Switches
    Sankei Switches
  • Stant
    Stant
  • Vaico
    Vaico

Best Selling Genuine Replacement Radiator Caps

  • Constantly Updated Inventory of Replacement Radiator Cap Parts
  • We stock Discount Radiator Cap OEM Parts
ACDelco
2005 Buick Rainier Radiator Cap ACDelco

P311-33D4733    W0133-1690827  New

Qty:
$22.43
ACDelco Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • Genuine GM
Brand: ACDelco
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2005 - Buick Rainier
Vaico
2012 BMW X3 Radiator Cap Vaico

P311-19D9E9F    W0133-1970355  New

Qty:
$18.85
Vaico Radiator Cap
  • ; Location-Expansion Tank
Brand: Vaico
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2012 - BMW X3
Vaico
2015 BMW X5 Radiator Cap Vaico

P311-19D9E9F    W0133-1970355  New

Qty:
$18.85
Vaico Radiator Cap
  • ; Location-Expansion Tank, Engine Cooling
Brand: Vaico
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Engine Designation
2015 - BMW X5 N63B44B
Vaico
2015 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 Radiator Cap Vaico

P311-19D9E9F    W0133-1970355  New

Qty:
$18.85
Vaico Radiator Cap
  • ; Engine Cooling, Location-Expansion Tank
Brand: Vaico
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2015 - BMW ActiveHybrid 7
Vaico
2016 BMW X5 Radiator Cap Vaico

P311-19D9E9F    W0133-1970355  New

Qty:
$18.85
Vaico Radiator Cap
Brand: Vaico
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Engine Designation
2016 - BMW X5 N55B30A
Vaico
2014 BMW i8 Radiator Cap Vaico

P311-19D9E9F    W0133-1970355  New

Qty:
$18.85
Vaico Radiator Cap
  • ; Location-Expansion Tank, Electronics Cooling
Brand: Vaico
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2014 - BMW i8
Vaico
2019 BMW X6 Radiator Cap Vaico

P311-19D9E9F    W0133-1970355  New

Qty:
$18.85
Vaico Radiator Cap
  • ; Location-Reservoir, Engine Cooling
Brand: Vaico
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Engine Designation
2019 - BMW X6 N63B44B
Vaico
2017 BMW 330i Radiator Cap Vaico

P311-19D9E9F    W0133-1970355  New

Qty:
$18.85
Vaico Radiator Cap
  • ; Location-Reservoir, Primary
Brand: Vaico
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2017 - BMW 330i
Sankei Switches
1993 Acura Integra Radiator Cap 4 Cyl 1.8L Sankei Switches

P311-452BD4F    W0133-1708895  New

Qty:
$15.25
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; OE Radiator = Toyo
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Transmission Block Engine CID CC
1993 - Acura Integra Manual L 4 Cyl 1.8L - 1834
Sankei Switches
1989 Acura Legend Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5AA6EE2    W0133-1834724  New

Qty:
$33.64
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; Chas: KC015839-
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Doors Chassis Range
1989 - Acura Legend 2 KC015839 and up
Sankei Switches
1994 Honda Prelude Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5AA6EE2    W0133-1834724  New

Qty:
$33.64
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Cylinder Head Type
1994 - Honda Prelude SOHC
Sankei Switches
1990 Acura Legend Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5AA6EE2    W0133-1834724  New

Qty:
$33.64
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; Chas: LC028215-
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Body Chassis Range
1990 - Acura Legend Sedan LC028215 and up
Sankei Switches
1995 Honda Accord Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5AA6EE2    W0133-1834724  New

Qty:
$33.64
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; Models made in Japan with OE radiator = Toyo
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Engine Designation Doors
1995 - Honda Accord F22B1 4
Sankei Switches
1999 Honda CR-V Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5E3505B    W0133-1638458  New

Qty:
$42.09
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
1999 - Honda CR-V
Sankei Switches
1998 Honda Prelude Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5E3505B    W0133-1638458  New

