How Much Does a Car Cooling System Repair Cost?
Depending on what parts of the cooling system need to be replaced, you can expect a cooling system repair to cost anywhere from £80 to £500.
Sometimes it may be the case that you need a simple engine coolant/antifreeze top-up which can cost as little as £40. Carrying out a car radiator replacement on the other hand costs on average £200, with prices ranging from £150 to £350.
Your location can be a key factor in determining the price of a cooling system repair. For example, average hourly labour rates and demand in cities like London is around £50-£100 while in towns with lower demand, the labour rates can range from £35-£50. The type of mechanic, for example, a mobile mechanic vs a dealership garage technician can also affect the total cost of a cooling system repair.
Average cost of a cooling system repair by location
There will be a difference in pricing for cooling system repair depending on the vehicle's make, model, and year. In addition to the part prices, the hourly labour charges vary throughout the UK, so the cost may also vary by location.
Average cost of a cooling system repair by manufacturer
How do you know if your cooling system needs to be repaired?
The cooling system of a vehicle has many elements to it including the radiator, thermostat, water pump, cooling fan, heater matrix, etc. If faulty, symptoms of each component will vary but keep an eye on these common signs that can suggest your cooling system needs a repair or replacement.
- Engine is overheating
- Coolant leaks
- Coolant level is low
- Strange noise from engine bay such as grinding
- Steam/ smoke coming from under the bonnet
- Check engine light on dashboard
If you notice that the engine runs at a higher temperature than usual, there are leaks underneath the car (this is usually red, green or yellow fluid) or around the radiator, then it is likely that the radiator is faulty and will need to be replaced. It is critical to repair a leaking radiator as soon as possible, as a low level of engine coolant can lead to severe engine damage and overheating. Overheating can sometimes also suggest a problem with the thermostat.
Whining noise from the engine
Sometimes occurring in addition to the symptoms above, a whining noise coming from the front can be an indication that the water pump bearings or seals are failing. In any case, this will cause the engine to overheat and should be fixed to avoid engine damage.
The engine fails to get up to operating temperature causing increased fuel consumption and the heater output is poor. This would indicate that the thermostat is stuck open and requires replacement
Heater is malfunctioning
This could point towards a faulty thermostat or blocked heater matrix.
Frequently asked questions about cooling system repair cost
How much does it cost to fix a leak in your coolant system?
You can expect the cost of fixing a leak in the coolant system to range between £100-£500. The exact cost will depend on the timing (how early the leak is caught), the extent of damage, and the part causing the leak (leaky radiator, a leaky water pump, or a faulty thermostat).
Does a car's cooling system include the radiator?
Yes, a car's cooling system typically includes the radiator, radiator cap, thermostat, cooling fans, water pump, heater matrix, hoses and engine coolant. The water pump is at the heart of the cooling system as it circulates coolant throughout the engine to keep it at a consistent temperature thus preventing overheating.
Do I really need to change coolant?
Yes, you should change the engine coolant or antifreeze at least every 2-5 years depending on type Engine coolant is important because it helps prevent corrosion and maintain optimum engine temperature as it helps to dissipate the heat from your engine and prevents it from getting too hot and causing engine damage.
How long does a cooling system repair take?
The time it takes to complete a cooling system repair in a car can vary widely depending on several aspects, including the specific issue, the make and model of the vehicle, among other factors. A simple coolant top up will take less than 30 minutes whereas a thermostat replacement can take 1-2 hours to complete.
Can I carry out a cooling system repair myself?
If it’s a simple coolant top up for example, yes, you can do this yourself at home. Make sure to follow manufacturer guidelines available in the vehicle handbook. For more complex cooling system repairs such as radiator replacement or water pump replacement, it’s best to get a professional mechanic to carry out the repair job.
Unless you are a qualified mechanic with the required skills, training and equipment to do the cooling system repairs and replacement, we strongly recommend it is only carried out by a professional mechanic. ClickMechanic can help get you a vetted and local mechanic to carry out the work. Just enter your postcode and your car's registration number at the top of this page and select the work needed to get an instant fixed price up front.
What else could be the problem if my cooling system isn’t broken?
If you’re experiencing issues with your cooling system including engine overheating, make sure there is sufficient coolant and no coolant leaks. A blown head gasket could also cause overheating.