Typical Radiator and Water Pump Life

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On modern cars, how long do radiators and water pumps generally last? I have 126,000 miles on the original water pump and radiator on my '96 Saturn. Is ~150k the typical service life for these components? If so, I will consider keeping replacements on hand since I can obtain radiators and water pumps for far less money online than locally. Thanks!
 
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I'd say that's not a bad plan Mr Critic. 200,000km seems to be about it for aluminium rads and water pumps from what I've seen. Having cheap spares available for when needed beats emergency repairs (and dollars) anytime.
 
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Water pumps, my experience is to replace them every other timing belt change, if a 60,000 mile timing belt. If the belt is a 90,000 mile or higher belt for the cost of the pump (all labor if replacing the belt do the pump) just replace it. For the extra $50 or so just replace the pump as the labor to get to it by itself without replacing a belt is exorbitant
 
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On my 99 SL2 my water pump needed to be replaced at 126,000 miles. The seal started leaking big time. My radiator was replaced at 138,000 after noticing the common crack that occurs on the top of the drivers side of the radiator between the top rad line and top hose. It seems this is a common occurrence on high mileage S-Cars. I do a lot of short trips, so I am sure the type of driving adds to the stress on car components.
 

JHZR2

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In the 83, 85 and 96 MB diesels, we have gotten well over 200k, and over 20 years on the OE radiator that came from the factory. Ditto for water pumps. Plastic top radiators seem more trouble-prone than others, but often there are indications of a failure coming along. I assume the water pump o the saturn isnt set up so that it makes sense to change when doing a timing belt or something else? A good amount of stress is due to thermal cycling, so longevity of a radiator has to do with number of cycles, not necessarily miles. A water pump's failure modes have more to do with rotating parts, so it is a matter of use. Does your wp use a plastic impeller?
 
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They both will last a lot longer if the cooling system is religiously maintained. That includes complete coolant changeout every two years.
 
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I've got 13 yrs/162k miles on my waterpump and radiator on my 96 sunfire. 1st dexcool change at 93k/5yrs. 2nd dexcool change at 143k. no flushing either.
 
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 Quote:
A good amount of stress is due to thermal cycling, so longevity of a radiator has to do with number of cycles, not necessarily miles.
My radiator failed at 80k miles but I make a lot of short trips. John
 
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 Originally Posted By: Cutehumor
I've got 13 yrs/162k miles on my waterpump and radiator on my 96 sunfire. 1st dexcool change at 93k/5yrs. 2nd dexcool change at 143k. no flushing either.
I bought a motorhome that has dexcool (the pink stuff right). The MH had 9700 miles on it but was 7 years old. I changed out the coolant 100% even using both block drains. Guess I am set for the life of the MH now. Just had to put a water pump in the Aerostar (a '92) last year about 125,000 miles. Have replaced radiators in '84 F150 when the fins rotted out, proably after 10 years. Other Ford pickups had radiators that sprang leaks between the plastic tanks and metal core--stupid design IMO.
 
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238K on the WP of my 93 SL2, Prestone DEX changed every 5yrs no backflush. Radiator stated to leak near trans line around 200k (replaced)heater still worked but not great. Looking back I would replaced the thermostat but the bolts looked badly corroded and they have a tendency to break. Key got stuck in ignition after 15yrs 5 mos and I retired it.
 
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The Critic

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 Originally Posted By: John_K
 Quote:
A good amount of stress is due to thermal cycling, so longevity of a radiator has to do with number of cycles, not necessarily miles.
My radiator failed at 80k miles but I make a lot of short trips. John
Yeah, this car has been a short trip car for its entire life.
 Originally Posted By: Dan55
238K on the WP of my 93 SL2, Prestone DEX changed every 5yrs no backflush. Radiator stated to leak near trans line around 200k (replaced)heater still worked but not great. Looking back I would replaced the thermostat but the bolts looked badly corroded and they have a tendency to break. Key got stuck in ignition after 15yrs 5 mos and I retired it.
I replaced my thermostat a few months ago. The original one had been stuck open for quite some time. I didn't see any signs of corrosion on the bolts though.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I assume the water pump o the saturn isnt set up so that it makes sense to change when doing a timing belt or something else?
The S-Series which were made through 2002 had a metal timing chain. You have to remove the passenger side wheel and plastic shield to access that water pump. Some Saturn engines since then use a timing belt.
 
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My '94 LS400 with more than 200k miles still has original radiator. Water Pump was changed at 120k miles along with timing belt. The only antifreeze it ever has is Preston All Makes/All Models, changed every 3-4 years with back flush kit. My '00 MB E430 with more than 100k miles still has original water pump and radiator.
 
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I have never replaced a radiator, not even in my 77 truck. I am not sure I have ever gotten 150K out of a water pump. Hummmmm, the better prepared you are for something, the less likely it will happen. The price of a water pump could be really cheap insurance. Even front driver push rod engines can be nasty to change. My Cavalier Ecotec has 140 K on it. Maybe I will order one from Rock.
 
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Most of the cars I see that need a water pump have around 80K on them. 2nd time around is about 150K. I'd say 90% of the broken radiators we see are between 95K and 100K. Now if a late model Chevy truck, Yukon, Denali etc comes in for a noisey or locked up AC compressor that truck will have exactly 86K on it. Odd........But thats what they have when they roll into the shop.
 
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I have never needed a water pump in any of my cars... SW1 with 204k still going strong. Have gotten a couple beaters with very sad radiators that started leaking right after I paid for the title & plates. Sometimes is salt getting at the fins from the outside... my dakota just had its tubes left on the bottom four inches! Fortunately for you, saturn rads usually crack in the same place by the trans cooler lines, and seem to give enough warning to an astute observer that they could still mail order a cheap radiator online.
 
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I have never replaced anything on my 2001 Saturn @ 102,700 miles except the serp. belt, coolant, oil, power steering fluid, brakes/brake fluid, filters, an ECTS (preventative), a set of tires, a battery and clutch. I plan on replacing my fuel filter when I get some spare cash. Everything else is original.
 
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The Critic

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 Originally Posted By: GMFan
I have never replaced anything on my 2001 Saturn @ 102,700 miles except the serp. belt, coolant, oil, power steering fluid, brakes/brake fluid, filters, an ECTS (preventative), a set of tires, a battery and clutch. I plan on replacing my fuel filter when I get some spare cash. Everything else is original.
You're lucky. By 102k half of my Saturn had been rebuilt.
 
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When I plan to do the water pump/timing belt change in my tundra at 90K, I'm planning to change the radiator too as a preventative action with an aftermarket brand, since some toyota rads have a atf tank in the rad that can easily leak. Anyone know a good brand? I'm looking at Performance Radiator brands that can hopefully last long.
 
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