Qty:
$42.09
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; OE Radiator = Denso
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
1998 - Honda Prelude
Sankei Switches
1994 Honda Accord Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5E3505B    W0133-1638458  New

Qty:
$42.09
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; Models made in Japan with OE radiator = ND
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Engine Designation Doors
1994 - Honda Accord F22B1 4
Sankei Switches
1994 Honda Accord Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5E3505B    W0133-1638458  New

Qty:
$42.09
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; Models made in USA
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Engine Designation Doors
1994 - Honda Accord F22B1 4
Sankei Switches
2001 Honda Civic Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5E3505B    W0133-1638458  New

Qty:
$42.09
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; OE Radiator = Toyo
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2001 - Honda Civic
Sankei Switches
1996 Acura Integra Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5E3505B    W0133-1638458  New

Qty:
$42.09
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; for OE radiator on Models
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Transmission Engine Designation
1996 - Acura Integra Manual B18B1
Sankei Switches
1995 Honda Accord Radiator Cap Sankei Switches

P311-5E3505B    W0133-1638458  New

Qty:
$42.09
Sankei Switches Radiator Cap
  • This Original Equipment Manufacturer part is the same part that was made & installed by the car manufacturer at the factory where the car was produced.
  • ; OE Radiator
Brand: Sankei Switches
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle Engine Designation Doors
1995 - Honda Accord F22B1 5

Latest Radiator Cap Repair and Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

help with radiator cap

Showing 4 out of 4 Posts
Question From ChevyGuy on help with radiator cap

can i use a different radiator cap on a 1998 sunfire2.2? can i use the radiator cap from a 2002 cavalier?

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

They are likely the same but I'd check. Both should be same type and rated at 15lbs. Are you sure they are OE for the vehicles?

T

Response From ChevyGuy

they are same lbs but the are different style

Response From Tom Greenleaf

No good. Get the right one,

T

Where is the radiator cap on a 2007 Ford Taurus?

Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From Guest on Where is the radiator cap on a 2007 Ford Taurus?

Hi,

We have a 2007 Ford Taurus and we know how to find/check the oil, trans fluid, brake fluid, etc. But, we can't find a radiator cap in order to check the radiator fluid. We see the coolant reservoir, but that's all we see. Isn't there supposed to be a radiator cap too?

Response From way2old Top Rated Answer

The coolant reservoir is where you check the coolant level.

'68 Chevelle Radiator cap burst, engine stalls. Please Help!

Showing 5 out of 6 Posts | Show 1 Hidden Posts
Question From aferrucc on '68 Chevelle Radiator cap burst, engine stalls. Please Help!

Hello,
I'm new to the site, I'm supposed to be going on a date tonight and would love to drive my toy but I'm afraid we'll be left stranded.
I have a '68 chevelle with a 307 v8.
While driving in the Arizona heat at a stop sign, my radiator cap purged most of my radiator fluid onto the ground(I have no reservoir) in a few seconds, then the car stalled and would not start for about 15min. This has only happened twice and about a year apart. Any idea what it could be? Maybe the radiator cap?
Thank You for your responses!

Response From Discretesignals

Did the engine overheat?

Response From aferrucc

First off, I really appreciate the response, any advice is appreciated.

I don't know for sure but I dont think it overheated because both times this has happened, I wasn't speeding around before-hand, I was idling at a stopsign. Even on the hottest days here in AZ she runs just fine with me punching the gas. I've checked the spark plugs and all have normal deposits. I'm going to check the timing tonight but it runs smooth at 700RPM idle. I have an electric fan and shroud and dont have AC.

Thank You!

Response From Discretesignals

What did the temperature gauge read when the radiator puked?

Response From aferrucc Top Rated Answer

I wish I knew, I was just so concerned with getting her off the road I didnt think to look.

If it were to overheat, would it really dump that much fluid out?? it pretty much emptied the radiator both times

Thanks

Response From Discretesignals

If the engine overheats and causes the coolant to boil, it will open the pressure release valve in the radiator cap and it will push lots of coolant out. You really need to find out what the coolant temperature is. Lots of things can cause an engine to overheat. Overheating can cause the engine to stall because the fuel vaporizes before it even reaches the combustion chamber or it boils the fuel right out of the carburetor. It can also cause the pistons to swell up so much they seize in their bores.

