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Old 22nd March 2012, 02:22   #1
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Default Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

Car (Esteem) has been at the MASS for Body Shop work. When I'd been there to have a look, they had removed the front bumper and headlights and the radiator was in full view. Thats when I noticed that fins in the lower right corner were bent. The area of bent fins must be v approximately 25% of the total surface area. I should have taken pics, but it did not occur to me at that time.

I recall reading in books that bent fins can be straightened by some kind of tool. Today, the car went to the Workshop, after the body shop work and I asked the SA about it. He was totally blank about the issue and could offer no solution. I persisted and told him there should be some way or some tool or "comb" for the job. I even made him call his boss and ask. Spoke to the boss myself. He didn't plead ignorance outright; rather asked me to take the car to a "radiator specialis"! I didn't even know till then that there are radiator specialists. I said its unfortunate that I have to take the car to some questionable non-authorized place when I'v come to the larges MASS in the city. He said no procedure or tools for the same have been authorized for the same by Maruti, so they would be unable to help.

My questions are:

1) how good an idea would be to leave the fins as they are? They will obviously mar the cooling efficiency, but how serious would it be? The SA blankly said it should be ok to leave it as it is.

2) Does anybody know how one can get them straightened? Is there any workshop or something in Pune where I can get this done?

Not sure if I'm keen on leaving it as it is as I'd not like to keep stuff thats not working optimally.

Can somebody advice, please?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 04:35   #2
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

Whenever the Service engineers do some sort of work around the radiator area the fins do get touched, and because they are very fragile a slight pressure is enough for them to bend slightly. When my baleno met with an accident 3 years back at MASS they had to take the radiator out to fix it, and i also noticed the fins were bend.

The function of fins is to precipitate heat and help in cooling. Now if most of the fins are alright and you have not noticed any drop in cooling effectiveness then its alright to leave them as it is, otherwise its better to show it to the radiator guys.

In my case nothing was done as it was bend on about 10%-20% of area.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 05:44   #3
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

@Racoon, like Mayank said, the fins are delicate and very often get bent. But it does not mar the cooling efficiency. Any in-efficiency in the cooling may be more because of clogging inside the radiator, and hardly due to bent fins.

Unless the radiator itself is damaged, I suggest you let it be. You can also check any other car of similar age - any make any model - and you will see there are many more such cars, and running fine.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 06:06   #4
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

Watch the temperature gauge and drive. If you feel the car's overheating, then look into the issue.
Don't try to mend what's not broken.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 06:59   #5
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

One way to 'straighten' the fins (which are not badly mutilated to begin with) would be to use a strong & sturdy hair comb, the tooth spacing of which closely matches the fin spacing of your heat exchanger. Then just go over fins. They will straighten out!

Last edited by 1self : 22nd March 2012 at 07:00.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 07:08   #6
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

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Originally Posted by 1self View Post
Then just go over fins. They will straighten out!
But remember - the fins are quite soft, and will bend even with when rubbed with a finger (without much pressure).
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Old 22nd March 2012, 08:12   #7
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

Although i have never tried this myself, but my guess is combs wont work. You might end up damaging it more then what it already is.

@1self Have you personally tried this, or have you seen someone doing something like this?

@Raccoon if you are really hell bent on getting them straightened my guess is, taking a small forceps and gently straightening each millimeter of each Finn all the way might only work. A full day affair i must say with no tangible benefits. So better leave it as it is.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 08:32   #8
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

is it something like what happened here (scroll down for the pics) ?
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ler-query.html (Indica TCIC intercooler query)
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Old 22nd March 2012, 08:32   #9
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

The fins are bent on my 2010 sx4 as well. It is on lower side and behind the bumper slits. It looks like some flying debris from the road has caused it. I checked the same with the SA at MASS and he mentioned that it will not affect the performance and let it be like that.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 08:33   #10
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
@1self Have you personally tried this, or have you seen someone doing something like this?
Yup, on my Sonata. The A/C condensor fins were quite badly bent. Quite a patient & painstaking job. Got this tip from radiator repairers. They have the same type of comb, only fabricated from metal.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd March 2012 at 16:07. Reason: Fixing quote tag
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Old 22nd March 2012, 10:53   #11
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

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Originally Posted by Raccoon View Post
Car (Esteem) I even made him call his boss and ask. Spoke to the boss myself. He didn't plead ignorance outright; rather asked me to take the car to a "radiator specialis"! I didn't even know till then that there are radiator specialists. I said its unfortunate that I have to take the car to some questionable non-authorized place when I'v come to the larges MASS in the city. He said no procedure or tools for the same have been authorized for the same by Maruti, so they would be unable to help.
Hi Racoon,
There are many so called RADIATOR SPECIALIST & you may find one near some car garage OR repair market.
I know one very goog guy here in Mumbai because I have seen him fix the most complex & fragile (read radiators of Vintage & Classic cars) radiators.
They have their own divised tools but mainly use blow gun & aluminium solder rods AND THEY ARE NOT EXPENSIVE.
However I dont see any reason for you to go for such repairs till the TEMP needle in your car is 'happy' .

Raab Rakha.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:06   #12
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

About the Radiator specialists that the SA mentioned, there indeed are many such. There was this tiny shop filled with radiators of all sizes near my house in B'lore.

As per my observation, what they is - rinse the radiator completely in kerosene (what it seemed like) and drain it off. They then set right all the radiator fins with a pair of tweezers. The fins are extremely delicate and they handle them with just as much care. The radiator is flushed in kerosene again.

Ask around FNGs in Pune; they might know where such guys are.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:23   #13
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Post Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raccoon View Post
Thats when I noticed that fins in the lower right corner were bent. The area of bent fins must be v approximately 25% of the total surface area. I recall reading in books that bent fins can be straightened by some kind of tool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1self View Post
One way to 'straighten' the fins (which are not badly mutilated to begin with) would be to use a strong & sturdy hair comb, the tooth spacing of which closely matches the fin spacing of your heat exchanger. Then just go over fins. They will straighten out!
Yes, a comb can be used in a pinch & would straighten out the worst of the bent fins. If the fins are bent only slightly, the comb won't help much & finding a matching comb that is sturdy could be difficult. Radiator & A/C repair shops usually have a metal comb that they use to straighten bent fins. Here's a professional product. But, as advised by many members, if the fins aren't bent much & you've not noticed anything untoward so far, just leave it be...
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:25   #14
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

My suggestion would be not to try and straighten them. Just leave them as they are. They will not cause any problems. Straightening them may only lead to other fins getting bent.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:40   #15
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Default Re: Radiator Fins Bent - any solution?

Usually radiators are designed for 10 to 15% additional capability and hence would not be a concern. Further you too noticed it only when the grill was removed and not while the car was running which means there waere no physical symptom like over heating. So could do without any repair. Leave it alone.
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