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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys

i just replaced my radiator on my 08 this tuesday after it ruptured? cracked? im not even sure. i just know there was a LOT of fluid leaking everywhere and a total lack of gear shifting... after it stopped working i didnt try to go anywhere, just called for a flatbed tow to my mechanic, from the moment it failed until i shut it off was probably about an 8 minute period where i shifted maybe a half dozen times

my mechanic replaced it pretty quickly but unfortunately i didnt get any details on what brand radiator he used, but i do know that he replaced all the fluids, tranny and coolant

decided i'd look through this thread to see if there was anything i should know and it was the first time i'd heard about the SMOD issue, just wondering what i should do next? what warning signs should i look for to avoid SMOD and if i should replace my tranny fluid again when and how often?

thanks
 

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Hey guys

i just replaced my radiator on my 08 this tuesday after it ruptured? cracked? im not even sure. i just know there was a LOT of fluid leaking everywhere and a total lack of gear shifting... after it stopped working i didnt try to go anywhere, just called for a flatbed tow to my mechanic, from the moment it failed until i shut it off was probably about an 8 minute period where i shifted maybe a half dozen times

my mechanic replaced it pretty quickly but unfortunately i didnt get any details on what brand radiator he used, but i do know that he replaced all the fluids, tranny and coolant

decided i'd look through this thread to see if there was anything i should know and it was the first time i'd heard about the SMOD issue, just wondering what i should do next? what warning signs should i look for to avoid SMOD and if i should replace my tranny fluid again when and how often?

thanks
How many miles were on your 08 before this happened? Are you near the shore/salt air in RI? Do you have a lot of corrosion in the engine compartment?
 

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More information from your mechanic would be key. How did he change the transmission fluid, did he just do a single "Honda Type" Drain and Fill (DnF) or did he use a Bladder Type with 8-10 qts of ATF and use one of the lines to the radiator to push all new ATF into the Transmission.

Additionally, I'm guessing that road salt is used in RI? I believe more than shore/salt air, that road salt causes more problems.

Here are most of the related Radiator and Transmission threads if you haven't found them all.

Happy Reading & Good luck

Radiator Fail on 2006

Radiator Failure @ Cooler Lines

Recent Radiator/Transmission SMOD!!!

Pictures of Corroded/Rusted Radiator Fittings

UOA on ATF

Best Radiator Replacement

Anatomy of OEM Denso Radiator

Radiator comparison: Denso/Spectra/OSC

Poll(Never Posted) on Radiator/Trans Cooler Solution
 

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Hey guys

i just replaced my radiator on my 08 this tuesday after it ruptured? cracked? im not even sure. i just know there was a LOT of fluid leaking everywhere and a total lack of gear shifting... after it stopped working i didnt try to go anywhere, just called for a flatbed tow to my mechanic, from the moment it failed until i shut it off was probably about an 8 minute period where i shifted maybe a half dozen times

my mechanic replaced it pretty quickly but unfortunately i didnt get any details on what brand radiator he used, but i do know that he replaced all the fluids, tranny and coolant

decided i'd look through this thread to see if there was anything i should know and it was the first time i'd heard about the SMOD issue, just wondering what i should do next? what warning signs should i look for to avoid SMOD and if i should replace my tranny fluid again when and how often?

thanks
Avoid SMOD? Your radiator failure was the potential SMOD incident. You had shifting problems immediately so it is likely that you had a combination of coolant and transmission fluid running through your transmission.

It is also possible that you simply had severe transmission fluid loss (with no coolant being sucked in) and that's what caused the shifting issues. Your mechanic should be able to answer this for you.

If you had coolant pulled into the transmission then you will need to have as much of the contaminated fluid purged from the transmission. Draining the transmission fluid one time is not close to being adequate. A bladder type fluid exchange or numerous (5,6,7??) dump and fills would be required. Even then there is no guarantee that the transmission will be OK.

To avoid the SMOD incident you would have needed to replace the radiator before it failed. Replacing your radiator with a new aftermarket one (without the problematic OEM style fittings) should make a future SMOD event extremely unlikely.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How many miles were on your 08 before this happened? Are you near the shore/salt air in RI? Do you have a lot of corrosion in the engine compartment?
115k

yes i live on near the water, though everywhere in RI is subject to alot of salt air & salt roads in the winter, we get a double dose basically ( im sure the same is true in CT)

Not alot of engine corrosion for a truck this old to be honest
 

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More information from your mechanic would be key. How did he change the transmission fluid, did he just do a single "Honda Type" Drain and Fill (DnF) or did he use a Bladder Type with 8-10 qts of ATF and use one of the lines to the radiator to push all new ATF into the Transmission.

Additionally, I'm guessing that road salt is used in RI? I believe more than shore/salt air, that road salt causes more problems.