You can test the radiator cap with a coolant pressure tester that has a radiator cap adapter. The cap should have the pressure stamped on top of it to note the pressure it takes to open the relief valve. The cap has to be able to pressurize the coolant system to lower the boiling point of the coolant.

On the older cars that don't have a reservoir you don't want to fill the radiator to the top cause it will push fluid out when the coolant gets hot. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade it with an over flow tank.

1997 Pontiac Grand Prix - Running Hot

Showing 2 out of 21 Posts | Show 19 Hidden Posts
Question From upmm019 on 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix - Running Hot

I have a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GT - 3.8L - Non-Supercharged.

Car has about 120k on it but the motor was replaced recently.

Car is running hot and I'm not sure where to start in regards to getting it fixed.



Temp runs up to the red before the fans kick in at all. then when they do... the temp goes down to the blue. It never runs any cooler.

I just put about 2500 dollars into the car and really cannot afford to get much more into it.

I checked the coolant level and it's full.

the fans come on but not until it's super hot and when they do come on I cannot say they are super loud, etc.

What should these cars run at normally for a temp after being warmed up?

When should the Fans kick on?

any other suggestions?

The car is my sons and I've told him if it gets hot to just turn on the heat to bring it down. He has been doing that often so it's time to figure out the problem and have it repaired.

Any help would be wonderful...

Response From Hammer Time

One thing you will find with these cars is that they will run a lot hotter in slow traffic situations with the A/C off. That is normal and intentional. The fans aren't programmed to come on until approx 226 to 228 degrees if the A/C is not on. If the A/C is on, they run all the time.

Cruising on the highway, it should stay around 200 degrees..

Response From upmm019

My son drove it yesterday and we drove highway speeds in SD (65mph) and he had to turn the heat on to keep it cool.

that is not normal at least in my non-mechanical background.

The thermostat was replaced new with the new engine about a month ago along with the water pump.

I'm wondering what my next step is here.... new radiator? new temp control? new fans?

I can only tell you that last fall I took the car (before all of the engine troubles) to have the coolant flushed as it was all gummed up inside... Almost looked like cottage cheese at the top side. Not sure if the prior owner or someone mixed dexcool with regular antifreeze or what....

When I looked at the coolant the other day it was not like that but it did appear to be dirty looking but then again I don't think the garage put the true dexcool back into it... I think there is some new alternative to the dexcool and it certianly was not the green stuff.

my other car that has a v6, its not a pontiac but that vehicle never runs over 210... probably not a fair comparsion but I don't think it should get that hot but perhaps I'm totally wrong.....

Response From Hammer Time

Mixing coolants won't hurt anything at all. It just won't be a 5 year coolant any longer. As I stated before, these temps at low speeds would be completely normal but if you are seeing 220 or higher at highway speeds, then you have a problem. The sludge you spoke of concerns me. Dexcool will turn into a sludge if left in the system too long or if run with a leak that introduces air into the coolant. You will also make a total mess if you run straight water instead of coolant.

It sounds like your going to need another radiator and some serious flushing to the system when it's changed. Use some flush chemicals to loosen things up first and then flush it thoroughly. Remove the thermostat during flushing and then put it back in. You won't be able to save the radiator so plan on replacing that.

Response From upmm019

Ok, I ordered a replacement radiator.

In regards to flushing, do you purpose any specific type of solution that will loosen things up?

What is the benefit of removing the thermostat? Also, is there any danger in having it removed during this flush process?

I've heard that you can get air into the cooling system if not flushed right, is this true? If so, how can I avoid from having this happen?

Lastly, what is the best coolant to put back into the system. I know it had dexcool and then whent the motor was swapped out the garage put something else in that is not green and it is not dexcool either...

Response From Hammer Time

Just purchase a name brand flushing additive. Removing the thermostat first will allow the coolant to move around more and faster so it flushes better. Don't worry about the air until your refilling it with coolant. We use a vacuum fill to remove all air.

