Radiator Support / Radiator Support Panel for auto

Body auto parts: Radiator Support / Radiator Support Panel

How to detect the radiator frame failure

The part should be examined every time after running over an obstacle or a front collision, even if it is insignificant, since it is the radiator frame that is exposed to substantial impacts. Warpage, cracks, broken fasteners or corrosion detected during the inspection indicate that the part requires repair or replacement.

You may identify that the radiator frame has to be diagnosed by the following symptoms:

  • distortion of the car body in the front part;
  • rattling from under the hood while driving;
  • sagging bumper;
  • premature wear of the stabilizer link dust boots;
  • unreliable attachment of the radiator.

Causes of the radiator frame failure

In most cases, the radiator frame fails because of intense power impact resulting from a collision, inaccurate parking, hitting a curb, hitting by foreign objects while driving, etc. If the car is used on low quality roads, the risk of mechanical damage to the frame is considerably increased. Besides, due to increased vibration, the fasteners can be loosened, which may lead to the part detachment.

The radiator frame detachment can occur due to ill-conceived design of the car. For instance, on some vehicle models, the spoiler retainer attached to the frame is located below the bumper. When driving over potholes, the retaining clip contacts the road, unfastens and pulls out the fasteners of the plastic casing - both from the fenders and from the radiator frame.

Metal frames can rust due to the impact of moisture and dirt.

Replacement of the radiator frame

Repair of the radiator frame is not advised, as it is an important element of the passive safety system. That is why the part is subject to replacement even with small damage. The mounting of a new part is quite time consuming, but if you have a little experience, you can do it on your own. For this, perform the following sequence of steps:

  1. Remove the bumper after unscrewing the bolts and releasing the clips.
  2. Disconnect the wire harness connectors related to the fog lamps and the parking sensor.
  3. Unscrew the headlights fastening bolts and remove the lights.
  4. Then, unscrewing the fasteners one by one, remove the bumper cover and its reinforcer, and then - the radiator mountings.
  5. Unscrew the frame fasteners.
  6. Remove the hood lock cable.
  7. Remove the air ducts.
  8. Disconnect the protective cover from the frame, pull out the connectors of the wires coming to it.
  9. Remove the hose going to the A/C condenser.
  10. Remove the radiator frame.
  11. Install a new one in its place, performing the steps in the reverse order.

This procedure is generalized and may vary depending on the car design. Before you start  replacing, you should see the sequence of steps in your car technical documents.

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