Here are most of the related Radiator and Transmission threads if you haven't found them all.

Happy Reading & Good luck

Radiator Fail on 2006

Radiator Failure @ Cooler Lines

Recent Radiator/Transmission SMOD!!!

Pictures of Corroded/Rusted Radiator Fittings

UOA on ATF

Best Radiator Replacement

Anatomy of OEM Denso Radiator

Radiator comparison: Denso/Spectra/OSC

Poll(Never Posted) on Radiator/Trans Cooler Solution

thank you for the all the links... lots of reading to do
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Avoid SMOD? Your radiator failure was the potential SMOD incident. You had shifting problems immediately so it is likely that you had a combination of coolant and transmission fluid running through your transmission.

It is also possible that you simply had severe transmission fluid loss (with no coolant being sucked in) and that's what caused the shifting issues. Your mechanic should be able to answer this for you.

If you had coolant pulled into the transmission then you will need to have as much of the contaminated fluid purged from the transmission. Draining the transmission fluid one time is not close to being adequate. A bladder type fluid exchange or numerous (5,6,7??) dump and fills would be required. Even then there is no guarantee that the transmission will be OK.

To avoid the SMOD incident you would have needed to replace the radiator before it failed. Replacing your radiator with a new aftermarket one (without the problematic OEM style fittings) should make a future SMOD event extremely unlikely.

Good Luck!

I stopped by my mechanics after work and snapped a picture of the old radiator... he said there was very little chance of contamination, and that it was just that the transmission line failed and all of the transmission fluid drained... i'm paraphrasing him bc there is a pretty big language barrier but he was familiar with the strawberry milkshake issue and brought it up before i did. he's done alot of work on my vehicle so i trust him to be honest with me. just hoping for the best really


thanks for all the replys everyone i wasnt expecting this speedy of a response

please let me know if theres anything in this picture maybe im not seeing (i'm not super mechanically inclined)

thanks
 

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I stopped by my mechanics after work and snapped a picture of the old radiator... he said there was very little chance of contamination, and that it was just that the transmission line failed and all of the transmission fluid drained... i'm paraphrasing him bc there is a pretty big language barrier but he was familiar with the strawberry milkshake issue and brought it up before i did. he's done alot of work on my vehicle so i trust him to be honest with me. just hoping for the best really


thanks for all the replys everyone i wasnt expecting this speedy of a response

please let me know if theres anything in this picture maybe im not seeing (i'm not super mechanically inclined)

thanks
If you look at the Left Port on the radiator for the ATF, Left ATF Port.JPG you'll see that is still attached, looking at the Right Port Right ATF Port.JPG you see the same part is missing, what happens on Honda's is there is a bellevue washer and a "dissimilar metal issue" aluminum, plastic and cold rolled steel (bellevue washer) and it corrodes and expands allowing the fluid to "exchange" coolant and water, heat and expand at a different rate than ATF (petroleum based) and over time the coolant get's drawn into the ATF line.

@OhSix took apart my OEM and has pictures of the mechanical fittings and there is only 1/8" of threads mechanically separating these fluids at that point.

It's a Yes or No answer, if he didn't my preference would be flush about 10-14 qts thru the transmission. If he has a bladder style system you would only need 9-10qts, if you DIY it you would need about 14qts, and one crush washer. Drain 3.5qts, fill 3.5qts, rince and repeat 3 more times and your done. It is easier than an oil change.

The bigger question is did he flush the system ATF via either multiple DnF's or with a bladder style fluid exchange system. If he didn't, but you can pay the money and get all new ATF into the system. Coolant isn't a good lubricant for the transmission.
 

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There is also the YES or NO as to whether or not any coolant made its way into the transmission.

It is possible (and I believe there have been some failures of this type reported) that the fitting could brake clean off going immediately from a properly functioning situation to a failure where transmission fluid is dumped onto the ground yet no coolant is pulled into the transmission. Based on the OP's discussion with the mechanic, this sounds like what the mechanic said happened. If so, doing multiple dump and fills would be unnecessary particularly if he needs to pay someone else to do it.

I think the subject should be gone over one more time with the mechanic, perhaps with the help of an interpreter. Heck he could just write down on a piece of paper ahead of time the question in whatever language the mechanic fluent in "Did any coolant make its way into the transmission?" Yes or No . . . .
 

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If you look at the Left Port on the radiator for the ATF, View attachment 344537 you'll see that is still attached, looking at the Right Port View attachment 344545 you see the same part is missing, what happens on Honda's is there is a bellevue washer and a "dissimilar metal issue" aluminum, plastic and cold rolled steel (bellevue washer) and it corrodes and expands allowing the fluid to "exchange" coolant and water, heat and expand at a different rate than ATF (petroleum based) and over time the coolant get's drawn into the ATF line.