Response From upmm019

well, for those folks like me who do not have the vacuum filler... how does one refill and insure there is no air trapped in the sysem?

Response From Hammer Time

Look for a bleeder first. If it doesn't have one, then fill it, close the system, drive it around the block and run it until the fans come on. Shut it off and let it cool all the way down. Top it off and run it again until the fan cycles twice. Check the level one more time when cooled all the way and you should be good.

Response From upmm019

so what sort of coolant should I buy?

I should have the radiator on Saturday. Barring any troubles I hope to have it installed the same day.

However, not sure if I should put dexcool in it or go with something else.

it had dexcool and then when the motor was swapped out the garage doing the work put something else in that is not dexcool and its not the green stuff either.

any suggestions.

Response From Hammer Time

It's really not that important. Dexcool is a 5 year coolant and the green stuff is a 2 year coolant. The yellow stuff is a substitute for Dexcool with all the same properties as Dexcool but if green coolant contaminates either of the 5 years coolants, they just become 2 year coolants, regardless of the color. If your were to use Dexcool, you would have to thoroughly flush all the other coolants out first for it to do any good.

Response From upmm019

Well, I got the new radiator but did not get a chance to install it.

However, my son who drives this car, indicated that on his way back to college driving normal highway speeds without the air conditioning on says the car runs at about 250 degrees.

is that not a little too warm? We were only having mild 70's temp in our area too.

My other vehicles run around 210

Response From Hammer Time

Of course that's too hot but why are you driving it when you haven't installed the radiator yet? Your going to end up with a blown head gasket. That engine is very prone to that and that temp can easily do that. 230 is acceptable. 250 is not.

Response From upmm019

didnt have time.

I was not aware it would do that.

I will advise him to continue to run the heat/air to keep the temp down.

next time he is home I'll swap out the radiator.

How does one test if the fans are coming on at the right temp? I know the fans come on when the air is on and they do come on when it's not on but not until the car is around that 250 range.

Response From Hammer Time

Turning the heat on isn't going to save your engine. All that does is add a couple quarts more coolant into the mix but it only a momentary relief.

Don't worry about the fans right now. They have no effect at highway speeds.

Response From upmm019

I'm going to work on the car later today....

Just so I'm clear ... you suggest that I pull the thermostat and hook everything back up but add a flush addiative.

Let it run and then go ahead and empty everything and replace the radiator with the new one.

I can use the normal dexcool as a replacement and just run it a few cycles to insure the system is full.

That said... what should I be seeing for temps?

should I put a new thermostat in it too or can I use the existing.. it was new just a few months ago when the engine was replaced.

Also... on that temp guage where should I see it normally run? if it's working right should it ever go over the 4th tick mark closest to 260 ?

Response From Hammer Time

If the car has been real hot since the thermostat was installed, then replace it again. sounds like you understand everything. Normal temps would be 195 to 205 at cruising speed and as high as about 230 in traffic with the A/C off.

Response From upmm019

No, I think it's ran hot since we've had it.

I was trying to find a picture of what the coolant looked like before I had it flushed once...

The nearest I could find is this one..


it was not that bad but there was globs of stuff in it... just wonder if that fowled up the current radiator...

Also, do I need to buy one of thos prestone flush kits or I just do what you suggested (take out thermostat and run with addiative)?

Response From Hammer Time

Yes, all that stuff has to be flushed out.
Remove the thermostat and put the empty housing back on. Use some strong flushing chemical and run the car for at least 30 minutes @ 2000RPM if it will do that without overheating. If not, you may have to repeat the process again.

When your finished flushing, remove the lower hose and upper hose and run the garden hose into the upper until it flows clear at the bottom with the engine off.. Then put your T-stat back in and replace the radiator. Don't install the new rad until you get all that junk out.

Response From upmm019

Gotcha!

Thanks for all of your help

I'll report the outcome...

Response From upmm019 Top Rated Answer

I forgot to ask one thing....

since I am replacing the radiator.... should I replace the radiator cap too?

