A blog post about a radiator seems over kill but there is a story here that needs telling. When I get in to work the first report I usually get is there’s a bus with a problem. This particular bus was an out of town unit that lost a large amount of coolant. The run itself had to be cancelled since there was no time to run out with a spare bus and do the swap. The driver phoned in shortly after and informed me that he noticed the leak after a couple of stops and it appeared to be leaking around the right front bumper.
I have to decide if a mechanic in a service truck and an operator with a spare bus goes out there and tries to fix the problem. The driver could not be specific where the leak was coming from so it would be a shot in the dark repairing the coolant leak. There may be parts required that would turn this trip into a waste of time. There would also be a concern with running the engine with low coolant and damaging the EGR cooler.
With all of these possibilities I decided to call the tow truck and bring the bus in to the garage. A few hundred dollars spent on a tow truck is money well spent considering the alternatives sending the service truck with a spare bus and 2 shop personnel and not knowing what they were going to find when they got there. Low and behold as soon as the bus showed up the large wet spot on the radiator core was very obvious so towing it in was the best way to go. Fixing rad leaks on the side of the road is a slim to none possibility.
The next step was to order a radiator starting with the dealer. This bus is a 2017 so there was a fine line on a part that might be dealer only option. There price was through the roof …no big surprise. As most shops will do, shopping around for an aftermarket radiator is normal to save some money. I found a company that supplied there own line of replacement radiators but unfortunately the part I needed was in a container waiting to clear the border state side.
This next failed radiator would be the starting point for a re and re situation in the future. We will have to bite the bullet and buy the dealer supplied radiator this time and send the old one out for repair. This would save us a good chunk of change on the next rad failure down the road. That’s it… I hope this story about a leaking radiator showed you how involved it really is and the step by step approach required to get the job done.