@OhSix took apart my OEM and has pictures of the mechanical fittings and there is only 1/8" of threads mechanically separating these fluids at that point.

It's a Yes or No answer, if he didn't my preference would be flush about 10-14 qts thru the transmission. If he has a bladder style system you would only need 9-10qts, if you DIY it you would need about 14qts, and one crush washer. Drain 3.5qts, fill 3.5qts, rince and repeat 3 more times and your done. It is easier than an oil change.

The bigger question is did he flush the system ATF via either multiple DnF's or with a bladder style fluid exchange system. If he didn't, but you can pay the money and get all new ATF into the system. Coolant isn't a good lubricant for the transmission.
Also note: the port likely missing because the mechanic struggled to remove the soft line connected to it. My guess would be: the compressed bellville washer was (probably) terribly corroded. As the mechanic tugged on the hose to remove it, the last remnants of the port structure simply broke loose.

A proactive mechanic should provide the owner with a thorough explanation of what he found during the repair process, and fully describe exactly what he did to minimize potential damage from the failure incident. *Of course* - the explanation should include requisite weasel words absolving himself of unforeseen damage. The idea being: best practices to recover from the issue with no guarantee that the incident didn't negatively impact service life.

HeatExchangePortCrossSection.jpg
 

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Looking at the OP's radiator, the outlet side of the fluid transfer unit blew and the unit itself looks to have stayed in place. Therefore, the tranny fluid would have been pushed through the unit and would have simply drained out of that side. There would be no sucking in of the coolant. It does appear that the OP got VERY lucky here. I would highly recommend doing a couple of drain and fills of the tranny fluid for good measure, though. If anything, ensure the system is fully "burped" of any air that might be in it and ensure that the fluid level is proper. Try to find out where your mechanic got the replacement radiator and what brand it might be. Attempt to reach down in and snap a photo of the new fittings on the backside of it to see if they are of the older design or if they are the newer, stronger variety.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just to follow up:

i stopped by my mechanics shop this weekend and had him flush the transmission fluids and the radiator fluid because i was feeling anxious about a potential smod issue....


the fluids were clear of any contamination and looked good, i watched him do it

feeling very lucky because i know how costly these things can be and got it rectified for ~500$

thanks for all the info and allowing me to ask the right questions,

will update this thread if any further issue occurs
 

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Before I create another SMOD thread for really no good reason, I just want to ask, is it really worth buying the thermostat when doing a radiator? Is the t-stat something that people replace because "while they're in there" or is a part that is known to fail say every 100k+ miles?

I know the timing belt of my truck was done something like 20k miles ago via a local Honda dealer, water pump yes but I see no mention of t-stat.

Thoughts?
 

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Before I create another SMOD thread for really no good reason, I just want to ask, is it really worth buying the thermostat when doing a radiator? Is the t-stat something that people replace because "while they're in there" or is a part that is known to fail say every 100k+ miles?

I know the timing belt of my truck was done something like 20k miles ago via a local Honda dealer, water pump yes but I see no mention of t-stat.

Thoughts?
Ok, so how many miles do you currently have? 125k (Timing belt @ 105k + 20k)
 

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For the record, I have never changed my thermostat, but I have had my radiator and coolant replaced. The next time I replace the radiator and/or timing belt, I will go ahead and swap it out. It's certainly a wearable part, but I don't see it as something that is vital.
 

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Ok, so how many miles do you currently have? 125k (Timing belt @ 105k + 20k)
I wish I had 125k miles, it's @ 232k miles and belt changed 204k miles (sorry 28k). I already ordered the t-stat, why not, $50 is whatever. It's going to be done along with a new radiator (no document of being replaced ever).
 

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I wish I had 125k miles, it's @ 232k miles and belt changed 204k miles (sorry 28k). I already ordered the t-stat, why not, $50 is whatever. It's going to be done along with a new radiator (no document of being replaced ever).
Ok then, with that mileage, you have every reason to swap out the t-stat with the radiator. Just makes sense! Was that the first or second timing belt change?
 

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About $500 worth of parts and labor later, I have a newly installed Chinese Denso (from Rock Auto) radiator and a little more peace of mind.

I took back the radiator with 232k miles to do a little inspecting. This is a Massachusetts truck. Honestly looked alright so whether the $500 was a waste of not, who knows. At least I got a new thermostat, new coolant, and 4 quarts of transmission fluid exchange in the process.




Sometimes I really hate reading forums! They scare me into doing things like this! Cheers! :smile:
 

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Personally, I’d rather replace it on my schedule and not run into this issue later.

Although it hadn’t failed, you cannot know when or where it might.

Now for another 232k
 
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