Not sure if that is needed or not or what sort of problem come from a bad radiator cap if there is any...

Response From Hammer Time

I try to change them when I can, especially when they get all gummed up. They are calibrated to a specific pressure for release and they have to remain accurate.

They Did Not Tighten the Radiator Cap During an Oil Change

Showing 2 out of 13 Posts | Show 11 Hidden Posts
Question From Charis on They Did Not Tighten the Radiator Cap During an Oil Change

Hi,

I found this site while trying to find an answer online. I hope to find it here. I have a small Chevy 89 Blazer 2 door 2wd that was my dad's (100,000 miles) in excellent condition. It does have the larger engine.

Please help me with your opinions on what has happened described as follows:

I had an oil change, and while driving home up the pass the car overheated less than 9 miles from the shop. The car has never overheated before. I opened the hood and antifreeze was sputtering out from under the radiator cap. I called the shop, they would not come get me and told me to tow it in. Since I was closer to another shop, I drove there. It took me four hours to go 5 miles since I could only drive less than a mile before would overheat again and I'd have to let it cool down. They replaced the thermostat, radiator cap, and coolant $130. Then they replaced the radiator hose since they did not move it back to where it was supposed to be and it hit the fan when I drove off.

I drove it home and it overheated after about 30 miles. Called the guys that replaced the thermostat and they said maybe it was a bubble. Drove it and it overheated again. They looked at it over a couple of days and said my engine was ruined because of the over heating and had to be replaced.

I took it elsewhere for a second opinion and they replaced the radiator and now after about 60 to 70 miles it seems fine.

I know the first repair of the thermostat, coolant and radiator cap was directly caused from the radiator cap not being tightened by the guy that changed the oil and checked fluids. They even wrote this in on the ticket and suggested he pay for the repair. But what about the replacing of the radiator? Would that have been caused by the radiator cap not being tightened and the engine overheating? The guy said it may have had loose particulars of junk in there clogging it up.

I really need some help here please. I had dropped $1,400 with the place that changed the oil just the week before on my regular truck and have given them a lot of business for them to have just blown me off when I only drove it less than 9 miles from their shop. I plan to send a letter to the BBB about this but do not know if the radiator replacement should be mentioned because I do not know if this could have caused the radiator to be replace.

Thanks so much! All advice appreciated.

Response From Sidom

Wow, that was a bit of bad luck that really sux

As far as the 1st shop, leaving the cap off, they would pretty much be responsible for the repairs. They were minimal repairs with the T stat more than like being installed as a precautionary step.

The radiator getting plugged would not be a direct result of a cap being left off. I do believe that you weren't having any cooling problems to this point but more than likely this was something that had been building up, was close to the point of failure and this episode just sped things up a bit....Basically something that was going to happen anyway.

I'll just offer a couple of bit of advise if you happen to run into this situation again.

1st the original repairs. When a shop has a problem like this you have to give them a honest shot at fixing it themselves before going some place else to get it repaired. Being you were only a few miles away and they told you to tow it them. They were expecting to take care of this problem themselves and it would've been way less expensive for them.
With you going to another shop you will be expecting them to pay the other shops bill in full. This is something they could've of done for a fraction of the cost. It would have been a lot better for you to have talked with the 1st shop and got the ok to do this before making the decision on your own to do this. Now there is provisions depending on what happened where you could go somewhere else without giving them a chance but being mad or not wanting to wait aren't some of them.
Now if you're hundreds of miles away, this would be different, now the ball would be in their court if they wanted to foot the towing cost of find a local shop to take care of their warranty work...

The overheating problem you had and time you spent driving it. You really took a big gamble with your engine. You could of done some serious damage to it. The best thing would of been to have it towed & let the 1st shop foot the bill. There is a mistaken idea that when a shop works on a vehicle and there is a problem you can just drive until it blows up and the shop is on the hook for the complete bill. This is not true. There is a term called mitigating your damages. What that means is you have legal obligation to keep your losses to a minimum.

