Trying to diagnose issues with an overheating 1988 Honda Accord, I pulled the rad to flush it. The lower section has damaged fins as such, though the rad does not leak and holds water fine. It's not rusty either (the rusty splotches on the left are from the flush and isn't surface rust on the rad).

Note:Thermostat is brand new and fans work

Could this amount of damage be a significant contributor to overheating issues?

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  • It's very hard to say.. It's all about the flow. If damage in some way blocks the flow of the water then it could be the issue. But if it's just that the air doesn't go through that small part of the radiator I'd guess that that's not the problem.
    – Markus
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 7:41
  • If you live in a cold climate then I would say it is not your problem.
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 7:43
  • 1
    @Moab It's from an 88 Accord. Thermostat is brand new and fans work, but don't seem to run consistently. Thermo fans switch is located in radiator, so it might just be dirty.
    – MeltingDog
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 4:09
  • @Moab yeah you might be right . The whole system had a thin layer of rusty sludge through the hoses. I'm guessing this is also through the radiator core tubes as well.
    – MeltingDog
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


I would upgrade the radiator to an aluminum model if they offer one, if not a new brass radiator as the cores may be blocked in the old one and its not worth sending to a radiator shop to rod them out. The fan switch in the radiator are prone to fail or work intermittently, replace it also.

  • I would agree Then consider radiators don't cost what they used to, it seems a no-brainer. Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 13:28
  • probably under $100 in the usa
    – Moab
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 14:18

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