On the way home Friday evening, I stopped by the local Advance Auto store and picked up some anti-freeze fluid for my new radiator. I was also going to get new radiator hoses, but they don’t carry the hoses I would need for my Miata. So I just got some shop towels and the anti-freeze. Then I ran to sweetbay and picked up some distilled water to mix with the anti-freeze.
When I got home, I got started right away on my task of replacing my radiator. It took me a while to get started, as I was trying to figure out how to get access to everything I needed to get to. At one point I thought I’d have to take off the cover under the engine compartment to get to the bottom of the radiator, but fortunatly I managed to give up on that and was able to do my job without having to remove the cover. Getting the old radiator out took me the longest time, as I had some trouble with the lower hose which seemed stuck. I finally got all the hoses and bolts and connections off the old radiator and pulled it out. I installed the fans on the new radiator and then dropped it in fairly easily. Then re-connecting a few hoses and wires and I was off and running. I ended up doing a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water, but only by accident. I read online that the miata radiator takes 6.7L of liquid, so I got three gallons of distilled water and a single gallon of anti-freeze. I got way too much fluid and ended up not even using a whole gallon of each type of liquid.
I took the car out for a spin and made sure there were no flow problems or overheating issues. Everything works great and it was a much easier job than I thought it would be.
I received my new radiator from radiators.com within 2 hours of me ordering it this morning. I will be picking up some distilled water, anti-freeze and hoses tonight and begin the transplant procedure. I hope the patient survives the surgery, I hear the surgeon isn’t that good.
Last night my Miata came down with a fever and a runny nose. I pulled into the garage to find my temperature gauge all the way to the H and white steam was starting to roll out from the engine compartment. I immediately checked it out and found a crack in the top of my Radiator. It was spraying out white steam from the top of the radiator.
Since my baby was sick, I had to take Sarah to school in the van and then drive the van to work right from her school. I was only a little late for work which wasn’t too bad.
I checked around online for some prices for a replacement radiator and found a website radiator.com which I used to contact them about a radiator for my Miata. They are a direct to consumer distributor, and have price matching and guaranteed lowest prices which was good. I ended up getting a new radiator, with a lifetime warranty for my Miata for $169 with free same day delivery to my home.
The miata.net forums have a good garage section with a guide showing step by step how to replace the radiator on your own. So I will save a little money by doing the replacement myself. On the way home I have to stop by an auto parts store and pickup some radiator fluid and hoses, but most likely I’ll have it all done tonight or at the latest sometime tomorrow. I really hope I can get it fixed tonight, because Liz and I are going on a date tomorrow night to celebrate our 9th anniversary.