We had a similar situation at our shop. We installed a t stat, it stuck the car started overheating and the customer continued to drive it 9 more miles and blew the engine. In an effort to avoid court our SM offered a long block at cost with minimal labor. (the stat sticking was not our fault, this was just customer service) The customer declined & sued us for the full bill and lost getting nothing. The judge did ask the customer "Why would you continue to drive your car when it was overheating?" all he could say was "we were in the middle of nowhere and scared for our lives". This was a few miles out of town and in this area there is no "middle of nowhere"

Just be aware, if you are having a problem while I'm sure it's a PITA and big waste of time and frustrating, you can't just keeping going thinking "whatever happens these guys are gonna have to pay for" because it's just not the case.

Response From Charis

Thanks Sidom, you explained that very well, you know your stuff. The second shop had told me to get the place that did the oil change to pay for the repairs since they quote "caused this to happen" and then when it kept overheating, they told me I needed a new engine because they did this. They even wrote all this on the tickets saying this was all caused by overheating. That's when I cried and drove it to my regular mechanic's place the next week and he replaced the radiator. He was in the middle of something when I picked it up so did not get to ask him about all this. I've driven it about 70 miles now and seems to be fine, hope it is. Do want to clarify a few things in regards to replies here. I was at high altitude, it was hot, and I was driving a mountain pass when it overheated. I called and they told me to drive it back down and I did not want to drive it down the pass with not running right (i.e. overheating). They then said get it towed in and they will look at it; they basically had the attitude of tough luck and this could be nothing they did. I was wondering about the trash they had left in the engine I had seen when I opened it up to let the steam out, combine that with their attitude and I was wondering if they were capable people. Sure I was upset, towing, a cab ride home, then cab ride back down into town, etc. gets expensive for just an oil change and they never said they'd foot the bill. I had just gone in for an oil change (my regular mechanic does not like to do oil changes so I get them done elsewhere). Since it was Saturday and I needed the car, I drove it to the nearest place. I do not know a thing about towing cars but expect it is not good for them to be towed and once you say 'up the pass' everyone's price for anything doubles. I understand mistakes but these people were basically of the attitude tough luck which was a main reason I went elsewhere. Since one of them even said he lived where I was broken down, he could have stopped and just looked at it or at least told me to put water in it. Someone finally stopped and did that and I at least got it to the closest place. Took forever for it to cool down though. Thanks again. I have decided I have to get a book from the library that explains some basics about cars. I am not going to get caught like this again. Not done by everyone but I hate to say it but people do skimp on car repairs for woman very often and take advantage. Trust me, have been there done that a lot and could tell you stories. I needed some advice and I thank you all. Charis.

Response From Sidom

Man this day sounds like a bad dream.

The attitude does sound surprising....There are a few ways to gauge a shop and one way is by how they handle their problems.... I don't care what shop it is, everyone has problems or misdiagnose's (is that word?). How they handle them really tells a lot about them. I'm really surprised they would tell you to drive an overheating vehicle, that would actually put them back on the hook for any damages that would result from that.

While they didn't mention taking care of the bill, if this was a problem they caused they need to take care of it, no question. A cap being left off it pretty clear cut. If it wasn't related to anything they did they obviously they shouldn't have to pay a tow bill. I understand that sometimes you can be in a spot where the tow sounds expensive, even across town sounds expensive to me but if you compare it to the cost of an engine or tranny and being with out a vehicle for a week or 2 or even longer then it might not sound so bad.

Just from what you've posted you should probably cross the 1st shop off the list. It sounds like you got a good tech for all the major stuff. You just need to kick him in the backside and have him start doing maintenance items as well, then your problem will be solved. You can explain to him the customers that take care of regular maintenance items, on time, are some of the best customers to have. While it can be a PITA to do, there is ok money in it and these are people who FIX THEIR CARS when there is a problem, not the ones who drive it into the ground & only fix the bare minimum to get it on the road again doing zero maintenance in the process...........

I'd be lying if I said there aren't bad techs and shops out there, it's just an unfortunate fact of life, just like the rest of the world but there is way more good ones than bad ones as whole.
As far as being a woman, some women customers I know are better informed and understand what you are explaining better than some male customers.
I don't even look at names when I'm working on a car, there is no need to know a name, now engine size, vin #, emission label, etc... that I need to know

But by all means it would be a great idea to take some basic automotive classes, if nothing else just to get a better understanding of what's going on and in the process, there might some things you can do for yourself.
Also with the internet, there are some very good resources out there...... Just like anything, there are good and bad sites. You just have to check around, see if what they say makes sense and stick with the ones that you feel comfortable with.... This site in particular has some real good techs & shop owners and even some regular posters with some good knowledge, they may be as old as the hills & ugly as mud fence but at the end of the day they do know their stuff and give out pretty good advise...

Response From Charis

Hi,

Thanks again. Bad dream? Yes, and I've had a few of them you would not believe, sometimes I really wonder about people (or how naive I can be). There are reasons people question those doing repairs, forgive them, and know it's because of past experiences they are cautious. But that's not what this forum is about and you have helped someone in need, thanks! It did help a lot that you explained the radiator repair was not related and now that I've driven it some and it's not overheating, I don't believe I need a new engine as the one place stated. Do not believe I'll go back there either.

I have put my mind to it, I am going to learn more about cars, at least the basics so that something so simple does not total my beloved Blazer! It has great sentimental value to me! I do maintain it, at least everything I know to do. Oil changes every 3.000 miles regardless, hand wax it once a year, and don't care what my mechanic charges because I know he does things well. He is not cheap. I wish he'd teach me some basics though.

Thanks,
Charis

Response From Sidom

Yea it sounds like your engine is ok. It was probably just an air pocket that hadn't work itself out yet. If there was an engine problem you would've had a overheating, drivability or coolant loss problem by now....

Check out any classes you can. Asking questions is good thing, you want to understand what's being done.

That's probably the leading cause of customers thinking shops are doing something shady. There was a miscommunication about what was being done and the customer didn't fully understand what they were approving and was left to "figure it out for themselves". This usually never goes to well for the shop, especially if a "self-anointed expert" who doesn't really understand the system either is brought into the mix....(man don't even get me started on tow truck drivers.............lmao)

Hopefully you'll have some better luck here on out....

Response From Charis

For me, the leading cause for thinking someone is doing something shady is from past experience. That's why I pay my mechanic pretty much whatever he says. He's always been right on the nose with diagnostics and what's really unusual, is every repair for the past 15 years has never failed. I mean that's unreal, most people make mistakes sometimes or a part is bad, etc. I tip him banana bread now.

The things I've seen in the past make me pretty untrusting of mechanics. Example: once I brought a car in for a new alternator. They started taking the battery out and I asked them why, they said their procedure is to just check that first. Humm OK... Well, they said yes, you need a new alternator. So they put one in, and I was in the garage and the guy pointed it out to me under the hood (you see, I am interested!). I looked at it and humm, I asked is it supposed to have that hole in the side with all the wires showing? He said he had put in a rebuild and he had not seen that. So OK, they get a another one and put that in. I was waking back to the garage to see if it was ready and they said yes. A kid that was a helper was putting the battery back in at that point too. Would have thought they'd have done that sooner. They started the car and the battery was hooked up wrong and smoke was everywhere. So they gave me a ride home and told me to call after noon the next day. I called and asked if my car was ready, new guy said yes, but you know you have an electrical problem? I mentioned the battery issue and the guy did not believe me. Finally he called the guy that had been there when it happened.
Or maybe the tire guy, tires are a big issue. I have learned things the hard way. I was driving to Texas and needed new tires; I knew nothing about tires. Went in and pretty much told the guy just wanted nothing real expensive. He put some on, I drove to Texas and back. Winter was upon us so real quick I had my studded tires put on. Next spring, I went to have my new tires put back on (less than 3,000 miles on them). I happened to go back to where I bought them. They would not put them on. Why? Because it was unsafe, they were too small for the car. Refund? Nope. I learned what a tire size was.

I could go on, but you get the drift. My dad was an aircraft mechanic and kept our cars up. Great guy, just wish he had taught me some things about engines. He did not do that, not even how to change a tire. I have no idea why, but once he gave me his old battery charger. Probably one of the best used gifts I ever got! Oh, the Blazer was his!

I think car manuals list what needs to be done at say 30,000 miles, 50,000 miles, etc. That gets a little overwhelming when someone doesn't know as much about maintenance. If someone made a list like oil changes every 3,000; air filter every year; rotate and balance every 3,000; plug wires etc. It would make it so much easier to understand and track! If a shop drew up a tracking sheet to give to customers to track their mileage or dates on they'd love you for that and would not neglect maintenance as much. I have designed forms for a living, I am going to design one of these for me! It would help me learn too.

Take care and thanks again!

Response From Hammer Time

Every owners manual has a maintenance schedule inside of it. There's one available for every car.
There are thieves and deceptive people in every line of business out there. I get 2 or 3 calls a day from people trying to scam me into buying something so don't lump auto repair shops together as bad. They are individuals like every other trade and no different from the dentist that tells you that you need $10K in work or the electrician that tells you all the wiring in your house needs to be replaced. Look at the individual, not the trade.

Response From alienshadow

I agree Hammer.. Me being a buisness owner first thing I always do with a potential customer is give a list of references to them.. That way they can see what kind of person and quality of work I do... Plus I always stand behind my work for 1 year.. Best advice I could give you is next time stick with the one you tip bananna bread to thats who you seem to trust.....

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

Right as usual Sidom. I went back and edited ONE word in my post that confused that thought back a couple,

T

Response From alienshadow

I always state before I reply I am no mechanic so.... As I read your post it seems you started at one shop and got mad because you were overheating and they told you to tow it in?? Then you took it to another shop and they charged you a fee for the work they did and you seemed to get mad about their fee and the fact the hose got hit by the fan?? So you then went to a 3rd shop and let them replace the radiator?? My question to you is why so many different shops you should never get mad at a shop if they ask you to tow it in.. Not many places that run a buisness has time to stop what they are doing and send a road side mechanic out unless they offer a service that you will or have paid for...

As far as driving after it started overheating never do that you really are asking for bigger problems which means more dough to kick out of your pocket.. You can write the BBB but it will be a waste of time I am sure the first shop would of stood by their mistake and made you happy even if they did see cause to replace the radiator.. In this economy not many buisnesses want to lose customers or a returning customer... As stated above bad luck on your end and I know the feeling it has happened to me for the last year.. Be glad you found this site these guys know their stuff and will answer any question you post....

Next time do as the shop ask even if you are crunched for time because as you see now you have spent way to much time driving around to different shops and driving to see if it will run hot or not.. Which equals more money being spent on gas...

Response From Hammer Time

I called the shop, they would not come get me and told me to tow it in. Since I was closer to another shop, I drove there.

After that statement you'll be hard pressed to blame anyone but yourself here. You were advised to tow it and then you drove it anyway. Any damage to that engine is on you now.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Agreed - you had your offer to tend to a mistake. Going somewhere else just messed that all up.

IMO - that engine and radiator wouldn't overheat with the cap just off completely but make a mess unless heavy load, high altitude or extremely hot weather. The radiator was in trouble alone or in need of flushing no doubt before a mistake.

Second shop messed up a stupid radiator hose. It wasn't meant to be your day. Near all are aftermarket and many need be cut for the application and checked for fit if you've ever worked on them at all.

Stinks but rad cap one one top end tank as this has would have allowed spillage and boiling point reduction due to not allowing pressure to build up. In 9 miles it shouldn't have overheated if all was well otherwise.

If this is the 4.3 engine (was the larger for S-10 if that) it's tough and short of wild overheating probably would NOT be a total loss if tended to.


That was one bad luck day and should have been towed back at the first suggestion you had,

T

(edit - "would NOT be a total loss - left out word "not" - sorry)